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China's Hu Jintao answers questions with Washington Post

HU: To follow the path of peaceful development is a solemn commitment of the Chinese government and people to the international community. It is a policy that we will always adhere to. Specifically, it means that we will achieve national development by our hard and creative work, by reforming and improving our institutions, and by maintaining friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation with other countries.

China has been committed to the independent foreign policy of peace and has developed friendship and cooperation with all countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. We stand for equality and mutual respect between countries. Like other countries in the world, China must uphold its own sovereignty, territorial integrity and development interests. At the same time, we are willing to properly handle differences and disagreements in state-to-state relations in accordance with the basic norms governing international relations and the principle of mutual understanding, mutual accommodation, dialogue and consultation.

Over the years, relations between China and other Asia-Pacific countries, including the United States and our Asian neighbors, have grown steadily, and together we have contributed to development in the Asia-Pacific region. Mutual trust between China and other countries in this region has deepened in our common response to tough challenges, and our cooperation has continuously expanded in our pursuit of mutual benefit and win-win outcomes. At present, relations between China and other Asia-Pacific countries face unprecedented opportunities. China is ready to work with other countries to seize opportunities, meet challenges and promote peace and development in the region and beyond.

What is China's view on the tension on the Korean peninsula? Does China believe that reunification of the Korean peninsula will bring more stability than maintaining the status quo? How do you view North Korea's goal of building nuclear weapons?

HU: There was high tension on the Korean peninsula a few weeks ago. China maintained close contact and coordination with other parties and made relentless efforts to help ease the tension and maintain peace and stability on the peninsula. We urged the North and the South to be calm and exercise restraint, refrain from any action which might escalate tension and undermine peace and stability on the peninsula, and enter into dialogue and contact as quickly as possible to seek an appropriate solution. We also called on relevant parties to work to ease tension and contribute to peace and stability on the peninsula. Thanks to joint efforts by China and other parties, there have been signs of relaxation. We hope that the relevant parties will seize the opportunity to engage in active interactions, resume the process of dialogue and consultation as soon as possible, and ensure that the situation on the peninsula will move forward in a positive direction.

As a close neighbor and friend of both the DPRK and the ROK, China hopes that the North and the South will improve relations and achieve reconciliation and cooperation through dialogue and consultation and eventually realize independent and peaceful reunification, and we support their efforts in this regard. This is in the fundamental interests of both the North and the South and conducive to peace and stability on the peninsula.

China pays a great deal of attention to the Korean nuclear issue. We stand for achieving denuclearization of the peninsula in a peaceful way through dialogue and consultation to maintain peace and stability of the peninsula and Northeast Asia. For this purpose, China actively advocates and promotes the Six-Party Talks process. We hope that proceeding from the overall interests of the denuclearization of the peninsula and regional peace and stability, the parties concerned will take active measures and create conditions for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks. I am convinced that as long as the parties respect each other, engage in consultation on an equal footing, and implement the September 19 Joint Statement in a comprehensive and balanced way through the Six-Party Talks, they will arrive at an appropriate solution to the Korean nuclear issue and contribute to lasting peace and stability on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia.

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