SUBANG, Malaysia, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- The South China Sea issue is not an issue between China and Japan, and China demands Japan not to make any move that would complicate the situation in the South China Sea, China's Defense Minister Chang Wanquan said on Wednesday.
Chang made the remarks during a meeting with his Japanese counterpart Gen Nakatani here at the request of the Japanese side, on the sidelines of the third ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)-Plus.
Since a four-point principled agreement was reached and published by the two sides to properly handle and improve their bilateral ties at the end of last year, the two countries' leaders have met for many times, and China-Japan relations have shown momentum of improvement in general, he said.
However, bilateral ties are still comparatively sensitive and complex, he noted.
The Japanese side should properly handle sensitive issues and meet China halfway, to push for better bilateral relations on the basis of the four political documents, the minister said.
China highly values defense exchanges with Japan, and hopes that the Japanese side can pursue a positive policy towards China, enhance understanding through communications, and manage and control the conflicts and crisis through cooperation, he said.
Nakatani said that the two countries' leaders held a significant meeting in Seoul, South Korea recently, where they reached a consensus on continuing to improve bilateral ties.
He hoped the two countries' defense authorities could make joint efforts to promote defense exchanges, and launch the maritime and air liaison mechanism at an early date, in a bid to forge a good environment for the development of bilateral strategic relationship of mutual benefit.