THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Jakarta, Indonesia) ______________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release November 17, 1994
BACKGROUND BRIEFING ON CHINA BILATERAL BY SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL
November 14, 1994
Outside of the Istiqlal Mosque Jakarta, Indonesia
9:15 A.M. (L)
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: This is a quick readout on the meeting. It lasted just about an hour. The atmosphere, I would have said, was businesslike, but friendly. They got to substance very quickly, covered a number of issues. In general terms, President Jiang began by saying that he welcomed the progress that has been made in our relationship since the Seattle meeting. The President agreed that that progress has, in fact, been made, and they both welcomed the series of high-level meetings that have taken place between Secretary Christopher, Secretary Brown, Secretary Perry and their counterparts.
The President, in welcoming the progress in our relationship, said that he had also welcomed the paroling of the eight dissidents, including a number from Tibet, but also said that further progress on human rights would be very important to further progress in our overall relationship.
I think the main issue that they discussed was Korea. President Jiang said that the Chinese welcomed strongly the agreement between the United States and North Korea. He said that the Chinese -- I'm sorry, they were very pleased with the American agreement with North Korea on North Korea's nuclear program. He said that the Chinese interests in Korea are both stability and that the North Koreans not develop nuclear weapons, and they both agreed that the resumption of the North-South dialogue in Korea take place.
Jiang said that he hopes that the North and the South would have good talks between them. Jiang said this is very important to ensuring stability in the Korean Peninsula, and that the Chinese have emphasized this to both the North Koreans and the South Koreans.
The President also emphasized the importance of the North-South dialogue. They also spoke about the importance now of implementing the agreement. So I think that was the main topic of conversation. Jiang said that there are no differences between the United States and the Chinese on the Korean issue.
On trade, they discussed three different questions. One is our bilateral trading relationship. The President spoke of the importance of two issues, in particular -- one, intellectual property rights, and the other, market access. A second issue that they discussed is Chinese membership in the GATT and the Chinese becoming a founding member of the World Trade Organization. The President said that we would welcome this, but that the Chinese have to do so on the basis of the basic rules of GATT, just as is true for any other nation.
And the third issue is APEC, and the discussions of APEC on moving towards free and open trade in this region. The Chinese said that there should be distinctions between the more developed nations and the less developed nations with regard to the timetable. And the President emphasized that there, in any case, be reciprocity at every stage.
Do I need to go into that? We're sort of shorthanded here. I think you all know that issue.
Another issue that was discussed was --
Q Did they have any agreement on that, or did they just agree to disagree on that point?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, I'm not sure that we're going to end up disagreeing on it. We'll have to see, and this is all part of the process here. I don't think there was anything new in what each said there.
Q Is China still holding out on a date certain? Malaysia and China didn't want to go along with any particular date. Is that still the case after this meeting?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I think that the discussion of it was general enough; I wouldn't draw a conclusion from it one way or the other.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: The question was, the Chinese position on date certain, and the implication was that maybe they're holding out on it. The Chinese have to speak for themselves, but I think it's fair to say the thrust seems to be that they seem amenable to looking toward a date certain, but they are putting emphasis on different pace and reaching toward freer trade by the developed versus the developing countries.
If I had to guess, I would say the Chinese will go along with a date certain.
Q This is on GATT or APEC?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No, no, this is on APEC.
Q Is this in the next two days you expect a date certain?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yes -- by Wednesday we're going to have to have a communique.
Q So you expect that the communique will have date in it -- will the communique have a specific date in it?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I would anticipate that it will.
Q Will that be July 20?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Probably, yes. There are some other issues that were discussed. The President raised the issue of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. They had a general discussion of this. The Chinese, in the context of saying that, President Jiang said that in a changing world, it is all the more important that the United States and China cooperate on "hot spots" around the world, and that we cooperate on issues such as nonproliferation and, as I recall, he said crime, the environment, drugs, et cetera.
And the President agreed that this was very important that we cooperate and did, again, mention our concerns about the possible export of our dangerous technologies, but welcomes strongly the agreement that we reached with the Chinese previously on the question of the M-11 missile. You recall the agreement we did reach on that.
There was a -- but that discussion was quite general. Again, the main topic was Korea. President Jiang raised the question of Taiwan, again in very general terms. And the President reiterated that we are pursuing a one China, three communiques policy and said that the changes in our policy towards Taiwan reflected our growing economic interests there.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: -- human rights question. And the other official mentioned that the President had mentioned that he was pleased with recent momentum relations, but we had to continue to make progress. And on the question of human rights, he did come back to it again toward the end of the meeting for a further discussion of that.
If I could make one other point, and that is I think you have to see these meetings at this level sort of sketching a strategic vision of the relationship as well as getting into specific issues, and I think that they did both. And it is an ongoing process, this comprehensive engagement, where you tackle issues on a broad front, make progress in some areas and hope to handle the more difficult ones in this broader framework. And I think you should see this as an ongoing process.
Q What is a one China-three communiques policy ?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: The basic point here is the President saying that although we have strong, unofficial relations with Taiwan and friendship and recent changes of promoting our economic interests, we are not changing our fundamental policies that we worked out with the Chinese over several administrations of both political parties, which we think has served everyone well.
Q Were there any specific -- human rights like Red Cross? How did the Chinese respond on human rights? I could put that in the pool report, but was there any response?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: -- general terms that they've described before, that they say that they are trying to extend human rights within their society, but that stability is very important and that the sovereignty of China is very important.
Q But they continue to accept it as a legitimate subject for discussion?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Right. The important point here is that there is, for the first time now, a clearly established dialogue on human rights that we are pursuing at a lot of different levels, including now at the level, once again, the level of the two Presidents.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Finally, I'm sure the pool will tell you what a great mosque this is. We've got to run now, I'm afraid. Bye-bye.
END9:25 A.M. (L)