Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said on Friday that Japan does not support Taiwan authorities' attempts to seek UN membership by "referendum" and moves that may change the status quo of the cross-Strait relationship.
Fukuda said that Japan would give no support to the claims of "one China, one Taiwan", "Taiwan independence" or Taiwan authorities' attempts to join the United Nations and to seek UN membership through a "referendum".
Fukuda made the pledges during talks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.
"We know that the Taiwan issue concerns China's fundamental interests and we have been keeping our promises," he said.
He noted that there had been no change in Japan's stance on the Taiwan issue as stated in the Japan-China Joint Statement.
Wen expressed his appreciation of Fukuda's "solemn announcement" of Japan's opposition to any "UN membership referendum" by Taiwan authorities.
"China values Japan's stance of insisting on the one-China policy and opposing 'Taiwan independence'," Wen said.
He described proper handling of historical issues and the issue of Taiwan as the "political basis" for improving and strengthening China-Japan relations.
Wen said that both sides expressed the view that they would abide by the three key political documents on bilateral ties, including the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement, the Peace and Friendship Treaty and the Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration.
Shi Yinhong, a professor with the school of international studies under the Beijing-based Renmin University of China, believed that Fukuda's words against a "UN membership referendum" by Taiwan authorities was a major fruit of China's diplomacy.
"Fukuda is clear that Japan's stance on this issue will affect the overall picture of bilateral ties," Shi said. "It's worth acknowledging that Japan has taken a right step forward, which can help facilitate the continuing development and improvement of China-Japan relations," he said.
The talks between Wen and Fukuda on Friday morning lasted two and a half hours and the two leaders also witnessed the signing of a series of cooperation agreements.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu jianchao on Friday evening told the press at a news briefing that Prime Minister Fukuda's statement showed that he was dissatified with Taiwan authorities' promotion of a referendum for UN membership and was worried about the possible consequences of such a referendum.
Liu stressed that that China values Japan's stance on the Taiwan issue and appreciated Prime Minister Fukuda's complete and clear statement concerning the Taiwan issue during his meeting with Premier Wen.
Asked whether China hoped Japan to proclaim its such stance on the Taiwan issue in writing when Chinese President Hu Jintao visits Japan next year, Liu noted that actually such stance of Japan had already been inscrolled into the three political documents reached between China and Japan.
The three documents are very important and the spirits of them should be jointly honored, Liu added.
Fukuda arrived in Beijing on Thursday afternoon for the start of an official visit, which runs until Dec. 30.
(Xinhua News Agency December 28, 2007)