feud between China and Japan thawed Saturday as their leaders pledged to improve the relationship in their first talks since a territorial dispute erupted two months ago.
Japan said that Prime Minister Naoto Kan had detailed his nation’s "firm stance" on the East China Sea islands at the centre of the feud in his meeting with President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of a Pacific Rim summit.
But China’s foreign ministry said that Hu believed the two countries should "follow a road of peace, friendship and cooperation".
He noted that the two nations are each other’s main trading partner, and said they should deepen cooperation "to jointly contribute to Asia’s revitalization and address global challenges".
"The two sides should… push for China-Japan strategic and mutually beneficial relations to advance on a healthy and stable track," Hu said according to the ministry statement.
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan (left) shakes hands with Chinese President Hu Jintao