BEIJING, Dec. 27 -- Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe held video talks with Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi on Monday.
Wei said that China and Japan are important neighbors and cooperative partners, and share a long history of friendly exchanges. Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan. The two sides should follow the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries to enhance strategic mutual trust, handle differences properly and achieve win-win cooperation.
Speaking of issues on the East China Sea and the Diaoyu Islands, General Wei stressed that China will firmly safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. He called on both sides to bear in mind the big picture of bilateral relations and make joint efforts to maintain stability in the East China Sea. On historical issues, Japan should face history squarely and learn from history, which is the correct attitude and wise choice.
Wei pointed out that, the defense departments of both sides should strengthen high-level exchanges and practical cooperation, further expand the content of the maritime and air liaison mechanism, jointly control risks, prevent the escalation of conflicts, and continuously improve the level of defense cooperation. Wei also clarified China's principled position on multiple issues, including the situation in the Asia-Pacific region, the Taiwan question, and the South China Sea issue.
Kishi said that strengthening bilateral defense exchanges and cooperation is of great significance to the development of bilateral relations and the maintenance of regional stability. Japan is willing to make joint efforts with the Chinese side to overcome the impact of the pandemic, strengthen strategic communication and crisis management, and promote the establishment of the direct telephone line under the maritime and air liaison mechanism, in a bid to build a constructive and stable bilateral relationship.