Jiang, Clinton Have Frank Exchange of Views at Press Conference
Chinese President Jiang Zeming and U.S.
President Bill Clinton had a frank exchange of views over
human rights and Tibetan issues at a joint press conference
in Beijing on June 27 following their official talks.
In response to a Xinhua reporter's question on
China's stance on human rights, Jiang said "China and
the United States have different views and also have common
ground" on this issue, Jiang said.
Chinese nation always respects and maintains the dignity of
the human beings, he said, and today, the Chinese government
solemnly announces its commitment to the promotion and the
protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
"I listened very carefully to what
President Clinton said just now, and I noticed that he
mentioned the political disturbances that occurred in
Tiananmen Square in 1989 and in addressing the issue, he
also gave an account of the history of Tiananmen,"
For the people of China, he said
that "we have long drawn a historical conclusion."
He also said he had stated during his visits to the United
States and at various international occasions that during
the turmoil of 1989, had not China taken the resolute
measures, it would be impossible to have a stable situation
as it is today."
"No country's human
rights situation is perfect," he said, adding that
"fundamental changes and the tremendous achievements
that have been scored in human rights in China are for all
to see" since the founding of the New China.
President Clinton in his opening remark
mentioned that the two countries have different views on the
human right issue, while acknowledging the progress China
has made in this respect.
"this debate and discussion today have been a healthy
and a good thing."
"I'm trying to
have a dialogue here that will enable both of us to move
forward so that the Chinese people will get the best
possible result," President Clinton said.
Moreover, he acknowledged that the two
countries "are working together in many areas of
"We have developed a
relationship of openness and candor," he said, noting
that "when we differ, as we do from time to time, we
speak openly and honestly in an effort to understand our
differences and, if possible, to work toward a common
approach to resolve them."
question of Tibet, Jiang went into details to enumerate
great changes that have happened to Tibet after 1 million
serfs were emancipated after the Dalai Lama left China in
1959. He also pledged guarantee to the religious freedom
even though he is an atheist, communist and state president.
"Just now President Clinton also
mentioned the Tibetan issue and urged dialogue with the
Dalai Lama," Jiang noted.
as the Dalai Lama can make public the statement and
commitment that Tibet is an inalienable part of China and
recognize Taiwan as a province of China, then the door to
our negotiation is open," he said.
"Actually, we are having several channels
of communication with the Dalai Lama. And I hope the Dalai
Lama will make a positive response in this regard,"
"I agree that Tibet is
part of China," Clinton said. "And I can
understand why the acknowledgement of that would be a
precondition of dialogue with the Dalai Lama," he
Moreover, Jiang said he felt that
President Clinton is a strong defender of the American
interests and that he himself is a strong defender of the
Chinese interests. But despite that, he added, they can
still converse and consult each other in a very friendly
manner and "this is democracy!" he said in
Meanwhile, "I want to explain
that, actually, there are a lot of areas in which we can
learn from each other," Jiang said.
During the press conference, President Bill
Clinton answered questions on the Asian Financial Crisis and
the Sino-U.S. agreement not to target nuclear weapons at
each other's territories.
In reply to the
former question, President Clinton said China has
"shown great statesmanship and strength" in making
a strong contribution to the stability of the entire region
by maintaining the value of its currency.
joint press conference held earlier today lasted for over 70
minutes, with more than 300 journalists both at home and
from overseas attending.