As angry protests end, China reportedly welcomes internationals
May 16, 1999
BEIJING (CNN) -- Just a week after fury over NATO's bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade touched off violent protests, China's state media is apparently trying to reassure international visitors that they are welcome.
The People's Daily on Sunday announced the opening of an export fair in southwestern Yunnan province and described areas newly opened to tourists.
The English-language China Daily focused on two forthcoming technology fairs, saying they would proceed as scheduled, and quoted the chief representative of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp as vowing to step up investment.
The May 7 bombing, which NATO called "a mistake" resulting from faulty information, killed three Chinese journalists and injured 20 other people during NATO airstrikes on the Yugoslav capital.
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in more than 10 cities, shouting anti-U.S. slogans and pelting American and British missions in Beijing with rocks and other objects.
Sino-U.S. ties, already plagued by controversy over Beijing's alleged theft of Amercian nuclear secrets, fell to their lowest point in years as China cut human rights and military dialogues with Washington.
But on Sunday the Chinese media seemed to be trying to relieve fears that China's economic reforms and overseas investment would be affected by the tensions with the West.
Although strongly condemning NATO bombing in Yugoslavia, newspapers extended a warm welcome to overseas businesses and emphasized the friendly reception given to international visitors.
The China Daily ran a photo of British tourists visiting the terracotta warriors museum in western Xian, saying they "received a warm reception from local people and tourist officials."
"China is expected to continue to speed up its trade and economic cooperation with countries including the United States and other NATO countries," the China Daily said.
It quoted a host of international businessmen as touting the benifits of China investment and encouraged a long-term business strategy.
"Foreign companies should never underestimate the capability of China's talented people," said David Swift, president of Eastman Kodak's Asian operations.
The success of Kodak, Swift added, "highlights the fact that China's investment climate is still good enough to attract really big investors."
Reuters contributed to this report.
China wants more answers on embassy bombing
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