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International relations

China dispatches top diplomatic duo to Europe in charm offensive

Rare move is made to prevent ties from fraying, but human rights concerns remain

BEIJING -- China's two highest-ranking foreign affairs officials are making back-to-back visits to Europe, an unusual move that underscores Beijing's desire to stay on good terms with the Continent as relations with Washington deteriorate.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi kicked off a tour Aug. 25, visiting Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, France and Germany as of Tuesday. Meanwhile, Politburo member Yang Jiechi, China's top diplomat, will stop in Spain and Greece by Friday after visiting Myanmar on Tuesday.

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