Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday said he hopes to move Sino-Japanese relations in the right direction, adding that there are new opportunities for bilateral ties.
Xi made the remarks during talks in Beijing with Toshihiro Nikai, Secretary General of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), who was in the Chinese capital for the two-day Belt and Road Forum that concluded on Monday.[Special coverage]
Referring to Nikai as a good friend to the Chinese people, Xi praised his efforts to promote Sino-Japanese ties as well as his participation and Japan's interest in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Noting that 2017 and 2018 respectively mark the 45th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan diplomatic relations and the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between China and Japan, Xi said bilateral ties face both new opportunities and outstanding challenges.
To improve the bilateral relationship, the two sides should abide by the four political documents and the four-point agreement between the two countries, and uphold the spirit of taking history as a mirror and looking forward to the future, Xi said.
Xi stressed the importance of peaceful development of China-Japan relations and called for win-win cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative. The two countries, as major economies in the world, share common interests in promoting economic globalization and trade liberalization, he said.
In turn, Nikai expressed Japan's willingness to cooperate with China under the Initiative. He also said Tokyo would work with Beijing to hold several ceremonial events this year and in 2018 to celebrate the two countries' anniversaries.
Nikai delivered a hand-written letter penned by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Xi, describing it as "full of friendship".
In an exclusive interview with China Central Television, Nikai said the two countries were taking steps towards cooperation and bilateral ties would surely improve.
"I appreciate the priorities the Belt and Road Initiative offers," he said, noting that most Japanese people would agree on the Initiative in the future.