Rice to visit China’s earthquake-jolted region

June 20th, 2008 - 6:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 20 (DPA) US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice late this month will visit the region of China struck by a massive earthquake in May that left thousands of people dead, the State Department has said. Rice will arrive in China June 29 to visit the city of Chengdu in Sichuan province, where more than 4,000 people died following the May 12, quake. Rice will be the highest US official to visit the region, where she will met with relief organizations.

“Obviously this has been a very tragic situation for the people of China,” State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said.

After Chengdu, Rice will head to Beijing for meetings with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and other officials on June 30.

Rice’s visit to China comes at the tail end of a trip that is to begin Monday with a stop in Germany for a conference designed to help the Palestinians build legal institutions.

She will then head to Japan and South Korea, where the nuclear negotiations with North Korea will top the agenda.

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