US Excited About China's Chairing of APEC Forum: US Official

The United States is excited about China's chairing of this year's meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, said a US senior APEC official here Friday.

The official, Lawrence Greenwood, is leading a US delegation in Beijing for the first Senior Official Meeting (SOM I) of the 13th Ministerial Conference of APEC, due to open on February 11.

The meeting will be presided over by Chinese vice-foreign minister and Chairman of SOM I Wang Guangya, and will be attended by senior officials from the 21 APEC members.

Lawrence said today while meeting the Chinese press that the United States has high expectations for this year's APEC meetings, including the APEC informal summit scheduled in Shanghai in late October.

Lawrence believed that the October summit, an eye-catching gathering of leaders of the APEC members on Chinese soil, will be an unprecedented event in China's history.

Highly evaluating APEC's role in promoting regional economy and free trade and investment, he pointed out the task faced by China now is how to lead APEC countries in seeking further progress based on past achievements and in realizing the commitments it has made.

China has taken the lead in preparing for this year's APEC meetings and has made a positive contribution to APEC programs, he said.

(Xinhua 02/10/2001)

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