China on Saturday blamed Japan for tense bilateral relations and laid out a four-point agenda to improve ties, telling visiting Japanese foreign minister Fumio Kishida there is lack of mutual trust between the two sides.
The two countries are embroiled in a territorial dispute in the East China Sea and have a contentious history.
Kishida is paying an official visit to China from Friday to Sunday, his first since taking office more than three years ago, and the first by a Japanese foreign minister in four-and-a-half years.
Besides meeting Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, Kishida called on Premier Li Keqiang and met State Councilor Yang Jiechi. Yi referred to the problematic history of the two countries during his meeting with Kishida.
Wang said the “root cause for twists and turns in China-Japan relations is Japan’s outlook on history and China. We have seen signs of improvement in China-Japan relations. However, there is still a lack of mutual trust between the two sides.”
He outlined four points for improving bilateral ties.
“In the political area, the Japanese side should stick fast to the four political documents including the China-Japan Joint Statement, face up to and reflect upon the history and follow the one-China policy to the letter. No ambiguity or vacillation is allowed when it comes to this important political foundation of the bilateral ties,” Wang was quoted as saying by state media.
He added: “In terms of its outlook on China, the Japanese side should translate into concrete actions its consensus with China, that is, the two countries are each other’s cooperative partners rather than threats.”
“It should have a more positive and healthy attitude toward the growth of China, and stop spreading or echoing all kinds of ‘China threat’ or ‘China economic recession’ theories.”
On the economic side, Wang said Japan should establish the concept of win-win cooperation, discard the outdated idea that one side cannot do without the other side, or one side depends more on the other side than the other way around.
“In terms of regional and international affairs, the two sides should respect each other’s legitimate interests and concerns, and have essential communication and coordination in a timely fashion,” he said.