China said Tuesday its foreign minister would make an "official visit" to the United States at Secretary of State James Baker's invitation - a potential breach of U.S. sanctions imposed after last year's Tiananmen spring crackdown.
An ambiguous, one-sentence dispatch by the official Xinhua news agency announced that Foreign Minister Qian Qichen would travel to the United States this month."Qian Qichen will pay an official visit to the United States at the end of November at the invitation of U.S. Secretary of State James Baker," Xinhua said, citing the Foreign Ministry.
As foreign minister of one of five permanent member countries of the U.N. Security Council, Qian is expected to attend a Nov. 29 meeting at the United Nations at which the council will be asked to vote on a resolution authorizing use of military force against Iraq.
Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze already announced plans to attend the meeting and Qian's participation had been expected as well.
Washington has been pressuring China to support a use-of-force resolution.