AFP (Agence France-Presse): China's Jiang to visit Chicago, Houston, San Francisco on US trip

Tuesday, 15-Oct-2002

BEIJING, Oct 16 (AFP) - Chinese President Jiang Zemin will visit the US cities of Chicago, Houston and San Francisco as well as President George W. Bush's Texas ranch on a trip from next week, the foreign ministry said Wednesday.

Jiang's talks with Bush at the ranch in Crawford, Texas, had long been scheduled ahead of a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Mexico on October 26 and 27, which Jiang will attend.

But although China had previously said Jiang would be in the United States from October 22 to 25, it had not given any information about other stop-offs.

Jiang will go to Chicago and Houston before the APEC summit, a senior foreign ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

He will then visit San Francisco on the way back, the official said, giving no further details of the itinerary.

Subjects to be discussed during the visit include counter-terrorism, non-proliferation of weapons and trade, he added.

US calls for military action to rid Iraq of its alleged stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction are also expected to figure prominently in discussions, but the official did not mention them.

The trip could be a swansong on the global stage for Jiang, 76, who is tipped to step down from power at a national congress of the Communist Party which begins on November 8.

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