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Rice's visit to China helps promote nuclear talks
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US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's upcoming visit to China will help push forward the six-party talks as well as the denuclearization process of the Korean Peninsula, said Chinese analysts.

"The top priority of Rice's tour will be pushing the six-party talks, on which China and the United States have conducted long-term and effective coordination and cooperation," said Fu Mengzi, a research fellow with the Chinese Academy of Contemporary International Relations.

"During the visit, China and the United States can fully exchange views on detailed arrangements for the next phase of the nuclear talks, which is important to the denuclearization process," Fu said.

Under a deal reached by the six parties last year, North Korea agreed to disable its nuclear reactor and declare all nuclear programs and facilities by the end of last year to pave the way for dismantlement. In return, the United States and other parties, namely China, South Korea, Russia and Japan, will provide one million tons of heavy fuel oil and other economic and energy assistance to North Korea.

However, North Korea was accused by the United States of missing the deadline despite reported progress in its declaration. Meanwhile, North Korea also insisted the United States immediately begin the process of taking North Korea off its blacklist of state sponsors of terrorism and stopping its alleged hostile policy toward North Korea.

"The nuclear talks are at a crucial juncture," said Tao Wenzhao, a Chinese Academy of Social Sciences researcher, adding that issues such as how to implement the principle of "action for action", and deepening trust between North Korea and the United States, are all that need to be discussed by the six nations.

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