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Kim invites Hu to visit Pyongyang
By Jiang Zhuqing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-03-24 23:41

China and the DPRK are working on a schedule for a visit by President Hu Jintao.

Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) shakes hands with North Korean Premier Pak Pong-ju at the Fujian Hall in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing March 23, 2005. [Reuters]

China and the DPRK are working on a schedule for a visit by President Hu Jintao.

The invitation from the leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Kim Jong-il, was conveyed by Premier Pak Bong-ju, who is now visiting China, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said yesterday.

The DPRK's premier met Hu on Wednesday.

"The two sides will have consul-tations for concrete arrangements for the visit," Liu said.

Liu also told reporters that no breakthrough was made on a resumption of the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue during a series of meetings over the past three days between Pak and Chinese leaders.

"We hope the two sides (the United States and DPRK) have patience, exercise restraint and do something constructive to reopen the dialogue process," Liu said.

During the talks with Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday, Pak said the DPRK did not oppose a fourth round of talks and would return to the negotiation table when the conditions are ripe.

Liu also said Sino-US relation would not be affected if the EU lifts its arms embargo on China.

"We believe the lifting of the embargo will in no way undermine China-US relations," Liu said.

Lifting the embargo could better those relations. "The earlier the better," he said.

The European Union should demonstrate political wisdom and courage and lift the arms embargo as soon as possible, Liu said.

On Wednesday, the EU's foreign policy chief Javier Solana said maintaining the ban was "unfair" and European leaders were leaning towards lifting it.

A June timetable had reportedly been set but Solana said it was unclear whether it would be met.

"Some countries have fabricated excuses to prevent the lifting of the arms embargo," Liu said. "It is totally unreasonable."

As to Japan's bid to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, Liu said China understands that Japan wants to play a bigger role in international arena.

However, "we hope the Japanese side will have the correct attitude over historical issues."

The spokesman said Japan may have noticed widespread discussions in China over this issue and reiterated that China supports concrete reforms of the United Nations Security Council.

He did stress, however, that priority should be given to increasing the UNSC's capacity to address threats and challenges.

"It is a very big event," Liu said. "The member states should seek consensus based on democratic consultation."

Diaoyu Islands

Commenting a report that some Japanese members of the Ishigaki assembly in Okinawa Prefecture proposed to enact an ordinance on so-called "Senkaku Day," Liu said any unilateral moves taken by Japan on the Diaoyu Islands are "unlawful and invalid." Senkaku is the name used by Japan for the Diaoyu Islands.

China "firmly opposes" such moves, which seriously infringe upon China's territorial sovereignty, said Liu.

Liu said China is concerned about the ordinance and has expressed its stance through diplomatic channels.

Liu reiterated that the Diaoyu and surrounding islands have been a part of the Chinese territory since ancient times.

"China holds indisputable historical and lawful evidence" on the issue, he said.

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