From: John King/CNN White House Correspondent
Subject: Framework Set For Clinton Summit With Chinese President
A senior administration official tells CNN that this week's China visit by Clinton national security adviser Sandy Berger set the framework for an October summit in Washington with Chinese President Jiang Zemin.
The official, who briefed a handful of reporters on condition of anonymity, said there were no breakthroughs in the talks and that it was increasingly clear there would be no swift progress in getting China to make the economic reforms the United States says are necessary for China to join the World Trade Organization.
The official says Chinese leaders, including Jiang and Premier Li Peng, again denied any government plot to interfere in U.S. political campaigns.
And the official says Chinese leaders are convinced that while North Korea faces severe food shortages and monumental long-term problems with its agricultural economy, the North Korean regime is not in danger of collapse.
"The Chinese leadership believes it has a greater sense of the threshold of pain than we do," the senior official says. "They sense a greater sense of the ability of North Korea to survive ... They by no means see a country on the verge of collapse."
The Clinton-Jiang summit is tentatively set for late October in Washington although the dates have not been locked in.
The official said Berger and senior Chinese leaders discussed a range of issues and developed a summit framework along these lines:
While acknowledging no major breakthroughs, the official described the talks as "very constructive. Instead of long lectures and a lot of polemics there were very constructive discussions of the specific issues."
The official said the United States was not expecting any dramatic agreements at the summit but hoped just having regular summit meetings would allow for more normal relations.
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