Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan was due in Warsaw late Thursday for a four-day visit to revive bilateral ties after nearly a decade of cool relations between Beijing and Warsaw.
While boosting trade has been billed as a major objective for the visit, the first by a Chinese foreign minister to Poland in nearly 10 years, the main goal is political, according to Chinese sources.
Poland has been an outspoken critic of China's human rights record.
"The Chinese side considers this visit as an important symbol after a long gap," according to the source, who said Tang was likely to discuss promoting more top-level contacts during his talks with Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek and Foreign Minister Wladyslaw Bartoszewski.
Chinese-Polish ties were close during the communist period, but quickly became strained after democratically-elected Polish governments criticized Beijing's actions in Tibet and its human rights record.
But since the resignation as foreign minister in June of Bronislaw Geremek, an outspoken China critic in international fora, the two countries have edged towards closer ties.
Tang is also due to visit Poland's historic capital of Krakow before leaving on December 10 – WARSAW (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )