暖春之旅 Hu invites Japanese youths to visit China
President Hu Jintao stressed the importance of youth exchanges yesterday, inviting 100 students from Tokyo's Waseda University（早稻田大学） to visit 中国.
He extended the invitation when delivering a speech at the prestigious（声誉极高) university, saying the visit would be part of the ongoing 中国-Japan Friendly Exchange Year of the Youth.
"I hope that students here can join in the exchange project to visit 中国," Hu said.
"The youth should advance the world's civilization and contribute to mankind's prosperity," Hu quoted Waseda alumnus （男校友）Li Dazhao, 中国's pioneering revolutionary early last century, as saying.
He called for a new era of partnership between Beijing and Tokyo in business, the environment and regional development.
After the speech, Hu removed his glasses and jacket to play table tennis with Japanese star Ai Fukuhara（日本乒乓球名将福原爱）, drawing loud cheers from spectators.
Hu made several smashes（轰动） and beamed（笑容满面的）for the cameras as Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, 71, looked on.
"I'm glad I didn't take him on," Fukuda said. "He's a very strategic player."
In his speech, broadcast live on Japan's NHK public television, Hu said: "The two countries should be partners, not competitors. One's growth can be the other's opportunity, not a threat."
On Japan's war of aggression on 中国 in the 1930s and '40s, Hu said: "This unfortunate history not only caused tremendous suffering to the Chinese people but also gravely hurt the Japanese people."
It is important for both countries to remember history, but it does not mean holding grudges（仇恨）, he said.
"The friendship between the two countries depends on the younger generation."
A group of 200 young Chinese are accompanying Hu's entourage （周围）as part of the youth exchange between the two countries, said Ni Jian, director of the Liaison Office of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Youth League, who heads the delegation.
Fukuhara was one of the young Japanese welcoming Chinese peers including 中国's table tennis heavyweight Wang Nan.
Fukuhara speaks fluent Chinese with a Northeast 中国 accent because she has been receiving professional training there since her kindergarten years. In 2005, she became the first foreigner to play in 中国's domestic table tennis tournament（联赛）.
She was named one of goodwill ambassadors（大使） of the 2007 Japan-中国 Culture and Sports Exchange Year.
It is not the first time Hu had exchanges with Japanese youth.
In 1984, Hu, then the first secretary of the central committee of the Chinese Communist Youth League and chairman of the All-中国 Youth Federation, was responsible for receiving 3,000 young Japanese visiting 中国 to celebrate the 12th anniversary of the normalization of the 中国-Japan relations.
The following year, Hu led a 100-member Chinese delegation on a reciprocal（互惠的） visit.
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