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Season for Optimism
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"Mountains do not move in the howling of strong winds."

Speaking to Japan's Diet yesterday, Premier Wen Jiabao quoted the Japanese saying. Despite icy periods, China-Japan relations rest on a foundation as solid as Mountain Taishan and Fujiyama.

Such bedrock makes it possible for bilateral relationship to open to bright new vistas.
The first Chinese leader to deliver a speech before the Diet in 22 years, Wen said he came to Japan in friendship.

In his basket is more than friendship. China and Japan issued a joint communique on Wednesday upgrading their friendship to a strategic, mutually beneficial relationship.
This is more than a political pledge. Seemingly, the two countries have responded realistically to signs of the times.

For the first time since World War II, East Asia is the location of two important countries. Rapid economic development has made China a growing presence on the world stage, while Japan is ambitious to play a bigger political role in international affairs.

Both need to rethink their strategy in dealing with each other.

During Wen's Japan visit that ends today, the two nations reached a consensus on building a new bilateral relationship.

The declaration of a strategic, mutually beneficial relationship reflects a realistic and pragmatic attitude toward the two countries' new circumstances.

This will pave the way politically for handling the thorny issues concerning history and the East China Sea. A long-term healthy relationship between China and Japan should not be held hostage by these problems.

After six years of political chill, the guiding force of reason will serve as a compass as the relationship moves forward.

As the cornerstone of future relations, the three political documents between the two countries the 1972 Joint Statement, the 1978 Peace and Friendship Treaty, and the 1998 Joint Declaration should be upheld, and political promises should be honored.

In their joint communique, the two countries clarified the areas they will concentrate on. Dialogue will be initiated on the economy, energy, environmental protection and the military.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is due to visit China again in autumn. All these developments show signs of a growing China-Japan relationship.

(China Daily April 13, 2007)

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