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US DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
MAY 16, 1994




                     U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                       DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                           I N D E X


                      Monday, May 16, 1994

                               Briefer:  Michael McCurry


ANNOUNCEMENT
Press Briefing Schedule for This Week ...........1

NORTH KOREA
Presence of IAEA Inspection Team during Refueling1-3
Resumption of Inspections .......................12-13
PAKISTAN
Support to Militants in Kashmir .................3-8

INDIA
Foreign Secretary's Meeting at the Department ...5-6
Prime Minister's Meeting with President .........5
--  Kashmir as Agenda Item ......................5

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Reports of Violence during Elections ............8-9
Enforcement of Embargo on Haiti .................9

HAITI
Enforcement of Embargo at Border with Dominican
  Republic.......................................9
US Policy re: Interdicted Boatpeople ............9-10,12
William Gray's Activities .......................10-11
Senator Dole's Proposed Fact Finding Mission ....11-12

YEMEN
Fighting/Efforts at Diplomatic Solution..........13-14
--  Reports Somali Refugees Killed ..............13

RWANDA
Status of Fighting/Efforts at Diplomatic Solution14

CHINA
US Welcomes Release of Dissident Chen Ziming ....14-15
Human Rights/MFN ................................15-16
US View of Tibet as Part of China ...............15

DEPARTMENT
Legislation re:  Post of Deputy Secretary ......15-16








U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

DPC #77

MONDAY, MAY 16, 1994, 12:48 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

MR. McCURRY: Good afternoon everybody. One quick housekeeping matter, to begin with. Due to the Secretary's travel, as we customarily do, we will shorten our briefing week by briefing only Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this week, using every good opportunity that might exist to avoid the pleasant opportunity to answer any questions that you have. That will be the briefing schedule this week. Of course, if any change in the flow of events warrants, we'll reconsider, but that's our current plan.

So where would we like to go to first in the world?

Q North Korea. Do you have anything on that subject beyond what Mr. McLarty said yesterday?

MR. McCURRY: No. He, I think, covered the Administration's view pretty effectively yesterday, indicating that we do want the IAEA inspectors to provide us some first- hand accounts of their understanding of the status of things at the reactor. They have not reached North Korea yet. I think they're due in later this week. It will be several days, I think, before we have any report from the IAEA. They'll, of course, most likely make public, at the same time they make available to us, their assessment of what's been going on there.

But I think we will prefer to wait and see what type of first-hand account we get from the inspectors before we comment.

Q So don't you take the North Koreans at their word, that they've started to unload this reactor?

MR. McCURRY: There are a lot of technical things they may mean by that. They made an announcement over the weekend that they've begun to discharge spent fuel from the reactor.

We've made it clear to them that the basic premise for continuing our talks is IAEA presence during unloading. But we will be able to establish -- or the IAEA will be able to establish, with a greater degree of certainly, what exactly they meant by their announcement over the weekend once they arrive.

Q There have been lots of sort of standards along the line in this sort of diplomatic relationship with North Korea. There are some people who are saying that this really is a turning point, that if in fact North Korea has started to unload these rods and done it in a fashion that the IAEA can't be sure what came before and what's being done them, that really there's no alternative but for the United States to go to the U.N. Would you say it's that compelling of a turning point?

MR. McCURRY: I think that's a correct analysis. We just don't know whether we have reached that turning point. We may know in a matter of days.

Q Mike, just a couple of technical questions. Do we know approximately how long it would take to discharge all of the spent fuel rods? Is this something that could be done in a couple of days or is it something that's going to take a couple of weeks?

MR. McCURRY: Barrie, I am not a good technical person to ask that type of question of. It would properly be directed to folks at the IAEA who understand better what the technical aspects are.

I've seen references to the possibility it could take up to two months to completely defuel the reactor. There are 8,000 fuel rods involved. Frankly, I'm a little uncertain, even standing here talking about that, because those are not technical details that I think we can comment upon here.

Q Do you have any kind of assessment? If they get there tomorrow and start work on Thursday, whether the cat is going to be out of the bag or not.

MR. McCURRY: That is a technical question I don't know the answer to. One of the reasons why we want to find out what the IAEA is able to discover is because that is, among other questions, one of the central questions that will be in their focus: What is the status of that defueling?

Q The North Korean Ambassador in Beijing said today also that the IAEA knew that they were going to do this, that they had already been given the visas and they could have been there when it started but they didn't get there in time.

MR. McCURRY: I'll leave it to the IAEA to describe the contacts that they had with the DPRK on that subject. There were some questions about the scope of activities once the inspectors arrived, but that's something that I think the IAEA would have to address. They did say some things publicly about the discussions they were having with the DPRK about the arrangements for the inspections themselves.

Q Just a final question --

MR. McCURRY: But, Barrie, on the general point, to drop back for a second, it is known -- it was known to us and known to the world community -- that at some point there would have to be a defueling of the reactor given the age of the fuel rods and their current status.

Q Do we feel that we know enough now to be able to at least fear that they have crossed the point of return? Or is that still very indefinite?

MR. McCURRY: We don't have enough substantive information to make a judgment. That's one of the reasons why we will await the report of the inspectors.

Q Are you still -- any possibility that the high- level talks between the United States and North Korea will be resumed within this month?

MR. McCURRY: There is a possibility, but I think a lot of it will depend on the types of things we learn later this week.

Q Can you comment on the report in The Washington Post today of the recent information that Pakistan has resumed the delivery of missiles?

In this connection, the sources state in the Global Report on Terrorism that you already had credible official reports. What are the consequences of that? Does it mean that the list of state sponsors of terrorism will be expanded?

MR. McCURRY: Let me go through a little bit, in light of The Post story, what we do know about aid to Kashmiri militants by Pakistan.

Since the Spring of last year, official Pakistani material support for Kashmiri militants has dropped, although evidence does suggest that it continues at a reduced level.

Assistance to the militants by private parties in Pakistan appears to be continuing.

We have raised this, as you know, with the Government of Pakistan. The Pakistani Government has stated that it's not providing material support to Kashmiri militants. We continue to urge the Pakistani Government at the highest level to adhere to its stated policy of not providing material support for the militants.

The consequences of that are suggested in our review of the terrorism list. You're familiar with the fact that last July, and again in January when we do the annual review, Secretary Christopher said that the available evidence did not warrant a finding that Pakistan "had repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism." Again, that's the standard within the statute: "repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism." But we will continue to monitor the situation carefully.

I think the Government of Pakistan understands clearly that any nation can be designated as a state supporter of terrorism at any time should the facts so warrant.

So we will, indeed, continue to monitor the activity that we are aware of.

Q Just to follow it up. Isn't the government of a country responsible if private parties give way to terrorism? Doesn't it make a difference? Or do you just switch the labels? Is the Government of Pakistan (inaudible) label of a private -- does it make a difference?

MR. McCURRY: If there's support by private entities with the knowledge of the government involved, that's one issue. If there's any evidence of acquiescence on the part of a government, that's another issue. Those are all things that we would assess as we monitor exactly the activity, as we understand it.

Q Mike, the report that was released last week said that there were credible reports in 1993 of official Pakistani support to Kashmiri militants who undertook acts of terrorism in India-controlled Kashmir.

The fact that this report clearly states this, doesn't it fly in the face of Washington's professed objectives to list any country that is supporting terrorism? Doesn't this fly in the fact of that?

MR. McCURRY: No. Because that is, as I just earlier, a statutory finding that the Secretary is required to make. It's a repeated pattern of support, and that is something that can indeed be a judgment call. But, as I just suggested, it's also a call that can change, depending on the facts that are monitored and the assessment made by the Secretary as he reviews the status of the list.

Q Just to stay on Kashmir. Curiously, these reports -- major stories both appear at a time when the Indian Prime Minister is visiting the U.S. Apparently, there has been some understanding between India and U.S. officials that Kashmir will be kept on the backburner because it's a very sensitive issue. Is this correct?

And could you give us assessment of the talks this morning between the Indian Foreign Secretary and Mr. Tarnoff?

MR. McCURRY: I don't have a readout on those talks, but they are in preparation for the arrival of the Prime Minister due in for a meeting with the President later this week.

I would say only that the President certainly expects to have a discussion that would cover a full range of subjects with the Prime Minister. Those include our shared concerns of a global nature. It would include issues about proliferation and regional security issues that we raise and discuss with the Government of India and others on a regular basis.

Q A quick follow-up. Why I ask about Kashmir is when Deputy Secretary Talbott was there, he was very sensitive to how sensitive Indians were about the whole Kashmir issue. Apparently, it wasn't brought up as much. And then a senior State Department official, briefing us last week, was also very circumspect.

How much of an issue is Kashmir going to be? Or is that going to be quietly pushed back to the backburner?

MR. McCURRY: It's an important issue but it's one that we have said repeatedly, we believe, should be settled through bilateral negotiations between India and Pakistan along the lines of the Simla Accord. It remains our belief that patient diplomacy and, in some cases, maybe quiet diplomacy might produce progress on that issue.

It is an issue that will likely be included in the discussions that will occur later this week.

Q Was this addressed in the morning talks between the Foreign Secretary and --

MR. McCURRY: I'll have to check. I didn't have a chance to ask Under Secretary Tarnoff earlier about that meeting. My assumption is that it was. But if that is incorrect, we will let you know. I think it was the intent, certainly, to raise the subject and discuss it.

Q Can we get a readout on that some time?

MR. McCURRY: I'll see if we can get something a little more detailed on the conversation that they did have. I'd remind you that there are a lot of fairly high level and senior discussions that will occur this week in advance of the Prime Minister's arrival, as you would expect.

Carol.

Q Two things I want to make sure I understand correctly. The United States Government does not believe at this time that there's a repeated pattern of support for extremist groups by the Pakistani Government?

MR. McCURRY: That's correct. Because a finding of that nature would lead to the listing of the Government of Pakistan on the terrorism list itself.

Q That was sort of my follow up. Is the designation of Pakistan as a terrorist-sponsoring state being actively considered at this time?

MR. McCURRY: The activity that we are aware of in support of Kashmiri militants is something that we monitor. If it fell in the category of repeated instances of sponsorship of state terrorism, then that could lead to a different determination. That is not an active question that's before the Secretary. It's one that we are monitoring as we seek to understand what level of support is being provided to Kashmiri militants.

Q But how could there not be a repeated pattern, if you found -- whatever it was -- in 1993 that there was support and now you acknowledge that there's support but it continues at a reduced level? Why is there not a pattern?

MR. McCURRY: That's the judgment -- looking at the facts as they exist and what pattern you see and what judgment you make as to the nature of that activity. It's suggested by more than just factual evidence or information that you have available. It has to be assessed; it has to be looked at and analyzed in the context of what the statutory requirements are.

Q Would it make it difficult for the United States to pursue its initiative in South Africa if it put Pakistan on the terrorism list?

MR. McCURRY: That is a reaction that the Government of Pakistan would probably have to provide. But my guess is, it would make it more difficult.

Q A quick follow-up, Mike. You said that this is not actively in front of the Secretary's desk at the present time. But is such a judgment --

MR. McCURRY: I meant by that, there is, to my knowledge, no decision pending as to whether or not there should be a listing. But there is an effort to monitor the activity that we saw described in The Washington Post today and that we certainly were aware of based on our own information.

Q Even though there is no decision pending, can such a judgment call come at any time? Can you list Pakistan at any time during the year? It doesn't necessarily mean every six months or whatever?

MR. McCURRY: I would emphasize again that I think the Government of Pakistan is well aware of this as well, that any state can be listed at any time the facts warrant it. So that is correct, that it doesn't have to fall at any point in the calendar year. It could be a listing that would occur when the facts warrant in light of the statutory requirements.

Q Today is election day in the Dominican Republic, and there have been --

Q (Inaudible)

MR. McCURRY: Sure.

Q When you read the Global Terrorism, you find that some states have been declared terrorist states even though it also says that they're not directly aiding the terrorists. Here is a state -- not only in 1993 but in 1992 and 1991, three years in succession -- the same language is used that there is credible official evidence. So what is magic in this particular thing? (Inaudible)

MR. McCURRY: It's the judgment of the Secretary who analyzes the facts as presented and looks at the statutory requirements and decides whether or not the evidence warrants such a listing. I can't do any better than that, other to say that's the responsibility of those who administer the law, to look at the criteria and the facts as they are known.

I would stress that we do -- as I said at the outset, since last year, we do believe that official Pakistani material support to the militants has dropped even though there is evidence that it continues. But it does continue at a reduced level to what we had seen in previous years.

George.

Q Can we go to the Dominican Republic?

MR. McCURRY: Yes.

Q There are allegations of electoral manipulation on the part of the ruling party. Do you have anything to say about that?

MR. McCURRY: I don't, George. We don't have any official U.S. observers present there. There are a variety of international observes. In fact, I think there is an OAS delegation. There's a group from the NDI -- from the National Democratic Institute -- down there; a group from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. I think some of those had contracts to do some work on it. They will be watching the conduct of the election today.

We've got some reports on the election period -- for the campaign period itself -- saying that there have been incidents of election-related violence, including what we believe are 15 deaths from gunshot wounds during the period.

The political parties in the Dominican Republic have tried to address that themselves by signing a pact of civility for the election period to try and avoid those types of incidents. There haven't been any instances of violence today so far that we're aware of on election day or since the campaign period officially ended at midnight Saturday.

As to the conduct of the election, the nature of the voting itself, we will certainly be interested in the reports we get from the international observers who are there to monitor the election conduct itself.

Q Two questions on Yemen.

MR. McCURRY: Yes, Barrie.

Q The Dominican Republic. Do you have any indication as to whether the existing government or the opposition are any more or less willing to abide by the enhanced sanctions on Haiti? And what are you planning to do about getting Dominican compliance?

MR. McCURRY: We don't have an assessment of that. U.N. sanctions against Haiti have not figured prominently in the campaign as far as we're aware. We have no reason to believe that the Dominican Republic's commitment to uphold the U.N. and the OAS resolutions on the embargo will be affected by the outcome of the election itself.

Q Which means that the Dominican Republic is going to continue to violate the sanctions?

MR. McCURRY: There's not an allegation that they're violating the terms of the embargo; but the question is one of enforcement. President Balaguer has requested or invited a group of specialists to come and provide advice or to at least survey existing practices as it relates to enforcement. We certainly support that. I think that delegation is arriving next week, if I'm not mistaken.

The purpose would be to assist the Dominican Republic and understanding better what steps could be taken to improve sanctions-enforcement. Because, ultimately, effective enforcement of the sanctions themselves, which are designed to bring pressure to bear on the military leadership of Haiti, is something that the Dominican Republic supports as an OAS and U.N. member. It's something that they have told us that they're willing to cooperate with the international community on.

Q On Haiti, there's been a report that in excess of 500 people were returned to Haiti either last night or today. My question is, can you confirm that? But beyond that, how are you doing in terms of getting your new policy geared to being able to deal with these people on the high seas?

MR. McCURRY: They are working towards putting in effect some of the changes in policy that the President articulated. But one thing that did not change is the policy of direct return for those who are attempting to make the trip away from Haiti and seeking illegal immigration, presumably, to the United States.

The answer is, yes, there were 246 Haitians interdicted in the Windward Passage off Haiti on Thursday. They were repatriated back to Haiti on Friday.

Over this past weekend, there were four additional boats that were interdicted with a total of 340 Haitians on board. The largest of the vessels had 200. I think the bulk of them were on one ship. There were about 252 that were on one of the ships. They're being repatriated to Port-au- Prince today.

That activity, since Thursday, those are the first interdictions that were seen off Haiti since April 22. But they're a reminder that those who attempt to leave Haiti illegally and not take advantage of the process that does exist now and the modified procedures that we will set up as a result of the implementation of the President's new policy, the attempt to come here illegally and to come here in a way that endangers the lives of those who are attempting to make the voyage, will be met with the same firm implementation of the policy of direct return. That remains U.S. policy.

Q How are you doing on getting the new procedures in place? Are there any ships getting ready to go out there to start proceeding --

MR. McCURRY: They've got a Ukrainian vessel that's ready to be deployed. I think the Pentagon was going to do a little more on that today. Because through the U.S. Navy military sealift command, they've been making some of the arrangements for that. I've got a contact number for those folks there, if you want to follow up with them. They do have, I think, a vessel they're going to use down there.

They continue some of the diplomatic contacts with governments about how we can more effectively process those who are seeking to immigrate. The White House might tell you a little more about some of the President's involvement on exactly that point today. I think they're going to provide some details on a call that he's made later on today.

So there's been a fair amount of activity aimed at enlisting the support of others who can help with the policy.

Carol.

Q Can you talk a little bit about Bill Gray and what he's been up to?

MR. McCURRY: He's been having, as you can imagine, since being appointed Special Advisor on Haiti to both the President and the Secretary of State, he's been, since he arrived back here in Washington after being in South Africa, immersed very deeply in all aspects of the policy and the Haiti problem. I think he's had a number of meetings beginning very early this morning with senior Department officials, including Under Secretary Tarnoff and Deputy Secretary Talbott. He's, in a sense, sort of briefing up on various aspects of the situation.

He's got some folks here at the Department, including Ambassador Dobbins who will be working with him and helping him get up to speed on the issue. I think at some point, we'll certainly make him available or try to have him talk to all of you when we know more about his schedule.

Q Which Ambassador Dobbins is that?

MR. McCURRY: James Dobbins.

Q (Inaudible) formerly with the EC -- that one?

MR. McCURRY: Yes.

Q Okay. I have a follow on that, too. Is it contemplated that Gray will go to Haiti at all? I noticed over the weekend, Cedras in effect invited him to come down and see for himself what the real situation is.

MR. McCURRY: No. I think General Cedras was endorsing Senator Dole's fact-finding mission.

Q But he also said that he would like to see Gray come down, and, if he did, he would recognize the merit of that suggestion.

MR. McCURRY: I'll leave it to the Special Adviser to determine how to carry out his duties. I haven't had an opportunity to review that with him. But at whatever point he understands more about how he's going to work, I think we'll try to make that available to you one way or another here.

Q What do you think about Senator Dole's fact- finding mission idea? He's also suggested perhaps Colin Powell might head up such a --

MR. McCURRY: I think we have a fact-finding mission in Haiti, and it's called the U.S. Embassy, and they do extraordinarily good reporting. They've provided a lot of factual information that's available to us and then indirectly to members of Congress who we brief on our understanding of the political situation and the human rights situation in Haiti; and in addition to a very talented Embassy staff, there are a variety of human rights groups who have been providing very effective and accurate reporting on human rights conditions in Haiti. So I'm not sure that General Cedras, talking to Bob Novak on CNN, is the type of fact-finding that's going to shed any light on the situation.

Q Is this a rejection of the Dole proposal?

MR. McCURRY: No. (Laughter) Maybe a rejection of Bob Novak.

Q Could I ask you a follow-up on the repatriation.

MR. McCURRY: He's there in his capacity as a journalist seeking truth, such as could be found in those quarters.

Q The President announced his new policy on repatriation on May 8. Since then, it seems to me there has been an upsurge -- a sharp upsurge in the number of boat people trying to flee to the U.S. Isn't it fair to conclude that the upsurge is a direct result of the President's announcement on May 8?

MR. McCURRY: I reviewed some numbers for you earlier, George, and said those are the first interdictions that we had seen on the high seas since April 22. We are very concerned that there not be an out-migration of an exodus of people from Haiti, because again our concern is over their lives. A substantial portion of them may lose their lives if they attempt to make that voyage. And I think repeatedly and in very explicit terms through the Embassy, through statements that the Ambassador has made -- in fact, even tapes and then tried to play locally for the benefit of the citizens of Haiti -- we've made it clear that the prospects of leaving by rickety ships to come to the United States is one that's fraught with danger, both personal danger for those involved and almost dead certain not to be successful because of our policy of returning those folks directly to Haiti.

As you can imagine, watching very carefully to see whether there are any indications that there will be an increase. There's been a slight increase over this past weekend of the number that we've interdicted, but we have not seen any evidence that I'm aware of that suggests that there will be a large out-migration or exodus that's imminent. Again, in the strongest possible terms, we would discourage such an exodus.

Q (Inaudible)

MR. McCURRY: New subject, yes.

Q Can you talk a little bit more on North Korea? Has the U.S. got --

MR. McCURRY: I had so precious little to say. Let's see if there's any --

Q Has the U.S. got assurances from North Korea that IAEA inspectors can get full access to the five megawatt reactor where the refueling and defueling has taken place?

MR. McCURRY: It's our expectation that the IAEA will be able to conclude those inspections that were agreed to between the IAEA and the DPRK in their February 15 agreement.

Q Yemen, please. Two questions. One, can you give us the American assessment of the fighting? There have been various claims and counterclaims from the two sides.

Secondly, is the U.S. doing anything or thinking of doing anything about getting involved in any mediation process?

MR. McCURRY: We had had some activity through Assistant Secretary Pelletreau who had been in the region and concluded that there was not sufficient disposition amongst the parties to really have that type of dialogue. Your first question on the types of reports we've seen, let me review what I've got.

We've seen reports at least 100 Somali refugees were killed when their camp was caught in a cross-fire between northern and southern Yemeni forces. There are, by the way, about 50,000 Somali refugees in Yemen who left in the period of the civil war in Somalia between 1990-1992.

We understand that many of the 6,000 refugees from that camp have now left nearby villages for the countryside. There is a joint UNHCR/ICRC team which reached that camp on Saturday, and I'm going to try to get a little more information.

We continue to urge Yemen's leaders to end the fighting and to take steps to avoid civilian casualties. We urge both sides to work with the UNHCR team to secure safe passage to get the Somali refugees out of harm's way.

There's an Arab League Secretariat mission which is still in Sanaa, and they're attempting to mediate. We support their effort, and we hope they'll be able to engage in mediation. There are efforts by other Gulf coordination council members and other Arab countries to also attempt to intervene diplomatically to encourage the parties to stop fighting.

We are calling on the military on both sides to exercise restraint and also calling for restraint upon those who might seek to resupply the warring factions.

That's all I had on the fighting was related to the Somali refugees. I'll see if there's anything else.

Q Actually, the strategic --

MR. McCURRY: On the strategic or what the status of Aden is, I don't have anything further. But we will continue to follow that and see if we can get some more updates, if you're interested in that, for tomorrow maybe.

Betsy.

Q Do you have anything on the situation in Rwanda?

MR. McCURRY: I had nothing new, other than just a fair amount of information on the refugee status. Would that be helpful -- with the status of refugees?

Q Okay. But you have no fighting information from today?

MR. McCURRY: No. Actually, I do. U.S. sources report that fighting in Kigali has calmed down somewhat after a very intense firefight on Sunday. Some U.N. relief activity is continuing there. In fact, I think they've had some U.N. flights into Kigali that are trying to provide humanitarian relief.

The UNAMIR force commander continues to meet in Kigali with leaders of the military and with the Rwanda Patriotic Front in an attempt to negotiate a cease-fire and renew political discussions. The Security Council, I think, is meeting again today to discuss options for creating some type of an expanded U.N. humanitarian operation there. There could be a vote, I think, later this week on some type of stepped-up U.N. humanitarian effort.

Q Do you have anything on China today?

MR. McCURRY: China. A couple of things. One, I think you may have noticed that there was a release of dissident Chen Ziming over the weekend for medical reasons. We welcome the Chinese Government's announcement of the decision to release Chen Ziming.

We don't know about Chen's whereabouts, beyond what we have seen in press reports and have not been able to have contact with them. We continue to call on the Chinese Government to release all those detained solely for their peaceful expression of their political or religious views.

I noted -- and you probably noted -- that the subject of the Secretary's decision-making on the MFN decision came up over the weekend on a lot of the talk shows, and I again will just remind you that as the Secretary now is sort of in the formal process of shaping this decision, I'm going to be very circumspect on things that we say here about the status of his review, but he continues to work the issue. He continues to track conversations in Beijing and here related to the President's Executive Order on MFN.

I guess one other thing I would raise, because this has been a subject of some commentary, and I think it would be important to note -- in fact, we will post a much longer statement on this later concerning the recently passed Foreign Relations Authorization Act, which had provisions in it that could be construed to interfere with the President's prerogative to constitutionally discharge his responsibilities.

In that respect, I would say it is longstanding U.S. policy that Tibet is part of China. Neither the United States nor any other state regards Tibet as a sovereign nation. The United States does not recognize a Tibetan government in exile. It's important to restate that and emphasize that because of some language that was in that authorization bill that it had no practical binding effect. It was sense of Congress language that it related to -- the precedence of the Taiwan Relations Act over the 1982 China Communique, and it was important, I think, for us to note -- and we will note in a much longer statement that we will post -- that we remain fully committed to the three joint communiques between the People's Republic of China and the United States as the framework of our China policy. Nothing in the Foreign Relations Act as passed by Congress and signed by the President changes this.

Q Since you brought up the authorization act, I can't resist asking you: How come in authorizing the senior complement of officers for the Department you left out a Deputy Secretary of State?

MR. McCURRY: Despite what everyone would surmise to be a devious plot otherwise, I am told that this was merely a technical oversight, and it will be corrected right away; and, more importantly, as reported somewhere this morning, it is accurate that the said Deputy Secretary can continue to draw his salary in the interim, which was a subject of no small importance to at least one employee at the building today.

Q China: Does the Secretary have a deadline for winding up this process?

MR. McCURRY: He doesn't have a deadline. He has also, I am told, promised some of your colleagues who are traveling with him that he might talk a little more at least about process later on in the week with them. So I'll be a little measured in what I say.

But just looking at the calendar, given the President's departure and the Secretary's departure for the D-Day festivities and Memorial Day in there around about the same time, I think we are clearly in the final days, if not one or two weeks, of the decision-making on this issue. So I would point toward some time by the end of the month, the Secretary having shaped this recommendation to his satisfaction so it could be sent to the President.

Q Thank you.

MR. McCURRY: You're welcome.

(The briefing concluded at 1:25 p.m.)

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