Beijing Consensus

Updated: 2013-10-28 00:17

(China Daily)

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Editor's note: Below is the full version of the Beijing Consensus, which was issued at the Beijing-Tokyo Forum.

The ninth Beijing-Tokyo Forum took place in Beijing on Oct 26 and 27. About 80 people of vision and insight from China and Japan frankly exchanged views on politics, economy, security, media, and the deteriorating attitude of the Chinese and Japanese people toward each other.

Sino-Japanese relations are facing difficulties. We participated in the two-day forum with a special feeling, aiming at overcoming the difficulties through the "power of dialogue" and public diplomacy.

It has been a consistent goal for us since the Beijing-Tokyo Forum was launched nine years ago.

Against this background, we have high hopes for people-to-people discussions, which we believe will play a major role in supporting efforts to build intergovernmental ties and create a favorable atmosphere to break the diplomatic deadlock.

This point of view was written in the "Tokyo Consensus" of last year's forum in Tokyo; at this year's forum, we have been dedicated to fulfilling the mission of such communications.

To open a new front on bilateral relations, people from the two countries should explore ways to discuss and exchange views with cool heads from a long-term perspective.

We call for the calmness to be spread to the general public of the two countries, helping ease the tension between the two peoples and creating a favorable atmosphere for better intergovernmental ties.

Based on a strong hope and determination, we have discussed, and finally reached an agreement, the "Beijing Consensus", at the forum, and made it public.

We agree on the following:

• China and Japan are geographically very close. As two major countries in Asia, the two neighbors have many common interests. A stable bilateral relationship serves the interests of not only the two countries, but also those of Asia and the world. Whatever problems arise, they do not define relations between the two countries. The interwoven interests of the two countries must be protected; the current unstable relations must be improved; and the worsening situations and possible further deterioration of public sentiment in the two countries must be controlled. It is necessary for people in both countries to hold calm discussions that will promote mutual understanding and overcome difficulties.

• We have reconfirmed the spirit and principles of four political documents, including the China-Japan Joint Statement and the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship. Following the principle of peaceful co-existence and mutual benefit, we have reached the following consensus: The two countries should eternally hold on to the principle of peaceful co-existence, and whenever problems arise and for whatever reasons, we must commit ourselves to the peaceful resolution of disputes and problems between the two countries through dialogue, and never resort to any actions that may trigger a war.

The above-mentioned consensus should not be limited only to intellectuals and politicians, but also should have the wide support of people in both countries. To that end, both sides will continue to hold open discussions, so that the consensus will help form a better bilateral relationship and a better order in East Asia based on healthy public opinion.

• Facing the current confrontation and tension over the Diaoyu Islands issue, it is imperative for the two governments to have a dialogue and negotiations to solve the dispute through peaceful means, and establish a crisis control mechanism and a long-term mechanism to prevent sporadic conflicts or even military conflicts. At the same time, we will continue to have a dialogue regarding the issue and promote insightful joint research to increase mutual understanding.

• Viewing history in the right way and learning from past mistakes create an important foundation for the development of Sino-Japanese relations. It is also a responsibility for us to maintain peace for our next generations, for Asia and the world.

We admit that different opinions and divergences exist between the two countries. But we will seek common ground and shelve differences, and continue to have a dialogue.

We have reached consensus on the above four points. By holding the ninth Beijing-Tokyo Forum, we hope to promote exchanges and overcome obstacles for a better future. In the future, the two sides will continue to have a dialogue based on the proposals of this forum and make continual efforts to contribute to the healthy development of Sino-Japanese relations.

China Daily and Genron NPO of Japan