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ASEM Foreign Ministers Meet

Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing has held a series of talks in Kyoto with his Asian and European counterparts on the sidelines of the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) 7th foreign ministers' meeting in Kyoto, Japan, which opened on Friday and concluded yesterday.

They spoke highly of the sound development in China's relationships and agreed to maintain high-level contacts, expand exchange and cooperation in various fields, and strengthen consultation and coordination in regional and international affairs.

The foreign ministers reiterated adherence to a one-China policy during talks with Li, who arrived on Thursday for the annual meeting aimed at deepening dialogue between Asia and Europe.

Li met with his Malaysian counterpart Syed Hamid Albar on Friday and they reached a consensus on seeking common development in the South China Sea by setting aside differences with a view to safeguarding peace and stability in the area.

During his meetings with EU foreign ministers, Li reiterated China's stance on the lifting of arms embargo against it. He urged the EU to lift the ban as soon as possible so as to remove it as an obstacle to the smooth development of relations. They expressed willingness to push forward the process toward removing it.

Li also discussed the UN reform, saying it should be comprehensive and multi-faceted with priority given to development. On reform of the UN Security Council, he said the focus should be on expanding representation of developing countries and maintaining solidarity of member states.

During his meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura on Saturday, Li said that both sides should build on the achievement of the meeting between President Hu Jintao and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Indonesia on April 23.

Li said that it is crucial for the Japanese government to faithfully realize its promises on history and Taiwan issues.

Machimura agreed that the leaders' meeting was significant, adding that Japan would follow its spirit to make joint efforts to develop relations.

Also on Saturday, State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan said while meeting visiting Assistant to the Japanese Prime Minister Taku Yamazaki in Beijing that he hoped Japan and China can make concerted efforts to bring relations back to normality.

(Xinhua News Agency May 8, 2005)

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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