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World Bank President to Visit China

The president of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz, said in Washington on Friday that he is due to leave tomorrow on a two-week trip to Japan, China, Russia, Sweden and Finland, his first visit to these countries since taking office in June this year. 


At a press briefing at the World Bank headquarters, Wolfowitz said he also planned to attend the meeting of Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Beijing. 


Wolfowitz said China's increase in gross national product of more than six times between 1984 and 2004 was "stunning."


"In the span of a few decades, East Asia has experienced the greatest increase in wealth for the largest number of people in the shortest time in the history of mankind," he said. "It is an incredible fact, and of course, without this growth in China, it wouldn't have happened." 


He said that over 400 million people in China have been able to escape extreme poverty in that period. 


During his trip, Wolfowitz said he will stress the importance of a successful conclusion to the Doha Round of trade talks. Trade is the key to help developing countries lift themselves out of poverty, he said. 


Wolfowitz, 61, a former US deputy defense secretary, was unanimously confirmed as new president of the World Bank by the institution's Board of Executive Directors on March 31. His predecessor James Wolfensohn stepped down at the end of his second five-year term on May 31.


(Xinhua News Agency October 8, 2005)

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