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Top US nuclear envoy Hill to visit China
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Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said on Tuesday that top US envoy on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula Christopher Hill will visit China from Jan. 10 to 11 as part of his four-country tour for consultations about the resumption of the six-party talks.


Hill will meet with Wu Dawei, Chinese vice foreign minister and chief negotiator on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Jiang said at a regular press conference. Both parties will exchange views on issues concerning the six-party talks.


Hill's tours came after North Korea missed the deadline to list all its nuclear programs by the end of 2007. The negotiator had visited Japan before heading to South Korea on Tuesday.


According to agreements reached in October at the six-party talks, North Korea will disable its key nuclear facilities at the Yongbyon complex, and declare all other nuclear programs by the end of 2007.


Responding to questions on China's response to the delay in the declaration, Jiang said "North Korea agreed in the statement to submit a complete and accurate report on its nuclear programs. We hope the relevant sides will implement the agreements in an all-round and balanced manner, and materialize the goals set in the statement step by step."


Jiang said all parties have maintained positive contacts and coordination on the issues so far. "China hopes that the six sides will continue to proceed together in advancing six-party talks and the virtual denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," she added.


Hill is scheduled to visit Russia after the China tour.


S Korean warehouse explosion


President Hu Jintao has called for the proper handling of the aftermath of Monday's explosion and subsequent fire in South Korea which killed 12 Chinese citizens, Jiang said.


Hu told relevant departments in China to keep in close contact with the South Korean side and make active efforts in the rescue and treatment of the wounded.


The explosion occurred on Monday morning in the basement of a two-story warehouse in Icheon, which led to 40 deaths including 12 Chinese. The South Korean government also confirmed that one Chinese was seriously injured in the accident.


President Hu urged authorities of both sides to provide convenience to relatives of the victims for their trip to South Korea. He extended his deep condolences to all the dead in the accident.


Premier Wen Jiabao also required relevant departments to try their best to rescue the wounded and settle the aftermath.


The Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Chinese embassy in South Korea have triggered off emergency mechanism to cope with the issue. The 12 Chinese victims will be identified in two weeks by DNA tests, said an official with the Chinese embassy.


Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Ning Fukui met with South Korean Assistant Foreign Minister Shim Yoon-jo Tuesday morning and expressed great concerns over the accident.


Ning urged the South Korean government to take appropriate measures to deal with the casualties during the meeting.


Yan Fenglan, the consul general of the Chinese embassy in Seoul, arrived in Icheon early Tuesday to handle the matter.


Yan told Xinhua that she is working with South Korean officials to confirm the identities of the victims and discuss afterwards measures.


China-India Joint medical team


A China-India joint medical team will be set up during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to China next week, Jiang said.


Premier Wen and his Indian counterpart Singh will attend a ceremony marking the establishment of the medical team.


Jiang said the Chinese People's Association For Friendship With Foreign Countries and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations will select 20 young doctors, 10 from each country, to form the team.


The establishment of the joint medical team is to commemorate the 70th anniversary of an Indian medical team which first came to China to provide medical services to Chinese people, said Jiang.


The doctors will provide free medical treatment and conduct other charity activities in the two countries in the hope of carrying forward the spirit of international humanitarianism of the Indian medical team, and deepening the friendship and mutual understanding of Chinese and Indian people.


Singh will pay an official visit to China from Jan. 13 to 15.


Envoy to visit S Korea


Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit South Korea in mid January as an envoy of the Chinese government, Jiang said.


Park Geun-hye, former chairwoman of the South Korean Grand National Party, will also visit China as an envoy of South Korean President-elect Lee Myung-bak. Relevant arrangements were still under discussion, Jiang said.


"We believe the visits will strengthen the communication of the two sides and play a positive role in pushing forward the sustained and sound development of bilateral relations," Jiang added.


State councilor to visit Czech, Bulgaria, Croatia


State Councilor Hua Jianmin will pay official visits to Czech, Bulgaria and Croatia from Jan. 13 to 21 at the invitation of the governments of the three countries, Jiang announced.


Vice premier to visit Poland, Romania, Luxembourg


Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan will pay official visits to Poland, Romania and Luxembourg, and attend the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, from Jan. 14 to 24, said Jiang.

Jiang announced that Zeng will pay the visits at the invitation of Vice Prime Minister of Poland Waldemar Pawlak, Prime Minister of Romania Calin Popescu-Tariceanu and the Government of Luxembourg, and attend the meeting at the invitation of Klaus Schwab, chairman of the World Economic Forum.


(Xinhua News Agency January 9, 2008)

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