The actor attends Casino Royale's historic premiere in Beijing

By Pete Norman
Updated January 30, 2007 10:30 AM

New James Bond Daniel Craig walked the red carpet in China Monday, making history as the first 007 allowed in the communist country.

Craig, girlfriend Satsuki Mitchell and Casino Royale costar Eva Green were in Beijing for the movie’s Monday night premiere.

Although the film franchise spans 44 years, it is the first of 21 Bond films to be approved by Chinese censors, which allows fewer than two dozen foreign films to be officially released each year.

“I’m very excited to be in Beijing, and particularly to be able to bring Bond here for the very first time,” Craig said in a statement after the premiere.

A source tells PEOPLE that although it is a breakthrough to get the film shown in the country, celebrations in the Chinese capital were muted – no party was planned post-premiere.

Casino Royale is due to screen uncensored at more than 1,000 cinemas across the country, the largest launch of a foreign film ever in China, according to Sony Pictures.

Both Craig, 38, and Green, 26, have been nominated for Britain’s version of the Academy Awards, the BAFTAs, with winners due to be announced on Feb. 11 in London.