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Reno To Discuss Campaign Fund-Raising With Chinese Justice Minister

By Terry Frieden/CNN


WASHINGTON (Oct. 30) -- Attorney General Janet Reno said today the campaign finance probe and its Chinese connections will be on the agenda when she meets next month in Washington with China's justice minister. "I have let it be known that we will be addressing the issues of how we can cooperate on the campaign financing investigation," Reno said.

The attorney general told reporters she plans to seek "mutual legal assistance whenever possible" when she sits down Nov. 17 with her Beijing counterpart, Xiao Yang.

Reno would not comment, though, on whether she will specifically request China's help in making available individuals whom the task force investigators want to question on campaign finance issues.

Justice Department officials say Reno first extended the invitation to the Chinese justice minister in February 1996, long before the task force probe began. The officials say when the meeting was finally agreed to in August 1997, the campaign finance probe was included on the agenda. That investigation includes allegations the Chinese government attempted to funnel donations to U.S. political campaigns to influence the elections.

The first word of the Justice Department meeting came Wednesday when the White House released a joint, U.S.-China statement saying the justice minister would visit the U.S. "as part of this program of legal cooperation."

The statement said the two nations will strengthen cooperation "in combating international organized crime, narcotics trafficking, alien smuggling, counterfeiting and money laundering."

In Other News:

Thursday Oct. 30, 1997

Lobbyist Says Babbitt Talked About Campaign Contributions
Jiang Visits With Capitol Hill Lawmakers
Babbitt Allegations Trigger Independent Counsel Law
Reno To Question Chinese Offical About Fund-Raising

Clinton, Gore Approval Ratings Move Up

E-mail From Washington:
Deal Struck To Debate Campaign Reform Again
House Fund-Raising Hearings To Resume Next Week
White House Cautiously Optimistic On Fast Track

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