- - Wednesday, March 30, 2016

On March 9 Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi of the People’s Republic of China spoke at a press conference in Beijing. These are excerpts of his remarks.

China is a permanent member of the Security Council. We have the obligation and capability to implement all the resolutions passed by the Security Council, including Resolution 2270 concerning the DPRK. I wish to point out that Resolution 2270 not just contains sanctions; it also reiterates support for the Six Party Talks and asks the parties to refrain from taking any actions that might aggravate tensions. So in China’s view, the resolution must be implemented in its entirety. Sanctions are just a necessary means.

To have blind faith in sanctions and pressure would, in effect, be irresponsible to the future of the Peninsula. In terms of negotiation, China has put forward a proposal to pursue, in parallel tracks, the denuclearization of the Peninsula and the replacement of the armistice agreement with a peace treaty. Denuclearization is the firm goal of the international community, while replacing the armistice is a legitimate concern of the DPRK. The two can be negotiated in parallel, implemented in steps and resolved with reference to each other. In our judgment, this is an equitable, reasonable and workable solution. We are open to any and all initiatives that can help bring the nuclear issue on the Peninsula back to the negotiating table.

We cherish our traditional bonds with the DPRK. If the country seeks development and security, we are prepared to help and provide support. But at the same time, we have an unwavering commitment to the denuclearization of the Peninsula, and we will not accommodate the DPRK’s pursuit of nuclear and missile programs. One should see very clearly that only denuclearization can bring peace, only dialogue can provide the way out, and only cooperation can bring win-win outcomes.

Earlier, on Feb. 23, in a joint press conference held in Washington, D.C., with U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry. Mr. Wang laid out the basic principles governing China’s relationship with the DPRK:

In order to uphold the international nuclear nonproliferation regime, both sides (China and the U.S.) do not accept the DPRK’s nuclear missile program, and we do not recognize the DPRK as a nuclear weapon state.

China would like to emphasize that the Security Council resolution cannot provide a fundamental solution to the Korean nuclear issue. To really do that, we need to return to the track of dialogue and negotiation.

In particular, we must prevent the situation on the Peninsula from spinning out of control. That is a scenario that neither China nor the other parties wish to see, so China hopes that the relevant parties will not take any action that might heighten tension on the Peninsula.

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