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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

USIS Washington 

22 June 1998


(Roth outlines objectives of President's trip to China) (6830)
Washington -- Among the objectives of President Bill Clinton's
upcoming trip to China is to help Americans better understand China,
says Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Stanley Roth.
Clinton will visit Xian, Beijing, Shanghai, Guilin, and Hong Kong June
25 to July 3.
During a June 19 briefing, Roth told reporters that the Clinton
Administration recognizes that China is changing -- a fact not readily
obvious to some Americans.
"You might say that to some extent, there has been a 'demonization' of
China in the United States because of the large number of problems and
issue areas that we have with them," Roth observed.
"And sometimes the big picture of what is going on in China itself is
not as obvious," Roth said. Clinton, by taking a "longish trip" and
visiting a number of cities, will highlight different aspects of
Chinese life and society, he said.
Roth said that "the President hopes that the American public will have
an opportunity to become much better educated about what is happening
in China -- to see that there is a great deal of discourse in China
now about the rule of law, that there is some excitement about village
elections, that they're starting to think about environmental
Another important objective of the trip, Roth said, will be to expand
the "strategic dialogue" begun last fall when Chinese President Jiang
Zemin visited the United States.
Roth noted that Chinese-American dialogue has expanded from bilateral
problems to international issues of concern to both countries.
Examples are North Korea, India and Pakistan. This broader base for
discussions allows for "normal" diplomatic meetings and a search for
cooperation on a wide variety of issues, he said.
President Clinton hopes to highlight specific accomplishments in the
growing China-U.S. relationship. This includes special focus on issues
such as rule of law, law enforcement, military-to-military relations,
nonproliferation, chemical and biological weapons, religious freedom
and human rights.
He noted China's progress in the area of human rights through
releasing some well-known dissidents and signing a U.N. covenant on
human rights. "These are major breakthroughs on the process side,"
Roth said.
Roth predicted that the summit in China will not produce a joint
Following is the transcript of the briefing:
(begin transcript)
Office of the Spokesman
For Immediate Release
June 19, 1998
Washington, D.C.
ROTH: Good afternoon. I gather you have already been briefed on the
schedule at the NSC and Sandy Berger has walked you through the trip
itself so I wasn't planning on doing that in terms of Xian, Beijing,
Shanghai and ending up in Hong Kong. If there are any questions, feel
free to ask about that.
I thought what I would do instead is provide an overview of what I
think broadly defined what the three major objectives of the are and
then after that open it up for questions. But I think that most people
have tended to focus only on one objective, which is what you might
call the deliverables, or the specific accomplishments of the summit,
but I think there are two other very important pieces that I'd like to
begin with because they set the context for the trip.
First, I think that one of the most important things that will
transpire during the visit will be the continuation and expansion of
the process of strategic dialogue that the President and Jiang Zemin
really began during the prior state visit here last fall. What does
this mean? I think this means that you're seeing a change in how the
United States and China talk to each other. Instead of having
discussions that are based primarily about problems in the bilateral
relationship and focus almost exclusively on those issues, you're
seeing more of a discussion that includes fair amounts of time about
world issues that talks about how we see regions of the world, how
they see regions of the world, trying to identify common interests,
trying to identify places we can work together, and that this both
deals with geopolitical issues -- specific places -- but it also deals
with some of the new functional issues that have arisen closer to the
top of the agenda in the post-Cold War period, like global warming and
environmental issues.
And so what you have now, as I would say, it's a far more normal set
of meetings -- more similar to the meetings between President Clinton
and heads of other countries because it has a much broader base. The
purpose of this is not, of course, merely to avoid tough discussions;
there are plenty of tough discussions on the bilateral problems. But
the purpose, I think, is to try to set a larger context for the
relationship. It's the notion of two great powers that necessarily
have to deal with each other. It's based on the premise that many
global and regional problems are not going to be solved unless the
United States and China can cooperate and, therefore, we have to talk
about them.
Without belaboring the point, let me just give you two examples. One,
of course, is North Korea. I can say this is -- I choose this issue
because as the lead negotiator for the United States in the Four-Party
Peace Talks in Geneva, it's rather near and dear to my heart. The
interesting thing, I would say, is that I believe that as a result of
the conversations that President Clinton and other senior American
officials have had with the Government of China on North Korea, that
we are extremely close in our policy positions. Indeed, I would
suggest that I could practically have written the talking points for
the Chinese delegation during the last round of the Four-Party Talks
in Geneva; that their position was very similar to our own, meaning
that they recognize and said repeatedly to the North Koreans that if
there is going to be peace or tension reduction on the Peninsula, that
it had to come about as the result of direct discussions between the
two parties on the Peninsula itself. This is exactly the American
They also do not want to see a nuclear Korean Peninsula -- the
position is the same as ours -- and they certainly don't want to see a
conventional conflict which would have as great an implication for
them, bordering North Korea, as it would have for us with our 37,000
troops there. So here's an area where I believe that we have been able
to identify through discussions what our common interests are and
start to coordinate policy. And we worked very closely -- I did,
personally -- with the Chinese head of delegation in Geneva.
A more recent and higher level example, I believe, is south Asia. We
saw at the special meeting that the Perm Five held in Geneva recently,
a few weeks ago, in response to the nuclear testing by India and then
Pakistan, again, very close policy coordination between the United
States and the PRC. There was an excellent working relationship
between Foreign Minister Tang and Secretary Albright at that meeting,
but just as importantly, it wasn't only atmospherics, there was very
close substantive positions between our two countries that, in fact,
you saw the Chinese talking about almost exactly the same agenda as
our own. They wanted to see adherence to the Comprehensive Test Ban
and the commitment to no more tests; they opposed letting either
country into the NPT as agreed nuclear powers; they were for a cutoff
of fissile materials; they were for serious discussions between the
parties in order to try to reduce tensions on the Peninsula.
And again, this is an area where through prolonged discussions with
the Chinese on the part of the President, Secretary Albright, NSC
Advisor Sandy Berger, I think we have really made major progress in
how we can -- how we view this region of the world and how we can work
together. So I would expect that during this trip there will be quite
a bit of discussion about global issues, about regional issues, and
about some of the functional issues in an effort to try to expand the
number of areas where we can cooperate like this.
A second objective, and one which I believe has particularly been
emphasized by President Clinton, is to give the American people a
better understanding of China and what is happening in China. I
believe that we in the administration have a sense that China is
changing and that, in effect, you might say that to some extent there
has been a demonization of China in the United States because of the
large number of problems and issue areas that we have with them, and
sometimes the big picture of what is going on in China itself is not
as obvious. And I think by taking a lengthy trip going to a number of
different cities and locations, highlighting different aspects of
Chinese life and society, the President hopes that the American public
will have an opportunity to become much better educated about what is
happening in China -- to see that there is a great deal of discourse
in China now about the rule of law; that there is some excitement
about village elections; that they're starting to think about
environmental problems. Of course the staggering economic progress
that has been made and out of this, I think, better known to the
American people, but to make that more visual, what that means as you
get a more prosperous, developing China. So I think that one of the
purposes is -- I guess you could call it the human side -- to try to
give the American people just a better sense of what China is all
And then the third piece -- to come back to where I started, of course
-- is the accomplishments, or to use that horrible Washington word,
deliverables. And I think here, we intend to continue with what was
begun during the previous summit, which is working in all the
different nine baskets that we discussed the last time, to try to come
up with specific accomplishments. If you'll recall, our purpose was to
try to broaden the number of issues on which we talked to the Chinese
government about and to increase the number of interlocutors with whom
we talked to the Chinese about these issues. So not just to have the
kind of traditional foreign policy set of issues, but to work on a
range of issues, and so we have baskets like rule of law, law
enforcement, military to military relationship and the like, and we
are pursuing all of those and I believe we'll have accomplishments --
deliverables -- in a number of areas.
But in terms of priorities, I think Sandy Berger actually laid them
out in his press backgrounder the other day, but obviously they
include non-proliferation. We believe we have made significant
progress at the last summit, particularly with respect to the sale of
cruise missiles, anti-ship cruise missiles to Iran where the Chinese
agreed not to sell it. We believe we've made significant progress on
the nuclear side with China's commitment not to help the Iranian
nuclear program and we've made some progress on control of
nuclear-related exports, dual-use equipment, which has been codified
since the summit. And this time around, we hope to make additional
progress on other non-proliferation issues including missiles,
chemical weapons, biological weapons.
A second piece, of course, is human rights which remains a very high
priority. I think we are all aware of the progress that has taken
place since the last summit -- the release of Wei Jingsheng, the
release of Wang Dan on medical parole to the United States. We've seen
the signing of one of the one of the UN covenants and we've seen the
intention on the part of China and its expressed intention to sign the
political covenant as well in the near future. These are major
breakthroughs on the process side that I think will make it easier in
the future to pursue talks globally, not just between the United
States and China, on human rights issues.
In addition to that, I expect the President will talk extensively
about religious freedom. As you know, he met yesterday with the
American delegation of religious leaders that had traveled earlier in
the year to China and this is an issue that is certainly a priority on
his mind. That delegation did get, of course, an hour meeting with
Jiang Zemin. It was allowed to go to Tibet, including to visit a
prison. I think that this is an area of dialogue that we want to
continue and try to get some more results from that. And the issue of
Tibet will, of course, also be discussed. The President raised it at
some length the last time when President Jiang came here, and he will
raise it again and the Chinese are aware of that. So human rights is
another big priority item.
A third piece, of course, is the economic or commercial piece, and
here Charlene Barshefsky is in Beijing as we speak. We are trying our
best to get as big a market access agreement as we can. This would be
a prelude, of course, or a necessary part or piece of a WTO accession
agreement. And I can't prejudge the outcome of her talks, but we
obviously attach high priority to getting this agreement because we
believe this is the best way of dealing with China's large surplus,
trade surplus, with the United States. For us it's a question not of
the numbers but of access, the so-called level playing field, and a
market access agreement could help us to deal with that problem.
Finally, a fourth high priority piece is one near and dear to the Vice
President's heart. In particular, he's taken the lead although, of
course, the rest of us as well, and that is energy and the
environment. And I find this one of the most interesting baskets
because I believe it's an example of one of most dramatic shifts in
Chinese policy that I have personally witnessed in my dealings with
them over the years. It was not that long ago -- I think you could
even say perhaps as little as a year or two -- that any discussion
with the Chinese government about the environment was rather
unpleasant, that this was a western trap to try to keep China
impoverished, that the United States and the rest of the west had
developed by polluting the environment and then they cleaned it up
afterwards, and why were we trying to change the way they did
Now I believe, partly as a result of the extensive conversations we've
had with them on these issues and partly because of the obvious
economic and medical costs of the environmental degradation that is
occurring in large parts of China, China has really started to engage
quite seriously on the question of the environment. And this is an
area where we should be able to work together, given the particular
advantage we have in terms of clean technology and more sophisticated
technology in the environmental area.
On the energy side as well, we've seen a dramatic change. China is
now, of course, an energy importer and this is a huge difference in
the equation. As a result of its phenomenal economic growth, it has
now become an importer and this means that it has much more interest
in acquiring sources of energy. As you saw the last time, we approved
the peaceful use of nuclear energy agreement and we'd like to move
forward on that. Also, there are other opportunities for progress in
the energy field and we hope to make some concrete progress there as
Why don't I stop at that point and open it up for questions.
Q: On the Pakistan issue, what specifically are you trying to get from
the Chinese in terms of Pakistan? I mean, clearly they were part of
the statement in Geneva which said, you know, no cooperation with
those programs. But my understanding is that there is some effort by
the US to try to get a specific statement out of China on this issue.
Can you talk about that?
ROTH: Well, I think that what we want, in a sense, is more of the
same. What we're interested in is keeping up the international
pressure on both parties to begin serious discussions with each other
concerning the subcontinent region and trying to reduce tensions on
the subcontinent, and that necessarily involves a discussion of
Kashmir, amongst other issues. And we want China's support for that as
I think, basically, it is the nuclear piece plus it's the dimension of
the no further tests, the fissile materials, Comprehensive Test Ban,
but also then the idea of trying to diminish tensions in the
subcontinent through dialogue. And there Chinese support can be very
influential, particularly given their special relationship, as they
see it, with Pakistan.
Q:  Will there be a statement on Pakistan though?
ROTH: Well, we don't envision this time having a joint statement the
way we did at the last summit. I think that is more a reflection of
the fact that we expect summits to occur with some regularity and you
can't have a major joint statement each time you meet. It creates a
set of expectations that's not real, so I wouldn't attach a great deal
of policy significance. But the question of whether we have something
to say singularly or individually or whatever, is still something
we're talking about.
Q:  You didn't mention Taiwan.  Will that come up?
ROTH: Well, of course, Taiwan will come up. It always comes up in
every meeting at any senior level with the Chinese. But the question
is, I think from our perspective, simply a reiteration of policy. We
do not expect any new initiatives vis-.-vis Taiwan.
Q: Some people in Taiwan are worried that there will be a fourth
communiqu, or a fourth joint statement.
ROTH: I've said it repeatedly publicly -- let me say it again here --
there will not be a fourth communiqu, at the summit.
Q: Mr. Roth, regarding India and India's -- this nationalist
government's view, especially Mr. Fernandes' view and statements about
China being the potential threat to India, if not at present at least
in the future, and specifically with regard to the improvement of air
bases in Tibet and allegedly the storage of nuclear weapons in Tibet,
the proliferation and help of Pakistan and some other actions that
India views as hostile, could you go back into this matter of how our
policy parallels the Chinese? And could you specifically answer the
issue of India developing its nuclear capacity to deter China?
ROTH: Well, in many ways you are getting outside my beat, which is not
the subcontinent itself. My intersection is more when it intersects
with China. I think that the way our policy parallels each other is
obvious: China does not want to see a nuclear arms race, certainly
does not want to see a nuclear exchange on a region that borders its
own. And so I think that is a very obvious similarity of interests and
it also is one that is quite a change from where they were, shall we
say, 20 years ago. And this is a recognition, I think, that China has
come very far along in its own thinking on nonproliferation
generically from an avowed proliferator in the early 1980s to,
basically, a member of almost all nonproliferation regimes as we get
to the end of the 1990s. And that is a huge change.
Similarly, I think that we have a parallel interest in terms of what
we want to see happen on the subcontinent now in terms of all the
things I just laid out: the Comprehensive Test Ban, fissile materials
ban, talks to diffuse tensions on the subcontinent itself. I think we
really are parallel there.
Q: Should we go to the Chinese and say, "The Indians are concerned
about you militarily and your actions. Could you back off, perhaps,
and perhaps cool this nuclear race down?"
ROTH: I think, first of all, I wouldn't want you to accept that
everything that was said by the official you mentioned is accurate, so
that we don't accept all the charges he made about Chinese behavior.
Second, I would point out that it is not exactly a new phenomenon that
China is a nuclear power. We're talking about something that happened
in the 1960s, and that this is not a new element in the strategic
equation and India, in fact, started its initial response in the
So in that sense, this is not an issue that has just been discovered,
and the question is why did this government choose to respond to it
differently than all the previous governments since the early '70s.
And I think that is the focus that one should have.
Q: Mr. Roth, on the matter of missiles, you said there might be some
agreement on that. Is that going to be related to the Missile
Technology Control Regime? Will China agree to adhere to something
that's called, I guess, the annex that involves technology?
ROTH: We are still right in the middle of negotiations with the
Chinese on a range of issues, including many of the nonproliferation
issues, so I'm simply not in a position to tell you yet what they will
or won't be. It's one of the issues we're working on.
Q:  So the prospects are -- it's possible?
ROTH:  It is possible.
Q:  What is?
ROTH: That there would be some agreement on nonproliferation issues.
Q: Would it be possible there will be some agreement on adherence to
the MTCR annex?
ROTH:  It's possible.
Q: You have been emphasizing Chinese as cutting down criticism of the
presence of US forces in the Asian region in these days, but I think
the Chinese ambassador the other day said the nuclear umbrella over
Japan is a kind of a threat to Chinese. How do you see these comments?
ROTH: I hadn't seen the comment but, clearly, I don't agree with it. I
think it's very obvious that the American security relationship with
Japan is defensive in nature. I think we have a track record of many
decades demonstrating the validity of that proposition, and so I
certainly wouldn't give any credence to that statement.
The comments that I have been referring to in my public statements
were on the conventional side, that several years back, particularly
right after the deployment of the carriers in March of '96, there was
an offensive by a lot of Chinese think tanks, diplomats and others
against the presence of American forward-deployed troops in the Asia
Pacific region. And that has really been considerably pulled back and
died down, and that was what I was trying to emphasize.
Q: To what extent do you think the economic difficulties of the region
are going to intrude onto this visit, or do you think that your
support for the yen in the last couple of days has put that aside from
the table?
ROTH: Well, I'm not sure I would use the word "intrude." I think I
would say that obviously the Asian financial crisis is going to be a
topic of discussion, a serious topic of discussion during the visit,
because it does affect China. It's both -- well, to be more broad, not
only does it affect China, but how China responds affects a lot of
others. And so I think it's pretty obvious that we need to talk about,
one, the situation itself and how we see it progressing, and we want
to talk about the significance of China maintaining its current
policy, which is publicly reassuring the region that it will not
devalue the RMB, which has been a stabilizing event. You saw the
jitters last week when there was a suggestion that this might change
and we want to reinforce the notion with Chinese leaders that their
original policy is the correct one and the stabilizing one and one for
which they've gotten enormous credit in the region.
At the same time, I assume they will have some questions about our
intentions. We think that will be a lot easier discussion in light of
what transpired over the last few days. There had been some criticism
-- unfair, we think -- from Chinese leaders that we were not doing our
piece to help maintain the value of the yen or that we were even
responsible for its decline, which we totally reject. But now we don't
have to fight over that, I think, in light of the intervention that
took place, but I think we can talk about next steps in the future and
the importance of both of us trying to coordinate policy to help Asia
through this difficult period.
Q: Would you want another public reassurance from China that the
renminbi, indeed, won't be devalued?
ROTH:  I think that would be very helpful for the entire region.
Q: Will the President be meeting with Xu Wenli or any other dissidents
and, if so, in what context?
ROTH: At this point, I believe the schedule has already been announced
and I don't believe we are going to have dissidents on the schedule.
Q:  Why not?
ROTH: I think that one of the main considerations, of course, is what
would happen to people if you met with them and the possibility that
what could result is exactly the opposite of what you want, instead of
advancing the cause of freedom, democracy and human rights, you end up
worsening it.
Q:  Could you explain why there won't be a -- 
ROTH: Let me just add on this point, I think that one has to draw a
very clear distinction between the rather narrow issue of meeting with
dissidents and the question of speaking one's mind on human rights,
and I think it's absolutely clear that the President will speak his
mind, just as he did during the previous visit, about human rights and
what our differences are with the government. So this should, by no
means, be interpreted as acquiescence into China's human rights
policies whatsoever.
Q: Why won't there be a joint press conference between President
Clinton and President Jiang, just like last October?
ROTH:  There will be.
Q:  The press availability is -- 
ROTH:  They'll be standing side by side.  That's pretty joint.
Q:  Will they answer questions?
ROTH:  They'll answer questions.
Q: Can I follow up on the dissident question, because historically
American presidents -- I mean, it used to always be Russia that we
were talking about -- usually went out of their way to try and meet
some dissidents and usually took the view -- and it was usually found
true -- that for dissidents to meet with a senior American was good
for their safety, not bad for it. I'm just wondering why you think it
would be dangerous for dissidents to meet with the President of the
United States.
ROTH: I think we've had some precedents in China and I think there are
many countries around the world where it has not been possible to meet
with dissidents, so I'm not sure I would accept your characterization.
Q: Mr. Roth, two questions, first a brief one. After the issuance of
the '82 August 17 communiqu,, the US gave Taiwan six assurances. So my
first question, do those six assurances remain valid?
ROTH: I think I've been as clear as I could be that there will be no
change in US policy towards Taiwan as a result of this visit, and I
think we demonstrated that at the previous summit and that will hold
for this one as well.
Q: Following on your point that there will be no change in US policy
toward Taiwan, I would like to ask you, yesterday when you testified
on the Hill, in your testimony you said eventually in the end the
security of Taiwan really depends on the two sides coming to terms on
a political basis. And your colleague, Susan Shirk, said more or less
the same thing three weeks ago when she appeared on the Hill.
So my question to you is, is this US kind of pushing Taiwan to come to
the negotiating table with China to resolve the long-standing problem?
If that's the case, that will be contrary to one of those six
assurances the US gave Taiwan.
ROTH: I think what it is is a reflection of what is patently obvious;
that the security of Taiwan ultimately depends on the state of
cross-Straits relations. This is not an issue that is going to be
resolved militarily. It is going to have to be resolved, I think, by
virtue of the relationship between both sides of the Straits. And I
think that United States policy has been very clear. We have urged
both sides to resume a cross-Straits dialogue that they themselves had
initiated several years ago and which had made some promising, gotten
off to a promising start before it was disrupted in 1995. We have had
many indications that that dialogue is going to be resumed this year
at the high level, the Wang-Ku level, and we are very encouraged by
that. We think that is the path that might lead ultimately to the most
progress and most help to Taiwan's security.
Q:  That is quite different.  Can I -- 
ROTH:  Two is plenty.  Go ahead.
Q: In a more sort of philosophical note, do you think that the
appointment of an Asian American to be John Shattuck's replacement
will help you make your human rights case in China and throughout
ROTH: Actually, I don't think it will make any difference. I think
John Shattuck has done a superb job in advocating the human rights
interests of the United States. He has been active in virtually every
region of the world. He has been in Europe and he has been in Africa.
He has certainly been in Asia. And I think that to assume that you
have to be of a certain ethnic group to have an impact was not a way
I'd want to go. I think that I would expect his successor to do an
equally good job globally, but I don't think I see any major
conceptual change just by virtue of the appointment.
Q: I don't mean to disparage Mr. Shattuck, of course. I was just
wondering on the other end it might be received --
ROTH:  It will make no difference whatsoever.
Q: Certainly you've heard those critics who have said specifically the
release of Wei Jingsheng and Wang Dan, while promising steps,
certainly do not speak to the thousands of people who are still in
China's prisons. And your comment there, the fact that an American
president is thinking twice and has decided not to meet with any
members of the Chinese dissident community because of fears of what
might happen to them as a result of that visit, what does that say
about the condition of human rights in China today and what does this
administration want to see from China for its next step, now that it
has released the two most famous of all the dissidents?
ROTH: Well, I think, first of all, it says that there is a long way to
go on human rights in China. That seems to me very obvious. We have
been very clear that much as we appreciate the release of these two
individuals on medical parole to the United States, that that doesn't
check the box and get China off the hook on human rights issues; that
there's a whole range of issues left. I tried to highlight at least
four of them in my initial statement. We have made it very clear that
there are many other dissidents. We have had conversations, including
during Secretary Albright's trip, about the desirability of trying to
get individuals who were imprisoned on counter-revolutionary charges
released on the basis of reconsideration of the cases. We have raised
a number of cases relating to religious freedom. I think we have been
absolutely clear on that.
So by no means are we saying that we're satisfied just as a result of
what's been achieved but, at the same time, find it hard to accept
that there's been no progress. The fact that these two individuals are
out here in the United States in good health is quite different from
where we were six, eight months ago when there was enormous concern
about their very lives.
Anyone that hasn't gone yet?  Okay, we'll start over.
Q: Can I ask you about the satellite reconsideration that we see
reports of, the satellite sale? Is it being reconsidered, the initial
preliminary approval for that sale to go ahead, and would you expect a
decision on whether or not to approve it prior to the President's
arrival there?
ROTH: I think Acting Under Secretary Holum and Principal Deputy Under
Secretary Lodal spoke rather exhaustively yesterday -- seven hours
worth, I think -- on satellite issues. My understanding of this case
-- and I'm not the best expert in the government on it -- is that this
is not a question of reconsidering the original sale but, rather, a
request for an upgrade, and that the upgrade is being considered under
normal procedures which involve review by the full inter-agency
process which, of course, includes State Department, Defense, and the
rest of the agencies of the US Government. And as Jamie Rubin
indicated in his comments earlier, that sometimes takes some time. I
can't give you a specific timetable for it.
Q: You don't know whether it will be completed in time for the
President's visit?
ROTH:  No idea.
Q: Could we have an update on the President's wish to speak live to
the Chinese people? Is there any update on that?
ROTH: That's the flip side of what I mentioned before, the President's
desire to give the American people a better understanding of China. He
would obviously like to give the Chinese people a better understanding
of the United States, and one of the most effective ways to do that in
a country as vast as China, despite the length of this trip and the
number of cities he's going to, is obviously a minute percentage of
the Chinese population that he'll be exposed to, is by being able to
communicate directly through mass media. And so it is our hope that
the Chinese will permit that. There are mixed precedents from previous
presidential visits, but we think that China should have the
confidence that its people can withstand any message that President
Clinton will make, which of course will be done in a proper spirit, I
think. He is a guest in a foreign country but he also wants to reflect
the American message.
Q: Any discussion made regarding the recent announcement that North
Korea has developed missiles for export to foreign countries?
ROTH: The issue of North Korean missile exports is not new. The only
thing that was new was the very public fashion in which North Korea
chose to announce that it wasn't planning to reconsider its policy. So
in that sense, this is not something that's coming up for the first
time, but I would think that the bigger picture of what happens on the
Korean peninsula, how we proceed with the peace process, how we
proceed in dealing with the humanitarian crisis, and preserving
stability in the peninsula will certainly come up.
Q: Just a couple of points of clarification. So you haven't gotten the
final word from the Chinese on the live broadcast, right?
ROTH:  Right.
Q: Okay. The other day, my recollection was that Berger had said that
Clinton would meet dissidents, so this is a change?
ROTH:  Not that I'm aware of.
Q:  Not that you're aware of.  All right.  And on the MTCR -- 
ROTH: If it was, I misspoke. Berger would be the more authoritative.
Q: Okay. On the MTCR, the possibility of an MTCR agreement, now, the
United States had offered to allow more satellite launches as part of
that discussion. Presumably, that's still in the mix, right?
ROTH: I'm sorry, I'm still thinking about the previous one. Let me
give you -- my understanding, what I recall Sandy saying, is that the
President will have a range of meetings on his trip and during that
trip he'll have opportunities to try to meet with people who reflect
many aspects of Chinese society and the changes that are going on in
Chinese society and, of course, it will not only be with government
officials. And that is quite correct. But if you ask me in terms of
people that you and I would talk of as dissidents, like Wang Dan or
Wei Jingsheng, my impression is not. I will get you a clarification if
one is needed, okay?
Q: And MTCR. The US offered that if China agrees to sign up to the
annex that the United States would allow more satellite launches. This
is still the offer that's out there, right? That's what's under
ROTH: We've had pretty extensive negotiations beyond the original
offer, but I can't characterize them at this point because they're
Q:  But that's still a component of it?
ROTH: It's moot. I mean, there has been additional wrinkles in the
discussion, but it's just under consideration. I can't tell you what
the final package might look like.
Q: Regarding confidence-building measures such as de-targeting of
missiles, General Halliger of STRATCOM has been to six or seven
different missile bases in Russia. The Russians have been to this
country and it seems to be improving relations. Will you take that
good news of opening the strategic forces on both sides to the Chinese
and try to convince them to do the same, to de-target the US?
ROTH: Sure. This has been an area we have been interested going back
to the previous summit and before, and one where we hope eventually to
reach agreement with them.
Q: There was some kind of suggestion about the lifting of the economic
sanction against China, including the lifting of the ban of the OPIC,
Overseas Private Insurance Corp. What is going on on that packet?
ROTH: I think the question of sanctions relief largely relates to the
overall results of the summit and the question of whether progress is
made on a whole range of issues, including some of the issues for
which the sanctions were imposed in the first place. So it's not an
issue that can be considered in the abstract but, rather, it's a piece
of the entire picture and will have to be decided as a result of the
entire summit outcome.
Why don't we just take the last question.
Q: Could you address the comment you made about the demonization of
China? Isn't a lot of that happening in Congress? And related to that,
is the President planning to take any Congressional critics on his
trip? I mean, maybe, I don't know, try to get some --
ROTH: Sure. Let me start with the latter point. The President had
invited the Congress to appoint a bilateral delegation to accompany
him, and so far only Democrats have accepted. But that's not something
that was tried to be imposed from the administration side, and so
that's really up to the Congress itself and that question should be
addressed to the leadership, really, in the Congress.
I would not want to place the unfair burden on the Congress of saying
that the majority of criticism of Chinese behavior in the US is
limited to the Congress or even that that's the sole source. I think
there has been no shortage of critics in the literature -- in some of
the books that were published last year, some of the articles, many of
the public statements -- and that is the nature of our process here,
that there has been a lot of criticism. And what I am trying to
suggest is that one hopes that we can show a different face of China
that gives a broader picture. It doesn't mean that the problems don't
exist, but one that shows that there are other facets of the
relationship as well. And that is one of the purposes of the trip.
Thank you.
(The briefing concluded at 3:15 P.M.)
(end transcript)

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