Clinton Catches Some Flak Over Jiang's Visit (10/27/97)
Clinton, Jiang Plan A Private Get-Together
They could meet for an hour in advance of Wednesday's formal talks
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Oct. 28) -- In advance of their formal summit, President Bill Clinton and China's Jiang Zemin may sit down for a private chat at the White House tonight, without other officials.
Clinton has invited Jiang for the informal session in advance of Wednesday's summit, in hopes that some personal, one-on-one contact might help them resolve some of the tension in U.S.-Chinese relations.
Clinton has used similar face time with Russian President Boris Yeltsin and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl to work out problems.
But Jonathan Pollack, an Asian expert at Rand Corp., told The Associated Press he doesn't have the sense that Clinton and Jiang are confident enough to lower their guard and speak candidly about some of the difficulties between the two nations.
This is the first China-U.S. summit since Chinese troops crushed pro-democracy demonstrators at Beijing's Tienanmen Square in 1989, and there are also strains between the two countries over human rights, trade and copyright issues and arms trading.
Jiang is on a five-city, eight-day tour of the United States. Today he is in colonial Williamsburg, Va., about 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., learning about U.S. history.
Jiang will encounter protests when he reaches Washington. Demonstrations -- both pro-Tibet and pro-Taiwan -- are expected, and there will be a protest across the street from the White House on Wednesday when Jiang and Clinton hold a joint news conference.
Along with human rights and trade, another issue for the summit is whether the Clinton Administration should certify that China is no longer was assisting other nations with their nuclear weapons programs and has ended its cooperation with Iran. Such certification would allow the U.S. nuclear industry to export technology to China for the first time.
Republican Sen. Jesse Helms, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote Clinton on Monday to object to such certification.
"We believe that implementation of this agreement, now or in the immediate future, would be premature at a time when China continues its destabilizing transfers of nuclear, missile, chemical and biological weapons technology, and advanced conventional weapons," the two senators wrote.
In response, White House Press Secretary Michael McCurry said Clinton would act in the best interests of national security. McCurry noted it would be in the United States' interest to encourage China "to make important new commitments with respect to technology transfer, specifically in sensitive missile technology areas."
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Tuesday Oct. 28, 1997
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