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Chinese, US Officials Meet on DPRK Nuclear Issue
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing met with US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs James Andrew Kelly Wednesday in Beijing. The two sides exchanged views on Sino-US relations and the DPRK (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea) nuclear issue.

Sino-US relations are now gaining momentum, said Li, noting that the bilateral ties face both opportunities and challenges. Both countries should try to seize opportunities and remove challenges to boost bilateral relations in the new year, he said.

Li said that the appropriate handling of the Taiwan issue would guarantee the healthy development of Sino-US relations, and China values the assurances made by President George W. Bush with regard to adherence to the "one-China" policy and the three US-China joint communiques, as well as his objection to the "independence of Taiwan" while at his Texas ranch with Chinese President Jiang Zemin.

China hopes the US side will adhere to its pledges and avoid sending any wrong signal to "independence of Taiwan" forces, Li said.

China supports the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and the maintenance of peace and stability there, and is not willing to see any nuclear weapons to appear on the peninsula, he said, stressing the achievement of a peaceful solution through dialogue.

China does not support DPRK's withdrawal from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and China is willing to coordinate with all parties concerned for an early peaceful solution of the issue, he said.

The US side is glad to see progress in US-China relations and is willing to enhance high-level exchanges and comprehensive cooperation with China, Kelly said, expressing US support for Bush's reiteration of the "one-China" policy at his ranch.

The United States expressed serious concern over the increased tension caused by the DPRK's withdrawal from the NPT, and expressed the hope that the international community will make joint efforts to achieve an early peaceful solution through diplomatic channels, he said.

Kelly arrived in Beijing on Tuesday after winding up a visit to Seoul for consultations on the DPRK nuclear issue. He also held talks with the heads of the Foreign Ministry's departments responsible for Asian and US affairs, Fu Ying and He Yafei.

The DPRK withdrew from the NPT last Friday, intensifying tensions with the US on the nuclear issue and arousing public concern worldwide. Chinese President Jiang Zemin and his US counterpart George W. Bush discussed the issue on the telephone the same day.

(People’s Daily January 16, 2003)

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