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Rice to visit China Jan 7-8: foreign ministry

With the Bush administration making way for President-elect Barack Obama's on January 20, Rice said earlier that little else of substance appeared likely to emerge from her visit to China. "We are looking at what else I might do on that trip" besides the anniversary activities, she had said.
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Jan 2, 2009
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit China on January 7 and 8, the foreign ministry said here Friday, in her last scheduled trip before the Bush administration leaves office.

The announcement came as China and the United States marked 30 years of diplomatic relations, with US President George W. Bush exchanging congratulatory messages with Chinese President Hu Jintao.

"US Secretary of State Rice will visit China January 7-8 to attend activities related to the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-US ties," a statement on the ministry's website said.

Rice had earlier told AFP she planned to visit China shortly after the New Year to mark the anniversary, saying she thought it was "important" to do so, but the exact dates had not been released.

The United States switched its diplomatic recognition to communist-ruled China on January 1, 1979, ending decades of US support for Taiwan's Nationalist government, Beijing's rival since the civil war that ended in 1949.

However, with the Bush administration making way for President-elect Barack Obama's on January 20, Rice indicated earlier that little else of substance appeared likely to emerge from her visit to China.

"We are looking at what else I might do on that trip" besides the anniversary activities, she had said.

Friday's statement from Beijing said Rice and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi would "exchange opinions on bilateral ties and issues of mutual concern," giving no details.

The United States and China, an emerging world power, often meet to discuss North Korea's nuclear disarmament, Iran's nuclear ambitions, international terrorism, human rights and other issues.

Last month China chaired talks with the United States, the two Koreas, Japan and Russia that failed to agree with North Korea on ways of determining whether the reclusive Stalinist state was telling the truth about its atomic weapons.

That failure left a new impasse in the six-party negotiations aimed at scrapping Pyongyang's nuclear weapons under a landmark 2007 agreement.

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Hu, Bush hail 30 years of Sino-US ties: state media
Beijing (AFP) Jan 1, 2009
Chinese President Hu Jintao and US counterpart George W. Bush exchanged congratulations Thursday on the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties and vowed even closer relations, state media reported.







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