U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will travel this month to Chengdu, China, the capital of Sichuan province that was struck by a massive earthquake in May, the State Department said on Thursday.
Rice will visit Chengdu on June 29 as part of an Asian trip that will also include stops in the Japanese city of Kyoto, Seoul and Beijing, State Department spokesman Tom Casey said.
In all her Asian stops, she is expected to discuss the status of multilateral talks on reining in North Korea’s nuclear program, amid expectations that Pyongyang will soon make a long-overdue declaration of its nuclear activities.
Rice will be the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Chengdu since the earthquake. Casey said she would express the “condolences of the American people” for the disaster, which killed more than 70,000 people.