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China Urges Sincerity and Flexibility in Six-Party Talks
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A demonstration of sincerity and flexibility was required by the countries involved in the six party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue especially the "principal parties" stated China on Tuesday. 


Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Qin Gang, said at a regular press conference on Tuesday the talks have encountered "new" and "complicated" problems.


China had always played a "positive" and "constructive" role in promoting the six-party talks, Qin said. China advocated the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and proposed to settle the issue through negotiations. This would not only benefit the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia but was also in the interests of those involved, he commented.


"The Chinese side has been in close contact with the parties concerned in a bid to promote progress," Qin said. Others concerned had expressed appreciation for role China was playing.  


"China will continue to make its contribution in promoting the six-party talks and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," he said.


The six countries involved are China, North Korea, the US, South Korea, Russia and Japan.


China urges dialogue on human rights


In reply to a reporter's question concerning President Hu Jintao's visit to the US, Qin said both China and the US should conduct talks on human rights issues based on equality and mutual respect.


He said Hu would explain China's position and views on human rights if the subject was brought up during his US visit.


"We oppose confrontation and interference in other countries' internal affairs under the pretext of human rights," Qin said.


He said China and the US shared common ground on the human rights issue, which focused on the protection and promotion of those human rights. He indicated that China was willing to have dialogue with other countries including the US on the subject.


Qin also confirmed that Taiwan would be one of the main topics of discussion when the two leaders met.


"The Taiwan question is the most important and sensitive core issue in China-US relations," he said. "We cannot sideline the Taiwan question."


SCO's principle of openness


Qin highlighted the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's principle of openness and indicated that their current task was to step up pragmatic cooperation between members.


He said China, as host of the SCO summit in June, was consulting with other member nations about inviting guest countries to the summit.


Dubbed as a new model for regional cooperation, the SCO was founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001. Its main focus is regional security and anti-terrorism.


The permanent members of the SCO are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Its four observer states are Mongolia, Pakistan, India and Iran.


China urges restraint on Iran nuclear issue


China has expressed its concern about the Iranian nuclear standoff and hopes all parties show restraint and use diplomatic efforts to resolve the issue, Qin said.


He said that Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister, Cui Tiankai, in a recent visit to Iran, had explained that China was concerned about the current situation and hoped all parties would show flexibility in attempting to resolve the issue.


After his arrival in Tehran on Saturday Cui met and conferred with several senior Iranian officials on the nuclear crisis.


China expresses sympathy to flood-hit European countries 


The Chinese government on Tuesday expressed its sympathy for the European countries hit by severe floods in recent weeks.


"We are convinced that they will overcome the natural disaster and rebuild their homes," Qin said.


Southeastern Europe has suffered from severe flooding this spring as a result of heavy rains and melting snow. Countries affected include Hungary, the Czech Republic, Germany and Romania.


The region is likely to face more flooding as meteorologists said on Sunday that the Danube river, which has reached its highest level in more than 100 years, would rise again in the days ahead.


Qin also announced that Finnish Prime Minister, Matti Vanhanen, will pay an official visit to China from April 25 to 28 as a guest of Premier Wen Jiabao.


Vice President of Sierra Leone, Solomon Berewa, will pay an official visit to China from April 23 to 27 as a guest of Vice President Zeng Qinghong.


(Xinhua News Agency, China Daily April 19, 2006)

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