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Hu to Visit Four Asian Nations, Attend APEC Summit
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President Hu Jintao will pay successive state visits to Vietnam, Laos, India and Pakistan from November 15 to 26, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a regular news briefing yesterday.


While in Vietnam, Hu will also attend the 14th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Hanoi from November 17 to 19, she said.


Jiang added that the first meeting under a China-Vietnam steering committee on cooperation will be held on November 11.


State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan, and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem will co-chair the meeting in Hanoi, Jiang said, adding that the meeting is to implement measures agreed to by the two countries' leaders in August.


President Hu held talks with Vietnamese Communist Party leader Nong Duc Manh in Beijing on August 22. They agreed to further boost trade, properly handle border issues and enhance security cooperation between the two countries.


China, US to hold third strategic dialogue


Jiang said China and the US will hold their third round of strategic dialogue today, which will be co-chaired by Vice Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns.


"The two sides will have in-depth exchange of views on current China-US relations, and major international and regional issues of mutual concern," Jiang said.


Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo will also meet Burns, she added.


Two previous rounds of China-US strategic dialogues were held in August and December last year.


China calls for resumption of nuclear talks


An early resumption of the Korean nuclear talks is in the interest of each of the six parties involved, fulfills the hope of the international community, and will help ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Jiang said.


China has spared no efforts in maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula and Northeast Asia through the six-party talks mechanism, she noted.


Chief delegates from China, North Korea and the US had an informal meeting in Beijing on October 31.


The six-party talks, involving China, the US, Russia, Japan, South and North Korea, have remained stalled since the last round of meetings held in Beijing in November 2005.


Tensions rose on the Korean Peninsula and the situation became more complicated after North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test on October 9, triggering protests from the international community.


China fully supports Margaret Chan's candidacy for WHO leadership


Jiang said the Chinese government fully supports the notion of Margaret Chan as director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO).


While calling on members of the WHO Executive Board to support Chan, she said Chan is very capable, experienced and the right person for the job.


Chan took a slight lead with 32 votes in the first round of voting on Monday evening, followed by other four candidates from Japan, Mexico, Kuwait and Spain.


Saddam's fate should be decided by Iraqis


The fate of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein should be decided by the Iraqi people, Jiang said.


China hopes to see stability in Iraq and a return to peace for the Iraqi people at an early date, she added.


Saddam was sentenced to death by hanging on Sunday after being found guilty of crimes against humanity.


China calls for peaceful solution to Israeli, Palestinian disputes


Jiang urged Palestine and Israel to exercise restraint in the wake of an Israeli military operation in Gaza.


"China has always insisted that Palestine-Israel disputes should be solved through peaceful negotiations, and opposes any move that could escalate tension in the region," she said.


"China urges the parties concerned to exercise restraint and avoid worsening the situation."


A large-scale Israeli operation, dubbed "Autumn Clouds," began on November 1 and has resulted in some 200 deaths and injuries of Palestinian civilians, over which "China has expressed its deep concern and worry," Jiang said.


China hopes for social stability in Kirgizstan


Jiang said China sincerely hopes that Kirgizstan will maintain social stability, economic growth and peace.


She made the remarks in response to a question on recent political tensions in Bishkek, saying that China believes Kirgizstan, as a friendly neighbor of China and a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), is able to solve the problem within a legal framework.


She also expressed the hope that the international community would play a constructive role in helping to maintain stability in the Central Asian country.


Italian deputy premier to visit


Jiang announced that Italian Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema will visit China from November 12 to 15.


D'Alema and Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will co-preside over the Second Joint Meeting of the China-Italy Governmental Committee, she said.


(Xinhua News Agency November 8, 2006)

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