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Last Updated: Monday, 29 January 2007, 13:10 GMT
Craig attends China Bond premiere
Daniel Craig (l) with Eva Green and Martin Campbell
Craig (L) was joined by co-star Eva Green and director Martin Campbell

007 actor Daniel Craig has attended the Beijing premiere of Casino Royale - the first Bond film to be shown in China.

The British star, who is nominated for a Bafta for his performance, was joined at the event by his co-star Eva Green and director Martin Campbell.

Craig said he felt "privileged" to show the movie "in a country that I've been eager to visit for a long time".

Previous Bond films have fallen foul of government censors, though pirated DVDs are freely available.

The film is to be shown at more than 1,000 cinemas - the widest release ever for a foreign film in China.

Dubbing experts

It will be screened unedited in all major Chinese cities and numerous smaller towns, said distributor Sony Pictures.

Speaking at the premiere, held in the basement of a Beijing shopping centre, Craig said it was a "good thing" the film would be shown in the country "in its entirety".

Daniel Craig (r) with Satsuki Mitchell
Craig (r) said he was "thrilled" to see the Forbidden City beforehand
According to the Associated Press, the film's producers hired local experts to ensure the Chinese-language dubbing of its gambling scenes sounded authentic.

Monday's event in Beijing will be followed on Tuesday by a second premiere in Shanghai.

Craig has made good use of his time in the Chinese capital, taking the opportunity to visit the Forbidden City with his girlfriend, Satsuki Mitchell.

Casino Royale is expected to perform well, though most of its box office revenues will be retained by China's state-owned distributor.

Bootleg DVDs of the latest film are available in Beijing for under 1 (15 yuan).


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