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Germany

Schröder Has Hotline to China

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder now has a secure, direct telephone line to Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, a German government spokesman said on Wednesday. "The idea of a direct telephone line was agreed during Prime Minister Wen Jiabao's visit to Germany in May," the spokesman said. "The chancellor used it for the first time yesterday for a 10-minute conversation with Prime Minister Wen in which they discussed the chancellor's upcoming trip to China." Schröder is visiting China and Japan Dec. 5-10. The spokesman said he was unable to confirm press reports that Schröder already has similar direct lines to the White House and the Kremlin. (AFP)

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