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President Hu's 1st Overseas Trip of Great Significance
Chinese President Hu Jintao's upcoming overseas trip is of great significance and will fully implement China's foreign policy, Vice-Foreign Minister Liu Guchang said in Beijing Wednesday.

Liu said President Hu will pay state visits to Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia and attend the leaders' informal dialogue meeting between the North and the South in Evian, France from May 26 to June 5.

During his tour, President Hu will also attend the third Summit Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member nations to be held in Moscow, and the celebrations of the tri-centennial anniversary of the establishment of the city of St. Petersburg, said Liu.

This Europe-Asia tour is President Hu's first overseas visit since he assumed the presidency, Liu noted. The visit is not only linked with bilateral ties and multilateral relations, but also with the relationship with neighboring countries, the developed countries and developing countries.

During his visits, President Hu will have extensive contacts with foreign leaders and noted figures from all circles, have an in-depth exchange of views with them on bilateral relations and major international issues of common concern, and sign a series of important documents of cooperation, said Liu.

Acknowledging that Russia will be President Hu's first stop, Liu said that during the visit, he would hold talks with Russian President Putin, and meet with the Russian premier and parliamentary leaders.

Both sides will sign a joint statement afterwards and President Hu is expected to deliver a speech at the state Duma of Russia, Liu said, adding that the Chinese side hopes the visit would help further advance Sino-Russian relations.

Liu said the third Summit Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member nations to be held in Moscow on the 29th of May is also very critical, and it will be the first time for President Hu to attend the meeting.

The Moscow SCO Summit will adopt a joint statement, said Liu. A series of documents concerning the organization's construction will be approved and some important decisions will be reached during the summit, all of which progress indicates that the SCO has marched from the initial stage to the period of steady development, said Liu.

Meanwhile, President Hu will attend the 300th anniversary celebrations of St. Petersburg, said Liu. In order to convey the friendship of the Chinese people to the people of the St. Petersburg, the Chinese side has donated a Chinese garden named "Garden of Friendship" as a congratulatory gift to the city for the grand occasion.

The Chinese president was also invited by French President Jacques Chirac to attend the leaders' informal dialogue meeting between the North and the South in Evian, France on June 1, Liu noted. During the stay in France, President Hu will hold an important bilateral meeting with his French counterpart.

Liu said the international community is currently facing many serious challenges, including weariness in recovering global economy, the widening gaps between the North and the South, and the difficulties facing the developing countries.

The Chinese side deems it is of positive significance to hold the leaders' informal dialogue meeting in such circumstances, noted Liu, which will be vital for deepening international cooperation and seeking a joint solution to major development issues.

The Chinese side hopes to take this opportunity to have extensive dialogues and exchanges of views with different countries on issues concerning global development, so as to increase understanding, expand common sense and promote cooperation, the vice-foreign minister said.

During the dialogue meeting, President Hu is also expected to hold talks with US President George W. Bush, which will be the first meeting of the two leaders since the new Chinese leadership took office, said Liu.

According to Liu, both China and the United States pay much attention to the upcoming bilateral talks, which will not only cover bilateral issues between the China and the United States, but also confer on the current regional and international issues.

During the multilateral event, President Hu will also meet with leaders from some other countries, Liu added.

After the France trip, President Hu will pay state visits to Kazakhstan and Mongolia, noted Liu. The two countries are both important neighboring countries to China, which attaches great importance to the good neighborly and friendly ties with the neighboring countries.

President Hu will hold talks with Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev and Mongolian President Bagabandy, and meet with the premiers and parliamentary leaders of the two countries, Liu said.

President Hu will sign a joint statement with Nazarbayev during the visit to Kazakhstan. And during the visit in Mongolia, both sides will sign a joint communique, and President Hu will deliver a speech to the Mongolian parliament.

Liu said the Chinese side hopes the visit will further promote the relations between China and the two neighboring countries.

As the first overseas trip by the Chinese president since the country's new central leadership took office, noted Liu, President Hu's visit will further enhance the friendly and cooperative ties between China and the relevant countries and will promote regional and international cooperation.

(Xinhua News Agency May 22, 2003)

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