FM spokesman: China attaches great importance to Japanese PM's visit

2007-12-25 03:01:58 Xinhua English

BEIJING, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said on Tuesday China attaches great importance to the coming visit by Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.

Qin said at a regular press conference that Fukuda's visit is another important measure to further improve and develop the China-Japan relations, following the ice-breaking and thawing trips by former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, respectively.

He said the visit is of great significance for promoting the healthy and steady development of China-Japan relations. "China attaches great importance to the Prime Minister Fukuda's visit, and is ready to make joint efforts with Japan to enhance political mutual trust, expand common interests, deepen practical cooperation in various fields through this visit," he said.

On the East China Sea issue, Qin said China and Japan do have differences on the issue, and the two sides have encountered some difficulties in their consultations on the issue, but he stressed that China has always adopted an active and pragmatic attitude on this issue.

"China is ready to continue equal consultations with Japan, based on the principle of putting aside disputes and seeking joint exploration and the five-point consensus reached by the Chinese and Japanese leaders, and strive to find a solution to the issue acceptable to both sides," said Qin.

"At the same time, we hope the Japanese side will go in the same direction and make joint efforts with China to early find a proper solution to the issue," Qin added.

Taiwan issue is another topic of great concern during Fukuda's visit. Qin said the issue concerns China's core interests and China attaches great importance to the repeated statement by the Japanese side of insisting the one-China policy and not supporting "Taiwan independence" and "UN membership referendum" by Taiwan authorities.

"We hope Japan proceed from the general situation of safeguarding regional peace and stability and China-Japan relations, and handle the matters related to Taiwan with with discretion," Qin stressed.

According to Qin, Fukuda will arrive in the Chinese capital on Thursday afternoon for a four-day official visit. He will hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao, and meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao and top legislator Wu Bangguo, respectively, on Friday.

Fukuda will also give a speech at the prestigious Peking University, visit a primary school in Beijing, and visit Tianjin, a city neighboring Beijing, and Qufu of Shandong Province, the hometown of Confucius.