President Hu Jintao's special envoy, State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan met with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao announced at yesterday's regular press conference.
Tang, who arrived in Pyongyang on Wednesday, conveyed Hu's message to Kim during the meeting, Liu said, without revealing the content of the message. The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on China-North Korea relations and the current situation on the Korean Peninsula.
"The meeting was of great significance and was extremely important for bilateral ties and the current situation on the peninsula," Liu told reporters.
Prior to his arrival in North Korea, Tang also visited the US and Russia, meeting with US President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin respectively.
Tang, who left Beijing on October 11, was accompanied by Dai Bingguo, director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and Wu Dawei, vice foreign minister.
According to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test on October 9.
The UN Security Council on October 14 unanimously adopted a resolution imposing sanctions against North Korea for its nuclear test. Liu said the resolution was a "balanced" one and all parties should enforce it in a "balanced way" without expanding sanctions at will.
"The resolution should be carried out in a practical and careful manner to send a message to North Korea that the nuclear test is a wrongful action that is opposed by the international community and that North Korea should return to the six-party talks as soon as possible," Liu said.
He added that the important task at hand was to promote the early resumption of the talks that involve China, Russia, the US, Japan, and North and South Korea.
Liu noted that as a member state of the UN and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China will take all necessary measures and adopt a suitable mechanism to strictly carry out the commitments set out in the resolution. He added that China would not do anything to contravene the resolution.
Responding to reports that claimed the six-party talks process is likely to end following the nuclear test, Liu said China was still "full of hope" that the talks could be resumed.
"As all parties consider the six-party talks to be an effective way to resolve the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue and are willing to return to the talks under the right conditions, the six-party talks have not ended," Liu said, adding that China has been making unremitting efforts for their resumption.
Liu called on all related parties to avoid steps that would further worsen the chances of resuming the talks.
Responding to reports that claimed China would offer food and energy aid to North Korea, Liu said China has been offering aid to North Korea for many years to improve the lives of North Korean people and help the country overcome economic difficulties.
"We think this is the correct policy, which helps improve the humanitarian situation in North Korea," Liu explained.
He also denied any connection between illegal immigration from North Korea to China and the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, saying that China and North Korea have taken joint measures to tackle the problem.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Beijing this morning to discuss the Korean Peninsular situation with Chinese leaders.
Liu said China hoped to have in-depth discussions with Rice on how to resolve the current situation on the Korean Peninsula and promote the realization of a nuclear-free peninsula through dialogue and negotiations.
Moving on to state visits, at the invitation of Tang Jiaxuan, British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott will pay a working visit to China from October 26 to 27. Further, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing has extended an invitation to Swiss Vice President of the Confederation and Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, who will pay an official visit to China from October 27 to 30. Also, Argentine Vice President Daniel Osvaldo Scioli will be in China from October 25 to 28 at the invitation of Vice President Zeng Qinghong.
(Xinhua News Agency October 20, 2006)