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Li, Rice Discuss Korean Peninsular Nuclear Issue
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Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice held talks in Beijing this morning at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.


"We hope all relevant parties will keep cool-headed, adopt a prudent and responsible attitude and adhere to dialogue," Li told reporters following his one-hour talks with Rice.


"China would like to work more closely with relevant parties to break the stalemate and resume the stalled six-party talks," Li said.


Rice said that the nuclear test announcement of North Korea was "a serious provocation" and it "poses threat" to international peace and security.


"We talked about the importance of the full implementation of (UN resolution) 1718 so we can make certain there is not a transit and trade in dangerous illegal materials concerning the nuclear program of North Korea," Rice said, adding that it is important to leave six-party talks negotiation open.


"Chinese President Hu Jintao and US President George W. Bush are committed to diplomatic solution of this problem. North Korea should return to the six-party talks without condition," said Rice, adding North Korea should begin the implementation of the September 2005 agreement of the six-party talks.


The two sides spoke positively of the current development of China-US ties and their effective cooperation and consultations on major international and regional issues, calling China and the US strategic partners. The two sides should go on working for the implementation of consensus reached by President Hu and President Bush.


Stressing shared desire to continue strategic dialogues, Rice said, "We have a lot of strategic dialogues on the way and we commit to continue our discussions."


Li and Rice also discussed the Iran nuclear issue and the Darfur crisis in Sudan, reaffirming China's constructive role in resolving the Iranian issue through negotiations.


During her stay, Rice will meet with President Hu, Premier Wen Jiabao and State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan. Her visit to China came as the US seeks to shore up international tension arising from North Korea's nuclear test on October 9.


China is the third leg of Rice's four-nation tour, which has taken her to Japan and South Korea and will later take her to Russia. 


(Xinhua News Agency October 20, 2006)

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