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FM calls for US, N.Korea flexibility in nuclear talks
Updated: 2005-03-06 10:21

Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said Sunday that the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue should be continued despite many difficulties in the process.

At a press conference at the ongoing annual session of the National People's Congress, Li said China hopes major parties to show flexibility, sincerity and patience for early resumption of the talks.

  Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing meets the press at the Great Hall of the People Sunday morning March 6, 2005. [Xinhua]

After receiving the verbal message from Chinese President Hu Jintao, the supreme leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said they will pursue the objective for a nuclear- free Korean Peninsula.

"The DPRK remains ready and willing to continue to participate in the six-party talks," Li said, "and it hopes that the other parties should display more sincerity."

"No matter how difficult the process is," the top diplomat said, "China always adheres to the position for making peace and facilitating the talks in an objective and impartial manner."

China pursues the objective for a nuclear-free, peaceful and stable Korean Peninsula. Meanwhile, he said, "the legitimate concerns of the DPRK should be addressed."

"The six-party talks present a realistic choice for the resolution on the nuclear issue through dialogue," Li said, adding the talks are in the interest of all the parties.

As two sovereign nations, both the United States and the DPRK should contribute to enhancing mutual understanding and confidence building, Li said. He urged the US and North Korea to engage in direct talks to increase mutual trust and understanding. 

"Peace is the most cherished," he acknowledged, "and China believes that the re-opening of the six-party talks would be conducive to peace and stability on the peninsula."

Li said China will go on developing the traditional friendship with the DPRK, but he declined to comment on whether Pyongyang has already possessed weapon-grade nuclear capacity.   

China opposes foreign intervention in Taiwan issue

The minister reiterated that the Taiwan issue is China's "internal affair" and warned against any attempt by the United States and Japan to include Taiwan in the framework of their security alliance.

"The Taiwan issue is China's internal affair and should by no means be deliberated in the framework of the security alliance between the US and Japan," said Li.

The minister said it constitutes the infringement upon China's sovereignty and intervention in the country's internal affairs to "directly or indirectly include Taiwan in the framework of the US -Japanese security alliance", and that "the Chinese government and people is in resolute opposition to it."

Li, who served as Chinese Ambassador to the United States in Washington in 1998-2001, said that the US-Japan military alliance was only a "bilateral arrangement that occurred under special circumstances during the "Cold War" period and therefore should " be restricted strictly to the bilateral nature."

If it goes beyond its bilateral scope, the US-Japan alliance will definitely "arouse uneasiness on the part of Asian countries and bring complicated factors to the regional security situation," said the minister.

Calling the Taiwan issue "the most sensitive issue" in Sino-US relations, Li said that both governments should examine and handle this issue "with a far-reaching strategic vision".

He urged Washington to strictly abide by the three joint communiques between the two governments, which set forth the guideline principles that the US acknowledges there is only one China and Taiwan is a part of China, that the US recognizes the government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legal government of China, and that the US doesn't seek to carry out a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan and intends to reduce such sales gradually.

Li also denounce secessionist forces in Taiwan for their so- called "dollar diplomacy" in their pursuit of "Taiwan independence ". "This is actually a kind of 'bribery diplomacy' and is viewed by many people with insight as a kind of corruption," he said.

In response to a German reporter's question whether the proposed anti-secession law the NPC plans to deliberate at this session will lead to "war consequences", Li stated that the legislation was aimed at preventing the "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces from taking any adventurous action to undermine peace in the Taiwan Straits region.

"This legislation has once again reflected our consistent stance to make greatest efforts with utmost sincerity to seek the prospects of peaceful reunification. It will also manifest the common will of the entire Chinese people to safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity and never tolerate the forces for 'Taiwan independence' to make Taiwan secede from China in any name and by any means," he added.

The foreign minister underscored that the law, once adopted, would be conducive to the stability and development of cross- Straits relations, to the peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as to the peace, stability and prosperity of the whole world.

"It will surely win an increasing understanding and support from the international community," the Chinese foreign minister predicted.

An AP reporter raises questions at the news conference. [Xinhua]

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