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Hu Reaffirms China's Stand on RMB, DPRK Nuclear Issue

Chinese President Hu Jintao in Bangkok Tuesday made clear again China's stance on the exchange rate of the Chinese currency yuan, the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, Sino-Japanese relations and economic cooperation between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Answering questions at a press conference held after the conclusion of the 11th Economic Leader's Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the Chinese president said the Chinese currency -- the Renminbi yuan -- has been convertible under current account.

"We are considering how to gradually make the RMB convertible under the capital account while effectively avoiding financial risks," he added.

When asked about the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, the Chinese president said the six-party Beijing talks, which marked an important step toward a peaceful solution to the issue, should be continued.

He hoped all parties concerned could create conditions for the second round of such talks on the basis of mutual respect and equal consultation. "China is willing to maintain dialogue through the diplomatic channel with relevant parties to continue the process of Beijing talks, Hu said.

The legitimate concerns of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) should be addressed in the talks so as to seek a solution acceptable to all parties concerned, he said.

On the Sino-Japanese relations, Hu said, generally speaking, the bilateral ties are moving forward and top leaders of the two countries exchange visits regularly.

The president said he himself has met with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi twice this year, and Chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress Wu Bangguo also paid a visit to Japan in September.

He hoped both sides would make joint efforts to further promote their relations in the spirit of "taking history as a mirror and looking forward to the future."

Hu said his visit to Thailand is "very successful," during which leaders of both sides had in-depth exchange of views on the development of bilateral relations and agreed to elevate their ties to a higher level.

The agreement between China and Thailand on scrapping tariffs on vegetables and fruits, signed in June within the framework of the China-ASEAN free trade area, represents a milestone in the Sino-Thai economic and trade cooperation, and it will boost the progress of establishing a China-ASEAN free trade area, he said.

The Chinese president also answered questions concerning China's first manned space flight and the poverty alleviation campaign in China.

(Xinhua News Agency October 22, 2003)

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