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Former U.S. President Bush to deliver speech in China (04/16/09)

BOAO, Hainan, April 17 (Xinhua) -- Former U.S. President George W. Bush will talk about his years in the Oval Office and his outlook for the future during his first post-presidential visit to China.

Bush is scheduled to deliver a speech, themed "The U.S., Asia and the Future" on Saturday night at the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2009, which starts Friday in China's southern island province of Hainan.

"Former President Bush will give a keynote speech on April 18 and is expected to discuss his time in office and outlook for the future," Long Yongtu, BFA secretary-general, was quoted as saying on the BFA official website.

The public speech, which could be Bush's second after leaving the White House in January, is open to all 1,600-plus delegates attending the forum.

Bush gave his first post-presidential public speech last month in Canada, where he talked about the Obama administration, his mother's health and his plan to write a book.

Long said the ex-president will meet with people from both business and government sectors to exchange views on world development during the three-day annual conference which has the theme of "Asia: Managing Beyond Crisis."

Under the Bush administration, the U.S. economy remained the world's strongest for eight years. However, many people blamed the sweeping global financial crisis on the ex-president, who left office with one of the lowest approval ratings in American history.

This year's BAF annual conference is widely regarded as a platform where delegates can explore ways of addressing the crisis, raising confidence and enhancing the economic growth of Asia.

Leaders and former leaders from more than a dozen countries and regions have been invited to attend the forum, at which Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will give a keynote speech.

Bush's father, former U.S. President George H. W. Bush, attended the forum in 2004.


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