China disapproves of the withdrawal of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) from the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and supports the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said yesterday.
Zhang, at the ministry's regular press briefing, urged related parties not to take any action that might escalate current tension.
China wishes to underscore that the international mechanism for non-proliferation of nuclear weapons serves the common interests of the whole international community, Zhang said.
She said resumption of dialogue on the issue is key in the current circumstances.
"Dialogue is vital to maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula and China is willing to work with all the parties towards an early, peaceful solution to the issue," she said, adding that talks are the most effective way to resolve the problem.
"If the parties concerned are willing to have a dialogue in Beijing, there is no difficulty on our side," Zhang said when asked if China will propose a meeting between the DPRK and the United States on Chinese soil.
Zhang said China has been in close contact and consultation with all related parties over the DPRK nuclear issue.
Chinese President Jiang Zemin and his US counterpart George W. Bush held a telephone conversation about the issue on Friday.
On the same day, Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan and his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov also exchanged views in a telephone conversation.
James Kelly, US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, arrived in China yesterday, the second leg of his Asian tour, hoping to discuss the DPRK nuclear issue and Sino-US relations with Chinese officials.
Kelly is expected to meet Vice-Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Zhang said.
In other developments, Zhang said John Bolton, US undersecretary of state in charge of disarmament, will visit China on January 20.
Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Guangya will hold the first round of consultation with Bolton.
(China Daily January 15, 2003)