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Chinese premier to visit Europe, attend World Economic Forum
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11:04, January 21, 2009

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will make official visits to Switzerland, Germany, the EU headquarters, Spain and Britain between Jan. 27 to Feb. 2. He will also attend the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu made the announcement at a press conference here Tuesday.

The premier was invited by President of the Switzer Confederation Hans-Rudolf Merz, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and Chairman of the WEF Klaus Schwab.

"We hope Wen's visit will prompt the international community to have more confidence and jointly cope with the financial crisis," Jiang said.

She added China also believed this visit will play a positive role in strengthening China's strategic consensus and bilateral cooperation with these European countries.

China-France ties soured after French President Nicolas Sarkozy's meeting with the Dalai Lama early last month. The annual China-EU summit was also postponed.

Noting "the twists and turns in the past were not what we want to see", Jiang said China always attached importance on relations with Europe and had not changed its policy of further promoting a comprehensive strategic partnership.

She said both China and Europe hope to gain more mutual understanding and trust, expand strategic consensus and deepen mutual cooperation during Wen's visit to the EU headquarters at the invitation of Barroso.

Source: Xinhua

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