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Deputy Secretary Zoellick: Travel to Japan, China, Switzerland

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick is traveling to Japan and China January 19-25 to meet with senior officials, key opinion leaders and members of civil society to discuss security, economic and other issues in the bilateral, Asia/Pacific and global arenas. Accompanying Deputy Secretary Zoellick is Mr. Philip Zelikow, the Counselor of the State Department.

Before arriving in Japan, Mr. Zoellick visited U.S. Pacific Command officials in Hawaii to discuss U.S. strategic priorities for the region.
Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso sign a new Special Measures Agreement Jan. 23 at the Foreign Ministry.
Deputy Secretary Zoellick and Japanese Foreign Minister Aso sign a new Special Measures Agreement at the Foreign Ministry. More Photos
  While in Japan January 22-23,  he discussed moving the successful U.S.-Japan alliance forward to face new challenges and opportunities, and to review regional relationships in Asia, including the current situation in Northeast Asia, the upcoming donors meeting in London on Afghanistan and the situation in the Middle East.  Mr. Zoellick met with Foreign Minister Taro Aso and other senior officials and members of the Diet. He also participated in a roundtable with private sector and civil society opinion leaders.

"As friends and allies, Japan and the United States have worked together for many years to promote peace, security, and democracy, and the United States deeply values our friendship with Japan. We are very pleased to work closely with Japan on key global issues such as the war on terrorism, tsunami relief and avian flu. It is good news for American producers and Japanese consumers that Japan is beginning to restore market access to U.S. beef. We will continue to work with Japan and other trading partners to make sure U.S. beef is treated fairly based on internationally recognized standards. I am looking forward to meeting with my Japanese colleagues and to hearing their views on the important security and economic issues before us," Mr. Zoellick said.

This trip was Mr. Zoellick’s first visit to Japan as Deputy Secretary of State. On Friday, January 13, Mr. Zoellick met separately with Sadakazu Tanigaki, Japan’s Minister of Finance, and Shoichi Nakagawa, Japan’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick with Premier Wen Jiabao at the Great Hall of the People, January 24, 2006. U.S. Embassy Beijing photo.
Deputy Secretary with Premier Wen Jiabao at the Great Hall of the People. More photos
In China from January 24 - 25, the Deputy Secretary visited Beijing, where he discussed with senior foreign ministry and other senior Chinese government officials a broad range of bilateral and international issues. He also reviewed with Executive Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo some issues that were addressed in the December 2005 U.S. – China Senior Dialogue that they led, and review preparations for the next Dialogue meeting later in the year.

"The United States and China are two large and important stakeholders in the international system, and it is in our shared interest to listen to one another and advance prosperity, peace and respect for human rights and the rule of law. I believe it is important to stay continually engaged with my Chinese colleagues," said Mr. Zoellick. "I look forward to a good exchange of views in Beijing on security and proliferation issues -- particularly in Northeast Asia, and Iran -- the upcoming conference on Afghanistan in London, China’s efforts to promote internal openness and reform, and China’s recent white paper on Africa. I am particularly interested in visiting Chengdu and hearing from regional authorities their views on a changing China."

The Deputy Secretary’s visit is another step in finding ways in enhanced cooperation between the U.S. and China within the framework the Deputy Secretary outlined in his September 21 speech in New York "Whither China: From Membership to Responsibility?"

After Beijing, the Deputy Secretary traveled to Chengdu, in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan, where he met with senior local government officials and visit the Chengdu Panda Research Base. This stop gave the Deputy Secretary a chance to learn about the unique development issues facing China’s interior provinces.

From China, Mr. Zoellick continued on to the World Economic Forum meetings in Davos, Switzerland, where his participation included a panel on China.

At the beginning of the trip, on the way to Japan, Mr. Zoellick  visited the U.S. Pacific Command January 19-20 for consultations with senior U.S. military officials regarding U.S. strategic priorities in the Asia Pacific region.

Remarks by Deputy Secretary Zoellick
01/25/06  Press Availability at Panda Research and Conservation Facility
01/25/06  Press Roundtable in China
01/24/06  Press Conference in China
01/23/06  Press Roundtable in Japan

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