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To Keep Firm Objectives, Consolidate the Achievements, Perform Active Good Offices and Seek Steady Progress
China's Basic Attitude at the Third Round of the Six-Party Talks Expounded by Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Head of the Chinese Delegation

2004/06/23

On June 22nd, Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who heads the Chinese delegation at the Third Round of the Six-Party Talks, received a joint interview by the Chinese press. He emphasized that the Chinese delegation would attend the talks with a posture to keep firm objectives, consolidate the achievements, perform active good offices and seek steady progress. The following is the interview:

Ⅰ. Question: What progress has been made at the Six-Party Talks so far?

Wang Yi: The most important progress has been made in the following three aspects:

First, the objective of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula has been set. The DPRK has expressed its clear willingness for nuclear abandonment and suggested nuclear freeze as the first step to this end. Other parties correspondingly undertake to address the reasonable concern of the DPRK.

Second, a clear direction has been fixed for the peaceful settlement through dialogue. The formation of the mechanism of the Six-Party Talks, the launch of the working group and the start of discussion on substantive issues have moved the process of peace talks towards more in-depth stages.

Third, approaches have been determined to the settlement of the nuclear issue. All parties have agreed to resolve the nuclear issue and concerns of all parties through the approaches of "coordinated steps" and "quid pro quo in words and acts".

Ⅱ. Question: What posture will China take at the Third Round of the Six-Party Talks?

Wang Yi: The posture of the Chinese delegation at this round of talks can be summarized as to keep firm objectives, consolidate the achievements, perform active good offices and seek steady progress.

By to keep firm objectives, I mean that in no circumstances shall the objective of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula or the confidence and resolve to maintain peace and stability of the Peninsula waver.

By to consolidate the achievements, I mean that we will carefully preserve the hard-won consensus accumulated by all parties through peace talks and consolidate the foundation for the talks.

By to perform active good offices, I mean that China will continue to take an objective and just stance to actively make peace and promote talks. We will help all parties increase contacts, foster trust and seek and expand common ground while putting aside differences.

By to seek steady progress, I mean that China will have full estimation of the difficulties and complicated factors facing the peaceful talks, remain cool-headed and patient and gradually move the process of the talks ahead in a correct direction in a down-to-earth manner.

Ⅲ. Question: Why does it seem difficult to make a breakthrough at the Six-Party Talks?

Wang Yi: First of all, as the ancient Chinese saying goes, "Three-foot-thick ice is not formed by merely one day's chill." Deep mutual mistrust stands between the relevant countries due to long-standing hostility and confrontation. Secondly, in addition to its complicated nature, the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, instead of being an isolated one, is interwoven with the normalization of relations between relevant countries, the establishment of a peace mechanism on the Peninsula and other issues. It is also connected with the factors in the domestic politics of some countries.

By starting to touch upon the substantive questions, the Six-Party Talks have moved onto the stage of cracking hard nuts, where some difficulties, twists and turns, or even certain setbacks are inevitable as natural phenomena in the entire process of resolving the nuclear issue. The important thing is to maintain the momentum of the talks and buttress the process, so as to move towards the set objectives step by step.

Ⅳ. Question: What role does China play in the Six-Party Talks?

Wang Yi: China's main role is to adhere to its objective and just position, perform active good offices and strive to make peace and promote talks. As the host, China welcomes and supports all efforts helpful to promote dialogue and peaceful talks. We hope that all parties, especially the principal parties, demonstrate sincerity and flexibility, seek reasonable solution acceptable to all as soon as possible and take an early first step towards the denuclearization of the Peninsula.

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