China Looks Forward to Medvedev's Visit

BEIJING — President Dmitry Medvedev will visit China on May 23 and 24 for his first foreign trip since taking office, a further sign of improving ties between one-time bitter rivals.

Medvedev will make a state visit to Beijing at the invitation of Chinese President Hu Jintao, China's Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

"The Chinese government and people attach great importance to Mr. Medvedev's visit, and we hope his visit will further promote close exchanges between the two countries, deepen our strategic mutual trust and expand our cooperation in a wide range of fields," ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a regular news briefing.

Qin said details of the visit were still being discussed.

"We are very much looking forward to this visit," he said.

Although the trip will be Medvedev's first state visit, the Kremlin said in a statement that he would make a stop in Kazakhstan en route to Beijing.

Shortly after Medvedev's March election, China's ambassador to Moscow praised his looks and intelligence in an interview with Chinese media, calling him a friend and highlighting energy-hungry China's hopes for faster growth in economic ties.