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Who will Jiang bring on his U.S. trip?

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Insiders in Beijing report that the Communist Party’s Communications Minister Dai Binguo should be the person to watch during Jiang’s visit to the US. Dai is favored to succeed the current Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan soon, since in Communist China’s history, few persons in that position could travel overseas with the head of state.

The current Party chief in Foreign Ministry and former ambassador to Washington, Li Zhaoxin, will likely succeed Li Huaxiu to be the next Foreign Affairs Director at the State Council, sources say. Liu’s absence on this US trip clearly indicates that he is out of the political loop now.

Vice Premier Qian Qishen, Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, Communications Minister Dai Binguo, and Ambassador Yang Jiechi are expected to accompany Jiang to the upcoming meeting with President Bush on October 25. Jiang and his cadres are expected to arrive on Crawford Ranch, Texas, at 10:15 a.m. on October 25. After a photo opportunity with the press, a 1˝ hour-summit will be held there.

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