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Condoleezza Rice And Chinese Foreign Minister Li

Condoleezza Rice And Chinese Foreign Minister Li

Rice Thanks China for its Efforts to Restart Six-Party Talks But new talks "only a first step" to removing North Korean nuclear threat

The United States greatly appreciates the work China has put into restarting the Six-Party Talks to remove the threat of nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula, according to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

In remarks to the press in Beijing July 10, Rice said that the resumption of the talks between North and South Korea, China, Russia, Japan and the United States is "only a first step," and that such talks must be substantive. She said the Six-Party Talks would be a topic of discussion between her and Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, in addition to economic issues, human rights and religious freedom.

Following is the State Department transcript of their remarks:

(begin transcript)

U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
(Beijing, China)
July 10, 2005


Beijing, China
July 10, 2005

FOREIGN MINISTER LI: (As translated.) (Inaudible) and to take the trouble of coming to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (inaudible) talks between Secretary Rice and myself. Thank you. Once again, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to Secretary Rice.

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you very much, Minister Li. Thank you again for the hospitality that the Chinese government has given me. I look forward to our extended talks. We have a number of issues that we will examine. We will, of course, talk about the need to make progress in the six-party talks, to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We will talk about the issue -- bilateral issues between us, on economic issues, human rights, religious freedom and, of course, we continue to look forward to our leaders visiting with each other, as they have recently at Gleneagles. So we have a big agenda (inaudible).

I'd like to especially thank the Chinese government, and Minister Li in particular, for the effort that they have made in recent talks to lead to a resumption of the six-party talks, and we agreed that that is only a first step; that the real issue now is to make progress in those talks. But China has worked very hard, and I want to thank you for that.

FOREIGN MINISTER LI: (As translated) I'd like to thank Secretary Rice very much. We are very pleased to see -- up to now -- three days ago at Gleneagles, Scotland -- another meeting. The two presidents talked about a lot of issues and reached a broad agreement. Our two sides are now further developing -- relations between our two countries, in accordance with the spirit and principles in the three China-U.S. joint communiqués for the benefit of our two countries' peoples and for the benefits of world civility, peace and (inaudible).

We are very pleased that, with the concerted efforts of all parties, the six-party talks will resume very soon. Let us continue to work together to try to achieve our shared goal. That is, a Korean Peninsula that is free of nuclear weapons and that has lasting peace and civility. Indeed, this is the common aspiration of all the six parties, and the world.

Thank you. Goodbye.

(end transcript)


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