Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang said on Tuesday China attaches great importance to the coming visit by Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.
Qin said at a regular press conference that Fukuda's visit is another important measure to further improve and develop the China-Japan relations, following the ice-breaking and thawing trips by former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, respectively.
He said the visit is of great significance for promoting the healthy and steady development of China-Japan relations. "China attaches great importance to the Prime Minister Fukuda's visit, and is ready to make joint efforts with Japan to enhance political mutual trust, expand common interests, deepen practical cooperation in various fields through this visit," he said.
On the East China Sea issue, Qin said China and Japan do have differences on the issue, and the two sides have encountered some difficulties in their consultations on the issue, but he stressed that China has always adopted an active and pragmatic attitude on this issue.
"China is ready to continue equal consultations with Japan, based on the principle of putting aside disputes and seeking joint exploration and the five-point consensus reached by the Chinese and Japanese leaders, and strive to find a solution to the issue acceptable to both sides," said Qin.
"At the same time, we hope the Japanese side will go in the same direction and make joint efforts with China to early find a proper solution to the issue," Qin added.
Taiwan issue is another topic of great concern during Fukuda's visit. Qin said the issue concerns China's core interests and China attaches great importance to the repeated statement by the Japanese side on adhering to the one-China policy and not supporting "Taiwan independence" and "UN membership referendum" by Taiwan authorities.
"We hope Japan will proceed from the general situation of safeguarding regional peace and stability and China-Japan relations, and handle the matters related to Taiwan with discretion," Qin stressed.
According to Qin, Fukuda will arrive in Beijing on Thursday afternoon for a four-day official visit. He will hold talks with Premier Wen Jiabao, and meet with President Hu Jintao and top legislator Wu Bangguo, respectively, on Friday.
Fukuda will also give a speech at the prestigious Peking University, visit a primary school in Beijing, and visit Tianjin, a city neighboring Beijing, and Qufu of Shandong Province, the hometown of Confucius.
China was gratified to see the recent Thai election go smoothly, said Qin, adding as a good neighbor of Thailand, China respected the Thai people's choice.
"We sincerely hope Thailand could maintain political stability, with the Thai people living a happy and harmonious life, and that the strategic cooperative ties between China and Thailand could continue to develop," Qin said.
The Election Commission (EC) of Thailand on Tuesday announced the official vote counting results of the Sunday's general election, which showed that the pro-Thaksin People Power Party won 233 of all the 480 parliament seats.
PPP leader Samak Sundaravej said that his party would like to invite other parties to join in a coalition government.
N Korean nuclear disablement
Most of work on disabling the nuclear facilities at Yongbyon of North Korea is to be completed by the end of this year, said Qin.
Qin said China, as the chair of the six-party talks, would continue to keep close consultation and coordination so as to strive for an all-round and balanced implementation of the second phase action plan.
The commitments made by the other parties have also been actively and gradually carried out, Qin added.
According to a six-party talks joint document released in Beijing on Oct. 3, the DPRK agreed to disable all its existing nuclear facilities and provide a complete and correct declaration of all its nuclear programs by the end of this year.
The document said the disablement of the five-megawatt Experimental Reactor, the Reprocessing Plant (Radiochemical Laboratory) and the Nuclear Fuel Rod Fabrication Facility in Yongbyon would be completed by Dec. 31.
Nepal peace process
China welcomes the progress made in the peace process of Nepal, said Qin.
"As a good neighbor, we sincerely hope the peace process would keep going to realize the political stability and economic development of Nepal," he said.
This also conforms to the fundamental interest of Nepal and benefits the regional peace and development," he added.
He said the Chinese government observes the principle of non-interference in the other countries' internal affairs, and respects Nepalese people's choice for their own social system and way of development and will continue to play constructive role in peace and stability of Nepal.
The top leaders of Nepal's ruling Seven-Party Alliance (SPA) Sunday signed a 23-point agreement, ending months-long political stalemate and paving the way for the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections by mid April 2008.
(Xinhua News Agency December 26, 2007)