Chinese President Hu Jintao (
Hu and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met in Hanoi where they also agreed to work together to try to restart stalled six-way talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons. The talks are expected to begin again next month.
The pair met on the sidelines of the APEC conference for what was their second round of talks after Abe visited China last month.
Since taking office in September, Abe has moved quickly to try to improve relations with China, which had deteriorated to their coldest in decades over visits by his predecessor, Junichiro Koizumi, to the Yasukuni war shrine.
When Abe repeated yesterday a previous invitation to visit Japan, Hu expressed thanks and said the matter should be negotiated at a diplomatic level.
"China-Japan relations are moving to an important phase," Abe said. "It is important for the leaders of the two countries to lead our development to a right direction."
"On the whole, we have a positive attitude," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao (劉建超) told reporters of the proposed visit.
The leaders agreed to try to deepen ties, including possibly by holding meetings between economics ministers, but Tokyo and Beijing remain divided by a number of issues.
On the long-running row over development of natural resources around a disputed area of the East China Sea, Abe suggested top-level talks on the issue and Hu agreed, Japanese officials said.
Six rounds of official-level talks have made little progress on the issue.
Abe, who was making his debut at a big-power summit yesterday, scheduled his maiden one-on-one with US President George W. Bush and met the leaders of China and Russia.
"It is important to build their personal relations as our prime minister will meet President Bush for the first time," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki said.
The government spokesman said the two leaders would discuss reconstruction and "considering what is best for the people in Iraq."
Bush and Abe were then to hold trilateral talks with South Korea's Roh Moo-Hyun in a bid to confirm their concerted action against the North's nuclear ambition. Abe and Roh will hold separate talks later in the day.
Abe aimed to use the forum here to push for tough action against Pyongyang and its continued defiance on the nuclear issue.
Reporters Without Borders has accused the Algerian government of taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to “settle scores” with independent journalists, including those covering long-running anti-government protests. In a statement signed with Algerian non-governmental organizations, the watchdog on Thursday called for the immediate release of its correspondent, Khaled Drareni, who has been in pretrial detention since Sunday after being charged with inciting an unarmed gathering and endangering national unity. Drareni has been arrested several times for covering the “Hirak” anti-government protests held in the capital, Algiers, every Friday since February last year. Imprisoning people during a pandemic is “an act of physical endangerment,”
Vietnam has lodged an official protest with China following the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat that it said had been rammed by a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel near islands in the South China Sea. The Vietnamese fishing vessel, with eight fishermen onboard, was fishing near the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) on Thursday when it was rammed and sunk by the Chinese vessel, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement posted on a government Web site yesterday. All of the fishermen were picked up by the Chinese vessel alive and were transferred to two other Vietnamese fishing vessels
DIVIDED YOUTH: There is a belief that overseas students see themselves as superior, which is compounded by perceptions of their extreme wealth and multiple nationalities Chinese students flying home from overseas to escape the COVID-19 pandemic face a frosty reception from sections of the public who view them as wealthy, spoiled — and potentially contaminated. The number of officially reported cases in China has dwindled dramatically over the last month, but the country is now taking drastic steps to try and stem a second wave of infections brought in from abroad. With most international flights canceled and nearly all foreigners barred from entering the country, the vast majority of returnees are Chinese nationals, including many students. The situation has exposed animosities over class and privilege in Chinese society,
An Australian graduate student arrested for spying and expelled from North Korea last year said that he was threatened with a firing-squad execution and told not even US President Donald Trump could save his “sorry arse.” Among the crimes Alek Sigley was accused of committing was posting a picture of a toy tank on Instagram, which his interrogators told him was military espionage. Sigley, 30, was studying for a master’s degree in Korean literature at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang when he went missing in June last year, sparking alarm. A fluent speaker of Korean, he had written articles for several publications