This is an editorial from China Daily.
Good China-Japan ties are not just in the interest of the two countries, but also in the interest of regional peace and development.
But Tokyo's actions in relation to historical issues and its wrong perception of China, which has been encouraged by Washington, has made improving ties difficult. Will China-Japan relations realize a turn for the better? This will undoubtedly be the hope of many in both countries and Asia as well after the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders' Meeting in San Francisco last week.
The fact that the leaders of the two countries discussed thorny issues such as the Taiwan question, the discharge of nuclear-contaminated water from the damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima, as well as economic ties between the two countries suggests that both sides are serious about trying to improve bilateral relations.
Notably, a "strategic relationship of mutual benefit" was mentioned in their discussions. In a joint statement in 2008, the two countries agreed to pursue a "mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests" designed to ensure frequent leadership exchanges on issues such as security and economic cooperation.
But the phrasing has been used less frequently in recent years as differences between the two countries on issues such as territorial claims, trade tensions, Japan's rhetoric on the Taiwan question and what Japan has said or done in favor of Washington's strategy to contain the rise of China have damaged the ties between the two neighbors.
Talk of a "strategic relationship of mutual benefit" in this meeting is obviously a positive development, and it would be a boon for the two countries, and beyond, if that was to materialize. That both sides agreed to try to resolve the issue related to the Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water through consultations certainly sends a message that both sides attach importance to improving bilateral ties.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between China and Japan. Xi said the treaty, in a legal form, stresses opposition to hegemony and sets the overall direction for peaceful bilateral cooperation. It is a momentous milestone in the history of the two countries' relations. Xi also said that the two sides should view each other's development in an objective and rational manner. His remarks hit the nail on the head.
Japan needs to recognize that China's development will only provide more opportunities for Japan's economic growth and vice versa. Japan also needs to be aware that however developed China becomes, China will not seek hegemony, which has been verified by what it has done in its cooperation with countries under the Belt and Road Initiative framework.
It is imperative for Japan to realize that it will not benefit by joining the United States in its geopolitical game, which will only cause damage to the foundation of China-Japan relations and lead to regional tensions. There is more than enough reason for China and Japan to meet each other halfway in promoting their bilateral ties for the lasting peace and development of Asia and the world at large.