China is willing to work jointly with all parties to handle the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula in a cool-headed and prudent way to prevent the situation from deteriorating or spinning out of control, President Hu Jintao told visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Friday.
Hu also called for efforts to "actively create conditions" for an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks aimed at making the peninsula nuclear free.
Rice flew to Beijing after visiting Tokyo and Seoul on a regional tour to lobby for support in enforcing UN sanctions imposed on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in response to a nuclear test it conducted on October 9.
Hu said China "firmly opposes" the nuclear test and adheres to UN Security Council Resolution 1718 that imposes the sanctions.
But he stressed that China will pursue a peaceful solution to the nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation.
China "continues to advocate the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, opposes nuclear weapons proliferation and seeks a peaceful solution to the nuclear issue," he said.
Rice said Washington is willing to solve the Korean nuclear issue which she called the most pressing in the world through diplomacy.
In a separate meeting, Premier Wen Jiabao noted that "the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue now stands at the crossroads."
"What course to follow is directly related to the peace and stability in East Asia and the world at large," Wen told Rice.
"There is no other choice but diplomacy and dialogue," he said.
The premier expressed optimism while emphasizing the seriousness of the issue.
"All parties should, while realizing the severity of the situation, see hope and try to solve the crisis in a responsible manner," Wen said, adding that restarting the Six-Party Talks as soon as possible is an effective way to solve the nuclear issue.
Rice said the United States is willing to resume the Six-Party Talks at any time, but Pyongyang must scrap its nuclear weapons programme.
In an earlier press conference with Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Rice called the DPRK nuclear test "a serious provocation," which "poses a threat" to international peace and security.
The Six-Party Talks stalled in Beijing last November after Washington imposed financial restrictions on Pyongyang.
State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan also met with Rice earlier. Tang visited Pyongyang as a special envoy to President Hu Jintao on Wednesday and Thursday and conveyed Hu's message to DPRK leader Kim Jong-il.
"Fortunately my visit to the DPRK this time has not been in vain," Tang told Rice at the start of their meeting.
He urged the United States to take a more flexible attitude towards dealing with the DPRK nuclear crisis.
Tang said all parties should "display political wisdom, pave the way for a return to dialogue and re-open the Six-Party Talks."
"This is in the interests of all sides and I hope the United States will take a more active and flexible attitude," he was quoted as saying by the Xinhua News Agency.
In talks with Li Zhaoxing, Rice said they talked about "the importance of leaving open a path of negotiations of the Six-Party Talks."
Xinhua, agencies contributed to the story
Source: China Daily