Beijing and Tokyo are working towards mutual visits of state leaders next year, Assistant Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said in Beijing yesterday. He said China and Japan were building on momentum in the development of ties after overcoming difficulties during the recent meeting between President Hu Jintao and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Hanoi, Vietnam. He said progress had been made on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum and during Mr Abe's visit to Beijing in October. 'Both countries will make efforts to seize the favourable momentum and circumstances created after both governments have overcome their difficulties in recent meetings of leaders,' Mr Cui said. Beijing and Tokyo hope to make mutual visits by Japanese and Chinese leaders regular events to promote a strategic relationship of mutual interest based on an agreement made between Mr Hu and Mr Abe. China would seek to deepen ties and co-operation with Japan and South Korea when leaders of the three countries met in the Philippines next week, Mr Cui said. 'China will present some new proposals to strengthen exchanges and co-operation in areas of politics, economy and culture,' he said. Premier Wen Jiabao will meet Mr Abe and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun in Cebu on Monday on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit. Mr Cui said that security, trade and energy would top the agenda. 'Everybody is concerned about energy issues,' he said. On Sunday, State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan said Beijing and Tokyo stood at a 'new starting point' in their relations. The Philippines will host the annual leaders' summit of the 10-member Asean next week and another meeting among leaders of the Asean Plus Three nations, a forum that co-ordinates co-operation between Asean and China, South Korea and Japan.