- The Washington Times - Monday, March 11, 2002

China denounces visit
China was so angry about a Taiwanese official's visit to the United States that it summoned U.S. Ambassador Clark T. Randt to warn about potential damage to U.S.-Chinese relations.
Assistant Foreign Minister Zhou Wenzhong last week told Mr. Randt of China's "serious" objections to the visit by Tang Yao-ming, defense minister of the Republic of China (Taiwan), who was invited to attend a defense contractors' conference in Florida beginning today.
Mr. Zhou said the visit will "damage both Chinese-U.S. relations and relations across the Taiwan Strait" between China and Taiwan, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
He said Washington's decision to grant Mr. Tang a visa was an "open violation" of agreements between the United States and China.
Mr. Tang is expected to meet Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz during the visit to St. Petersburg, Fla.
The conference is sponsored by defense contractors Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky.

Nigerian relief fund
The Nigerian Embassy has opened a relief fund for victims of last month's massive explosion at an ammunition depot in Lagos.
"We count on the traditional hospitality of Nigerian residents in the United States, as well as the goodwill of our friends," the embassy said in a statement. "We also assure that funds generated will be passed to the [relief] committee in Abuja for judicious use."
The government created the Lagos Explosion Disaster Relief Committee to handle recovery from the explosion at the Ikeja military depot that killed as many as 600 people. The blast also displaced thousands of residents and caused millions of dollars in damages.
"The newly established fund by the embassy represents the mission's own effort to contribute its own quota to the relief effort," the embassy said.
Donations can be sent to Riggs Bank, Dupont Circle, Washington DC, 20036 for deposit into account No. 25320895.

Diplomatic traffic
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
Today
President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan, who meets President Bush tomorrow. Deputy Foreign Minister Sodiq Safaev, the former ambassador to the United States, is also on the visit.
Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passy, who addresses Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. Tomorrow he meets members of Congress, and on Wednesday he meets Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.
John Garang, leader of the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement and Army, who meets government and religious leaders to discuss the plight of Christians in the south of Sudan.
Adam Roberts of Britain's Oxford University, who discusses counterterrorism at the Brookings Institution.
Alan Whiteside of South Africa's University of Natal, who discusses AIDS research at a forum sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Vladimir A. Yakovlev, governor of St. Petersburg, Russia, who holds a 2 p.m. news conference at the National Press Club to discuss Russia's economic and political future.
Tomorrow
Irish Prime Minister Berti Ahern, who meets President Bush on his annual St. Patrick's Day visit to Washington.
David Trimble, first minister of Northern Ireland, and James Cooper, chairman of the Ulster Unionist Party, who attend St. Patrick's Day events at the White House and Congress.
Wednesday
Defense ministers Sven Mikser of Estonia, Girts Valdis Kristovskis of Latvia and Linas Linkevicius of Lithuania, who discuss Baltic membership in NATO at a forum sponsored by the Joint Baltic American National Committee and the Aspen Institute Berlin.
George Yeo, Singapore's minister of trade and industry, who opens the Singapore Free Trade Agreement Coalition.
Thursday
Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, who meets President Bush.
Don Boudria, Canada's minister for public works and government services, who meets U.S. officials to discuss effective government programs.


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