Wednesday, July 1, 1998 Published at 09:33 GMT 10:33 UK
Itinerary takes in wonders of China
The US President Bill Clinton's historic visit to China aims to usher in a new era of co-operation between the two superpowers.
Wednesday 1 July
President Clinton will have the opportunity to witness China's most beautiful and unique landscape when he visits the town of Guilin, on the banks of the Li River in southern China.
Guilin resembles many traditional paintings of Chinese countryside with its paddy fields, water buffalo, fisherman in bamboo boats and farmers with turned-up trousers and cone-shaped hats.
Thursday 2 July
President Clinton's final visit will be to the country's Special Administrative Region (SAR) of Hong Kong, which China re-acquired as a territory one year ago.
The British were no more proud. Lord Imerston, the foreign secretary, saw Hong Kong as "a barren rock with hardly a house upon it . . . that will never be a mart of trade.''
Hong Kong, the British Dependent Territory, reverted to Chinese control on July 1, 1997.
So far on President Clinton's trip:
Wednesday 24 June
The ancient city of Xi'an in northwest China was once the country's imperial capital. From the time of the Qin dynasty (221-206 BC), the city has witnessed to the rise and fall of 11 dynasties.
Today Xi'an is a modern city and the capital of Shaanxi Province. The largest industrial and commercial centre, science and educational base in this area of China, it also is home to some of the world's most famous and ancient cultural relics of civilisations past.
Thursday 25 June
Just outside the city of Xi'an, stand thousands of life-size figures and weapons which were buried alongside China's first emperor, Qin Shihuangdi (pronounced Chin Sure-wang-dee) to protect him in his afterlife. There are over 100 chariots, 600 horses, 7,000 warriors and various weapons, which indicate the might of the Emperor's army.
Amazingly, the Terracotta warriors were only discovered in 1974 by farmers working in the field. They are now among the world's most treasured works of art and form the largest historical museum site in the world.
Friday 26 June
Beijing has been the capital of the People's Republic of China for more than 800 years. Earliest historical records of the city date back to over 3,000 years ago and today, it is the country's political and cultural centre as well as home to over 10 million people.
Following his visit to Tiananmen Square, Mr Clinton will be the guest at a State Dinner at the Great Hall of the People, the seat of China's Congress.
Saturday 27 June
Hailed as the "Eighth Wonder of the World", the Great Wall is the largest man-made structure in the world, winding 1,500 miles from the Pacific Ocean almost half-way across modern China. The Great Wall of China is even visible from the moon.
Separate parts of the Wall were built by independent kingdoms and were linked together. Armies were then stationed along the Wall to provide warning of invasion and a line of defence.
Hundreds of thousands of workers, many of whom were political prisoners, built the Wall. Legend has it that the bodies of dead workers were used as one of the main building materials.
Chang Cheng or Great Wall took on its present form during the Ming dynasty (1388-1644). One hundred years was spent fortifying the wall with brick and granite work slabs. At its prime, it was 8,000 km long. Today it reaches about 5,000 km and parts of it are undergoing urgent restoration work.
Sunday 28 June
On the final day of President Clinton's stay in Beijing, he will give a speech to students at the city's university.
Beijing University was the cradle of the country's anti-imperialist and anti-feudal movement and has had a prominent revolutionary tradition. It was the centre for the Chinese New Culture Movement and the earliest base for disseminating Marxism in China.
In recent times, Beijing University students have lived up to their reputation by leading the anti-government demonstrations on Tiananmen Square in 1989. An estimated 40,000 of them protested and shouted slogans against government corruption and in favour of freedom of speech and more funds for education.
Monday 29 June and Tuesday 30 June
Shanghai, whose name literally means "on the sea", is one of the world's largest ports. It is the main industrial and commercial city in China. President Clinton is to spend his first day here privately, staying at the famous Shangri-La Hotel.
Shanghai has long enjoyed the reputation of being the financial centre of China and the city which has had the most contact with the Western world. During the Ming dynasty, it was transformed from a small fishing village to an important centre for the silk and cotton industry. By the 1840s, Shanghai was a thriving port and was the first in China to be opened to Western trade.