Beijing called on Tokyo and Seoul to jointly uphold multilateralism and free trade and voiced its opposition to protectionism and unilateralism of all kinds.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the remark during separate meetings with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-Wha in Beijing.

When meeting with Kono, Wang called for efforts from both countries to maintain close communication and expand the consensus of cooperation in such areas as politics, economy and people-to-people exchanges in order to create the necessary conditions and a good environment for high-level political exchanges.

China is willing to continue to strengthen the political basis for bilateral ties and promote mutual trust and cooperation according to the principles of the four political documents between China and Japan, Wang said.

He reiterated China’s principled position on sensitive issues between the two countries, urged the two nations to strengthen risk prevention and control, and deal with conflicts and differences in a constructive way to jointly improve bilateral ties.

Wang also repeated Beijing’s opposition to Washington’s deployment of land-based intermediate-range missiles in the region.

Kono said Japan is willing to work closely with China in deepening cooperation, promote people-to-people exchanges and appropriately manage differences to ensure positive results of the bilateral high-level political exchanges in the next phase in their ties.

In his meeting with Kang, Wang said that faced with the current situation, it is especially necessary for China and the ROK to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in high technology and innovation fields, and maintain close coordination within multilateral frameworks such as the G20, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and ASEAN Plus Three.

China hopes the ROK will take the opportunities brought by China’s development and actively participate in jointly building the Belt & Road, expand cooperation in third-party markets and speed up the second round of free trade agreement talks, he said.

China hopes the ROK and Japan can appropriately deal with their existing differences through dialogue and coordination, Wang said.

The two sides also exchanged views over the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. Wang said the issue is still on track for a political resolution and called for relevant parties to do more to promote understanding and build mutual trust.