US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Beijing Sunday afternoon, kicking off her first China trip since she took office in January.
During her stay, Rice is expected to confer with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao, Vice Premier Wu Yi and State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan, and hold talks with Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, her Chinese host.
According to sources with the Foreign Ministry, both sides will discuss China-US relations, the Taiwan issue, the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue and other issues of mutual interests.
China wishes Rice's visit "a successful tour" and hopes China and the United States to increase mutual understanding, expand consensus and reduce disputes through the visit so as to further push forward the China-US constructive and cooperative ties, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Kong Quan told press when asked to comment Rice's visit.
Relations between China and the United States have maintained sound development momentum in general, local analysts said, noting that both sides can further their relations given they can handle the relationship from a strategic and long-term perspective.
China is the last leg of Rice's eight-day, six-nation Asian trip which has already taken her to India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
She previously visited China in February 2002 and July 2004, respectively, as the US national security adviser.
(Xinhua News Agency March 20, 2005)