Chinese President Hu Jintao met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sunday afternoon, soon after Abe's talks with Premier Wen Jiabao.
"Your ongoing visit is serving as a turning point in the China-Japan relations and I hope it would also serve as a new starting point for the improvement and development of bilateral ties," Hu told Abe, congratulating upon Abe's taking office as prime minister.
Hu spoke highly of Abe's choosing China as the destination of his first official overseas trip, saying it indicated that Abe has attached great importance to the improvement and development of the relations between the two neighbors.
Shortly afterwards, top legislator Wu Bangguo met with Abe, who arrived in Beijing earlier Sunday and will fly to Seoul early Monday.
Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, said Abe's ongoing visit attracted world attention, especially from the Japanese and Chinese people.
"I hope the stalemate in China-Japan relations come to an end and I believe this visit would help open up a new page for bilateral ties," Wu said.
Abe told Wu that his visit indicated both Japan and China are attaching "extreme importance" to bilateral relationship.
Abe, who took office Sept. 26, is the first Japanese postwar prime minister who chose China as the destination of his first official overseas trip. It's also the first visit to China by a Japanese prime minister in five years.
Wen, Abe Hold Talks in Beijing
(Xinhua News Agency October 8, 2006)