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U.S. Department of State
96/09/25 Remarks with Chinese ForMin prior to Bilateral Meeting
Office of the Spokesman
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
(New York, New York)
For Immediate Release September 25, 1996
SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER
CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER QIAN QICHEN
PRIOR TO THEIR BILATERAL MEETING
New York, New York
September 25, 1996
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: Good afternoon. I'm very pleased to welcome
Vice Premier Qian Qichen back to New York. This is our third meeting in
five months, and the 15th that we've had together during my tenure in
I think these many meetings, the frequency of our consultation, reflects
the very great importance that our two countries attach to our
I must say, Mr. Minister, our meetings seem to me to have paid off in
marked improvement in our ties in recent months.
As permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, the United States and
China both have very important responsibilities for maintaining peace
and security around the world. There was a very good example of that
just yesterday, when our cooperation played an important part in
securing the approval of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. It was
really a very exciting moment when I watched, first, President Clinton
sign the treaty and then just almost in order after him, Vice Premier
Qian signing the treaty for China.
On another subject, working together, we achieved a common goal of
freezing the nuclear developments, and we're working hard to try to
achieve a non-nuclear Korean Peninsula.
We've also reached agreement between the two of our countries on several
proliferation issues. Those issues remain a high priority for us.
We'll be discussing those here today.
We're also working together bilaterally and through the U.N. on a number
of the emerging global threats such as terrorism, environmental
degradation, international crime, and drug trafficking.
I was interested to note in your speech to the U.N., Mr. Minister, you
identified all of those as being important issues for the future. Of
course, we'll want to renew our determination to end the practice of
Today, we'll also discuss issues where we have differences, such as
human rights, as always making sure that our concerns are heard and
understood. At the same time, we'll be looking for ways to find common
The United States has an important interest, along with China, in
maintaining a stable environment in the Pacific; in that connection,
seeking a peaceful resolution of issues between the PRC and Taiwan. For
the United States, this means we will continue to be guided by our firm
commitment to a one-China policy and the three joint communiques.
We share a strong interest in ensuring that Hong Kong's transition to
China's sovereignty in 1997 is a smooth one.
Of course, we have a very important trade relationship. The United
States will continue to support China's efforts to open its economy and
to enter the World Trade Organization on commercially acceptable terms.
In recent months, we've reached important agreements in the trade area.
One, to protect intellectual property rights and widen market access.
It's critically important that China fully implement these new
I have often stressed the importance of frequent consultations in
building our relationship. When the Vice Premier and I met last month
in Jakarta, we agreed to advance our common interests through a series
of high-level meetings this fall, and they're about to start.
This week, the Joint Committee on Commerce and Trade meets in Washington
led by Secretary Mickey Kantor of our Commerce Department and Mrs. Wu
Yi. I'm very pleased that our distinguished Ambassador, former Senator
Jim Sasser, has returned to the United States to be involved in these
John Holum, the Director of our Arms Control and Disarmament Agency,
will be going to Beijing next month for talks. Under Secretary of State
Lynn Davis will be meeting with her counterpart later this fall.
For myself, I'm very much looking forward to visiting China for talks in
November. Of course, we expect that our Presidents will hold
discussions during the APEC Leaders Meeting in Manila.
The intensity of this dialogue -- all of these meetings this fall --
shows how seriously both sides take the managing of our relationship and
moving it forward. It's in that serious and constructive mode that I
welcome the Vice Premier here today for another round of our talks.
Nice to see you, Mr. Premier.
MINISTER QIAN: (Through Interpreter) I am very happy to meet Secretary
of State Warren Christopher again during the session of the United
Nations General Assembly.
I believe that our coming meeting will produce results, as we have done
in our previous meetings on more than 10 occasions.
Recently, thanks to the joint efforts of the Chinese and U.S. sides,
some positive progress has been made in our bilateral relations -- the
so-called ring magnet issue, the issue of the protection of intellectual
property rights and the MFN issue once troubling Sino-U.S. relations
have been resolved, one after another, properly.
The exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in the economic,
trade and other fields continue to develop and expand. The plan of
having exchange of high-level visits, as agreed between the two sides,
is being gradually implemented. Tomorrow, the Joint Commission on
Commerce and Trade will have its meeting in Washington. Later, there
will be a meeting of the Economic Committee and there will also be the
Commission on Economic and Finance Cooperation in which it will have its
discussion, and the Joint Commission on Science and Technology will also
have its session.
Of course, there are still some problems and differences in our
relations such as the question of Taiwan. However, the atmosphere for
Sino-U.S. relations, as a whole, has improved significantly. There are
also favorable conditions for further improvement.
The Chinese side is ready to work with the U.S. side to increase
dialogue, expand common ground, develop cooperation, and remove various
interferences and properly settle the existing problems and differences
with a view to pushing our bilateral relations toward a healthy and
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, I'm sure with all these senior arms control
and human rights people, I'm missing a major question. But there's a
lot of turmoil in the Middle East. If I may, I'd like to ask you if you
think anyone, or any side, is particularly at fault for the rioting and
feuding in Jerusalem and the rioting on the West Bank. Can you please
kindly address that subject?
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: We've been following the situation last night
and today with deep concern. We have urged the parties to defuse the
situation, to restore calm in the area. That's what needs to be done
now. They should return to the negotiating table and make progress on
the significant issues that are before them under the Oslo agreements.
We've been in touch with the parties on a regular basis in the last 24
hours. About two hours ago I talked with Prime Minister Netanyahu who
is in Paris tonight and urged him, as we've been urging Chairman Arafat,
to take steps to calm the situation, to defuse it and to get back to
QUESTION: Should those negotiations be at a high level? There's some
urgency now. And, really, the initial question was, do you see any
fault on either side?
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: I think that the negotiations should continue at
the level that they are involved, but the fact that my contacts have
been, today, with both the Prime Minister and Chairman Arafat reflect
the fact that our concern about this situation is deep enough so that we
think it's important that the leaders address the situation themselves;
not necessarily in the negotiations but because it's important to
diffuse the tensions.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, do you and your colleagues in the Cabinet plan
to make any recommendations to the President to erase or lessen the
restrictions on the technology transfer to China in order to balance the
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: We're going to continue following the same
policies that we have in that field. We don't have any new
recommendations to make at the present time, but we continue to study
that situation. It's an evolving matter in which we want to cooperate
but nevertheless we have standards that such transfers must meet.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary of State, China and Japan have a territorial
dispute over the Diaoyu island in the East China Sea. What is the
United States position?
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: The United States urges the parties to resolve
those issues through dialogue. It's a subject on which we have no
specific position except that it seems to us to be a classic issue in
which the parties should resolve the issues that might lie between them
through consultation and dialogue.
QUESTION: Mr. Vice Premier, China has indicated that it supports U.N.
Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali for a new term. Is China's
support so firm that it would consider using its veto to block any other
candidate for Secretary General?
MINISTER QIAN: (Through Interpreter) China is satisfied with the work
Mr. Ghali has done during his term of office. At the same time, we also
understand that Mr. Ghali is the first African Secretary General for the
United Nations and therefore has the right to seek re-election. Of
course, at the same time, we also respect the decision made by the OAU
supporting Mr. Ghali or some other African candidate. However, up to
now there has not emerged any new candidate in this regard.
QUESTION: (Through Interpreter) Mr. Vice Premier, how do you view the
current status of Sino-U.S. relations? And what is your view about the
future prospect of their development?
MINISTER QIAN: (Through Interpreter) As I said in my opening remarks,
I believe that major improvement has been made, vis-a-vis the current
status of Sino-U.S. relations. I am optimistic about each future
development. I believe that so long as the two sides act in strict
observance of the principles enshrined in the three Sino-U.S. joint
communiques, there will be even greater development in Sino-U.S.
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