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Rice Kicks Off Asia Tour In China

9 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Beijing today for the first leg of a four-country Asian tour expected to be dominated by efforts to bring North Korea back to talks on its nuclear drive.

Rice, who is scheduled to have talks with Chinese leaders on 10 July, will also visit Thailand, Japan, and South Korea.

She told reporters on her plane that she will raise American concerns with leaders in Beijing over China's record on human rights, intellectual-property rights and inflexible currency regime.

She is also expected to address six-party talks on North Korea's drive for nuclear arms, which have been stalled for more than a year with Pyongyang citing American "hostility" to its government.