U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 95/08/14 DAILY PRESS BRIEFING OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING I N D E X Monday, August 14, l995 Briefer: David Johnson FORMER YUGOSLAVIA Lake Trip/Holbrooke Follow Up ............................1-2,5-7,9-11 --Report re: Lake-Kozyrev Mtg. ...........................10 Contact Group Map and Plan as Basis for Negotiations .....2-4,6 --Enforcement of Peace Plan ..............................7 Report of Izetbegovic Rejection of Goradze Proposal ......3 Proposal for International Conference ....................3,10 Situation in Sarajevo ....................................4 --U.S. Embassy Vehicle Fired Upon ........................4-5 Humanitarian Situation --Refugees from Krijina into Serbia ......................6 --Delay of Airlift to Banja Luka .........................6 --UNHCR Emergency Airlift into Belgrade ..................6-8 --Situation in Bihac .....................................6 --Reports of Plans to Send Krajina Refugees to Kosovo ....8-11 --Reports of Atrocities in Knin area .....................11 --Reports of Serb Authorities Blocking Male Refugees .....11-12 TURKEY Alleged Disappearances in Turkish Prisons ................9 INDIA Kashmir--Slaying of Norwegian Hostage ....................12 TERRORISM Security Alert at New York Airports ......................12 INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS UN Assessments ...........................................13 IRAQ Defector Kamal's Press Conference ........................13 Report of new Purge inside Iraq ..........................14 Report of Invitation to IAEA by Tariq Aziz ...............14-15 CHINA Reported Remarks by President Jiang Zemin re: Taiwan .....16-17 Missile Tests ............................................16 Mtg. between Undersecretary Tarnoff, Chinese Counterpart .17 VIETNAM Reports of Arrests of Vietnamese Americans, Activist .....17
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
MONDAY, AUGUST 14, 1995, 1:13 P. M.
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
MR. JOHNSON: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome back, Carol. It's such a pleasure to see you. I don't have any statements to make. Mr. Schweid, do you wish to open? Q Sure. Let's try an unusual subject -- the Balkans. You have now State Department people, etc., in the area. We were told that basically, fundamentally the plan hadn't changed. Is that still true and, if it's still true, why do you think you could sell an old plan where you couldn't before? Is it the atmosphere that's changed? MR. JOHNSON: I think there are a couple of points that I would make. The ideas that the United States have been exploring with its allies and partners in Europe -- and now is taking to the region to talk to the combatants about -- are based on and proceed from the Contact Group Plan, but we believe that the change in circumstances on the ground has provided us with an opportunity that we should seek to take advantage of, and that is exactly what we're trying to do. As you alluded, Assistant Secretary for European and Canadian Affairs Richard Holbrooke is now leading a team which will go to Zagreb, Sarajevo and Belgrade to build on what we believe was a successful trip which was headed by National Security Adviser Lake and Under Secretary Tarnoff. We spoke with our partners and allies that were active in the Balkan peace process, particularly our Contact Group partners. Q Have they covered any of that ground yet? MR. JOHNSON: Have they covered any -- Q Have they made any of those stops yet? MR. JOHNSON: No. Assistant Secretary Holbrooke arrived in London only this morning. Q How is Turkey active in the peace effort? MR. JOHNSON: Turkey is a NATO ally of the United States, a very important country. They asked if National Security Adviser Lake could make a stop on his trip to the region and discuss with them the efforts that the United States was undertaking to reinvigorate the process of seeking to find a durable diplomatic solution in the Balkans. We did have some good discussions, I believe, there, both with the Prime Minister and with several of her advisers. Q Do they have plans to talk to the Bosnian Serbs at all? MR. JOHNSON: I'm unaware of any plans to talk to anyone other than the leaders of the governments in the three capitals that I mentioned. Q Are you saying, then, that the Bosnian Serbs are no longer parties to the negotiations? MR. JOHNSON: I'm only saying that on this trip, at this time, the stops that are planned by Assistant Secretary Holbrooke and his team are in Zagreb, Sarajevo and Belgrade. Q Is it fair to say that the Map will have to be redrawn? MR. JOHNSON: I think it's fair to say that the Map, as we have said over several months, is the basis for the negotiations -- it's not necessarily the end point -- and so I think that there's always been the possibility of some changes to the Map that would be negotiated by the parties, but we continue to believe that the Map and Plan is the basis and the starting point for those negotiations. Q And has Lake's team -- and now will Holbrooke's team -- talk about specific changes, proposed changes? MR. JOHNSON: I'm not going to be able to get into the details of what their discussions are going to be and how they're going to see if they can take advantage of this new dynamic, to see if they can move this process forward. We have had an opportunity to talk to our partners and allies, and now we're trying to use that as a springboard and talk to those who are combatants and try to move the process forward. But we've been successful so far, I believe, in having those discussions remain diplomatic ones, and we think that they're more likely to bear fruit if we deal with the parties rather than through the press. Q There's been some reporting that Izetbegovic has rejected what the reporting suggests is the U.S. proposal to trade Gorazde. Can you speak to that at all? MR. JOHNSON: I cannot. I've seen the report that you refer to. It's our hope to have meetings with all of the combatants, including the representatives of the Government of Sarajevo, the Bosnian Muslims, and see if we can come to some next steps in trying to move this process forward. But I'm not going to be able to get into the details of what those discussions are going to be. Q And how about your position on an international conference, which seems to be gaining some currency? The Germans today came out and said they would go along with it. MR. JOHNSON: I think we've been saying for several days now that an international conference could play a role, but that it's not something that we're featuring. In terms of what we're pushing publicly, what we're trying to do is to take advantage of the opportunities that Mr. Lake's and Tarnoff's meetings have given us and build on those with the parties in the region, and we don't want to talk about what specific proposals and what specific methods and tools might be most effective in bringing this conflict to a close. Q David, can we, on the Map point -- the map, two senses -- split 51/49 and then, of course, the way things are drawn. Is 51/49 fixed and your reference or your suggestions of flexibility go to within that arrangement, or is 51/49 also a flexible concept? MR. JOHNSON: I think we've said all along that the Contact Group Map and Plan has to be the basis for the negotiations and the starting point, but we were not and have never, in my correct recollection, said that what the magic end point would be. Q So you want your remark to apply to both 51/49 and the details of those two sectors? MR. JOHNSON: We want it to apply to the Contact Group Map and Plan, that it would be the basis for the negotiations, and that the parties themselves could make other arrangements, building on that as the starting point. Q Does the State Department feel the Serbs and now the Bosnian Serbs are now entitled to more than 49 percent because they've managed to take over two Muslim enclaves and in the process, of course, killed thousands of people? MR. JOHNSON: I'm not going to react directly to your provocations. Q Well, leave the last part if you want. I mean, is the reality such that they now have to have a majority of the country, because 49 is less than a majority. MR. JOHNSON: The reality is such that, as we have said for months now, that the Contact Group Map and Plan would be the basis and the starting point for any negotiations, and the parties themselves would work out the details and make such changes as they thought appropriate. Q Let me ask you one thing, and then I'll get off, on Sarajevo, and to be honest with you it's all because I, too, think you're trying to swap Gorazde for a firmer Muslim control of Sarajevo. Could you tell us without addressing that, which you won't, what the Sarajevo situation is right now? Are the Muslims in control of Sarajevo? Do they have now enough surrounding territory so that as far as you folks can figure out, their retention of the capital of whatever this country remains, is viable? MR. JOHNSON: I would say that it would be difficult for me to say what would be viable in terms of situations on the ground. They're very fluid. They've changed a remarkable amount just over the last eight or ten days in other parts of the area where this conflict is taking place, and I'm not in a position to give you a military assessment of whether or not the current hold that the Bosnian Government has on the territory in Sarajevo and surrounding it is such that it would be durable. I would note as an example of the type of things that can happen that a vehicle that belongs to our Embassy in Sarajevo was fired upon near the airport today, and it was an armored vehicle, and it was damaged, but there were no injuries. So I think to assess that holds or control of territory or anything like that was durable and lasting, in the absence of a peace agreement which was agreed by all the parties, is not something I'd be in a position to say. Q Let's get to the vehicle. Was it occupied? MR. JOHNSON: Yes. Q And who by? MR. JOHNSON: Some employees of our Embassy, including, I believe - - I'll see if I can get clarification on this one -- one United States Foreign Service Officer. But there were no injuries. There was some damage to the vehicle. Q And who shot it up? MR. JOHNSON: I'm not sure that we know. Q Do you know what kind of weaponry was used? MR. JOHNSON: I do not. Q It still puzzles me. You said the Holbrooke team is going on to speak to all the combatants, but they won't be speaking to the Bosnian Serbs. Are the Bosnian Serbs no longer regarded as -- MR. JOHNSON: I think I said to speak to the combatants, and their stops would be -- I did not attempt to give you an inclusive listing of all of them. But it's our belief that the people that we need to talk to, at least in this round, and to have discussions with and to see if we can come to terms with, in terms of reinvigorating this process, are the ones that they are going to be talking to. Q Where is he going besides the three capitals? MR. JOHNSON: That's all I've got for you in terms of his stops. Q But there are possible other stops? MR. JOHNSON: I don't have an end date for him to return to the United States. My understanding is he's going to go to these three capitals. Whether or not he goes to other places in Europe or confers with others before he returns, I think at this point is a little unclear. Q So you wouldn't rule out a stop in Moscow? MR. JOHNSON: Neither would I rule it in. Q Does he plan one stop in each of the capitals, or will he be shuttling back and forth? MR. JOHNSON: At this point I think I'll leave it where I have it. There are obvious security implications to travel around in that area, and I don't want to be terribly specific about where he's going and the order in which he's traveling and how long he's going to be, and things like that. Q David, there are a number of reports that the United States is prepared to be more generous with Serbia on lifting sanctions. Can you tell us what the thinking in this Department is right now on lifting and easing of sanctions with cooperation with the War Crimes Tribunal? MR. JOHNSON: I don't believe it's changed. We've been working over a number of weeks -- excuse me, months -- trying to come up with an equitable package which would include the suspension of sanctions for Belgrade in exchange for the recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina. There are various aspects of that that are still being worked, but it hasn't been removed from the table. Q Is there any linkage any longer with cooperation with the War Crimes Tribunal? MR. JOHNSON: I believe this same linkage that there's always been. I don't believe there's been any change in that. Q David, could you please give us an update on the humanitarian assistance? MR. JOHNSON: In terms of refugees, is I think where I'll base that from. The refugees from the Krajina continue to flow into Serbia. An estimated 60-80,000 are reported to have entered Serbia since August 7. The ICRC reports that the first airlift to Banja Luka was still being delayed because the warring factions could not agree on opening the airport. That airlift is intended to carry emergency supplies. The UNHCR has begun an emergency airlift into Belgrade to build a 4,000-ton reserve. It began on August 11, and has already flown six sorties for a total of 180.5 metric tons. In terms of what's going on in Bihac, Embassy Zagreb personnel have visited Bihac on August 11. There are currently about 40,000 displaced persons in the Bihac pocket. Only one convoy has arrived in the area over the past 13 months, and only a small amount of assistance has arrived since the liberation of the Bihac area. An estimated 20,000/30,000 refugees from the Bihac pocket are on the road in Croatia. UNHCR and ICRC are trying to provide assistance to these refugees. Q Do you have any notion of a displacement, the Serbs being -- what sort of displacement? Serb refugees going into Serbia, being given the homes of non-Serbs -- is this going on? And will this be something that Holbrooke will take up with your new -- I guess you're not -- consider him more reliable in the past -- Mr. Milovsevic? MR. JOHNSON: His principal goal when he goes to visit Belgrade is to talk about trying to take advantage of the new situation to see if we can create a durable peace. I'm sure he's also going to be talking about the refugee situation, but I don't have the kind of detail that you refer to. Q Given that you can't talk about what the United States is proposing at this point, could you give us an idea of how the United States would propose to police or enforce any settlement that is reached through this new plan? MR. JOHNSON: Nothing beyond what we've said over several years, that we would be able and willing to contribute to the enforcement of a peace plan that would be agreeable among all the parties. But beyond that, I can't take you. Q David, would the United States rely on the United Nations, as they have now, to conduct that peacekeeping operation? MR. JOHNSON: How that would be organized and what sort of international organizations we would rely on and how we would work with our allies and partners is something which is conceivably the subject of these negotiations, and I'm not going to foreclose any method which would make sense. Q How concerned are you that the Serbs might use this humanitarian stockpile that you're building in Belgrade for their own purposes? Do you have any special controls on it, given the fact that they're still under sanctions and obviously hurting? MR. JOHNSON: It's under the control of the ICRC and other international organizations. You also have to keep in mind that it is humanitarian goods; it's not any sort of strategic goods. It's not the type of material which would be useful for an army except perhaps to feed it. We believe, given the gravity of the humanitarian situation on the ground, this is something that should be undertaken. Q My concern was not so much that it be used for the army, but even just to relieve the deprivations of the general public. Milosevic could, if he siphoned off enough of this stuff, I presume, could help himself politically among his own people. MR. JOHNSON: You could perhaps infer that if that were done, but he's also faced with a tremendous refugee stream he has to provide for and feed as well. I find it hard to think how he would juggle improving one's lot while dealing with the other. Q So you think the risk of him using this stuff for his own purposes is minimal? MR. JOHNSON: I think the risk is worth it given the humanitarian challenges that we have to face there. Q David, there was some concern last week that the Belgrade Government would send refugees into Kosovo and displace the ethnic Albanians who are currently living there. Has that, in fact, happening? MR. JOHNSON: We continue to hear reports about plans to do that. I don't have anything for you on actual arrival of refugees from the Krajina or other areas in Kosovo. We made clear before that we believe that would be unnecessarily provocative, that Kosovo is a very tense area, as it is. Introducing populations of non-Albanian origin or non- ethnic Albanian origin is the type of thing which could set off a chain reaction which we believe is not in the interest of any party. Q (inaudible) MR. JOHNSON: Excuse me? Q But you know there are 60,000/80,000 refugees? MR. JOHNSON: We know there are 60,000/80,000 refugees -- Q But you don't think any -- but maybe a negligible number is settling in Kosovo? MR. JOHNSON: No. I'm only saying that I'm unable to confirm that any have arrived in Kosovo. Q I guess my problem is -- I don't want to beat it -- but if your 60/80 is more than just a figure that appears, of course, in print and is widely believed -- MR. JOHNSON: It represents human beings. Q I understand that. If the State Department literally is clocking refugee movements in any way, it would strike me that you'd not only know the number, you would know where they're going. You raised before -- you decided to really put your faith, I guess, in Milosevic. You see where I'm going here. Last week, the State Department was aggravated by the possibility that the Serbs had up their sleeve one more event and that being displacing the people in Kosovo with Serb refugees. MR. JOHNSON: We continue to be concerned -- Q Alright. But you say there are 60,000/80,000 people going to Serbia but you don't know any of them going to Kosovo. I have problems with that. MR. JOHNSON: We have heard there's the intention to take some to Kosovo. What I can't confirm is if any have arrived in appreciable numbers. That's the distinction I was trying to draw. Forgive me for being -- Q No, I'm sorry. Q What is the U.S. position on that movement? MR. JOHNSON: I just, I thought, made clear that our position was that would be unnecessarily provocative. It's a very tense area. We do not believe it helpful to introduce non-Albanian ethnic populations into Kosovo in an attempt to change the ethnic makeup of the area. Q When you spoke of Tony Lake's mission to Turkey, maybe you want to send me to the White House with a question. Do you happen to know of disappearances in Turkish prisons? Just the other day there were reports the Turkish Government would make a new effort to make sure prisoners don't, sort of, vanish from the face of the earth; a better accounting system. Do you happen to know if that human rights issue -- I'm looking for human rights issues even while you folks are involved with your friends and your new friends. Was that on Tony's agenda, do you know? MR. JOHNSON: His focus was on the efforts that he was undertaking to consult with friends and partners and allies about the peace efforts we're undertaking in the Balkans. He may have talked about other subjects, but I don't have anything to confirm that for you. Q When does Davis, Lake, and Tarnoff get back to Washington? MR. JOHNSON: I believe Mr. Lake arrives sometime today, but I'd refer you to the White House for an exact itinerary. Q Is Tarnoff -- MR. JOHNSON: He's already back. Q Already back? MR. JOHNSON: Yes. Q Can I follow on the Lake mission, please? MR. JOHNSON: Just a minute. Let me clear something up. He arrived back over the weekend for some previously scheduled engagements. Q David, there's an AP wire reporting that the Lake-Kozyrev meeting had narrowed differences between Russia and the United States. The first question would be, what was narrowed that you can tell us about? And, secondly, Kozyrev says that both sides want to put together a summit of the Presidents of Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia. Yeltsin wants to do that, and be the mediator in Moscow. Is that alright with us? And then the third, back to Jim's question. Why are the Bosnian Serbs being left out of all of this? MR. JOHNSON: I'll try to do those in reverse order. I've addressed that Mr. Holbrooke's trip is going to be to talk to the three governments in the three cities where he is traveling. I don't have anything for you beyond that. I don't rule out any meeting with others at some point in the future, but that's not planned right now. I've also said that a parley of some sort, a summit, some other type of convocation could play a role in bringing about a durable, peaceful settlement to the conflict in the Balkans. But, finally, in terms of narrowing differences or meeting minds or anything like that, I'm not going to describe the nature of our interchange with the various partners and allies with whom Mr. Lake and others have met, until we've concluded this process and we're in a better position to describe how we've gotten to where we are. Q I understand that, but would we support a summit in Moscow headed or moderated by Mr. Yeltsin? MR. JOHNSON: I think that falls under the rubric of what I just said, and I'm not going to get into it. Q To what extent have you leaned on Milosevic to not transfer any of these refugees -- thousands, tens of thousands of refugees -- to Kosovo? MR. JOHNSON: We've made our position very clear to the authorities in Belgrade. I'm not sure exactly how we've done that. I'll see if I can get you some more detail on that. Q Have you told him that lifting the sanctions would in any way be tied to his behavior in this regard? MR. JOHNSON: I'll see if I can give you some detail on that, but I have a feeling that's going to get into the nature of some of the other things we're talking that we're not going to be able to explore right now. Yes, Betsy. Q Do you all have any reports on atrocities by Croatians in the Knin area? I've heard rumblings of there may be some mass graves on a smaller scale than the Serbs did in Srebrenica but that there may be some incidents. MR. JOHNSON: I'm unaware of anything that's been described as "mass graves." I know that there were some absence of civil behavior. There were some alleged massacres of small numbers of people late last week. I think on Friday I made clear that we had made our displeasure know to the Croatians, and our expectation that anyone who had been involved in those types of activities would be disciplined. Q Has there been any response to this from the Croatian Government? MR. JOHNSON: They responded that they would see that they were dealt with properly, but I don't know anything more concrete than that. Q David, did Dick Holbrooke have to cut his vacation short for this new diplomatic initiative? MR. JOHNSON: I'm unaware of exactly when he was planning to start work, but I think it's a decent inference to say he might have had to trim it just a few hours, at the very least. Q There are reports that the Serbian authorities are blocking the border for refugees -- male refugees -- coming from Krajina in order to get them forced to enlist in the Bosnian Serb army. Do you have any position on that? MR. JOHNSON: We are in the process of making clear to all concerned that we believe these displaced persons should be treated like the refugees that they area, and that that's inconsistent with international law in terms of treatment of refugees. Q So they should be treated -- MR. JOHNSON: Yes. Q New subject? MR. JOHNSON: Are we Bosnia'd-out? Q The Middle East? MR. JOHNSON: I think this gentleman had the firm claim on moving elsewhere. Q Do you have something more on what's happening in Kashmir? One of the hostages has been beheaded. MR. JOHNSON: I don't have a great deal on that. First of all, I'd like to say, the United States Governments offers its deepest sympathy to the family of Norwegian citizen Hans Christian Ostro. The responsibility for this senseless barbaric act of violence, which you just described, rests entirely with the perpetrators, al- Faran. The United States Government is redoubling its efforts with Indian authorities and others to obtain the safe release of the remaining hostages. We are in constant contact with Indian authorities in both New Delhi and Kashmir. We call on al-Faran to release the remaining hostages immediately and without condition. Q Can you shed some light on the nature and origin of a terror threat that required the security alert at New York airports? MR. JOHNSON: I cannot. The FAA and the FBI are handling that as a domestic police matter, and I will refer you to them for any comment which they might choose to make. Q Are there any new alerts overseas for State Department personnel? MR. JOHNSON: We have not seen fit to put out any warning to American personnel serving abroad or to United States citizens traveling or residing abroad. Q Do you have a response to Boutros Ghali op-ed piece, or will you have your own op-ed piece in response? MR. JOHNSON: Which op-ed piece is this? Q Just before I walked in, I was told he did something in the Post about the assessment schedule. I haven't seen it. We were told -- one of our reporter's was told that the State Department would have something to say. MR. JOHNSON: We agree with his view that the United Nations dependence on the assessments from a single-member state is unhealthy for the organization itself. Q Since you're a single-member state? MR. JOHNSON: Since we're the single-member state. We might posit that anyway, but we have a special reason for it. That's one reason we've been working with the U.N. and other member states to reduce our share of the peacekeeping budget. As a matter of law, beginning in October, we will pay 25 percent of the peacekeeping budget, which is about six percent less than the rate we're currently assessed. Q Anything new on our Iraqi visitors in Jordan? And do you expect any kind of U.S. involvement in that issue in the coming days? MR. JOHNSON: We, like you, heard the press conference that took place on Saturday. It confirms our view that that defection could be a significant development for Iraq, and it underscores the extent of Saddam's isolation within his own country. Q How about the extent of U.S. involvement in their departure from Iraq? Do you want to comment on a possible intelligence matter that the CIA sort of smoothed the way for them. MR. JOHNSON: No. I don't think I'm going to be commenting on intelligence matters since it would make such a great break from the traditions at this lecturn-- Q Breaking precedent --
MR. JOHNSON: I appreciate your giving me the opportunity, though. Q What has been the contact between American officials and these defectors, if any? MR. JOHNSON: We have consistently declined to discuss what type of contacts, if any, we have had with these folks, and I think I'm going to stay there. Q David, if I could ask: Does the United States Government presently or could the State Department see this General Kamel as being leader of a government-in-exile? MR. JOHNSON: It's not up to us to decide who should lead Iraq. We've made clear that we believe this episode highlights Saddam's isolation, but beyond that we don't have anything to say. Q David, different subject? Q No, one more on -- have you heard of a new purge within the last 24 hours -- being reported within the last 24 hours in Iraq? Q -- of (inaudible) officers. MR. JOHNSON: No. I'm unaware of any unusual activities inside Iraq. We are maintaining a rather vigilant attitude toward what is happening on the ground with respect to potential threats by Iraq against its neighbors, but I don't have anything for you. Q And do you have any thoughts about the urgent invitations sent by Tariq Aziz for the special commission to go back and get some more information? MR. JOHNSON: We believe that efforts by Iraq to hurry the inspection process are not acceptable. We believe now is the time for sober consideration of the situation, not for the declaration for artificial deadlines for action. We're in contact with Ekeus and are prepared to cooperate with him in ensuring that he is able to fully carry out his mission. Q To follow on that, David, the invitation to the IAEA has raised questions about whether Iraq may not have divulged all of its nuclear activities. Is there some concern here that there may be steps that the IAEA previously overlooked? MR. JOHNSON: I wouldn't want to assess it in that way, but I think it does highlight the possibility of further Iraqi deception and a need to remain vigilant and ensure that Iraq has complied with all of the U.N. Security Council resolutions affecting it before sanctions are lifted. Q David, are you aware of any existing extradition clause between Jordan and Iraq? MR. JOHNSON: Could you repeat yourself? I'm sorry. Q Are you aware of any extradition clause existing between Jordan and Iraq? MR. JOHNSON: I'm not. I would refer you to the Government concerned for that. Q I see. And will it have any effect, if there is any? MR. JOHNSON: Will it have an effect? That would be up to the governments involved to determine whether it was within the provisions of any legal obligations which might exist between them. That would not be an affair for the United States to have a say in. Are we finished with this subject? Q One more on Iraq defection. MR. JOHNSON: Okay. Q To phrase a question that was asked earlier in a different way, the Jerusalem Post reported -- quoted an Israeli security official as saying that the defections were aided and abetted by Western intelligence agencies. Can you make any comment about that? I will say "Western intelligence agencies." MR. JOHNSON: I can make the same comment I always make when people ask me intelligence questions, if that would be helpful, but I can't help you. Q How about State Department -- aid of State Department personnel? MR. JOHNSON: Since we don't have a mission in Iraq, it would be a little difficult for us to be helpful. Q China. Recently an interview by a prominent Japanese newspaper, PRC President Jiang Zemin said the Mainland Chinese Government will not rule out the option of using military force against Taiwan, because, if they do, it will lose the opportunity for peace and reunification. Do you have any comment on that? MR. JOHNSON: Only to refer you to the three communiques, in particular the one in 1982 which deals with that issue. Q And a quick follow-up. Has there been any change of position on the part of the State Department regarding the missile tests and the gunnery practice by the Chinese Government? MR. JOHNSON: None. We don't believe it's helpful. Q David, the clause you referred to I believe says that the United States will come to the aid of Taiwan if attacked by China. Is that correct? MR. JOHNSON: I'd like to read the text before I start affirming things like that. Q You just referred to it. What did you mean? MR. JOHNSON: I referred to the statement in the communique -- Q 1982 communique, which talks about what American will do if China -- if Taiwan comes under attack. MR. JOHNSON: Let me take another read at that before I jump into your -- Q Could you clarify exactly what you meant by that piece of paper -- whether you meant that the United States -- MR. JOHNSON: Sid, I will be glad to provide you a text of that for you reading enjoyment. Q I have a text of it. I'd like to know what the United States meant by the statement you just read. MR. JOHNSON: The United States meant exactly what I've said. I referred to that and refer to it in its entirety and not in a small amount or not in a piece. I'd be glad to provide you a copy and go over it with you, if you'd like. Q Follow-up on China. Do we have a date yet for Peter Tarnoff's trip? MR. JOHNSON: I don't have anything to announce for you, but we're still proceeding with making arrangements, and we expect to have an announcement in the not-too-distant future. Q So it's on track. MR. JOHNSON: Don't see any reason for it not to be. Q Also, David, your new allies in Hanoi -- Ambassador Mandale apparently did some fairly undemocratic things today. He arrested two Vietnamese Americans for democracy activities, are they being sentenced them to jail, and there was a third Vietnamese person, a Vietnamese activist, who they sentenced to prison as well. MR. JOHNSON: Let me look into the questions that you raised, but take issue with the alliance relationship. I'm unaware of any treaties that were signed while you were on your trip.
Q Thank you. (The briefing concluded at 1:47 p.m.) (###)To the top of this page