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NEWS-Chinese Vice-Premier arrives i

Chinese Vice-Premier arrives in Bangladesh 
                                 09:36 a.m. Oct 21, 1997 Eastern 

                                 DHAKA, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Chinese
Vice-Premier Wu Bangguo arrived in Bangladesh on
                                 Tuesday for a three-day visit seeking
to promote political and economic ties, officials said. 

                                 They said China was Bangladesh's
long-time friend and main supplier of military hardware.
                                 ``Recently we are trying to shift the
focus strongly on economic cooperation in the light of growing
                                 liberalisation,'' one official said
without giving details. 

                                 Bangladesh's official BSS news agency
quoted Wu as telling reporters at Dhaka airport that ``there
                                 are great potentials to boost our
mutually beneficial relationship.'' 

                                 ``China is pursuing a policy of peace
and we want to develop good relations with all neighbours,''
                                 he said. 

                                 In 1996 China exported goods worth
about $690 million to Bangladesh when Bangladesh's export
                                 to China was less that $100 million,
BSS said. The two countries are currently trying to reduce the
                                 trade gap, one official said. 

                                 China which offered Bangladesh 700
million yuan in credit and grants since 1975 has also
                                 provided assistance for infrastructural
development including construction of river bridges, and
                                 setting up of fertiliser and textile
mills, officials said. 

                                 They said besides holding talks with
Foreign Minister Abdus Samad Azad, Wu Bangguo would
                                 meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and
other senior government leaders. 

                                 BSS said the Chinese leader was in
Bangladesh on the first leg of his five-nation tour including
                                 Vietman, Laos, Burma and Thailand. 

                                 ($ - 8.2832 yuan)