BEIJING, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo met here on Friday with Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi to discuss bilateral ties.
Yamaguchi, who has been in China since Tuesday for a four-day working visit to meet with Chinese officials, handed Dai a letter that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda had written to Chinese President Hu Jintao.
On Thursday, Yamaguchi met with his Chinese counterpart, Fu Ying. The two exchanged ideas on bilateral relations and the situation concerning China and Japan's ongoing disputes over the Diaoyu Islands.
According to a press release from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Fu said during the meeting that China and Japan are important neighbors; therefore, friendly cooperation is the basic direction of bilateral ties.
Under current circumstances, the two sides should make efforts to enhance political mutual trust, properly controlling the situation so as to jointly promote the healthy and stable development of bilateral ties, said Fu.
On the Diaoyu Islands, Fu reaffirmed China's position, urging the Japanese side to handle issues in a discreet way and avoid undermining the general situation of China-Japan relations.
The press release quoted Yamaguchi as saying Japan attached great importance to relations with China.
Japan is ready to strengthen dialogue and communication with China to properly manage the disputes and maintain the smooth development of bilateral ties, it added.
China and Japan are currently involved in diplomatic disputes over the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands. In the latest development, China last week expressed strong displeasure at Japanese leader's remarks on the islands, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei saying that the commentary "sabotages China's territorial sovereignty."
Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said on Thursday that China's armed forces are capable of safeguarding the country's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, stressing that any unilateral action taken by Japan cannot change the fact that the Diaoyu Islands are an inherent part of China's territory.
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