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China Backs De-nuclearization of Peninsula
Vice-Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing Tuesday pledged that China stands willing to work with all relevant parties to find a peaceful resolution to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula at an early date.

Li's assertion came during his meeting with visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs James Kelly.

A press release from the Foreign Ministry said that Li had reiterated China's support of the de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, adding that China does not support the emergence of nuclear weapons on the peninsula.

He also voiced the nation's opposition to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Dialogue is the most effective way to resolve the current issue, said Li.

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.

According to the press release, Kelly said that the US is seriously concerned about the increasing level of tension resulting from the DPRK's withdrawal from the NPT.

Kelly expressed the hope that the international community will exert joint efforts to reach a peaceful resolution to the issue through diplomatic channels.

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.

The press release said that Li and Kelly also exchanged views on bilateral relations, with Li stressing that the proper handling of the Taiwan question is key to the sound ongoing development of Sino-US ties.

He expressed the hope that the US will honour its commitment and avoid sending wrong signals to "Taiwan independent'' forces.

The US supports President Bush's commitment made to Jiang during the latter's visit last October on adherence to the one-China policy, the press release quoted Kelly as saying.

(China Daily January 16, 2003)

Vice Foreign Minister Meets US Assistant Secretary of State
Dialogue Key to Nuclear Issue
China Hopes for Early Resumption of US-DPRK Talks
US State Department Officials to Visit China
US Envoy Arrives in Seoul for Talks
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