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Vajpayee to visit China from June 22-27
June 12, 2003 13:10 IST
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is to visit China from June 22-27 to hold in-depth talks with Chinese leaders on bilateral, regional and international issues of common concern, the Chinese foreign ministry announced in Beijing on Thursday.
Vajpayee would visit China at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart, Wen Jiabao, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Kong Quan said.
Vajpayee would be the first Indian prime minister to visit China since former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao did in 1993. Vajpayee was in China last in 1979 when he was the foreign minister.
A number of bilateral agreements are expected to be signed during the visit.
Vajpayee would be one of the top foreign dignitaries to visit China after the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). However, the SARS situation in China has improved dramatically in the last 10 days with practically no new cases being reported.
Apart from Beijing, Vajpayee would travel to Shanghai, China's largest city as well as a gleaming industrial and commercial hub.
He would also visit the Buddhist city of Luoyang in central China's Henan province.
More reports from China