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US trip lays groundwork for 6-party talks
( 2003-11-06 22:59) (China Daily)

Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Yi travelled to Washington yesterday to prepare for a new round of six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.

Wang will meet US officials today, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhang Qiyue said at a regular briefing yesterday.

Wang's visit to the United States comes just weeks after his trip to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) with a senior Chinese leader Wu Bangguo, head of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature.

During that trip, China and the DPRK agreed in principle to hold a second round of six-party talks on ending Pyongyang's suspected nuclear arms programme.

Another vice-foreign minister, Dai Bingguo, who has also been key in efforts to defuse the nuclear crisis, will visit the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan next week, according to the ministry.

"China stands ready to work with other countries to push for the next round of Beijing talks and make it a reality soon,'' said Zhang.

On other issues, Zhang said China welcomed the establishment of a United Nations (UN) panel on global security threats and appreciated UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's efforts in this area.

Annan appointed a 16-member blue-ribbon panel, including former Chinese Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen, to look into the major threats and challenges to world peace and security, and to recommend reforms to the UN's role in the world community.

"We are looking forward to the early start-up of the panel and hope it will play a role in the UN reforms,'' said Zhang.

When asked to comment on the situation in Sri Lanka, the spokesperson said China hopes that Sri Lanka maintains peace and stability for the sake of its economy and people.

Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga imposed a state of emergency on Wednesday following her sacking of three key government ministers the previous day, which plunged the country into a political crisis.

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