Concluding Remarks by Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing at the Closing Ceremony of the Second Round of Six-Party Talks in Beijing
Distinguished Heads of Delegations and Delegates,
The second round of six-party talks in Beijing has completed its agenda on the schedule through 3 days of consultations. Here, I would like to express my gratitude to governments of the countries involved, heads of delegations, delegates and working staff, for the contributions that they have made.
If we say that the first round of talks set the objective of denuclearizing the peninsula, then the significance of this round of talks lies in the beginning of dialogue on substantive issues, which is a new step toward that objective.
During the talks, the parties held in-depth and constructive discussions, explored solutions and corresponding measures on the issue with wisdom and sense, put forward valuable proposals and made positive policy indications. The fruitful results achieved by the talks, the consensus on the next round of talks and consensus on the establishment of a working group in particular, are of great significance to the deepening of the peace-talk process.
Peace and development are the themes of our great times. The peoples of the six countries that you represent need, aspire for and love peace, so do the peoples of the whole world.
Over the past three days, the international community has been keeping a close eye on Beijing and on Diaoyutai, and are pinning high hopes on the talks. There may be people who think that the good results of the talks are not enough and that the process is not as fast. In my eyes, since the talks have been launched in the context of lack of mutual trust and expanding differences in positions, to achieve the results has been no easy job but the crystallization of the wisdom and hard work of everyone. The results reflected the political will of the parties to promote the peace-talk process, which we should cherish and congratulate ourselves upon.
The nuclear issue of the peninsula has been interwoven by a legion of problems today or left over from history. Currently differences still remain, with some being very serious. No sensible man will expect a thorough solution through one or two talks, because good results never come easy. However, the will of people is much heavier than mountains, and people want peace. To pursue the lofty mission of peace, it is both worthwhile and honorable for us to keep working hard, sometimes even forgetting all about food and sleep.
As a famous Chinese saying goes, "so long as we work hard enough at it, even an iron pestle can be ground down to a needle." Persistent efforts lead to success. I hope that the parties, in recognition of their differences, will narrow those differences and expand consensus in a constructive attitude so as to jointly blaze a trail that will lead ultimately to the solution of the issue through dialogue.
Friends, spring is a season full of hopes. However, the seeds sown in spring needs to be taken good care of, otherwise they will not be able to grow in hot summer and be reaped in golden autumn. So let's cherish the progress made, stick to the peace-talk process, regardless of any difficulties or twists and turns, and make unremitting efforts to compose a new chapter of reconciliation and cooperation.
The road is long and bumpy. But time is on our side, the side of peace. I wish you a cheerful spring, a passionate summer, a fruitful autumn and a rejoicing winter. Time is so wonderful, with years seemingly short and moments eternal. The three days that we have spent together in Diaoyutai is rich and unforgettable. Dear colleagues, it is against my will to bid you farewell, as in the bottom of my heart, I want to say to you, "welcome to China again, welcome to Beijing and welcome to Diaoyutai once more!"