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China's top legislator Wu Bangguo will head a State delegation to pay an official goodwill visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and hold talks on "important issues" from Wednesday until Friday next week.

Releasing details about the trip yesterday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said: "Being friendly neighbours, China and the DPRK have a tradition of high-level exchanges between the state leaders."

During the visit, the two sides will have an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral issues, regional and international matters and other issues of common interest, Zhang said.

At the invitation of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly Presidium and the DPRK Cabinet, Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), will visit to reciprocate the trips made by DPRK state delegations in 1999 and 2002.

In relation to the recent rescue exercise in the East China Sea involving Chinese and Pakistani forces that ended on Tuesday, Zhang said it illustrated the nations' co-operation in the non-traditional security field.

It was not linked to any military exercises being conducted by other countries, Zhang said.

She said that at the invitation of President Hu Jintao, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf will pay a state visit to China from November 3 to 5, further strengthening the nations' links.

It will be the first meeting between Musharraf and China's new leadership, Zhang added.

Commenting on the international donation meeting in Madrid to help rebuild Iraq, Zhang said China had dispatched a delegation led by Shen Guofang, assistant foreign minister. The delegation is composed of Chinese companies.

(China Daily 10/24/2003 page1)


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