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First step towards joint development in East China Sea
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China and Japan agreed to "march the first step in joint development" in the chosen area of the East China Sea, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu on Wednesday.

Through serious consultation, she said, China and Japan had reached an agreement to conduct cooperation in the transitional period before the delimitation of the relevant waters without prejudicing their respective legal positions.

According to Jiang, China and Japan have reached principled consensus on the East China Sea issue and common understanding on the first-step of in joint development, which she called "an important step" to realize the common understanding of the leaders of the two countries on making the East China Sea "a peaceful, cooperative and friendly sea."

The consensus is also a mutually beneficial, win-win result that the two sides had achieved through consultation as equals and in the spirit of seeking common ground while shelving differences, she said.

The result is conducive to peace and stability in the East China Sea, to enhanced mutually beneficial cooperation on energy and other areas, to the healthy and stable development of Sino-Japanese relations, and to the fundamental interests of both countries and peoples, Jiang said.

(Xinhua News Agency June 19, 2008)

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