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China understands cancellation of Rice's China visit
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China understands the decision of the United States on cancellation of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's scheduled visit to China, said a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman in Beijing on Sunday night.

In response to a question, spokesman Qin Gang said US President George W. Bush told Chinese President Hu Jintao the cancellation in a telephone conversation Sunday.

Bush said the US side has decided to send Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte to visit China to mark the 30th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties instead of Rice, who will deal with related affairs due to the tensions in the Middle East.

Qin said the Chinese side welcomes Negroponte to visit China.

(Xinhua News Agency January 5, 2009)

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