China and Japan should aim to develop a long-term strategic friendship, said China's top legislator Li Peng Saturday.
Li, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) and member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remark in a meeting with a trans-party delegation of Japanese congressmen headed by Takako Doi, leader of the Japanese Social Democratic Party.
Li said this year marked the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-Japanese diplomatic relations, and although bilateral ties had experienced ups and downs, the general trend was satisfactory and progressive.
Friendly cooperation had become the backbone of bilateral ties and marked progress had been made in cooperation in politics, economy, culture, science and technology, Li said.
"We should treasure these achievements because they stem from the efforts of generations of people from two countries," he stressed.
Takako Doi said maintaining Japan-China friendship was beneficial to peace and stability in East Asia, as well as the world at large.
Other members of the delegation also expressed their willingness to make more efforts to promote Japan-China friendship.
The Japanese guests are here at the invitation of the Chinese Association for International Understanding.
(People's Daily June 30, 2002)