Goodwill sets tone at Wang, Kerry's briefing

Updated: 2016-01-28 03:16

By Zhang Yunbi(China Daily)

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Goodwill sets tone at Wang, Kerry's briefing

A joint news briefing by Foreign Minister Wang Yi and visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry was delayed for about three hours before finally beginning on Wednesday afternoon.

Initially, the long-awaited meeting in Beijing of the two top diplomats was tentatively scheduled to begin at 9:30 am and last two hours. After that the two would meet the media. But the talks were prolonged as the two diplomatic teams continued their discussion through a working lunch.

Upon arriving at the news briefing venue, Wang first apologized to reporters for keeping them waiting, as he and his counterpart had a "positive, candid and constructive meeting".

The two top diplomats elaborated on three key topics of common concern — the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, the South China Sea situation and Taiwan.

Both expressed their goodwill to the other side and, given the limited chances for questions, addressed top media concerns first.

Kerry fended off a US reporter's request that he outline potential punitive measures for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's nuclear test and whether he thought China's words matched its actions in the South China Sea.

"I don't want to go into all the specific options" Kerry said, offering that he wanted to keep "space" for them to negotiate further. "I think that's important," he said.

When a Xinhua News Agency reporter asked about the strategic significance and roles of cooperation between the two major countries in this year, Wang said: "This is a very good question, but I guess many of your colleagues are not interested in this question."

Many reporters smiled. "And to satisfy your needs, I'd like to talk more about the South China Sea issue and the DPRK nuclear issue," Wang said.

Contact the writer at zhang