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UPDATED: 14:18, September 30, 2004
Chinese FM meets foreign officials on ties, UN reform
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Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing held separate talks Wednesday with his counterparts from South Africa and seven other countries as well as a senior official from Myanmar on bilateral ties, UN reforms and other issues.

During his talks with South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Li said that as China and South Africa are both developing countries, they can strengthen communication and coordination with the Non-Aligned Movement and the Group of 77, jointly advocate multilateralism and enhance the UN role and authority.

He thanked South Africa for its firm support for China on the issues of Taiwan and human rights, and hoped that South Africa would take effective measures to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens in the country.

Dlamini-Zuma said South Africa attached great importance to its relations with China and would take further steps to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens and their properties.

While meeting Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail, Li said the issue of Darfur aroused great concern in the international community. He hoped that the Sudanese government would cooperate with the international community in improving the humanitarian situation in Darfur.

Ismail expressed his gratitude to China for its efforts to help seek a proper solution to the Darfur issue. He promised that Khartoum would strengthen cooperation with the African Union, the Arab League and the United Nations in achieving substantive progress in resolving the problem.

During his talks with Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri, both agreed that the UN reforms should be conducted in a gradual manner and take into account concerns and interests of all parties.

On the same day, Li also met with Belarussian Foreign Minister Sergei Martynor, Comoros Foreign Minister Souef Mohamed El-Amne, Vanuatu Foreign Minister Barak Sope Maautamate, Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian, Jamaican Foreign Minister Keith Desmond Knight and U Tin Winn, minister at the office of Myanmar's prime minister.

El-Amne, Maautamate and Oskanian promised Li that their countries will continue adhering to the one-China principle and do not engage in any official contacts with the Taiwan authorities.

Li arrived in New York on Sunday to attend the annual high-level debate of the UN General Assembly and is due to leave for Washington on Thursday.

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