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Premier urges Japan to maintain momentum for improvement in bilateral ties

Updated: Nov 14,2017 5:41 AM     Xinhua

Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Manila, the Philippines, Nov 13, 2017.[Photo/Xinhua]

MANILA — Japan should make joint efforts with China to keep up the momentum for improvement in China-Japan relations, Premier Li Keqiang said in Manila on Nov 13.

Premier Li made the remarks during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the 20th China-ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) (10+1) leaders’ meeting in the Philippine capital of Manila.

Premier Li said that the current China-Japan relations have shown some positive changes, but sensitive factors still exist.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan relations, and next year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship.

He called on Japan to take history as a mirror and face towards the future, and work with China to overcome difficulties and challenges in the bilateral ties.

Premier Li pointed out that China and Japan, as close neighbors and the world’s important economies, should tap their complementary advantages and enhance economic cooperation, which is of positive significance to the economic development of East Asia and the global economic recovery.

He called on the two countries to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in economy, trade and investment, discuss cooperation in the third-party market, and jointly promote the negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and free trade area talks between China, Japan, and South Korea.

To strengthen people-to-people exchanges, and advance enterprise-to-enterprise and youth-to-youth exchanges in particular, will create an environment for the stable development of the China-Japan relations, said Premier Li.

For his part, Abe said China and Japan, as the world’s second and third largest economies, have the responsibility for promoting world peace and global development.

Currently bilateral relations have shown signs of improvement, he said. And next year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship.

Japan, said Abe, is willing to treat China as a partner instead of a threat, strengthen bilateral high-level exchanges, and consolidate the momentum for improvement in the bilateral ties based on the principle of building the bilateral strategic relationship for mutual benefit.

He expressed hope that the two countries will enhance economic dialogues, explore opportunities in inter-connectivity projects within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, expand cooperation in finance, environmental protection, energy conservation, and the third-party market, and promote high-quality cooperation between Japan, China and South Korea as well as speed up the process of RCEP negotiations.

The Premier arrived in the Philippines on Nov 12 for an official visit to the country and for a series of leaders’ meetings on East Asian cooperation.

In Manila, he will also attend the 20th ASEAN-China, Japan and South Korea (10+3) leaders’ meeting, as well as the 12th East Asia Summit.