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DPRK Envoy Discusses Next Phase of Six-Party Talks
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Chief negotiator for the nuclear talks from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Kye-Gwan met with Chinese officials on Thursday to discuss the next phase of the six-party talks, according to China's Foreign Ministry.

Kim met with Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei and briefed the Chinese on the recently completed bilateral negotiations between the DPRK and the United States, said spokeswoman Jiang Yu at a regular press conference.

"The two sides exchanged views on the six-party talks, as well as the direction for the next phase of work," Jiang said.

China is consulting with other members of the talks to set a date for the next round, which would focus on the DPRK's full declaration of its nuclear facilities and their disablement, Jiang told reporters.

In a landmark six-party deal brokered in February, the DPRK agreed to dismantle all of its nuclear facilities and programs in exchange for diplomatic concessions, energy, and other aid.

Following a DPRK-US meeting in Geneva over the weekend, US envoy Christopher Hill said Sunday that the DPRK had agreed to declare and disable its nuclear facilities by the end of 2007.

The six-party talks, initiated in 2003, involve China, the DPRK, the United States, the Republic of Korea, Russia, and Japan.

In a session of the six-party talks held in July, envoys agreed to meet in Beijing in early September to hear working group reports and work out a road map for the implementation of the general consensus reached in July.

China backs UN on Darfur

China has praised UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's efforts to resolve the Darfur issue and will play a constructive role, Jiang said.

Ban, on a four-day visit to Sudan that started Monday, stressed the importance of reaching a political settlement and deploying the African Union-UN hybrid force quickly to end a prolonged ethnic conflict.

"International society could push forward the peace-keeping and political processes in a balanced way, help improve the humanitarian and security situation in Darfur, and finally push forward the comprehensive and proper solution to the issue," the Jiang said.

China has always played a constructive role in the Darfur issue, she added.

Liu Guijin, a special envoy for the Darfur issue, is at the UN until September 12. According to Jiang, Liu will communicate with government officials, the United States Congress, scholars, and the media during the trip.

Asia Pacific needs 'new concept of security'

"Under the current international situation, we think that all countries should build a new concept of security, in a move to build a harmonious and stable Asia Pacific on the basis of mutual trust among countries," Jiang told the regular press conference.

"The new security concept will meet the interests of all people in the region," Jiang said, responding to a question concerning combined naval exercises held by India, the United States, Japan, Australia, and Singapore in the Bay of Bengal on Tuesday.

The joint naval exercises, which involved three aircraft carriers, hundreds of military aircraft, destroyers, frigates, and submarines, was the biggest-ever war game in the international waters between Visakhapatnam and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

China, as an active player in the course of peace, cooperation, and development in the Asia Pacific, would like to work with other nations to achieve win-win results through dialogue and cooperation, Jiang said.

Hacking accusation refuted

"Some people are making wild accusations against China and saying the Chinese military attacked the British government's computer network. These are totally groundless and irresponsible and with ulterior motives," said Jiang.

"The Chinese government has always opposed internet crimes, including hacking, and prosecuted them according to the law," Jiang added.

The Guardian reported Wednesday that Chinese hackers, some believed to be from the People's Liberation Army, have been attacking the computer networks of British government departments.

The disclosures came after reports that the Chinese military had hacked into a Pentagon military computer network in June. The Financial Times said Tuesday that American officials called it the most successful cyber attack on the Pentagon.

The Chinese government has expressed its willingness to strengthen international cooperation, Jiang said.

"However, according to my knowledge, China's police have not received any requests from relevant countries for a joint investigation," Jiang said.

Safeguarding principles of non-proliferation system

In response to a reporter's suggestion that China might block an India-US civil nuclear cooperation deal at the Nuclear Supplier's Group (NSG), Jiang said the international cooperation on the peaceful use of nuclear power should be conducive to safeguarding the "principles" and "effectiveness" of international non-proliferation system.

China has already noted "different views existing" among the NSG members on loosening the nuclear exportation restrictions to India, Jiang said.

'Taiwan-Africa' summit slashed

Jiang slashed the plan of Taiwan authorities to hold a "Taiwan-Africa summit," saying the so-called "summit" does not have backing, explaining that the "vast majority of African countries support the one-China policy."

She said by planning the so-called "Taiwan-Africa summit," reportedly to be held on Sunday, the Taiwan authorities aimed to intensify their efforts to promote the secessionist activities of the "Taiwan independence" force, which will gain no popular support.

"The friendship between China and Africa is the trend of the times, the vast majority of African countries are opposed to the secessionist activities by Taiwan authorities, and any attempt that is against the trend of history is doomed to fail," said Jiang.

Lower food safety standard proposal denied

China on Thursday denounced a US newspaper report about China advising Indonesia to lower its food safety standards as "purely untrue".

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that during their consultations on food safety, a Chinese official had proposed to an Indonesian food and drug safety official that Indonesia lower its product safety standards.

"The report does not accord with the facts," Jiang said. "We have checked with relevant departments. There isn't such a matter."

She said an Indonesian delegation was in China to discuss food safety with China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine on Wednesday. Head of the delegation, Halida Miljani, also said there were no such remarks.

The Chinese Government always requires import and export products to meet the laws, regulations, and standards of China and export countries and regions, said Jiang.

"We believe it amounts to discrimination to set inspection and quarantine requirements depending on how big or small, how strong or weak the partners are," Jiang said.

She said China opposes such practices by other countries.

Sino-Japanese relations further thaw

Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Jia Qinglin will visit Japan from September 12 to 18, the Foreign Ministry announced yesterday.

It will be another chance to improve relations between China and Japan, after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's "ice-breaking" visit to China last October and Premier Wen Jiabao's "ice-thawing" visit to Japan in April.

"This year marks the 35th anniversary of the normalization of the Sino-Japanese relationship, which is facing important opportunities for development," said the spokeswoman.

(China Daily, Xinhua News Agency September 7, 2007)

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