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China Welcomes Ban Ki-moon's Nomination as UN Chief
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The nomination of Ban Ki-moon of South Korea by the United Nations (UN) Security Council to be the organization's next secretary-general was welcomed by China, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Jianchao at a regular press conference in Beijing yesterday.


China expects that Ban can be finally appointed by the UN Assembly, Liu said.


The 15 members of UN Security Council agreed on Monday to formally recommend South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon to succeed Kofi Annan as the next UN secretary-general and Ban will become the eighth chief in the world body's 61-year history.


On North Korea's recent nuclear test, Liu said that the six-party talks as a mechanism to resolve differences are "not a failure" despite the nuclear test by North Korea.


He also urged the concerned parties to remain cool-headed and make efforts to resolve the issue within the framework of six-party talks.


"I don't think it (the nuclear test) should be regarded as a failure of China's foreign policy and a failure of the six-party mechanism. The concerned parties should continue to generate effort to keep the six-party talks mechanism on track," Liu said.


"The six parties, together with most countries in the world, are willing to resolve the Korean nuclear issue through consultation and dialogue under the six-party talks framework, which is enough to prove that the mechanism is still the best way to resolve the issue," Liu added.


The six-party talks, involving China, South and North Korea, the United States, Russia and Japan, stalled after North Korea criticized the US for imposing economic sanctions after the first phase of the fifth round of talks ended last November.


Calling the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue "tough" and "complicated," the spokesman said joint efforts should be employed to implement the consensus that has already been reached and work for an early resumption of the six-party talks.


"All efforts should be conducive to the realization of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, to the peace and development of the Peninsula and Northeast Asia and to the early resumption of the six-party talks," he explained.


China is making diplomatic efforts and hopes for positive responses from other parties concerned, the spokesman said.


As the host country of the talks, Liu said, China has played an important role and made unremitting efforts to resolve the nuclear issue.


Liu also said that China has not changed its policy on developing good-neighborly relations with North Korea, though the latter's nuclear test has had a negative impact on the ties.


"In dealing with the bilateral ties, we stick to two principles: first, the development of the ties should serve the common interests of both sides; second, it should be conducive to the peace, stability and development of Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia," Liu said.


He said North Korea ignored opposition of the international community and flagrantly conducted the nuclear test, and the Chinese government is resolutely opposed to it.


But Liu said China will continue to develop good-neighborly and friendly cooperation with North Korea and this policy is unshakable.


According to a report by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test on October 9.


The nuclear test, the first conducted by North Korea, came about a week after the country announced it would undertake an unprecedented atomic test under the condition where safety is firmly guaranteed.


The nuclear test has strained the situation of Korean Peninsula, said Liu, and he called for calm response from all parties concerned.


He urged North Korea to observe its commitment to non-nuclearization on Korean Peninsula and stop taking any action that may worsen the current situation.


China and North Korea have kept contact and consultations on non-nuclearization of the Peninsula in recent years. China will continue to have contact and consultations with all parties concerned so as to bring them back to talks, said Liu.


China is resolutely opposed to solving the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue by means of war, said Liu, adding that the humanitarian needs of North Korean people should be taken into full consideration when any action is taken.


"We sincerely hope that North Korea can enjoy peace, stability, development and prosperity," Liu said.


He also confirmed that China has kept a close eye on the aftermath of the nuclear test, but so far no air pollution from it has been detected.


At the press conference, Liu also announced that Andrei Stratan, deputy prime minister and minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova, will pay an official visit to China from October 11 to 14 at the invitation of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing.


And the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit ran its official website to ensure the event held in Beijing in November fully covered, Liu said.


Operated in Chinese, English and French, the website (www.focacsummit.org) will cover major events, speeches and documents from the upcoming FOCAC summit.


Both Chinese and African leaders will review the achievements of China-Africa friendly cooperation over the past 50 years, and blueprint bilateral future cooperation and exchange views on major international issues, according to the Foreign Ministry.


All the member states vowed to send delegation to the summit and more than 30 African heads of state or government expressed willingness to attend the FOCAC summit scheduled from November 3 to 5, Liu said.


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of diplomatic relationship between the People's Republic of China and African countries.


(Xinhua News Agency October 11, 2006)

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