German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in China late Sunday for a three-day visit, with violence in Sudan's Darfur region, climate change, human rights and economic ties expected to be high on the agenda.
Ms. Merkel is scheduled to meet Monday with President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing and press them for more help in ending violence in Darfur.
Before her departure, she also made clear that she would not shy away from other pressing issues, such as China's human rights record and reduction of greenhouse gases.
Also Sunday, Chinese officials rejected a German news report, in Der Spiegel that computer hackers with ties to the Chinese army had infected key German government computer systems, including Ms. Merkel's office, with spy programs.
China's Foreign Ministry said Beijing strictly opposes and prohibits criminal action of hacking and harming computer systems. It said that China hopes to strengthen cooperation with Germany on the overall problem of computer crime.
This is Ms. Merkel's second trip to Beijing as German chancellor. She departs China for Japan on Wednesday.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.