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Rice to visit China on Jan 7-8: foreign ministry

world Updated: Jan 02, 2009 09:11 IST
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US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit China on January 7 and 8, the foreign ministry said here Friday, in her last scheduled trip before the Bush administration leaves office.

"US Secretary of State Rice will visit China January 7-8 to attend activities related to the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-US ties," a statement on the ministry's website said.

Rice had earlier announced her plans to visit China shortly after the New Year but the exact dates had not been released. "I will go after the first of the year to China for the 30th anniversary of the establishment of US-China relations. I think it's important to do it," Rice said in an interview with AFP late last month.

China and the United States on Thursday marked 30 years of diplomatic relations, with Bush exchanging congratulatory messages with Chinese President Hu Jintao.

However, Rice indicated earlier that little of substance appeared likely to emerge from the visit.

"We are looking at what else I might do on that trip," she had said.

President George W. Bush and his administration leave office on January 20 to make way for President-elect Barack Obama.

Last month China chaired talks with the United States, the two Koreas, Japan and Russia that failed to reach agreement on how to determine if North Korea had told the truth about its atomic weapons.

It left a new impasse in the six-party negotiations aimed at scrapping Pyongyang's nuclear weapons under a landmark 2007 agreement.