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Nuke talks possible before year's end
( 2003-11-12 01:00) (China Daily)

China said yesterday it hopes a second round of six-party talks on the nuclear stand-off on the Korean Peninsula could be held before the end of the year.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo (right), shakes hands with South Korean Foreign Minister Yoon Young-kwan prior to a meeting at Yoon's office in Seoul Monday, Nov. 10, 2003. [AP]
Foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told reporters at a regular briefing that China wants to see the talks take place "as early as possible.''

"If all sides make active efforts and if the differences between the sides can be narrowed effectively, we are positive there is a hope of seeing the next round of six-party talks this year.''

Liu said Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Yi's trip to Washington last week was "beneficial and constructive.'' The two countries had reached consensus on a peaceful settlement of the nuclear crisis and putting forward a fresh round of six-party talks, he said.

They agreed to maintain contact and hoped all those involved would contribute to an early start to the talks, said Liu.

The spokesman also said another Vice-Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo was in the Republic of Korea and the two countries had agreed the nuclear issue should be solved through dialogue.

Dai is scheduled to fly to Tokyo today to continue consultations on the nuclear stand-off with Japanese officials.

Turning to the recent bombing attacks in Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia, Liu said China firmly opposes all forms of terrorism and is ready to work with the international community to safeguard world peace and security.

China holds that the anti-terrorism fight should be based on the United Nations Charter and international laws.

"We should not relate terrorism to a particular country, ethnic group or religion,'' Liu said.

He said countries should view security in a new way, handling non-traditional challenges such as terrorism on the basis of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and co-operation with international partners.

When talking about a mistaken attack by Burundi rebels on the Chinese Embassy there on Monday, the spokesman said the Chinese Government had urged Burundi to guarantee the safety of the Chinese Embassy and its personnel.

The accident happened when the anti-government rebels, the National Liberation Forces, were firing on the presidential palace in the capital Bujumbura.

The blast left a 80-centimetre hole in the embassy's ceiling.

There were no casualties at the Chinese Embassy, an embassy official surnamed Xu told China Daily yesterday, adding that all embassy staff have resumed work.

After the bombing, Brundi's Defence Minister Vicent Niyungeko and Foreign Ministry officials inspected the scene and expressed regret, according to the official.

The bombing also hit a US military attache, leaving two US officials injured, Xu said.

In other developments, the spokesman confirmed yesterday that the Chinese and Indian navies would hold joint exercises on Friday at sea near Shanghai, conducting maritime search and rescue operations.

Liu said the Sino-Indian joint military exercises would enhance understanding between the two navies and reflected the friendly relations between the countries.

"China will keep on trying to maintain, strengthen and improve its relationship with India and Pakistan, which will benefit peace and stability in South Asia,'' said Liu.

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