(Beijing, People's Republic of China)
For Immediate Release June 29, 1998PRESS BRIEFING BY
SANDY KRISTOFF, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF ASIAN AFFAIRS, NSC;
JEFF BADER, DIRECTOR OF ASIAN AFFAIRS, NSC;
STANLEY ROTH, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EAST ASIAN AFFAIRS
AND SUSAN SHIRK, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR
EAST ASIAN AND PACIFIC AFFAIRS Shangri-la Hotel
Beijing, People's Republic of China
1:58 P.M. (L)...................
QI have two unrelated questions -- one on MTCR. Obviously, the Chinese have agreed to go this step toward MTCR because they think it's in their interest. I'm curious why they think it's more in their interest today than it was several years ago when we were sanctioning their missile behavior, and what's changed in their mentality and thinking.
And secondly, when you experts stood around this weekend, what's your best guess as to why they decided to broadcast the press conference?
MS. SHIRK: I think the short answer to that question is that through its own calculations, and through our discussions, China has really come to rethink what its interests are in these regional situations, such as South Asia and the Persian Gulf. And I think that China now has come to see that it has an interest in helping to preserve stability in these regions; that to nurture a close relationship with one particular ally through various mechanisms, including support for its missile program, in the long term is not really in its own interests.
Second, it really has -- China has come to have a real stake in the global nonproliferation regime. I think you see this in the way they've joined all the various regimes one by one. There still are a couple they haven't joined, but we think that their new interest in moving toward joining the MTCR is highly, highly significant. The Chinese do have a record, when they say that they are actively studying joining a regime, of shortly thereafter actually joining it. So we think this is really a major accomplishment of the summit.............
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END 2:30 P.M. (L)
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