FM seeks calm for Six-Party Talks

Updated: 2010-12-13 08:27

By Cheng Guangjin and Wu Jiao (China Daily)

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BEIJING - Tensions on the Korean Peninsula can be eased as long as the relevant nations make concerted efforts with sincerity, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said in a recent interview.

"China has kept close contact with all relevant nations, and is working hard to ease the tensions," said Yang, who called for other nations to recognize the sensitivity of the issue and show responsible attitudes during a group interview on Friday.

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FM seeks calm for Six-Party TalksChina urges emergency consultations for heads of Six-Party Talks

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have been running high since the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) exchanged artillery fire on Nov 23.

Yang reiterated the importance of the Six-Party Talks, which he said are a "very important platform to realize the denuclearization of the peninsula, to normalize relations between countries and to realize the long-term peace and security in Northeast Asia".

The Six-Party Talks group the DPRK, the ROK, the United States, Russia, Japan and China.

Last month, Beijing proposed emergency consultations among the six parties' chief negotiators in December, while the United States, the ROK and Japan have remained unintrested and instead have conducted joint military exercises to deter Pyongyang - something analysts compare with "pouring gas on a flame".

"The emergency consultations benefit all communication can help avoid misjudgments of (the) situation while accumulating trust and sincerity, and promoting an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks," said Yang.

The ROK military will conduct a new round of live fire exercises in 27 sites around the country from Monday to Friday, after another round of live-fire drills concluded last week.

China has insisted on resolving the problems of the Korean Peninsula through peaceful talks - and has since then made a flurry of high-level diplomatic efforts.

Yang himself has talked with his Japanese and Russian counterparts on the phone - and met in person with the DPRK ambassador to China in Beijing after tensions escalated.

In addition, last week State Councilor Dai Bingguo visited the DPRK where he talked with its leader Kim Jong-il.

"We will continue such efforts with patience," said Yang, noting that there remains a long way to go before realizing a long-term peace and stability and common prosperity for all of Asia.

Analysts echoed Yang's emphasis on the role of the Six-Party Talks and called for relevant nations to first calm Pyongyang's worries about its own security.

Chen Qi, an expert on East Asian studies at Tsinghua University, said the DPRK - by nature - would never make serious concessions in the face of military threats.

"Any denuclearization request for Pyongyang is empty talk before it feels its security is guaranteed," said Chen.

Chen added that the Six-Party Talks, if reconvened, would be effective only when the parties involved try to pacify Pyongyang - but not to impose sanctions or other threats.

In other areas of cooperation, Yang said Beijing would continue to do its best to contribute to the overall prosperity of Asia.

"A peaceful and stabile Asia benefit us all," said Yang.

For one thing, he noted, the majority of China's big trade partners are from Asia - China is now the largest trade partner of India, Japan, and the ROK.

"It may be impractical to say China has no competition with its neighbors in Asia - but cooperation and complementation take the mainstream," said Yang.

Yang said he believes frictions in trade and investments could be properly handled through negotiations on a basis of mutual understanding and compromise.

Also territorial disputes between nations in the region should be properly resolved between the parties directly involved through bilateral negotiations, said Yang.

Yang made the remarks during a time in which China and some of its Asian neighbors have been caught in territorial and maritime disputes recently - while the United States has been trying to interfere in the bilateral disputes.

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