Speech by Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing on the Welcoming Banquet for the Delegations to the Second Round of Six-Party Talks in Beijing
Distinguished Heads of Delegation and Foreign Diplomatic Envoys,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Chinese government, I would like to extend a warm welcome and my cordial greetings to you for gathering here in Beijing for the second round of six-party talks with the lofty mission of creating peace. I think positively of and thank the parties involved in the talks for demonstrating the attitudes of understanding and cooperation, which are vital for the success of this round of talks.
Today is the first day of the meeting. The parties have exchanged views on substantive issues and conducted various forms of direct contacts outside the meeting room. This is an important start.
All parties involved have shown their willingness and flexibility for the solution of the question during the discussions, giving positive signals and putting forward some ideas and suggestions, among which exist many common grounds. Differences are still there, though, with some being significant. This shows that the resolution of the nuclear issue is a process requiring convergence and compromises and that the hard-won dialogue process is going deeper.
It is my sincere hope that during the discussions in the days to come, the parties involved will neither avoid differences nor let temporary differences obstruct the peace-talk process or even lose confidence in the political settlement of the issue. As long as we keep our sense and patience to the largest extent, show political wisdom and flexibility, understand and respect each other, put ourselves in each other's shoes, we will be able to reduce differences, accumulate consensus and identify specific objectives and framework of principles for the solution to the issue.
I am expecting this round of talks to yield concrete results just like all of you. Making progress during the talks serves the fundamental interests of all the parties involved and represents the shared aspirations of the international community. Let's work unswervingly toward that goal.
Dear friends, the young Diaoyutai State Guest Hotel in the ancient city of Beijing is the focus of the whole world tonight. On your shoulders is a glorious mission to resolve a vital issue. As a diplomat, I admire you for having such an extraordinary and historical opportunity in your diplomatic career. I wish you success.
When I was young, I once wrote a poem. It may not be appropriate to quote it here, but I would like to share it with you as an encouragement to all.
Short as life is,
History makes its choice.
This solemn moment is
To be part of history.
I present my best wishes with reverence
To let us perform the symphony of peace and friendship.
I would like to propose a toast to peace and friendship, to the success of the talks as well as to the good health of Heads of Delegations, foreign diplomatic envoys and friends!