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Blair to visit Beijing next week
( 2003-07-16 09:05) (China Daily)

British Prime Minister Tony Blair will pay an official visit to China from July 20 to 22 at the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan announced yesterday.

Blair is expected to visit Shanghai and Hong Kong as well as Beijing.

"The two sides will exchange in-depth views on bilateral relations, and regional and international issues of common concern," Kong told a press briefing.

He said the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) nuclear issue, one of the most important regional and international matters of discussion, will be one of the topics for Chinese leaders and Blair.

Vice-Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo returned to Beijing yesterday after his visit to the DPRK from July 12 to 15.

Dai, also a special envoy of the Chinese Government, met DPRK leader Kim Jong-il, and Kim Yong-nam, DPRK Supreme People's Assembly President Kim Yong-nam and Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun in Pyongyang.

The spokesman said Dai's visit was both important and constructive.

Kong said Dai's visit was part of China's efforts to reach a peaceful resolution of this issue.

On Iraq, Kong said China welcomes the establishment of the Iraqi Governing Council. "We hope the situation in Iraq can resume stability as soon as possible, and its people can enjoy peaceful lives," he said.

Asked to comment on the standoff in Iraq's embassy in Beijing, Kong said China has urged them to take effective measures to "properly handle the internal affairs of the embassy," Kong said. "We will handle this issue in accordance with international laws and international practices," he added.

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