Bill Zhang

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Liu XIANG-World Champion for 110 Metres Hurdles

Olympic champion Liu Xiang, who finished second in the 110m hurdles final at the 10th athletics worlds, said he thought he had won the world champion after crossing the finish line.

"I thought I'd won," the 22-year-old said. "I only have myself to blame. The results would be different if I had crossed the first two hurdles better."

Liu, who won the Olympic gold in a world record-tying 12.91 seconds, said he was only a little disappointed with the results, but added immediately that he was satisfied with the time.

"The time of 13.08 seconds is OK because it was a little windy tonight," he said.

Ladji Doucoure of France, who led the world this season with 12.97 seconds, overtook the Chinese in the final meters to win the race in 13.07 seconds. Liu was second in 13.08.

Four-time world champion Allen Johnson of the United States took the third in 13.10.

Liu, who won China's first Olympic gold in men's track and field events, said that his form is by no means comparable with that before the Olympic Games.

"I am not in my best shape," he said. "I can say that Doucoure and Johnson are now both stronger mentally than me."

Liu has experienced a lot after he rose from a shy guy to China's No. 1 sports star after winning the Olympic gold. He almost had no time to train for nearly half a year because there were so many invitations for social activities.

He has been always mobbed in China by fans asking for autographs. All these had exerted heavy pressure on him. He was always chased by Chinese journalists, especially those from his hometown Shanghai, for exclusive interviews.

Before his first run in the championships, Feng Shuyong, head coach of the Chinese national team, urged the Chinese press to ease pressure on him and give him a relaxing environment.

But Liu, who was described by Chinese national team manager Yu Weili as "mentally tough", did not attribute his defeat to the pressure.

"It's impossible for Liu Xiang to win the gold every time," he said after the race. "I hope the fans and the press don't be so demanding."

About :
Liu Xiang (born July 13, 1983 in Shanghai, China) is a hurdling athlete. In 2002, Liu launched his career in fine style by winning the first IAAF Grand Prix in Lausanne with a world youth and Asian record time of 13.12 seconds in the 110 metres hurdles. He has since made the finals at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics and IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics (twice); two of the three cases has seen American hurdling great Allen Johnson take the major prize, but in the last in May at Osaka, Liu managed to beat Johnson with an Asian-record time of 13.06 seconds. Still young, Liu has improved steadily, and won a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in the 110 meters hurdles event. In the final, he equaled the world record of 12.91 seconds held since 1993 by Colin Jackson of Wales.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Yahoo, Alibaba made the agreement today: Yahoo spends billions on Alibaba.com

Thursday 11 August 2005

YAHOO AND CHINESE e-commerce company Alibaba.com have agreed to form a long-term partnership in China, where Yahoo will offer its Yahoo! China business to Alibaba.com and the companies will work together to grow the Yahoo brand in China.

Yahoo is investing $1 billion for Alibaba.com shares from the company and shareholders, which will give Yahoo a 40% economic interest with 35% voting rights, making it the largest investor in Alibaba.com.

The new, combined entity will include Alibaba International, Alibaba China, AliPay, Taobao, and the Yahoo! China properties. The joint effort will create one of the biggest Internet companies in China, and will be the only one with a leading position in sectors such as business and consumer e-commerce, communications and online payments.

The deal should be done in the fourth quarter of 2005, and is valued overall at just over $4 billion.

This is only the start of acquisition, more combinations are coming from China Internet companies.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Yahoo! In Talks On Record China Investment

Web media company Yahoo! is in advanced talks to purchase an approximately 35% stake in China's biggest homegrown e-commerce company for almost $1 billion, in what would be the biggest investment by a foreign company in China's Internet industry to date, sources close to the negotiations said.

Yahoo! (nasdaq: YHOO - news - people ) would be gaining one of China's most coveted Internet partners. Alibaba.com is led by Jack Ma, a onetime English teacher whose unpretentious style and quick wit have made him one of China's most revered entrepreneurs. Alibaba operates two online business sites--Taobao.com, an online auction site, and Alibaba.com, an online trading site. Both were ranked among the world's top 40 Web sites on Sunday by Alexa, the Internet monitoring service.

The talks are nearing completion amid a stunning runup in the valuations of China's Internet companies by Western investors angling to profit from the country's economic and Internet boom.

On Friday, shares in China's biggest online search company Baidu.com (nasdaq: BIDU - news - people ) more than quadrupled on their first day of Nasdaq trading, the biggest one-day rise for a U.S.-listed IPO in four years, that left the company valued at $4 billion. Baidu ranked No. 6 on Alexa's list of the world’s Top 500 Web sites on Sunday, but had revenue of only $14 million last year.

Investors buoyant about China's economic outlook last month paid roughly 30 times 2005 earnings for shares in Shanghai-based ad broadcaster Focus Media (nasdaq: FMCN - news - people ) after its stock began trading on the Nasdaq. The market capitalization of the company--only in business for two years--stands at around $700 million.

The talks between Yahoo! and Alibaba are complicated because they involve three big sets of valuations--Taobao, Alibaba's other assets and Yahoo!'s assets in China. Yahoo! last year purchased a local keyword search company named 3721 Network Software for what it said would be as much as $120 million, and the business has been a success even though its founder Zhou Hongyi recently announced plans to leave 3721 as well as his post as chief of Yahoo! China.

China’s rapid growth in Internet users, rising disposable income, low Internet penetration rate, huge population of mobile phone users and growing e-commerce have put the country front and center on the radar of most of the world's Internet companies. Western Internet businesses that as a group have been wary of the uncertainties of China's regulatory environment have been wading deeper into the country's swampy waters. Among them, Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people ) and Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ) aim to expand their presence here this year.

An agreement between Yahoo! and Alibaba would be a setback for eBay (nasdaq: EBAY - news - people ), which has been expanding its investments in China's online auction business and had been seen as interested in partnering with Alibaba. The U.S. company purchased locally owned EachNet, then China's biggest online auction site, in two stages for $180 million in 2002 and 2003. For Alibaba, a hookup with Yahoo! rather than eBay might make more sense because there is less overlap with its core online auction business. It would also bring Alibaba the chance to tap into Yahoo!'s search expertise.

In Alibaba, Yahoo! would get access to one of the country’s best local Internet teams and obtain greater reach than ever into China. Given the high valuation Baidu earned from investors, Yahoo! may well be seen as getting a bargain, depending on the specifics of Alibaba's finances.

Alibaba was founded in 1999 and is based in scenic Hangzhou, home of China's famous West Lake and a favorite spot of Marco Polo when he made his legendary trips to the country centuries ago. The city also ranked No. 1 on Forbes China's list of the country's best business locations last year and is located in Zhejiang, a thriving center of entrepreneurism in a country that has come a long way from its post-World War II Maoist roots. Bill Clinton, a modern-day storied traveler, is scheduled to visit there to speak at an annual Internet conference sponsored by Alibaba to be held on Sept. 10.


US Has Little to Teach China about Steady Economy

There is a second myth: that China would benefit from letting its exchange rate float freely, letting market forces set the price. No market economy has foresworn intervening in the exchange rate. More to the point, no market economy has foresworn macroeconomic interventions. Governments intervene regularly in financial markets, for instance, setting interest rates. Some market fundamentalists claim that governments should do none of this. But today, no country and few respectable economists subscribe to these views. The question, then, is what is the best set of interventions in the market? There is a high cost to exchange rate volatility, and countries where governments have intervened judiciously to stabilise their exchange rate have, by and large, done better than those that have not.

Exchange rate risks impose huge costs on companies; it is costly and often impossible to divest themselves of this risk, especially in developing countries. The question of exchange rate management brings up a broader issue: the role of the state in managing the economy. Today, almost everyone recognises that countries can suffer from too little government intervention just as they can suffer from too much. China has been rebalancing and, over the past two decades, markets have become more important, the government less so. But the government still plays a critical role. China’s particular blend has served the Chinese well. It is not just that incomes have been rising at an amazing 9 per cent annually, and that high rates have been sustained for more than two decades, but the fruits of that growth have been widely shared. From 1981 to 2001, 422m Chinese have moved out of poverty.
The US economy is growing at a third the pace of China’s. Poverty is rising and median household incomes are, in real terms, declining. America’s total net savings are much less than China’s. China produces far more of the engineers and scientists that are necessary to compete in the global economy than the US, while America is cutting its expenditures on basic research as it increases military spending. Meanwhile, as America’s debt continues to balloon, its president wants to make tax cuts for the richest people permanent. With all this in mind, China’s leaders may not feel they need to seek advice from the US on how to manage either the exchange rate or the economy.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

China's Huawei in talks to buy UK's Marconi-paper

British telecoms equipment maker Marconi Corp. Plc is in talks to be taken over by its Chinese partner Huawei Technologies for more than 600 million pounds ($1.07 billion), the Sunday Times newspaper said.

Marconi, whose prospects were thrown into turmoil earlier this year after top customer BT Group Plc bypassed it on a major contract, has previously said it is considering all strategic options.

The paper, citing unnamed sources familiar with the talks, said Huawei was yet to present a formal proposal to Marconi's board and finalizing a takeover could take many months.

"Marconi is also understood to be continuing to pursue other strategic options, including talks with other prospective buyers," the Sunday Times said.

The UK firm and Huawei, China's biggest telecoms equipment maker, already have an agreement to distribute each other's products.

The paper said Marconi was represented in the talks by Morgan Stanley, while Huawei had enlisted investment bank UBS to advise it on the transaction.

Officials at Marconi, Huawei and the two banks were not immediately available to comment on the report.

Unlisted Huawei and its top domestic rival, ZTE Corp. , have been using their low-cost advantage to expand abroad aggressively in the last two years, scoring major deals in less-developed markets like the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe.

Huawei has also been aggressive in Western Europe in recent months, announcing major sales and tie-ups with such major names as Dutch carriers Telfort and KPN and Britain's BT.

Marconi, on a slow road to recovery after nearly collapsing in 2001, received a major jolt in April after BT cut it out of its 10-billion-pound network upgrade plan.

The company, a successor to the once-mighty GEC industrial empire, lost nearly half its market value in the aftermath of the BT setback and has since announced plans to cut 800 jobs.

Earlier this week, Marconi posted a wider first-quarter operating loss on lower sales and maintained its forecast of flat annual sales amid pressure on margins. ($1=.5619 Pound)

Finland: Playing TV games via mobile very popular

Helsinki, 9 August, 2005 — In Finland, TV games that are played via mobile phone have become a significant business, and the concept is expected to become a success also elsewhere. The games have been sold to over 30 countries.

According to Prisma Consulting, the games played on TV channels MTV3, Subtv, and Nelonen generate about EUR 2mn a year. On average, viewer figures are in the tens of thousands, but even 100,000 viewers have been achieved. The most enthusiastic players are young boys.

According to the Finnish Consumer Agency, the games may be a source of significant cost to players and the Agency has received several complaints. A problematic issue is whether children are directly being encouraged to play.

According to MD Juha-Pekka Louhelainen of TV channel Nelonen, TV games are a new service that is very suitable for the digital format. In future, the games may form a significant source of income for TV channels

Finland: Analysts reject rumour about Cisco and Nokia

Helsinki, 9 August, 2005 — Analysts in Finland reject market rumours that Cisco is interested in acquiring Nokia, as there would be industrial logic in the deal. According to Opstock's analyst, Nokia concentrates on consumer products while Cisco concentrates on the business market. So far, Cisco has been interested in expanding in the direction of operators not device manufacturers. According to Nordea's telecom expert Karri Rinta, Cisco already has access to new business with its present product portfolio even without Nokia.

According to the article in the Business, Cisco is interested in Nokia for its network business. The network business only bring in 20% of Nokia's net sales, however, so acquiring all of Nokia for this would not be sensible, says a Finnish FIM Group analyst.

Analysts believe that Cisco is targeting another network manufacturer, such as Canadian Nortel Networks.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Innovation Gives Finland A Firm Grasp on Its Future

By Robert G. Kaiser

Washington Post Staff Writer

Thursday, July 14, 2005;

HELSINKI -- The political and economic malaise that afflicts so much of Europe this summer has not infected this northernmost outpost of the European Union. The contrast between Finland's optimism about the future and Old Europe's gloom is striking.

While France, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and others are stumbling, Finland prospers, both economically and psychologically. The recent "no" votes in France and the Netherlands that undermined, perhaps fatally, the E.U.'s proposed constitution have produced a pervasive despair in much of Europe that did not turn up in recent interviews with scores of Finns.

Jura-Pekka Tolbanen uses his cell phone to take a picture from the top floor of the Jyvaskyla Science Park. Such research and development projects have helped remake Finland's economy.

Jura-Pekka Tolbanen uses his cell phone to take a picture from the top floor of the Jyvaskyla Science Park. Such research and development projects have helped remake Finland's economy. (Photos By Lucian Perkins -- The Washington Post)

"The Finnish model could offer some elements of a way out of the European crisis," said Pekka Himanen, a 31-year-old philosopher and co-author of a much-discussed book about Finland's successes.

Not that Finns have all the answers. Like all Europeans, they are producing too few babies to pay the promised welfare-state benefits to an ever-growing contingent of senior citizens. The new jobs created by their high-tech successes have been matched by losses from low-tech plant closures, so unemployment remains high -- about 10 percent.

Nevertheless, the Finns know they are much better placed now than many of their Old Europe neighbors to the south. Exploiting their small size (5.2 million people) and ethnic homogeneity, the Finns have proven themselves successful experimenters and innovators.

Fifteen years ago, Finland faced a full-scale depression, brought on by the loss of the country's most important markets as the Soviet Union disintegrated. Unemployment soared to 20 percent. But the Finns took control of their future, made painful adjustments and came out of the crisis with an economy that the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, ranks as the most competitive in the world.

The major economies of the E.U. are growing too slowly -- and their elderly populations are growing too quickly -- to preserve the traditional welfare state and provide adequate jobs today, or to offer the prospect of genuine competitiveness in the global economy tomorrow, many Europeans agree. In this view, the countries invest too little in education, research and development and do too little innovating. But there is no consensus on a course of action to fix these problems. Many people worry about preserving a social system that is rich in benefits for all.

"Right now," said Himanen, the young Finnish intellectual, "Europe is like a once-fit top athlete who has fallen out of shape. Instead of taking action, the athlete keeps writing new strategic plans on how to get back into shape: 'I could go running, I could go swimming,' and so on. Sometimes it feels that the European logic is: 'When I'm in better shape, I will start exercising.' "

But "it was actions and not words that created the Finnish model," Himanen added.

Those actions reflected a pragmatic spirit typical of Finland in its brief history as an independent country (Russian control ended in 1917). A relatively backward agricultural country became a high-tech powerhouse with labor productivity as good or better than that in the United States, but also a welfare state as generous as any in Europe.

Perhaps the most revealing statistic behind this transformation is Finland's commitment to research and development. The Finns put 3.5 percent of their domestic product into R&D last year, second in the world to Sweden (about 4.3 percent) and far ahead of the United States (about 2.6 percent) or the E.U. as a whole (less than 2 percent).

R&D expenditures symbolize the Finnish resolve to preserve a comfortable place in a globalized world for an underpopulated nation with thousands of lakes and billions of trees. Typically, the decision to spend so much on scientific research and the adaptation of its results to commercial purposes was the result of a broad political consensus. Finland steadily increased government spending on R&D throughout the 1990s, when all other spending was either cut or frozen.

Three Finnish institutions channel this money. One is a unique body called Tekes, the national technology agency. It supports both basic and applied research, granting about 40 percent of its funds to universities and other research institutions and 60 percent to businesses.

This year, according to Veli-Pekka Saarnivaara, the president of Tekes, the organization will give out nearly $540 million, or more than $10,000 for each Finnish citizen. A U.S. agency investing a comparable amount per capita would put $300 billion a year into American R&D.

Jura-Pekka Tolbanen uses his cell phone to take a picture from the top floor of the Jyvaskyla Science Park. Such research and development projects have helped remake Finland's economy.

Tekes is an entirely autonomous agency funded by the Finnish government. This "quite special" arrangement, as Saarnivaara put it, reflects one factor that sets Finland apart from many other industrial democracies -- Finns trust their government. Visitors from other countries who express admiration for Tekes tell Saarnivaara that such an operation would be impossible in their countries "because of the corruption," he said in an interview here.

The second source of the agency's independence is its reputation as a wise and discreet investor. For 20 years, Saarnivaara said, the agency has worked closely with private firms, helping them decide where to place their R&D bets, working collaboratively to identify markets and products, persuading Finnish universities and research organizations to collaborate with business.

"We are helping to plan R&D projects that we will then fund," he said. About a third of the projects Tekes funds fail completely, Saarnivaara said. He would like that percentage to be higher -- in other words, he would like to take more risks.

A second Finnish institution that supports the research and development efforts is Sitra, the Finnish National Fund for Research and Development, founded in 1967. Its budget is just a tenth that of Tekes, but its impact on Finnish business has been enormous. It acts as a venture capitalist, investing money earned by its own $750 million endowment in the start-ups and new ventures of established companies.

Sitra is run by Esko Aho, who was Finland's prime minister during the crisis years of the early 1990s and was nearly elected president in 2000.

Sitra's endowment came largely from a block of shares in Nokia that the government acquired in return for its support of the company's cell phone enterprise when it was in its infancy. Nokia was "a miracle," as Aho put it in an interview.

Since making a major commitment to telecommunications in the early 1990s, Nokia (a Sitra client itself) has grown into the world's leading cell phone maker. Its $35 billion in annual sales drives the Finnish economy.

Sitra, too, is politically autonomous. Revealingly, more than 90 percent of the companies in which Sitra has invested were previously supported by Tekes, an example of how Finland has become what Himanen and his co-author, Manuel Castells, a Spanish-born sociologist, call "a network society."

A third important source of R&D funding is the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. Until Reijo Vihko became its president in 1996, it was a clubby organization that channeled research funds to established scientists and labs without much regard for how good they were. Vihko, a former medical professor, turned the academy upside down, according to several Finnish scientists.

"The main point was to concentrate on centers of excellence," Vihko said in an interview. That meant giving money to the best scientists with the most promising projects and cutting off others whose work wasn't getting anywhere. Many of the latter were prominent people with good connections in government and the news media, Vihko said. They orchestrated a lot of criticism of his changes.

Sirpa Jalkanen, director of the MediCity Research Laboratory at Turku University and one of 26 "professors of the academy" in the country, a title reserved for the finest scholars, said Vihko's reforms brought an entirely new spirit to Finnish science. "There's a lot of enthusiasm, much more money," she said. The academy and other funders of basic research "are really supporting science at an international level."

Vihko's victims -- many of them prominent older members of the scientific community -- were furious, she said, but "Reijo is a person who is afraid of no one." In a lesson for Old Europeans who contemplate undertaking comparable reforms in their societies, Jalkanen said she learned from watching Vihko that proponents of fundamental change "get so much opposition, you have to be very strong and really believe in what you are doing."

The Finnish Academy now provides about $240 million annually for basic science in Finland.

Funding from public institutions constitutes only about a third of R&D expenditures; the rest comes from businesses. This, according to numerous Finnish business leaders, reflects the consensus in society that only by staying ahead intellectually and technologically can Finland hope to sustain its standing as one of the world's most successful countries.

Finland's ability to perform with the best in the world also depends on its educational system, widely recognized as the finest in Europe. It, too, was reformed under the leadership of one forceful personality, Erkki Aho, supported by key political leaders and, ultimately, a strong consensus in the society. Aho, now 68 and retired, was director general of the Finnish National Board of Education.

Finns are proud of their accomplishments over the last generation, when their country largely reinvented itself. But with characteristic modesty, they shy away from a visitor's suggestion that Old Europe can learn from their example. "Italians aren't linear thinkers like us," observed Finland's ambassador to the United States, Jukka Valtasaari, interviewed in Washington, "and the French are a melting-pot country" far different than the homogeneous Finns.

But a bigger difference may be the Finns' willingness to change. Today, Finns talk nervously about whether the country can reinvent itself once again in the next 30 years or so. Some fear complacency. "The perception is we don't have to change right now," said Risto Siilasmaa, 39, president of an Internet security firm called F-Secure that he founded in 1988.

Esko Aho, the former prime minister, said he is worried that "people are so satisfied with the present. We can turn out like France and Germany today if we aren't careful. We have to wake up now before it is too late. It's time to rethink our national strategy again."

Staff researcher Robert Thomason in Washington contributed to this report.

Source from http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/finlanddiary/

China, US hold first strategic dialogue

China and the United States started their first strategic dialogue in Beijing Monday morning, aiming to facilitate bilateral relations.

The closed-door dialogue, the first senior level meeting of its kind between the two countries, was co-chaired by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo and US Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick, who arrived in Beijing Sunday.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met with Zoellick on Sunday, and they exchanged views on Sino-US relations and international issues of common concern, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry.

During his stopover in Hong Kong on Saturday, Zoellick said he would discuss "strategic issues of common interest" like foreign policy and economics with senior Chinese officials in Beijing.

The dialogue came as a result of the consensus reached between Chinese President Hu Jintao and US President George W. Bush during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Chile last year. The dialogue may take place twice a year.

The dialogue is a new height in Sino-US relations,following recent frequent high-level visits and exchanges between the two countries.

The two nations tend to prefer negotiations to confrontations in tackling their conflicts and differences.

China and the United States have agreed to continue their consultations to seek solution to the textile trade disputes as the United States imposed limit on Chinese clothing on accusation of a surge of imports.

The annual session of the Joint Committee on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) was held on July 11 in Beijing. The two sides agreed to set up cooperation mechanisms on cross border prosecutions for intellectual property rights (IPR) violations and on the protection of movie copy rights.

Zoellick said the discussions with Chinese officials would enable the two countries "to get a better sense of one another's interests: where there are points of mutuality--and I believe there are many; how to work cooperatively; but also, where we have differences, how best to try to manage them."

Zoellick is another important member of the Bush administration to visit China within merely a month, following US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice,Trade Representative Rob Portman, Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns.

Tangjiaxuan visited the United States last week, to discuss the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and make preparations for Chinese President Hu Jintao's US visit in September.

The constructive relationship of cooperation between China and the United States will continue to grow through increasing dialogue, building mutual trust, promoting cooperation and handling differences properly, said Tang in a meeting with Rice last Wednesday.

The United States attaches importance to high-level exchanges and dialogue between the two countries, which is helpful for the two nations to have an in-depth exchange of views on major world and regional issues, Rice said.

The dialogue coincides with the fourth round of six-party talks on Korean Peninsula nuclear issue now under way in Beijing,which is one of the issues both countries cooperate effectively.

The new round of six-party talks entered an unprecedented seventh day on Monday in Beijing, and negotiators are working on the first ever joint statement of the talks.

Source: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200508/01/eng20050801_199503.html

China: 3-week break not to dampen six-party talks

BEIJING, Aug. 7 -- All the six parties to the fourth round of the Korean nuclear issue talks agreed to take a recess and resume the talks in the week that begins on Aug. 29, China's chief negotiator Wu Dawei said in a chairman's statement read at a press conference on Sunday morning.

All the six delegations decided to have a brief recess so that they can go back to report to their respective governments, study further each other's positions and resolve differences which still exist.

"The specific date of when the talks would resume is yet to be set," Wu said.

During the break, all the parties will keep contact and continue consultations, according to Wu.

Wu said at the press conference following a chief delegates' meeting that the general goal of the six-nation talks is to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peacefulmanner.

"This is the consensus reached by the six delegations," said Wu, also Chinese vice foreign minister.

Since the fourth round of the talks began 13 days ago, the six parties have been working on a roadmap for the denuclearization ofthe Korean Peninsula.

"If we are climbing a mountain, we've already seen the peak of it. Now we decide to take a recess so that we can reach the peak more smoothly," Wu said, adding "This is a positive outcome of thefirst phase of the current round of talks."

Wu said he did not think a three-week break would dampen the momentum of the current round of talks.

Wu Dawei (R), Chinese chief negotiator shakes hands with Christopher Hill, head of the United States delegation.

Wu Dawei (R), Chinese chief negotiator shakes hands with Christopher Hill, head of the United States delegation after the chief negotiators' meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, August 7. (Xinhua photo)

He said the six nations have reached a lot of consensuses during the first-phase of the current round of talks on the basis of the previous three rounds.

"Doubtless, there are still differences in some important issues among the delegations," Wu said. "But the fact that they agreed to resume the talks three weeks later demostrates we do notfear the differences."

Wu said, "whether or not a common document will come into beingdoes not necessarily be considered an indicator to measure whetherthe talks is a success or a failure."

The basic principles of the six-way talks is to reach consensusthrough consultations, Wu said. That is to say, "all the delegations should reach agreement on all issues involved, and anyside of the six has a veto," added Wu.

"Concerns of any of the six should be those of all parties. Only when we resolve all concerns of the six parties, can we reachan agreement." This increases the difficulties for us to reach consensus, Wu added.

He also expressed the belief that the six parties would one dayreach an agreement on the common document for the Korean Peninsulanuclear issue.

Wu told the press conference he could not say for sure when thesix parties would reach the agreement.

"I can neither ensure the six parties will reach the agreement after the fourth round of talks resumes" late this month.

"But I believe that one day they will eventually reach the agreement."

In response to the question of including abduction issue into the six-party talks, which was raised by a Japanese reporter at the Sunday's press conference, Wu said the six-party talks focus on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and other issue could be resolved through other channels.

This is the consistent stance of the Chinese side, which has also been respected and understood by the Japanese side.

The first phase of the fourth round of the six-party talks was held in Beijing from July 26 to August 7, involving China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Japan and Russia.

According to Wu Dawei, the six parties, in the spirit of mutualrespect and equality, held serious practical and in-depth discussions and consultations in a good atmosphere on the goal of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which led to better mutual understanding, broader common ground and positive progress.

DPRK's chief negotiator Kim Kye-gwan said here Sunday that theUnited States must change its position on requiring his country toabandon all its nuclear programs.

It's the key to the success of the next-stage six-party talks, Kim said at a press conference in the DPRK embassy in Beijing after the six parties agreed to have a three-week recess.

The first stage of the fourth round of the six-party talks laida foundation for progress in the next stage, and delegates reacheda consensus on the goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula andreaffirmed the principle of "word for word, action for action", Kim said.

He ascribed the failure to issue a common document mainly to the "major differences" between the DPRK and the United States on the definition of denuclearization.

The DPRK does not want to give up its right to use nuclear power peacefully while the U.S. "attempted to keep the DPRK from the right," he said.

The denuclearization cannot be realized by the DPRK alone, and the United States and the ROK should also take actions, said Kim, also vice foreign minister of the DPRK.

He added that his country is ready for more bilateral contacts and hoped the United States could change its position on requiringthe DPRK to abandon all its nuclear programs, including peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Kim said it's very important for the United States to remove its nuclear threat against the DPRK, which has prompted the DPRK to develop nuclear weapons.

He urged the United States to dismantle the nuclear weapons in the ROK and agree to receive verification.

US chief delegate Christopher Hill said here Saturday night that the US government is absolutely dedicated to finding a solution to the Korean nuclear issue, although it is not easy.

"We tried very hard to reach an agreement and we have great political will to resolve the issue," he said.

He noted that what all the parties have tried to do is to reduce the differences and to understand with great precision whatthose differences are.

The six-party talks is considered a diplomatic mechanism to seek ways to resolve the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue in a peaceful manner.

The previous three rounds of the talks were here since 2003, also hosted by China at Daiyutai, a quiet compound occupied by villas and lakes in the Chinese capital, but no substantial progress was made.

The re-opening of the talks, after a 13-month-long impasse, used to rekindle the hope for a breakthrough in the nuclear dismantlement deadlock.