At a recent summit meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Jakarta, Chinese President Hu Jintao put forward a five-point proposal on the development of Sino-Japanese relations, reiterating the importance of strictly abiding by the principles enshrined in the three political documents signed between the two countries.
The three documents -- the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement, the Peace and Friendship Treaty and the Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration -- have been the guiding principles on the development of Sino-Japanese ties over the past more than 30 years.
In 1972, the two countries issued the Joint Statement and normalized bilateral ties. The Peace and Friendship Treaty signed in 1978 affirms, in legal form, the principles of the Joint Statement. The Joint Declaration in 1998 charts the course of action for development of friendly and cooperative ties between the two countries in the new century.
The three documents are rich in content and have far-reaching significance.
Firstly, they emphasize the importance of developing China- Japan relations and set the direction of bilateral ties in the 21st century. The Joint Statement points out that the normalization of Sino-Japanese relations and development of good- neighborly and friendly ties are not only in the interests of the two peoples, but also contribute to easing tensions in Asia and the maintenance of world peace.
In the Joint Declaration, China and Japan announced the establishment of a friendly and cooperative partnership devoted to peace and development, giving an fresh impetus to the development of bilateral relations.
Secondly, the documents called for "taking history as a mirror and facing up to the future," which are the prerequisites for sound and stable development of bilateral ties.
According to the Joint Declaration, to face squarely and have a correct reflection on the past history form the important basis for developing Sino-Japanese relations.
Thirdly, the documents stressed the importance of adhering to the one-China policy and properly handling the Taiwan issue, saying they are among the prerequisites for pushing forward Sino- Japanese ties.
Fourthly, the documents stressed the importance of narrowing down the differences between China and Japan through dialogue and consultation. Both the Joint Statement and the Peace and the Friendship Treaty point out that all disputes should be resolved by peaceful means.
Fifthly, the documents provide the two countries should develop friendly cooperation in various areas. The Peace and Friendship Treaty calls for furthering bilateral economic and cultural links and personnel exchanges.
Under the guidance of the three documents, marked progress has been made in the development of bilateral relations. However, over the issue of Japan's wartime past and the Taiwan issue, the Japanese side has in recent years repeatedly done things which run counter to the three documents, thus losing the trust of the Chinese people and greatly hurting Sino-Japanese relations.
Against such a backdrop, President Hu put forward the five- point proposal, urging the Japanese side to adhere to the principles set forth in the three political documents and take concrete actions to realize its promises.
Sino-Japanese relations will be put back onto the track of sound and stable development as long as Japan strictly abides by the three documents.