Chinese FM to officially visit India, Japan

Updated: 2007-02-06 16:47

BEIJING -- Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will pay an official visit to India and Japan from February 11 to 17, a foreign ministry spokeswoman announced on Tuesday.

Li will visit at the invitation of Indian foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee and Japanese foreign minister Aso Taro, according to spokeswoman Jiang Yu.

During his stay in India from February11 to 14, Li will meet with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and hold talks with Mukherjee on China-India ties and other issues of common concern, Jiang said.

Li will also attend the opening ceremony of China-India Tourism and Friendship Year.

"China and India have great potential to cooperate on tourism -- there were 450,000 journeys between the two countries in 2006," Jiang said.

During Li's stay in India, a meeting will be held for the foreign ministers of China, India and Russia.

"The three ministers will exchange views on international and regional issues of common concern... in particular, they will discuss economic cooperation," the spokeswoman said.

"Their meeting will help the three countries expand consensus and boost cooperation," Jiang said.

On Li's visit to Japan, the first since 2004, the spokeswoman said Li will hold talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso.

His other schedules are still being discussed by the two countries, she said.

China-Japan relations have improved since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to China in October last year. Abe's landmark visit was widely seen as a "turning point" in China-Japan relations.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan relations and will be a year of sports and cultural exchanges for the two countries.

Li's visit was expected to pave the way for Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's Japan visit in April.

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