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Tang and Powell Praise Cooperation
Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan and United States Secretary of State Colin Powell agreed Wednesday that the recent growing cooperation and consultations between Beijing and Washington benefit both countries' interests.

At a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations annual meeting in Brunei's capital Bandar Seri Begawan, both men expressed satisfaction with recent developments in bilateral ties.

Tang and Powell said that the two countries are expanding cooperation in counter-terrorism and trade and also consulting each other on United Nations affairs as well as regional and global issues such as the situation in South Asia and on the Korean Peninsula.

They said they believed that Chinese President Jiang Zemin's upcoming visit to the United States and his third summit with US President George W. Bush this autumn will further strengthen bilateral ties. The specific date of Jiang's visit has not been announced yet.

They also agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation on counter-terrorism on the basis of mutual benefit. They decided to hold the second consultations of the China-US counter-terrorism team this October, dealing with financial matters.

The two officials agreed that their countries will begin talks soon on exchanging information for the fight against drugs and also set up a new round of bilateral dialogues on human-rights issues.

Tang reaffirmed the Chinese government's basic policy of "peaceful reunification" and of "one country, two systems" on the Taiwan question. He said those who seek independence for Taiwan are the main enemies of the process towards China's peaceful reunification and they also hurt US interests.

He said China is concerned about the recent US move towards strengthening political and military ties with Taiwan. Tang urged the United States to stop selling weapons to Taiwan and to cut all official and military contacts with Taiwan.

Tang also met Paek Nam-sun, his counterpart from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, in Brunei's capital. They agreed to further expand the traditional friendship and cooperation between the two neighboring countries.

Paek said developing the strategic relationship between China and the DPRK is the common wish of the peoples of the two countries and is in the interests of them both.

Tang said China supports Pyongyang's bid to improve inter-Korean relations and achieve the peaceful reunification of Korea.

He said the DPRK's recent proposals for resuming inter-Korean dialogue, its invitation for a US envoy to visit the DPRK and its holding of bilateral talks with Japan all demonstrated the DPRK's strong will to maintain peace.

Tang also met his Indian counterpart, Yashwant Sinha. Tang said he hopes that India and Pakistan will enter into dialogue to ease tensions on the subcontinent.

China, which has kept a close eye on the situation in South Asia, has no selfish interests in the India-Pakistan dispute, Tang said.

(China Daily August 1, 2002)

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