Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Saturday sent a congratulatory message to new Chinese President Hu Jintao on his promotion earlier in the day, government officials said.

“Coinciding with this year as a turning point on the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of the Japan-China peace treaty, I would like to push forward a new stage of cooperative relations in a broad range of fields and further promote mutual understanding and trust between the two countries,” Koizumi was quoted as saying in the message.

Hu, 60, was selected for the position by China’s National People’s Congress at a plenary session convened Saturday to usher in a new state leadership group. He replaces Jiang Zemin, 76.

Hu replaced Jiang as head of the Chinese Communist Party last November.

Koizumi also sent congratulatory messages to new Vice President Zeng Qinghong and new NPC Chairman Wu Bangguo, the officials said.

The Japanese prime minister sent a message to Jiang and outgoing NPC Chairman Li Peng to express his respect for their contributions to Japan-China relations and his expectations for their support in the further development of bilateral ties, according to the officials.

Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi also sent messages to Jiang and Li, the officials said.

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