Jiang: China never made U.S. political contributions
Chinese president says he will abide by Hong Kong laws
May 9, 1997
In this story:
Web posted at: 11:36 a.m. EDT (1536 GMT)
BEIJING (CNN) -- President Jiang Zemin said Friday that China
never made political contributions to U.S. candidates in
hopes of gaining influence. In an exclusive interview with
CNN in Beijing, Jiang also said China will abide by Hong Kong's
laws after the British colony is handed over to Chinese rule.
In a written statement addressing fund-raising controversies
in the United States, Jiang said the Chinese government "has
never been involved in or supported any political
"Some people in the U.S. even claimed that the top leadership
of China had approved of making contributions. This has no
base in fact," the statement said.
Both the Democratic and Republican parties have returned
illegal contributions from sources outside the United States.
And a Republican Party fund-raising letter declares the
Clinton White House was "sold for illegal foreign cash" from
In his statement, Jiang asserts that "some countries and a
region have made political contributions and pursued money
politics in the U.S., which is an open secret. However, we
have not heard much strong reaction. It's hard to
It was not immediately clear what countries or region he was
Hong Kong freedoms to stay intact
In the CNN interview, the Chinese president said he would be
in Hong Kong on July 1 when it is handed over to Chinese
rule. He also gave his personal assurance that Beijing would
not interfere with Hong Kong's government.
Hong Kong, a British colony for more than 150 years, becomes
a Special Administrative Region of China at midnight on June
President Jiang Zemin's interview with CNN
Jiang on being president
(1.1M/51 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
Jiang on Hong Kong's return
(621K/28 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
Jiang on Hong Kong's residents
(621K/28 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
Beijing has pledged the territory of 6.4 million people would
keep its freewheeling capitalist way of life intact for 50
years after the handover.
"Some people may have some concerns about Hong Kong's return,
but facts will prove that such concerns are unnecessary,"
Jiang told Beijing Bureau Chief Andrea Koppel.
"I am the president of this country and also the chairman of
the central military commission, but I wish to emphasize
that no matter how powerful I am, I will act according to
the basic law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative
Region," he said.
He said there was no reason for fears that freedoms of
speech, press and demonstration will be curbed once China
regains control over the British territory.
"After Hong Kong returns to China, the rights and freedoms
enjoyed by Hong Kong residents will be protected according
to Hong Kong law," Jiang said.
"So long as there is no external interference, we are
convinced that the policies of 'one country/two systems' --
Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong and Hong Kong
enjoying a high degree of autonomy -- will surely be
successfully implemented," he said.
'China threat' downplayed
Although Beijing has acted menacingly toward Taiwan -- which
it considers a renegade Chinese province -- Jiang said China
should not be considered a military threat.
"This year, our defense budget is less than $10 billion
(U.S.)," he told CNN. "I think that if you compare this with
the United States and other big powers, China's military
expenditure and armaments level are very low."
"China has never had the intention for expansion. As for the
so-called 'China threat' theory concocted by some people with
a Cold War mentality, I believe that people throughout the
world, including people in the United States, will be able to
make their own correct judgment."
He said reading and listening to music "can be very helpful
to the health growth of a person." As for his own tastes,
Jiang said he read Shakespeare, Goethe and Balzac and enjoyed
listening to Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert.
The Chinese president is expected to visit the United States
in the fall.
Beijing Bureau Chief Andrea Koppel contributed to this report
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