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China, Japan agree to resolve East China Sea issue early
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China and Japan agreed to strive for early settlement of the East China Sea issue at the latest round of strategic dialogue that concluded in Beijing on Saturday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

"The two sides also made further consultation on the East China Sea issue and agreed that the two sides should continue to make efforts in accordance with the consensus reached by the leaders of both countries, to strive for the early proper settlement of the issue amid the progress of bilateral ties", said a Foreign Ministry press release.

The two-day talks, a high-level exchange mechanism between the countries, was co-chaired by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Japanese counterpart Mitoji Yabunaka.

The talks focused on enhancing strategic mutual trust and have made achievements; they agreed the Sino-Japan relationship was now entering a new historic period and facing an important development opportunity.

"President Hu Jintao's visit to Japan this year will be a historic visit that will carry on the past and open a way for the future. The two sides are ready to strengthen cooperation to ensure the complete success of the visit," the press release said.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with the Japanese delegation after the dialogue.

The China-Japan strategic dialogue, launched in 2005 amid the "frozen period" of Sino-Japan relations, has now been held for seven rounds.

(Xinhua News Agency February 24, 2008)

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