State councilor Tang Jiaxuan reached Tokyo Wednesday to pave
the road for President Hu Jintao's visit in April.
But before Hu's visit, Beijing will host the eighth strategic
dialogue between China and Japan, from February 22 to 23, Foreign
Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said.
Deputy Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Japanese counterpart
Mitoji Yabunaka will head the two countries' respective delegations
at the dialogue, where in-depth views would be exchanged on ways to
enhance strategic mutual trust and cooperation, Liu said.
The strategic dialogue began in 2005, and the last one was held
in China on January 27, 2007.
China's former ambassador to Japan Xu Dunxin said the recent
frequent high-level exchanges between the neighboring countries
show how important this year is for bilateral ties.
Sino-Japanese ties have entered the track of normal development,
especially after last year's visits by Premier Wen Jiabao to Japan and Japanese Prime Minister
Yasuo Fukuda to China, he said.
"President Hu's visit to Japan in April is of key importance
because it is the first by a Chinese president in 10 years." Also,
this year marks the 30th anniversary of the signing of the
Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty, Xu said.
"The recent diplomatic visits are all in preparation for this
year's key diplomatic events. The two governments attach great
importance to President Hu's visit and hope it will achieve
substantive progress," Xu said.
On the recent food safety disputes between the two countries,
the former ambassador said such things are unavoidable in today's
"Bilateral trade is beneficial for both sides. I suggest the
parties involved, especially the media, resort to a scientific,
serious and frank attitude on the issue. They should focus on ways
to solve the problem instead of clamoring before the facts are
So far the Japanese government's attitude on the issue has been
relatively calm, Xu said.
(China Daily February 21, 2008)