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Premier urges Japan not to interfere in South China Sea issue

Updated: Jul 15,2016 9:04 PM     Xinhua

Premier Li Keqiang on July 15 said Japan should stop hyping up and interfering in the South China Sea issue, urging the two sides to properly manage their differences.

Premier Li made the remarks in a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the ongoing 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in Ulan Bator.

Premier Li said that China’s stance on the South China Sea issue is completely in line with international law and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).

Japan is not a state directly involved in the South China Sea issue, and thus should “exercise caution in its own words and deeds, and stop hyping up and interfering in” the issue, he said.

The Premier called on both sides to step up exchanges on the East China Sea issue via dialogue and consultation based on the four-point principled agreement they reached in November 2014, so as to stave off misinterpretation and miscalculation.

On bilateral relations, Premier Li said China-Japan relations have in recent year embarked on a course of improvement, but the pace is slow and is from time to time disturbed by complications.

He urged both sides to keep a strong sense of responsibility, and steadily push ahead China-Japan ties on the basis of the reality and long-term strategic consideration.

To that end, Premier Li urged China and Japan to steer the future development of their relations into the right direction.

China has always adhered to the policy of developing healthy and stable ties with Japan, said Premier Li.

The Premier, called on Tokyo to abide by the principles defined in the four political documents agreed between China and Japan, while pursuing an active and friendly foreign policy toward China in the spirit of “taking history as a mirror and looking forward into the future.”

Both sides should act on the consensus that China and Japan are cooperative partners instead of threats to each other, and support each other’s peaceful development, he added.

The premier suggested the two countries could resume dialogue and communication step by step in the spirit of equality and mutual respect, to add to the positive facets in bilateral ties.

As two of the world’s large economies, China and Japan should make the most of their respective advantages and competitiveness to step up economic cooperation, he said.

The two countries should also strengthen coordination in international and regional affairs, enhance interactions under the frameworks such as ASEM and G20, and carry out consultations and cooperation in cross-border counter-terrorism, Premier Li said.