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China, Japan reach consensus on Taiwan issue
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Chinese and Japanese defense officials reached a consensus on the Taiwan issue and bilateral defense cooperation at a defense security consultation in Beijing on Monday.

"The consultation is held with the background of the continuous improvement and development of China-Japan relations, and thus is of concrete significance for promoting bilateral defense mutual trust and expanding exchanges," said Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Both sides are concerned with peace and stability across the Taiwan straits, said Ma, who co-chaired the consultation, the eighth of its kind, with Japanese Vice Minister of Defense Kohei Masuda, according to Chinese Defense Ministry sources.

Ma briefed Masuda on China's policies and position on the Taiwan issue and expressed his country's concerns, while Masuda made explanations in response to those concerns one by one. He reiterated that Japan's position on the Taiwan issue was consistent and the commitments made in the political documents, such as the Sino-Japan joint statement, have not changed.

The two sides also reached consensus on defense exchanges and cooperation. They agreed to take steps to enhance high-level visits and exchanges of youth officers and to maintain high-level exchanges between the two defense departments.

They also agreed to hold the first round of expert consultation on maritime liaison between the Chinese and Japanese defense departments in April.

Masuda told the press after the consultation that both sides exchanged views "frankly", and China had given a "very detailed explanation" towards Japan's concerns.

He expressed the hope that the two sides would continue to strengthen practical exchanges and enhance strategic mutual trust.

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