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Rice Concludes Visit in Beijing

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice concluded her 24-hour visit in Beijing and left for home Monday afternoon.

This is Rice's first China trip as guest of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing since she took office as top US diplomat in January.


At a press conference before departure, Rice said the US side is looking forward to expanding and deepening relationship with China.


Rice said US-China relations have developed "remarkably" in a way that would have been thought unthinkable a few years ago. "Today we are cooperating in changeable ways" on issues ranging from Asia to Afghanistan and Iraq, and from actions to the global war to fighting HIV/AIDS, she said.


Rice said during her meetings here, the Chinese side agreed that "expanding cooperation between US and China is essential to the interests of both countries, particularly as China is a state of major transformation."


As the United States rapidly develops relations with China, "we want to do so honestly and based on global standards" that are important in areas like human rights, non-proliferation of mass destructive weapons, trade and economic affairs.


"On that basis and on basis of shared interests, we look forward to expanding and deepening relationship with China," Rice added.


She said the United States remains absolutely committed to the one-China policy.


Referring to her meetings with President Hu Jintao and other leaders, Rice said, "I reiterated that the United States does in fact have the one-China policy that has been clearly consistent, a policy that is based on the three joint communiqu├ęs."


She expressed hope the status quo of the Taiwan Straits would be maintained, saying "the most useful path ahead is to reduce tension between the two sides."


Rice said the United States has no intention to invade the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).


"We are committed to the six-party talks because we believe it is the best way to solve the issue," she said when answering questions on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.


The six-party talks are "a framework in which we can bring the neighbors together to solve the problem," she said.


Rice said both the United States and China are committed to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, and the six-party talks are "potentially effective."


During her stay in Beijing, Rice met respectively with President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao, Vice Premier Wu Yi, State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan and Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, discussing China-US ties, the Taiwan question, the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, China-US trade cooperation, China's foreign exchange policy, protection of intellectual property rights, and the Doha Development Agenda of the World Trade Organization.


Besides, Rice went to the Peking University Monday morning to have a discussion with scholars and students there, and viewed the training of Chinese figure skating performers at the China World Hotel where she stayed in Beijing.


China is the last-leg of Rice's six-nation Asian trip that has already taken her to India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Japan and the Republic of Korea.


Rice visited China in February 2002 and July 2004 respectively, as the US national security adviser.


(Xinhua News Agency March 21, 2005)

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