Sapporo, Oct 25 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan on Friday rounded off a fruitful friendly visit to Japan, with the two neighbors pledging continued efforts to foster a relationship that fits the needs of the new era.
During the five-day visit as Chinese President Xi Jinping's special envoy, Wang attended the enthronement ceremony of Emperor Naruhito, and met seperately with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso.
On Tuesday, when Emperor Naruhito officially proclaimed his enthronement, Wang conveyed to him and Empress Masako the sincere congratulations of Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, and asked the emperor and empress to pass on Xi and Peng's cordial greetings to Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko.
Emperor Naruhito, for his part, asked Wang to communicate to the Chinese president and his wife the genuine gratitude and best wishes of the imperial couple as well as of the emperor emeritus and empress emerita.
In his meeting with Abe, Wang conveyed to him the cordial greetings of Xi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, and expressed sympathies over the serious casualties and losses caused by Typhoon Hagibis, an unusually monstrous tropical cyclone that recently wreaked havoc in Japan.
The vice president recalled that Xi and Abe met in the Japanese city of Osaka in June and reached a series of important consensus on pushing for a China-Japan relationship that fits the needs of the new era, creating new opportunities for the development of bilateral ties.
The two sides, he added, should abide by the principles set forth in the four political documents between China and Japan, properly address such issues as history and Taiwan, and ensure that their relations will move forward along the right track of peace, friendship and cooperation.
China stands ready to work with Japan to continuously cement political mutual trust, deepen practical cooperation, expand people-to-people exchanges and build a constructive security relationship, said Wang.
He also called on the two countries to join hands to act as defenders of multilateralism, promoters of open cooperation, and practitioners of cross-civilization dialogue, and make positive contributions to advancing global and regional peace, stability and development.
Noting that Xi has accepted in principle Abe's invitation for a state visit to Japan next spring, Wang said he hopes that the two sides will maintain close contact and coordination, so as to create a favorable environment and a conducive atmosphere and ensure that the visit will materialize smoothly and achieve complete success.
The Japanese prime minister once again extended congratulations on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC), and thanked Xi for sending Wang as his special envoy to attend Emperor Naruhito's enthronement ceremony and pay a friendly visit to Japan.
Japan and China have a long history of exchanges and boast a solid traditional friendship, Abe said, adding that today the two countries enjoy steadily deepening cooperation on economy and trade, deal with international affairs side by side, and shoulder great responsibility for peace and prosperity in Asia as well as the whole world.
As both countries are entering a new era, and the Osaka meeting has facilitated a full return of Japan-China relations to normal development, the two sides have huge potential in future cooperation, added the Japanese prime minister.
The Japanese side, he said, earnestly looks forward to Xi's state visit to Japan in the coming spring, and is willing to properly handle the Taiwan question and other sensitive issues.
He added that his country stands ready to make concerted efforts with China to enhance top-level planning for bilateral relations, maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges, and build a Japan-China relationship that is beautiful, harmonious, future-oriented and vigorous.
In his meeting with Aso, Wang said China and Japan, as important countries in Asia and major economies in the world, should more consciously perceive and handle their relationship against the backdrop of the world and the times, and manage and plan it from long-term, strategic perspectives.
In the new era, the two countries have broader common interests and more common concerns, and the strategic value of their relationship is growing ever more prominent, noted the Chinese vice president.
China, he said, stands ready to work with Japan to effectively seize the opportunities and, with their eyes set on the future and the big picture, comprehensively strengthen coordination and communication in various areas including financial cooperation, so as to lift bilateral ties to a higher level.
Aso said that boosting candid, open and constructive exchanges between the two countries is conducive to bilateral relations, and that Japan supports open market and free trade, and is willing to step up communication and cooperation with China in the financial realm.
The Japanese side, added the deputy prime minister, is actively making preparations in order to foster a conducive atmosphere for Xi's planned visit next year.
Also during his stay in Japan, Wang held separate meetings with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and Governor Naomichi Suzuki of the Hokkaido prefecture.
In addition, he met with Pakistani President Arif Alvi in Tokyo.
Beijing, Oct 25 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Qin Guangrong, a former senior national legislator and former Party chief of southwest China's Yunnan Province, has been arrested for suspected bribe taking, the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) said Friday.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the National Supervisory Commission (NSC) announced in May that Qin was under investigation. He was expelled from the CPC for multiple violations in September.
The NSC has completed the investigation into his case and handed it over to prosecuting agencies, the SPP statement said.
Seoul, Oct 25 (AP/UNB) — South Korea said Friday that North Korea formally proposed discussions over the possible demolition of South Korean-made hotels and other tourist facilities at the North's Diamond Mountain resort, which leader Kim Jong Un called "shabby" and "unpleasant-looking."
Kim's comments published by the North's state media on Wednesday came after months of frustration in Pyongyang over the South's refusal to defy international sanctions and resume South Korean tours at the site.
Seoul's Unification Ministry said Friday it received a letter from the North proposing discussions on the issue through exchanges of documents.
The ministry said in a statement that the Seoul government would actively deal with the issue "under the principle that protecting our people's property rights is the top priority." It's unclear what the South can do if the North starts destroying the facilities.
Tours to Diamond Mountain were a major symbol of cooperation between the Koreas and valuable cash source for the North's broken economy before the South suspended them in 2008 after a North Korean guard shot and killed a South Korean tourist.
During a visit to the site, Kim compared the South Korean properties at Diamond Mountain to "makeshift tents in disaster-stricken areas or isolation wards" and ordered them to be replaced by modern North Korean facilities that display more national character and fit better with the natural scenery. He criticized North Korea's policies under his late father as too dependent on the South while vowing that the North would redevelop the site on its own and fully control future tours, according to Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency.
Kim took another jab at Diamond Mountain's South Korean buildings while inspecting the construction of a new spa resort in central North Korea, the KCNA said Friday. Kim said the "refreshing" buildings of Yangdok County Hot Spring Resort were in striking contrast to Diamond Mountain's "architecture of capitalist businesses targeting profit-making from roughly built buildings."
Experts are divided over whether the North really intends to independently develop tourism for Diamond Mountain or is pressuring the South to restart the tours and upgrade aging facilities.
Some say the North during the discussions will demand that the South use its own resources to tear down its facilities.
Others say North Korea would struggle to develop the area on its own under heavy sanctions. Any tours to Diamond Mountain, located on the eastern coast near the inter-Korean border, would be dependent on South Korean travelers as the North's poor transport links make it difficult to bring Chinese tourists there, said Lim Soo-ho, an analyst from South Korea's Institute for National Security Strategy.
Seoul can't restart the tours or any other major inter-Korean economic activity without defying U.S.-led sanctions against Pyongyang, which have been strengthened since 2016, when the North began speeding up its nuclear and missile tests.
South Korea's government and companies have built about a dozen tourist facilities in the Diamond Mountain area, including hotels, restaurants, and spas, to accommodate the tours that began in 1998. North Korea said it took steps to freeze and confiscate South Korean properties at the resort in 2010 and 2011 while blaming Seoul for continuing its suspension of tours.
In a summit last September in Pyongyang, Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in vowed to restart South Korean tours to Diamond Mountain and normalize operations at an inter-Korean factory park in the North's border town of Kaesong when possible, voicing optimism that sanctions could end to allow such projects.
Kim raised the subject again during his New Year's speech this year, saying that Pyongyang was ready to restart the projects "without any precondition" while making a nationalistic call for stronger cooperation between the Koreas.
But without a breakthrough in the nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang, the economic projects remain shelved.
Yangon, Oct 25 (Xinhua/UNB) -- At lease two policemen have been killed with five other policemen and two women civilians injured as the local insurgent Arakan Army (AA) attacked a police convoy in Myanmar's western Rakhine state, police said on Friday.
The convoy was made up of a prison van and a police vehicle.
The prison van carried 14 policemen and 20 inmates, while the police vehicle carried civilians of eight men and two women.
The 10-member AA group attacked the convoy by setting off two remote-controlled mines on Thursday afternoon on Buthidaung-Maungtaw road in Buthidaung township.
The policemen escorting the prison van returned fire, forcing the AA members to retreat.
The inmates were sent to the Buthidaung Prison and the security forces are conducting security measures around the site of the attack, police added.
On Aug. 20, AA launched similar mine attack on a police convoy on Yangon-Sittway road in the same state, killing three police members and injuring three others.
Arakan Army (AA) is a Rakhine rebel group fighting for the rights of ethnic Rakhine people in Myanmar. It usually fights alongside the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) against the Myanmar Armed Forces.
Seoul, Oct 25 (Xinhua/UNB) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) sent a notice to South Korea offering to discuss the removal of facilities in the DPRK's scenic resort of Mount Kumgang, South Korean Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul said Friday.
Kim made the remarks during a meeting with the chief of the National Assembly committee for foreign affairs and unification, according to Yonhap news agency.
With the notice delivered to the unification ministry, the DPRK proposed discussing the removal issue through the exchange of letters.
The notice delivery came after the DPRK's official newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported Wednesday that top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un said he would welcome the South Korean compatriots at any time if they want to come to Mount Kumgang.
Kim ordered the removal of South Korean-built "shabby" facilities in Mount Kumgang in an agreement with the relevant unit of the South Korean side.
The tour by South Koreans to Mount Kumgang has been halted since a South Korean female tourist was shot dead in 2008 by a DPRK soldier after allegedly venturing into off-limit areas.
South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Thursday that tour by South Koreans to the Mount Kumgang resort was not basically subject to the UN Security Council sanctions.
Kang said individuals' tour to the mountain resort was a matter of whether the unification ministry in charge of inter-Korean affairs would grant it or not.