Ambassador for nuke issue named
( 2003-12-19 01:35) (China Daily)
China has appointed an ambassador in charge of the nuclear issue in the Korean Peninsula, adding to Beijing's efforts to defuse the nuclear weapons crisis in the area.
Ambassador Ning Fukui is a long-time Foreign Ministry official who is familiar with the situation on the Korean Peninsula, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao.
"He will contact, consult and co-ordinate with all parties extensively," Liu said at a regular briefing yesterday. "We hope that with the efforts of all parties concerned the second round of talks on the nuclear issue can be held as soon as possible.''
According to the spokesman, Ning was deputy director of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Foreign Ministry from July 1995 to April 2000.
During the four-party talks in Geneva 1999 which involved the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Republic of Korea, China and the United States, Ning was deputy head of the Chinese delegation.
Prior to this appointment, Ning was the Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia.
Beijing hosted the first round of six-party talks in August.
Though the talks ended without much progress, participants hoped to meet again by the year's end.
Earlier this week, US officials said that date will not be met and the talks may be held early next year.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said preparation for the second round of talks is ongoing and it is premature to set a specific date at present.
At yesterday's news conference, Liu also said China hopes the European Union (EU) will lift a ban on arms sales to China, saying the embargo is not consistent with a trend towards improving relations between China and Europe.
Asked to comment on European lawmakers' rejecting a proposal by France and Germany to lift the embargo, Liu said: "We think the EU's ban on arms sales to China is not in line with the sound momentum in the development of Sino-European relations. We hope the EU can adopt measures to remove the embargo as early as possible."
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