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China's diplomacy rebounds after SARS

2003-08-11 00:00

      China's diplomatic efforts, after being affected by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) during the first half year,
have rebounded, said a senior official with the Chinese Foreign Ministry here

  During an interview with Xinhua, Vice-Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo said "We
are prepared to be overworked" later this year.

  He said that in the second half of the year, Chinese leaders would attend
important multilateral meetings such as the APEC (Asian Pacific Economic
Cooperation) meeting, China and Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)
meetings and China, Japan,the Republic of Korea and Asean meetings.

  He said 64 visits of foreign ministers and higher officials had been
confirmed, of which nearly 30 would be of state guest status.

  Dai said Chinese diplomats will also attend international meetings such as
the China-Africa Cooperation Forum and Bo'ao Asian Forum.

  According to the Foreign Ministry, during April to June, 19 scheduled
visits of foreign heads of state or government were postponed due to the
outbreak of SARS in China. Many nations took measures to restrict travels to and
from China.

  He said China understood and respected their stance, and China's diplomacy
was still successful during the period.

  Resolving the nuclear issue of the Democratic People's Republicof Korea was
one of the main issues confronting Chinese diplomats. From April 23 - 25, China,
the DPRK and the United States held talks in Beijing.

  Dai said preparation work for the planned six-party talks is moving ahead
and China hoped the talks could start as early as possible.

  At the end of May and the beginning of June, Chinese President Hu Jintao
visited Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia and attended international meetings. At
the end of April, Premier Wen Jiabao attended a special meeting on SARS held by
China and Asean. Vice-Premier Wu Yi attended the World Health Assembly in Geneva
in June.   

  Dai said these visits were of special significance since they introduced
new Chinese leaders to the world and demonstrated that the new Chinese
government was candid, open and responsible.

  During the SARS outbreak in April and from then to July, some foreign
leaders visited China as planned in spite of SARS. Dai said their visits had
given China valuable support.

  At the same time many leaders called or wrote, expressing their sympathy.

  "The Chinese people will bear in mind all this," said Dai.

        (from  www.xinhuanet.com)

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