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Clinton China Policy
Clinton goes for bottom line business with soft-line China policy,
side-steps Tibet problem, focuses on drug trafficking and nuke strategy,
drug line should bring in Yunnan and Golden Triangle north Burma.
see also Clinton slammed by French for 'too modest' environmental
protection strategy, and that cannot be good for the Pacific southeast
Saturday, October 25, 1997
Clinton Makes Plea For Policy on China
Summit With Jiang Will FocusOn Coaxing Beijing to Change
John F. Harris and Thomas W. Lippman Washington Post,IHT
WASHINGTON - Declaring that China ''stands at a
crossroads,'' President Bill Clinton on Friday
appealed to the American public to support his
policy of engagement with Beijing, which he
predicted would coax China's leadership toward an
''open and non-aggressive'' stance to the rest of world.
In a speech designed to set the tone for next
week's visit of President Jiang Zemin to
Washington, Mr. Clinton asserted that his approach
of cooperating with Beijing on mutual goals, rather
than confronting it over remaining differences, is
more likely to encourage the changes the United
States desires in the world's most populous nation.
''At the dawn of a new century, China stands at a
crossroads,'' Mr. Clinton told an audience at the
Voice of America auditorium in Washington.
''The direction China
takes, toward cooperation or conflict, will
profoundly affect Asia, America, and the world for
''The emergence of China as a power that is stable,
open and nonaggressive, that embraces free markets,
political pluralism and the rule of law, that works
with us to build a secure international order,
rather than a China turned inward and
confrontational, is deeply in America's interest,''
Mr. Clinton said.
Mr. Clinton acknowledged in his speech that sharp
differences with China remain, and pledged that he
would raise U.S. objections to China's repression
of dissidents and other human-rights issues with
Mr. Jiang in their talks on Wednesday. But he urged
U.S. citizens and the Congress to judge the U.S.
relationship with China on broad terms, not on any
single point of conflict.
The president outlined the summit agenda, which
includes talks on the status of Taiwan, possible
nuclear accords with Beijing, lowering trade
barriers, improving the global environment and
cooperating on drug trafficking.
Though he took pains to explain China's desire to
retain civil order, Mr. Clinton warned Beijing that
it will be difficult to maintain a closed political
system in an increasingly open society.
''As China has opened economically, political
reform has lagged behind,'' Mr. Clinton said.
''They have stifled political dissent to a degree
and in ways that we feel are fundamentally wrong.
''The United States must and will stand up for
human rights,'' the president said.
But he cautioned that the isolation of China ''is
China will, he said, ''for good or ill, play a very
large role in shaping the 21st century.''
It was the first time Mr. Clinton has given a
speech devoted solely to China, and administration
aides acknowledge that he is in some measure
playing defense. After mostly avoiding the subject
before domestic audiences, he now needs to ensure
that his voice, not those attacking Beijing on
subjects as diverse as human rights, environmental
policy and military proliferation, carries mostly
clearly during the summit.
At one time, Mr. Clinton was in sympathy with many
of these critics. But after accusing President
George Bush in the 1992 campaign of ''coddling''
Beijing, he reversed course after discovering that
the Chinese did not respond to confrontational
tactics. While Mr. Clinton's policy has strong
support among big business and elite foreign-policy
circles, administration officials say he must now
make the same case to a broader public.
If he does not succeed, officials said, a summit
meeting that Mr. Clinton hopes will officially end
the eight-year chill in relations that began after
the massacre of student opposition forces near
Tiananmen Square could end up instead increasing
the suspicion many Americans hold toward a nation
that contains one-quarter of Earth's population.
Mr. Clinton's goal in the meeting, according to the
White House national security adviser, Samuel
Berger, is a ''better sense among the American
people as to why engagement with China is a
pragmatic way of proceeding.''
''It doesn't mean we embrace China, doesn't mean
that we agree with everything that they do - in
fact, to the contrary,'' Mr. Berger said. ''But we
cannot isolate China; we can only isolate ourselves
In briefings this past week, administration
officials stressed, and independent analysts
largely agreed, that the fact the state visit is
taking place may be more important than any
substantive agreements that emerge from it.
Mr. Clinton and Mr. Jiang will meet once in a
working session for only 90 minutes. Despite the
White House effort to lower expectations,
administration officials are in the midst of
frenetic, last-minute negotiations in Beijing to
assure that some concrete gains emerge. The most
likely prospect, U.S. officials said, is a pledge
by Beijing to limit exports of nuclear equipment
and technology to states such as Iran, enabling Mr.
Clinton to authorize sales of U.S.-made nuclear
reactors to China.
Also in the works is an agreement to expand
U.S.-China military cooperation.
The Chinese have refused a U.S. proposal for joint
field exercises, officials said, but seem close to
accepting a plan for smaller-scale cooperation,
such as ''table-top'' war games not involving
actual troops or equipment.
But administration officials this week have said
they did not expect any gains on human rights,
although they remained hopeful that Mr. Jiang would
order the release of prominent dissidents. While
they once hoped to make some incremental gains in
negotiations for China's accession to the World
Trade Organization, the issue is now mostly off the
''It's agonizing dealing with these people,'' said
one administration official, frustrated by the
glacial pace of presummit negotiations with
Although Mr. Clinton hopes to develop a personal
bond with Mr. Jiang, the White House is more
concerned about how the Chinese leader reveals
himself in public than in his private sessions with
Mr. Clinton. Mr. Jiang's visit has prompted
criticism of China from right and left.
!!!! In Congress, there are more than four dozen pieces
of legislation that would denounce China or impose
And when Mr. Clinton and Mr. Jiang meet on
Wednesday, there will be human-rights protesters
gathered on Lafayette Square. Similar protests are
expected at virtually every stop he makes. White
House officials are hoping Mr. Jiang will not
encourage protesters with an impolitic statement at
a joint news conference with Mr. Clinton or at
But some aides said they were not encouraged by a
briefing given Wednesday by the Chinese Embassy
spokesman, Yu Shuning. Asked about China's
repression of Tibet and political dissenters, Mr.
Yu said crisply that these were ''internal
Friday October 24 5:20 PM EDT
Clinton Says Will Raise Rights Issues With Jiang
By Steve Holland
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Clinton Friday pledged a policy of
cooperation, not confrontation, with China ahead of a summit next week with
Chinese President Jiang Zemin, but vowed to bring up Chinese human rights
In his first speech devoted totally to China policy, Clinton held back from
a harsh denunciation of Chinese policies that have resulted in the 1989
Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing and the jailing of political
dissidents ever since.
The president appeared to be paving the way for a smooth summit next
Wednesday with the leader of the communist giant that could result in
billions of dollars in new Chinese contracts for American businesses. It
will be the first U.S. state visit by a Chinese leader since 1979.
"Our objective is not containment and conflict. It is cooperation," Clinton
said in a speech at the headquarters of the U.S.-run Voice of America radio
service, which broadcast it to an audience worldwide estimated at 100
Jiang is expected to face big protests about Chinese human rights policies
on stops along the way of his U.S. visit, and the White House has told
Beijing this is simply democracy in action.
But Clinton made clear that at least publicly he was not going to harangue
Beijing on human rights, in spite of criticism that he has not been tough
He said America's growing ties with China do not mean the United States can
"ignore abuses in China of human rights or religious freedom," because "to
do otherwise would run counter to everything we stand for as Americans."
"They have stifled political dissent to a degree and in ways that we
believe are fundamentally wrong," he said.
At the same time, however, he said human rights issues are discussed as
part of a dialogue with Beijing and "in dialogue we must also admit that we
in America are not blameless in our social fabric."
"Our crime rate is too high, too many of our children are still killed with
guns, too many or our streets are still riddled with drugs. We have things
to learn from other societies as well and problems we have to solve,"
He rejected critics who want him to punish China, saying that "isolation of
China is unworkable, counter-productive and potentially dangerous."
The U.S. strategy is to use engagement with Beijing to promote a gradual
change in policies. On one aspect of the relationship, Clinton reported
He said China has "lived up to its pledge" not to help other countries'
nuclear facilities, but said "troubling weapons supply relationships"
Last week, China told the Clinton administration it will halt cruise
missile sales to Iran. U.S. officials are increasingly optimistic that
Beijing is ready to stop giving nuclear assistance to Tehran, as Washington
has demanded, as a condition for being allowed to buy billions of dollars'
worth of U.S.-made nuclear power reactors.
If the administration lifts a ban on U.S. companies' sales of nuclear power
technology to China, the deal could be worth a reported $15 billion through
2010 for such firms as Westinghouse, General Electric and ABBCombustion
Engineering Nuclear Systems.
In addition, China is expected to purchase a number of aircraft from
Boeing, possibly as many as 30, in what would be a multi-billion dollar
Clinton, faced with a U.S. trade deficit of $40 billion with China,
insisted that China must dramatically open access to its potentially
lucrative markets if it wants to gain entry into the World Trade
The WTO, a newly created global trading body, sets rules on international
trade and China wants to join to guarantee its access to world markets.
In progress on one trade front, U.S. Trade Representative Charlene
Barshefsky said the United States and China have reached an interim
agreement on terms covering market access in China for foreign financial
information companies like Reuters Holdings PLC and Dow Jones and Co.
The agreement with Xinhua, China's official news agency, prevents
interference in the operation of foreign information services and their
customers, Barshefsky said.
Clinton, as expected, reaffirmed U.S. support of a one-China policy, saying
the future of Taiwan must be resolved by the Chinese people.
Allies Slam Clinton's Environmental Stand
By Terence Gallagher
BONN, Germany (Reuters) - Traditional U.S. allies from normally loyal Japan
to steadfast Britain and Germany to prickly France assailed President
Clinton's environmental proposals Thursday for doing too little to avert a
potential climate disaster.
But a top Clinton environmental aide defended the plan at a U.N.-sponsored
global warming conference in Bonn, saying it would be counter-productive to
set more ambitious targets that were unattainable.
And Australia stood out as a rare supporter.
Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, whose country hosts a world
conference on global warming in December, led a chorus of criticism, saying
Clinton should have taken a bolder step to curb gases held responsible for
changing the climate.
"It is commendable that U.S. President Bill Clinton has decided to spell
out a U.S. proposal ahead of the Bonn preparatory meeting for the
international conference on global warming in Kyoto in December," Hashimoto
said in Tokyo.
"However, I think that there might have been room for further efforts."
Britain, which prides itself on its special relationship with Washington,
said Clinton's call for a global agreement cutting carbon dioxide and other
"greenhouse" gases to 1990 levels within the next 10 to 14 years did not go
"What we say is, 'you can be much more ambitious'," Deputy Prime Minister
John Prescott said in London. "This is a global question and therefore the
whole community has to act collectively."
Clinton proposed Wednesday to stabilize greenhouse gas emission at 1990
levels by 2008-2012 and then reduce them. He said a commitment made at a
Rio de Janeiro climate conference five years ago to return to that level by
2000 would fail.
His proposals lagged behind the European Union's (EU) call for developed
nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to 15 percent below 1990
levels by 2010.
Germany's Environmental Minister Angela Merkel said Bonn, a close U.S.
ally, would try to persuade Washington to agree to a more ambitious target
at the conference in Kyoto.
"It is a useful step to see that the world's largest producer of greenhouse
gas emissions has now finally put its negotiating position on the table,"
she said. "But the content of the U.S. suggestions is disappointing and
France, which has tangled with Washington over a variety of issues,
expressed regret and disappointment that the proposals were "so modest."
An Environment Ministry statement in Paris said the U.S. proposal was a
step forward for Washington.
"But Environment Minister Dominique Voynet strongly deplores the minimalist
and still very insufficient character of the approach taken by the United
States," it added.
"The climatic changes under way, especially those caused by wasting energy,
concern us all. The biggest polluters -- among which the U.S. takes first
place with eight percent of the world population and more than 25 percent
of polluting emissions -- should lead by example."
The French foreign ministry said France and its European Union (EU)
partners wanted industrialized countries to agree to reduce their output of
greenhouse gases to 15 percent below 1990 levels by 2010.
EU Environment Commissioner Ritt Bjerregaard said Clinton had failed to
tackle the issue. "This is not an adequate response to the global problems
of climate change," Bjerregaard said.
Australia, the world's largest coal exporter, stood out as a rare supporter
of Clinton, saying it welcomed his proposals but said it could not adopt
them because they would cause job losses.
Officials at the U.N.-sponsored global warming conference in Bonn, who are
working on details for forging a compromise before the Kyoto meeting, said
the United States was failing to live up to past commitments.
But David Sandolow, the National Security Council's director for
environmental affairs, said he and his colleagues were confident that
Clinton's proposals would form the basis of a United Nations climate
Most delegates from 150 countries in Bonn seemed to see Clinton's stand as
a bargaining position, aimed at pulling a compromise which he could sell to
a domestic business community that says action will be costly and
The EU call for 15 percent reductions by 2010, has been backed by a large
group of Third World countries, which joined in the sharp criticism of the
Bakary Kante, a delegate from Senegal, told Reuters: "The African group is
disappointed. We were expecting something more."
Raul Estrada-Oyuela, an Argentine diplomat who is chairman of the current
treaty negotiations, said he was baffled by the U.S. plan, and that he has
long been disappointed by the U.S. track record on containing greenhouse
But Sandolow, acknowledging widespread criticism, said: "President Clinton
wants an agreement on the basis of the U.S. proposal. The criticism is
something we can overcome and work together as the basis for an agreement."
Mark Hambley, the chief U.S. negotiator at the climate talks, conceded
there may still be some room to maneuver.
"We are just beginning the serious finale of this negotiation," he said.
"It is not productive for us to speculate about outcomes when we all hope
there will be a successful outcome in Kyoto."
Global warming is thought to be caused by a build-up in the atmosphere of
gases such as carbon dioxide emitted from the burning of fossil fuels.
Scientists say the buildup will alter the climate, cause more severe
storms, droughts and floods and raise sea levels by melting part of the ice