Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao said Wednesday that China and Japan should view issues from a strategic and long-term perspective, seize the favorable opportunities and continuously broaden areas and channels of cooperation so as to push bilateral economic and trade cooperation to a higher level.
In a speech at a welcome luncheon hosted by leading Japanese business groups, President Hu said Japan's business community has long been an important force for maintaining and promoting the China-Japan friendship and has played a significant role in improving and expanding bilateral ties.
The two nations have witnessed unprecedented development in their economic and trade cooperation since the normalization of bilateral ties in 1972, and a good pattern of cooperation has taken shape, said Hu.
China and Japan are now one of the most important trading partners for each other, with China being Japan's fastest-growing export market and Japan China's biggest source of foreign investments, he added.
Looking to the future, bilateral economic and trade cooperation between the two nations, with their economies mutually complementary, enjoys broad prospects for further growth, said the president.
China's fast-growing economy will not only benefit the 1.3 billion Chinese people, but will also offer more business opportunities for China's cooperation partners including Japan and provide greater scope for bilateral economic and trade cooperation, Hu said.
China's steadfast adherence to the policy of reform and opening-up and its commitments as a World Trade Organization (WTO) member will create more favorable conditions for bilateral economic and trade cooperation, Hu said.
The continued improvement in the mechanisms for bilateral economic and trade cooperation and high-level economic dialogue will provide stronger guarantees for such cooperation, Hu said.
There is boundless scope for further development of bilateral economic and trade cooperation, he said.
The Chinese president expressed the hope that Japanese friends in economic circles will carry on their fine traditions and work with the Chinese side to continuously advance bilateral economic and trade cooperation and facilitate common prosperity, so as to bring greater benefits to the two peoples.
Fujio Mitarai, chief of the Japanese Business Federation, extended a heartfelt welcome to Hu, on behalf of Japan's business community
He expressed the belief that President Hu's visit will help further promote the development of bilateral economic ties.
President Hu arrived here Tuesday for a state visit to Japan, the first by a Chinese president in a decade.
The visit is seen as a step aimed at further improving the once-chilly Sino-Japanese relationship, which began to thaw with the "ice-breaking" visit by former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to China in October 2006. That event was followed by the "ice-thawing" Japan trip by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in April last year and Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's "spring-herald" visit to China in December.
(Xinhua News Agency May 8, 2008)