U.S. Department of State
95/11/16 Briefing: China
Office of the Spokesman
For Immediate Release November 16, 1995
New Otani Hotel
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: Good afternoon. I am pleased to meet today with my colleague, Vice Premier and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen of China. Today marks my fourth meeting with the Vice Premier in the last three and a half months, beginning with our important meeting in Brunei. I look forward to today as a means for sustaining the positive momentum we have achieved over this period.
As members of the APEC forum, the United States and China share an interest in promoting the continuing economic growth and integration of the Asia Pacific region. As members of the ASEAN Regional Forum, we share an interest in promoting a more secure region through dialogue and confidence-building measures. And as great nations who sit together as permanent members of the UN Security Council, our two countries have a shared interest in promoting stability, security and prosperity around the world.
In our talks today, the Foreign Minister and I want to build on the positive meeting between Presidents Clinton and Jiang last month at the United Nations 50th Anniversary commemoration. There, our two leaders agreed on the central importance of strong ties between our two countries and the need to restore positive momentum in our relationship. While our two nations have differences in important areas such as human rights, nevertheless I believe that we are both prepared to discuss those differences in an open and constructive manner.
The recognition of the importance of the U.S.-China relationship has enabled us to invigorate our bilateral dialogue. We are very pleased that Ambassador-Designate Li Daoyu has returned to Washington -- and with a little cooperation from the United States Senate, we hope Senator Sasser will be in Beijing soon.
Contacts between our countries on security issues are resuming -- Defense Assistant Secretary Nye is in China today meeting for talks with his Chinese counterparts. We are also seeking areas of agreement in preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction -- a matter of great concern regionally and globally. We can advance our common interest in non-proliferation by moving forward on a zero-yield Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
By working together, the United States and China can more effectively address a number of issues that are basically common international challenges. Our two countries have agreed to work together in fighting international crime, narcotics trafficking and money laundering -- the kind of security challenges that President Clinton referred to in his UN speech last month. We are pursuing high-level talks on the environment, sustainable development, and energy as well as United Nations issues.
Finally, as two important economies, we share very important economic interests that we will be discussing today. The United States has a large stake in China's dynamic economy, and we are working to try to enlarge our opportunities for trade and investment in China. We staunchly support China's accession to the WTO at the earliest possible time. We will continue to work with China to ensure that its accession takes place on appropriate terms.
In closing, let me say that our relationship with China is one of our most important bilateral relationships, and I thank the Minister for his help in enabling us to work constructively on this important relationship and invigorate it and to build momentum. Thank you very much.
FOREIGN MINISTER QIAN: I am very pleased to have this opportunity to meet once again with Secretary of State, Mr. Christopher. Both of us are here for the APEC Ministerial Meeting. And, China and the United States share a lot of common ground within APEC, although there is no denying that we are divided on certain issues. Today, I'm happy to tell you that the two countries have reached agreement in their consultation. So, we are not divided anymore on the action agenda which is going to be adopted smoothly.
President Jiang Zemin and President Clinton not long ago in New York, they had a very good meeting, during which they emphasized the shared common interests that exist between the two countries, despite the fact that there are some differences. Both sides expressed their willingness to view the Sino-U.S. relationship from a strategic perspective and with an eye on the 21st Century. Both sides would work together so that the bilateral relationship could enjoy stable and sustained development on the basis of the three Sino-U.S. Joint Communiqués.
During today's meeting, we are going to exchange views on issues of common interest, as well as how to resume and broaden our cooperation in some fields. Of course, there is no denying that there are some differences and contradictions that exist between us that need to be addressed and tackled. The Secretary of State Mr. Christopher has enumerated some areas of importance that will be discussed in our meeting. I think that he would also not forget the question the question of Taiwan, which is a very sensitive issue in our bilateral relationship. And this question also deserves very careful discussion in our meeting today.
It is my hope that this meeting could result in better mutual understanding and more common ground between the two countries, thus sustaining the good momentum of growth in our bilateral relationship.
QUESTION (to Foreign Minister Qian): I'm a correspondent from the People's Daily. It is reported that President Clinton might not be able to attend the informal leadership meeting, thus causing the cancellation of the summit meeting between the two presidents. My question is, how do you view the future of the Sino-U.S. relationship?
FOREIGN MINISTER QIAN: The U.S. side has announced that, due to domestic political reasons, President Clinton would cancel his trip to Japan, thus making it impossible for us to proceed with the prearranged appointments. But I don't think that this would have a direct, negative impact on the Sino-U.S. relationship.
QUESTION (to Foreign Minister Qian, from Newsweek):
If Li Teng-hui wins the election in Taiwan next year, and the U.S. congress votes in favor of inviting him once again to the United States, what will your government's reaction be?
FOREIGN MINISTER QIAN: We have also heard some views aired by some U.S. congressmen. In that case, it would be a very serious problem. However, I don't think that represents a position of the U.S. Government.
QUESTION (to Foreign Minister Qian): I'm a correspondent from CCTV. Is the Chinese Government satisfied with the progress and discussion in the APEC meeting so far, and how do you view the future development of APEC?
FOREIGN MINISTER QIAN: In the run-up to the APEC ministerial meeting, the senior officials had a lengthy and detailed discussion. As a result, they reached agreement on an overwhelming majority of the issues. And for the remaining, more difficult issues, they were finally resolved last night when all the sides reached agreement. So, I'm confident that this meeting would be successful, and it will also be useful to strengthen the economic development in the Asia-Pacific region.
QUESTION (to Secretary Christopher): Mr. Secretary, what is your purpose in going back to Dayton tomorrow? Is there a peace deal at hand, or there still uncertainty?
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: A word of explanation first. In Dayton, Ohio, there are talks going on to try to resolve the conflict in former Yugoslavia. There are talks between the presidents of the three countries involved there: Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia. I've said, from time to time, I would go back to those talks if I could be helpful. I've been at the talks now three times, and it appears to me that it might be useful for me to go back again on my way back to Washington. My present plans are somewhat uncertain, but the likelihood is that I'll return there, probably for meetings sometime on Saturday. My hope is that my presence there will move the issues along. The issues are very difficult. There are very contentious issues between the parties, but I hope that by meeting with the parties and assisting them both in the proximity talks, as well as in talks between the leaders, we might continue to make progress. And that's the reason I'll be going back.
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