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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

June 29, 1998


President Clinton's "historic" state visit to China unleashed copious media reaction from around the world over the weekend, with the most recent editorials focusing on the "unprecedented" live television coverage of Saturday's joint press conference with Mr. Clinton and Chinese President Jiang Zemin. The frank exchanges between the two leaders during their 70-minute session with the press--an event which was broadcast live over Chinese television--moved the majority of observers to conclude that a "new maturity" had been reached in U.S.-China relations, one which boded well for security and stability in the region and beyond. In Asia, observers in Singapore, South Korea and Australia praised the president's ability to deliver a firm message on human rights while pursuing a "constructive, businesslike relationship" with Beijing. The national, conservative Australian, for example, declared: "Clinton looks as though he is broadly getting the balance right." Singapore's pro-government Straits Times judged that the "display of personal friendship" between Mr. Clinton and his Chinese counterpart would "contribute enormously to the security and stability of the world at large, and to East Asia in particular." Almost all European analysts also had high praise for President Clinton's defense of human rights on live Chinese TV. Munich's centrist Sueddeutsche Zeitung called the news conference "the most impressive piece of freedom of speech that China has been listening to since June, 1989." London's centrist Independent agreed, stating: "One billion Chinese can have barely believed their eyes and ears when Bill Clinton appeared on...China's state-controlled television and criticized the Chinese leadership." That paper predicted that Mr. Clinton's visit "has accelerated the process of change which will eventually bring political rights to the people of a nation that will dominate the next century." Dailies in Japan welcomed the "start of close and cooperative ties between the U.S. and China," but Tokyo's liberal Asahi cautioned: "Never has it been...more necessary for Tokyo to clarify to Beijing that Taiwan does not fall under the area...covered by the new guidelines in times of an emergency in and around Japan." A few media voices in Europe, South Asia and the Middle East were less eulogistic, insisting that human rights had taken second place to trade goals in U.S. relations with China.

VIEWS FROM THE CHINESE PRESS: In reporting on the joint press conference, official, Chinese-language papers in Beijing limited their coverage to highlights of Mr. Clinton's positive comments about China and those that agreed with Chinese government positions. Only in official, English-language China Daily--which would not have a large Chinese readership--did the issues of human rights, the arrest of dissidents, Tiananmen and Tibet receive mention, although Chinese-language People's Daily (Renmin Ribao) did note that "in the spirit of equality and mutual respect, the two sides agreed to conduct dialogues on human rights." China Daily also commended the "farsightedness" the two governments had shown in handling their differences, calling it "a manifestation of a more mature Sino-U.S. relationship in the post-Cold War era." That paper, however, did not fail to stress the importance of "observing" the joint Sino-U.S communiques on Taiwan.

This survey is based on 51 reports from 29 countries, June 26 - 29.

EDITORS: Kathleen J. Brahney

To Go Directly To Quotes By Region, Click Below

|  EUROPE  |    |  MIDDLE EAST  |    |  EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC  |    |  SOUTH ASIA  |    |  AFRICA  |   



CHINA: "Beijing Summit"

Commentary in the official English-language China Daily held (6/29): "U.S. President Bill Clinton's ongoing China visit, a return trip following Chinese President Jiang Zemin's historic, successful U.S. visit, marks another major event in the development of Sino-U.S. relations and another step in building on the momentum of previous positive high-level exchanges between the leaders of the two countries. The leaders of China and the United States agreed to continue to make greater strides towards the goal of a constructive strategic China-U.S. partnership.... More important, the agreement of the two countries on some issues of world significance, i.e., the Asian financial turmoil and the nuclear and missile arms races on the South Asian subcontinent, has demonstrated the importance of a healthy, stable China-U.S. relationship. Such a relationship is not only in the interests of China and the United States, but of the world's peace and stability at large....

"The farsightedness the Chinese and U.S. governments have shown in handling their differences is a manifestation of a more mature Sino-U.S. relationship in the post-Cold War era. We want to stress that the Taiwan issue is the most important and sensitive ingredient at the core of the China-U.S. relations. The U.S. government should keep its commitments to observe the Sino-U.S. joint communiqués and Sino-U.S. joint statement. With the new millennium around the corner, we find ourselves in an historic phase, in which China and the United States shoulder responsibilities for establishing a peaceful world, allowing all nations on this planet the right to development worthy of human dignity."

"Clinton Stands The Heat On Great Wall"

Under the above headline, Sun Shangwu observed on the front page of official, English-language China Daily (6/29): "Like many American visitors coming to China for the first time, President Bill Clinton and his family braved the 36-centigrade-degree heat yesterday in Beijing to tour the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. According to a Xinhua report, President Clinton and Hillary were presented with a picture album of the Forbidden City, and a miniature replica of the plaque hanging in the bed-chamber and office of ancient emperors. The plaque bears a four-character inscription of the first emperor of the Qing Dynasty: 'Zheng Da Guang Ming' ('Open and aboveboard.') When Clinton was told the words' meaning by the interpreter, he said he would like to place it in his White House office."

"From A Chinese Perspective"

The Chinese media (6/28) reported the events of President Clinton's visit as news highlighting Chinese positions. For example, coverage of the Clinton-Jiang joint press availability, broadcast live on Saturday, all the Chinese-language newspapers in Beijing used the Xinhua News Agency or People's Daily reports only. The reports' quotations of President Clinton were words of praise or agreement with Chinese positions. Readers only learned of disagreements indirectly through President Jiang's quoted rejoinders. Only the English-language China Daily contained more than brief mentions of several topics: dissident arrests, Tiananmen, Tibet, and campaign contributions.

"Jiang-Clinton Talks 'Constructive'"

The official, English-language China Daily front-paged this (6/28): "President Jiang Zemin and visiting U.S. President Bill Clinton reaffirmed yesterday their commitment to improving bilateral relations and cooperation and reducing differences through consultation instead of confrontation.... 'The advancement of bilateral ties is an inexorable result of history, which cannot be held back by any forces,' Jiang was quoted by the spokesman as saying.

"'Clinton was quoted as saying his visit 'also demonstrates that the majority of American people like to see bilateral relations improve and develop.'"

"Human Rights"

Xinhua News Agency and the official Communist Party People's Daily (Renmin Ribao) held (6/28): "In the spirit of equality and mutual respect, the two sides agreed to conduct dialogues on human rights and inaugurate a forum among non-governmental organizations."

"'China Has Its Own Laws' On Dissidents"

The official, English-language China Daily noted (6/28): "Asked by an American reporter to make comment on the so-called detention of 'dissidents' in Xi'an, Jiang said that China has its own laws.... Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said later yesterday that China has not arrested or detained any of the persons whom the Western media reported during U.S. President Clinton's stay in Xi'an."

HONG KONG: "Relationship Can Be Enhanced, But No Breakthrough"

The independent Sing Tao Daily News editorial stressed (6/26): "U.S. President Clinton's China visit shows the progress of 'constructive engagement' of China and the United States. Though each nation has its own stand, they will not do anything against each other. On the contrary, they will try to avoid differences and reach agreements on some matters. This can help to further improve bilateral relations.... Clinton's China visit has a symbolic meaning rather than a substantial achievement. An important achievement may not be obtained, neither will it have a negative impact."

"Gold Key Leading To A Heyday"

The centrist, mass-circulation Oriental Daily News proclaimed (6/26): "The gate is opened. Clinton's visit marks the first U.S. state visit since the 'June 4 incident.' It has a great symbolic meaning. China and the United States share big interests. However, they also have great differences in their ideologies. The United States' concept of human rights is already taking effect in China. China has promised to sign two U.N. international covenants. Clinton understands that the human rights issue is not the principal issue between the United States and China. Increasing dialogue and trade will finally end in improving China's human rights and freedom.

TAIWAN: "'Three No's' Not Mentioned"

The 6/27 summit between President Clinton and his Chinese counterpart Jiang Zemin received considerable coverage in Taiwan's media. Dailies, on one hand, expressed relief that Clinton did not mention the "three no's" policy--that the United States does not support Taiwan independence, one China and one Taiwan, or Taiwan's U.N. membership--in his joint press conference with Jiang after the summit. On the other hand, Taiwan is still worried that the increasingly close ties between Washington and Beijing might undermine Taipei."

"Taiwan Should Respond To Calls For Cross-Straits Talks"

The centrist, pro-status-quo China Times judged (6/28): "It is fortunate that Clinton did not publicly announce the three no's policy, nor did he make any commitment regarding the arms sales to Taiwan. He only clearly reiterated the three no's policy to Beijing during the summit. This...can be viewed as a courtesy Washington showed to Taipei. On the other hand, however, the price Taipei must pay is that it can no longer ignore Washington's calls for 'a direct dialogue between Taipei and Beijing' to peacefully resolve the cross-Straits issue.

"For Taipei, from now, on the pressure comes from both sides: one is Washington and the other is Beijing.... Taipei should formally respond to the request for the second round of Koo-Wang talks and should work out a comprehensive plan for cross-Straits relations in order to maintain its relationship with the United States and to ensure the cross-Straits security."

"Taiwan Must Define Its Own Terms"

The conservative, pro-unification China News declared (6/29): "Indeed, Taiwan's primary concern remains intact: The United States is increasingly giving China the confidence it needs to one day appoint itself judge, juror and executioner--if necessary--of Taiwan's fate. Clinton's visit, indirectly or not, has boosted China's belief in the legitimacy of its claim to Taiwan. And his administration's confirmation of U.S. support for China's 'three no's' policy, written or not, has reconfirmed Taiwan's status as a hostage to Chinese threats of attack if it is seen as 'moving towards independence'--an action open to wide interpretation. But most importantly, Clinton, by continuing to engage China, has further encouraged Beijing's ambitions of becoming a regional and international superpower."

"Inherent Difficulties In Eagle-Dragon Relationship"

The liberal, pro-independence Taiwan Daily judged (6/27): "From the historical point of view, the Unied States attitude toward China has been either overly optimistic or excessively disappointed. The 'Chinese image' in American eyes sees a major change in almost every ten years. But the special feelings the United States has toward China cannot be matched with any other Asian nations. This makes the Japanese uncomfortable and the Indian people displeased. The United States can never see China plainly as there is a strong U.S. China-complex. During bad times, it may treat China too harshly. In good times, it may be too indulgent. At any rate, the United States has always been partial. From 1989 to 1998, bilateral relations just passed another nine-year cycle. However, for China, which is symbolized by the dragon, and the United States, symbolized by the eagle, to maintain a mature and stable equal relationship, there inherently are obvious difficulties."

JAPAN: "From Confrontation To Cooperation"

An editorial in liberal Asahi observed (6/28): "President Clinton shook hands with his Chinese counterpart Jiang during a welcome ceremony held near Tiananmen Square, marking the beginning of a new era of Sino-U.S. cooperation. The constructive and strategic partnership, which was agreed on between the two countries during President Jiang's visit to the United States last year, has started taking shape. We welcome the start of close and cooperative ties between the Untied States and China as helping to contribute to the stability and peace in Asia. Japan should not entertain a shortsighted view that when Sino-U.S. relations further develop, the more Japan will be left ignored.... Japan will have to improve its relations with China, while maintaining its good ties with the United States. Never has it been...more necessary for Tokyo to clarify to Beijing that Taiwan does not fall under the area to be covered by the new guidelines in times of an emergency in and around Japan."

"U.S.-China Strategic Dialogue Toward 21st Century"

Top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri's editorial said (6/28): "During the summit, the Chinese side apparently made more concessions to President Clinton, who visited China despite opposition at home and abroad. Behind these concessions was China's ambition to solidify its international status as a major power by making Clinton's visit a success.... A joint press conference...highlighted the discord that remains between the two leaders on many issues. Progress on these issues, which were agreed upon at the summit, must be watched closely."

"Clinton-Jiang Summit Marks Start Of New Sino-U.S. Relationship"

Business-oriented Nihon Keizai emphasized (6/28): "Through last year's visit by President Jiang to the United States and the current tour of President Clinton to China, the two nations have further strengthened the foundation for forming a new, cooperative relationship toward the upcoming century.... A full-scale dialogue has yet to begin between the United States and China, which remain at loggerheads at many issues. We cannot be over-optimistic about the future development of U.S.-China relations. Now, we must point out that it is quite off the mark to say the United States no longer needs Japan."

AUSTRALIA: "Clinton Chides China"

The televised exchange between Presidents Clinton and Jiang was a lead item in weekend television prime-time news (6/27 and 28.) The Australian Broadcasting Corporation's current affairs radio program "AM" (6/29) ran a five-minute report applauding President Clinton's chiding of his Chinese host over the 1989 crackdown on student demonstrators.

"Tiananmen TV Debate Sets Agenda"

The national conservative Australian held (6/29): "The sheer fact that the positions of both Washington and Beijing were translated simultaneously to an international and Chinese audience demonstrates a maturity in the U.S.-Chinese relationship that undermines much of the criticism of President Clinton's Chinese visit and the recent symbolism of Tiananmen Square to Western audiences. The value of the visit for both China and the United States has been immeasurably enhanced."

"Giving Substance To Ceremony"

The national conservative Australian's foreign editor Greg Sheridan judged (6/29), "The fact the exchange took place in public and on Chinese television is a win for both leaders. In particular, it has allowed Clinton to achieve the inestimable double of being true to America's profound commitment to human rights, while at the same time pursuing a constructive, calm, businesslike relationship with China.... If his message on these occasions remains as clear as it was at Tiananmen Square, Clinton may yet be able to transform the symbolism into valuable substance."

"China Dances To Trade Tune As Clinton Learns To Tango"

Foreign editor Greg Sheridan observed in the national, conservative Australian (6/26): "Through a determination to have a sound relationship with Beijing, tempered by the robust and eclectic anti-Chinese activism of Congress, Clinton looks as though he is broadly getting the balance right.... While Canberra can disagree with specific U.S. policies, there is no doubt at all that in any fundamental conflict, we would be on the American side.... Clinton's behaving like a president by standing up to Congress is a good sign."

"Seeing Through The Illusion"

Hong Kong correspondent Rowan Callick asserted in the business-oriented Australian Financial Review (6/26): "Despite China's masterly skills of manipulation...Clinton cannot help but also notice the challenges the country still faces.... The United States has begun to demonstrate the leadership the Asian crisis needs and Clinton's visit to China is wonderfully timed to reinforce its restored interest in the region."

"Reform Or Die: The Reality Facing Washington And Beijing"

Hong Kong correspondent David Lague maintained in the liberal Sydney Morning Herald (6/26): "It defies the imagination to suggest the United States can build a strategic partnership with a regime facing so many immense challenges (that) it will be fortunate to last much into the next century. China's leaders know it.... This is why Mr. Clinton's visit is important, because he is in an unrivaled position to influence President Jiang Zemin and the post-Deng leadership at a time when China needs the United States much more than the United States needs China."

INDONESIA: "Live Coverage Of Clinton-Jiang Debate Unprecedented"

Under the above headline, leading, independent Kompas told its readers (6/29): "Indeed, the critical question between the two major nations is how to reconcile their different views on human rights protection, free trade, and global security issues. Even more pressing is how the two nations can work together to prevent further deterioration of the Asian economy."

SINGAPORE: "Strong Ties Allow Airing Of Issues"

The pro-government Straits Times East Asia Correspondent Ching Cheong said from Beijing (6/28): "The Sino-U.S. summit, as well as the display of personal friendship between Chinese President Jiang Zemin and his American counterpart Bill Clinton, will contribute enormously to the security and stability of the world at large, and to East Asia in particular. Never before had leaders of the world put up a public debate, which lasted more than an hour, right after their summit meeting. Both leaders had built up a personal friendship that enabled them to address each other's sensitive nerves in a candid and forthright manner.... This high level of transparency regarding the similarities and differences of views, at both philosophical and strategic levels, is certainly conducive to eliminating misunderstanding, misinterpretation and miscalculation--unfortunate hallmarks of past Sino-U.S. relations."

SOUTH KOREA: "Clinton Says Tiananmen Repression Was Wrong"

Moderate Hankook Ilbo sttessed (6/28): "Looking solemn at Tiananmen Square, President Clinton nevertheless gave China what it craved most: a picture of him walking side by side down the red carpet with the Chinese president on that 'place of shame.' Furthermore, his being there at the square symbolized the official end of the U.S. policy of containment against China and the beginning of a new policy of 'engagement' headed toward 'strategic partnership.' By saying, however, that the Chinese military's forceful repression of pro-democracy demonstrators nine years ago was wrong, President Clinton tried to clarify that his presence there does not automatically pardon China's poor human rights performance.... The U.S. president demonstrated where Washington's China policy still remains."


INDIA: "Dangerous Liaisons"

The centrist Times of India held (6/29): "The U.S.-China joint statement issued in Beijing on June 27 highlights the core security problem faced by India which made the Shakti tests both imperative and timely. As in 1971, India has today to deal with U.S.-China-Pakistan axis with possible threats of Chinese hegemonism tacitly backed by the United States. This de facto U.S.-China alliance goes back to the early years of the Clinton administration, when the U.S. president totally reversed his earlier condemnation of China and opted to wink at Chinese proliferation activities in South Asia. In his statement of June 11, Senator Jesse Helms...traces the U.S. president's fudging of Chinese proliferation activities back to 1995.... The main reason why the White House chose to fudge the issue was to avoid the imposition of mandatory sanctions on China.

"If China is to be shielded by the U.S. president, it becomes logical for him to join the proliferator in lecturing India on the virtues of nonproliferation. It is this direct and indirect proliferation of nuclear weapons to Pakistan by China and the United States, going back some three to four years, which is bound to be its challenger in due course.... The righteous presidential rhetoric on Tiananmen Square, human rights, Tibet, religious freedom etc. appears to be a charade to hide Clinton's connivance in China's proliferation efforts."

BANGLADESH: "Efforts For Cooperation Continue"

Anti-West Inqilab said (6/29): "The current Sino-U.S. move to establish a durable friendship and cooperation added a new dimension in the relations between the two countries. The assertion of the Chinese President that his country's ties with the United States is one of partnership and not of hostility, and Clinton's sincere assertion that friendship with China will be durable indicate the beginning of new era in their relations. Open discussion, understanding and agreement between China and the United States will certainly lay the foundation of durable peace, prosperity and cooperation. The sooner the other regions take account of this the better the chance will be of their well-being."


BRITAIN: "When West Met East And The East Didn't Argue"

The centrist Independent had this lead editorial (6/29): "One billion Chinese can have barely believed their eyes and ears when Bill Clinton appeared on Saturday on the main channel of China's state-controlled television and criticized the Chinese leadership.... Mr. Clinton's visit is historic and has confounded the president's American critics who argued that simply by talking to the godless totalitarians of Beijing he was selling out the cause of human rights.... Mr. Clinton's visit has certainly been a success, and he would be justified in taking considerable satisfaction from it. It will have made an impact at all levels of Chinese society and, although there are risks of a repressive reaction, the likelihood is that it has accelerated the process of change which will eventually bring political rights to the people of a nation that will dominate the next century."

"Bill Clinton And The Talking Dragon"

The conservative tabloid Daily Mail had this lead editorial (6/29): "Live on prime time Chinese television, Bill Clinton conducted a public and often critical dialogue with Jiang Zemin..... While this astonishing media event is unlikely to presage any significant relaxation in the repressive ways of that unlovely police state, it does offer striking and welcome proof of the new confidence with which the present dynasty in charge of China is ready to engage with the outside world. Better a talking, than a sulking dragon."

FRANCE: "Clinton Denounces Chinese Repression"

Frederic Bobin said in left-of-center Le Monde (6/29): "President Clinton made reference to the Chinese repression of June, 1989.... It will never be said that he sold short America's ideals of freedom.... Clinton may feel proud to be the first statesman to have said on Chinese live television what he thought of the Tiananmen repression. In so doing he gave hope to all those Chinese who believe that the United States and the West must not put away their human rights banner (when visiting China)."

"Infinitesimal Results"

Jean-Jacques Mevel judged in right-of-center Le Figaro (6/29): "The modest results of the Beijing summit may put President Clinton in a difficult position with regard to Congress....

"A good portion of the Republican majority still believes that China has not changed and that it is and remains a dangerous dictatorship."

GERMANY: "Historic Hour In Beijing"

Centrist Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (6/29) carried this editorial: "Bill Clinton shows how it works, and we can only hope that the Bonn government has watched this. The 70-minute news conference with Jiang Zemin, which was broadcast live on Chinese TV, was the most impressive piece of the freedom of speech which China has been listening to since June, 1989. Those who criticize the West for not learning anything new from Jiang should realize that millions of Chinese heard something new from President Clinton, and only this counts. This one hour was worth the state visit to China.... The news conference was a gift to Bill Clinton who has had a lot of trouble (at home) before the visit to Beijing.... If Clinton's opponents at home view the whole affair as insignificant, they will reveal themselves as zealots disparage China mainly because it is a blind bashing of President Clinton."

RUSSIA: "Economic Interests Prevail Over Human Rights"

Aleksandr Chudodeyev commented in reformist Segodnya (6/27): "The United States' metamorphosis with regard to China is easy to explain. Apparently, some things are more important than human rights. Because of them--economic interests--Clinton went to China although a majority in the U.S. Congress urged him not to, and is not going to make any 'unforeseen' changes in the program of his visit. His policy of appeasement has already begun to yield fruit. A number of contracts has been signed between American and Chinese companies."

SPAIN: "Debate In Beijing"

Barcelona's centrist La Vanguardia commented in an editorial (6/28): "Undoubtedly, it was the first time that many Chinese heard and saw on live TV a serious condemnation of the massacre carried out by Chinese troops in Tiananmen Square in 1989, or heard someone defend the Dalai Lama, as President Clinton did. For 70 minutes, Clinton and Jiang said whatever was on their minds, although in a highly cordial setting.... The press conference marked a significant advance in the difficult process of Chinese democratization."

BELGIUM: "Clinton Silences His Critics"

RTBF radio this observed (6/29) that "Bill Clinton silenced those in the United States who reproached him for silencing its concern for human rights in favor of a rapprochement with China.... Clinton is perhaps in the process of winning his bet."

BULGARIA: "Battle Of Wits Between China, U.S. Continues"

Center-left daily Kontinent observed (6/29): "The battle of wits between China and the United States continues. Paradoxically, time does not serve the interests of ancient China but, rather, of the young United States. The U.S. administration has the political will to support China in terms of a further development of its economy. What the United States is waiting for from China is a sign of its preparedness to conduct a true dialogue which does not have to be accompanied by fanfares and visits to historic monuments. China needs to cast its lot with the United States, and the West right now if it wants to see its economy developed. It also should not forget that the geopolitical wholesale trade is a business China can participate in as long as its population is satisfied that at least its basic needs are met."

CANADA: "Heavenly Peace Vs. Turmoil"

Liberal Le Devoir asked (6/27): "Should Bill Clinton have accepted the official honors in Tiananmen Square or should he have requested that the ceremony be held somewhere else?... Many Chinese find this question disconcerting. In the West, Tiananmen is the name of a massacre. In China it is the name of a place.... Once the United States had accepted normalizing its relations with China...minimal politeness (required) bending to the protocol of the host country.... There is very little risk that the Chinese will interpret the presence of Bill Clinton in Tiananmen Square as an exoneration of the massacre of 1989. To come to Beijing and to refuse to go Tiananmen Square? Such a gesture could have been interpreted as daring and noble by many. It could have given many friendships to Bill Clinton in the United States. In China, it would have been considered as an insult."

DENMARK: "Clinton Sold Crown Jewels Too Cheaply"

Center-left Politiken held (6/29): "The time has passed when Clinton linked U.S. trade policy to Chinese respect for human rights.... Clinton is supported by big business. In 1994, when Clinton's campaign against Chinese human rights abuses was at its highest, China chose to sign a number of important contracts with European companies. But the American voters don't share Clinton's eagerness to envelope China. According to a recent opinion poll, 77 percent of the American people view China as a threat. Clinton hopes to show that it is in the best interests of the American people to reach out to China. At the present time, however, it appears that the Chinese are better at manipulating the American president than the other way around.... The United States has given up its high-principled policies in the hope that cooperation will lead the Chinese regime toward liberalism.... Clinton has sold the crown jewels too cheaply. Tibet, human rights, seven million persecuted Christians. Taiwan is in danger, as it stands in the way of good U.S.-Sino relations.... Clinton's visit is designed to stabilize Asia, but it has created uncertainly about America's credibility with its traditional allies."

ESTONIA: "Bill Clinton On Visit In China"

Heiki Suurkask wrotes in center-right, top-circulation Postimees (6/26): "As head of great power, Bill Clinton has always had important relations with other great powers, but was flirting mostly with Russia. Now, that Russia has become a less pleasant partner than advisers to president expected a few years ago, the United States is looking for other powers to relate to as a great power."

FINLAND: "U.S. Chose Same Path As Other Countries"

Leading, independent Helsingin Sanomat editorialized (6/27): "Clinton's extended China visit is one of the key international events of this year. The world's only remaining superpower, the United States, and China, with its 1.2-billion population, are warming up their relations after the Tiananmen Square massacre ten years ago which ended China's surge of democracy.... The visit is a major victory for Jiang Zemin. Human rights were in the limelight before the visit and during its first hours, but the United States has chosen its path the same way other countries have. Despite a show of concessions to Chinese human rights activists, extensive human rights violations continue. However, China's economic reform and growing wealth have created a market which even the most powerful countries must take into consideration."

NORWAY: "U.S.-China Alliance"

Conservative Aftenposten commented (6/26): "We see the beginning of a new diplomatic pattern forming. The threat of devaluation of China's currency made the Americans pressure the Japanese to get their financial affairs in order. And it was China and the United States who joined forces in the UN when India's first round of nuclear tests was condemned.

"Twice in a short period of time, the United States has allied itself with China against the other major players in Asia. This is more than a mere partnership--this is starting to look like an alliance.... We're seeing the beginning of a U.S.-China relationship which will put its mark on the world far into the next century."

"Clinton Stands At Attention In Beijing"

In the editorial view of Social democratic Dagsavisen Arbeiderbladet (6/26): "Tomorrow (President Clinton)...will stand at attention in front of the People's Liberation Army at the exact same spot where the very same army massacred the democracy movement in 1989. Tomorrow, however, trade, security and realpolitik weigh heavier than human rights.... It will be interesting to see how far Bill Clinton will go in his realpolitik in the next few days. Those who want to put a stop to the assassination of the Tibetan culture or the suffering of political dissidents in Chinese concentration camps should not get their hopes up."

POLAND: "Will Others Follow Bill?"

Center-left daily Gazeta Wyborcza ran this piece (6/29) by Leopold Unger: "Bill Clinton is not the first blasphemer in the cathedral. The U.S. president did what he was supposed to do, but he is not the first politician who sent the most dangerous challenge to the Communist power: an appeal made to the subjects of this power to respect human rights. Jacques Chaban-Delmas, while chairman of the French National Assembly and a close aide of De Gaulle...broke his trip to the Soviet Union in a protest against actions of the Soviet authorities against '75 Nobel Prize winner, Andrei Sakharov.... Clinton has shown that what the Frenchmen did behind the Kremlin walls was also possible behind the [China's] Great Wall.... One can speak not only the language of diplomacy, but also that of dignity; and that one can break the greatest taboos.... Despite malicious predictions, Clinton has [already] realized his contract. He has proven that a blasphemous...attitude toward anachronistic totalitarianism is possible, desirable, and profitable. One should hope now that others will follow [Mr. Clinton.]"

TURKEY: "China In, Japan Out"

Ali Riza Karduz wrote in the mass-appeal Sabah (6/29): "After the Asian financial crisis, hopes have now turned toward the Chinese economy. When President Nixon visited China 26 years ago, his expectation was to cooperate with China in order to contain Russia in the East and Asia. The Clinton visit occurs in the post-cold war era, and the United States is now trying to control China. The U.S. goal is to have a dominating role in the Chinese market, and in financial as well as commercial institutions. The United States wants China to tolerate South Korea and Taiwan, and demands that China not give nuclear technology to other countries especially India, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq. The human rights issue is just a cosmetic factor to please international public opinion, American in particular."


EGYPT: "The Dollars Win"

Maha Abdul Fatah, columnist for pro-government weekly Akhbar El Youm said (6/27): "There is one thing which is clear and that is America has exported to China what is equal to $62 billion last year alone.... Among the proverbs that are being said is that when trade goals conflict with human rights goals, man gets defeated and the dollar wins.... The direction which China will take within the next ten or twenty years will have a radical and profound impact on our interests and on the future of our children and on the stability and of Asia and on world peace. These are the words of the U.S. national security and not the words of a writer!"

ISRAEL: "Clinton In China"

Mass-appeal, pluralist Maariv asserted (6/28), "President Clinton's grandiose visit to China--he is travelling with a 1,000 strong entourage--is characterized by greater frankness than previous presidential visits. Clinton did not hesitate to go on Chinese television and criticize the Tiananmen massacre and freedom of speech violations, and even called on the Chinese government to talk with the Dalai Lama about the future of Tibet. Clinton thus pacified criticism back home about his too sympathetic attitude toward a non-democratic regime. As far as Israel is concerned, Clinton's most remarkable achievement so far is his success in getting Beijing to promise not to supply any more missiles to the Near East."

"Lessons In Democracy Needed"

The independent Jerusalem Post wrote in its lead editorial (6/28): "The image of Clinton, whose liberal and democratic values not even his enemies would dispute, standing for the pomp of an official Chinese welcome in Tiananmen Square was a strangely disturbing one.... It somehow symbolized both the lingering unease over Chinese brutality and the necessity to move international relations forward.... The visit in general appears big on history-making and symbolism, but small on substance.... It all inevitably comes back again to human rights, however China tries to dodge the issue."


SENEGAL: "What More Can One Ask Of China?"

Government-owned Le Soleil had this to say (6/26): "By its economic liberalization, and its slow but steady opening to foreign investments, China has made giant steps into the market economy and is fully active in the process of globalization. What else can we ask of the awakened China? Surely, we would like to see more democracy and more respect for human rights. But we no doubt will have to wait. The interests of capitalistic powers know well when they need to have patience."


COSTA RICA: "Defense Of Press Freedom Cannot Be Mere Rhetoric"

Second-largest circulation, independent La Republica (6/26) ran an editorial by the Costa Rican foreign ministry's press chief praising President Clinton's decision to grant an interview to three Free China News Agency correspondents: "Defense of press freedom cannot be mere rhetoric.... It must necessarily be protected legally and by strong, decisive political acts.... This old lesson was made clear once again by President Clinton's decision to grant an interview to three journalists of the Free China News Agency whose visas to travel with the U.S. president in his visit to Beijing were denied by the Chinese government. Nearsighted to the point of trying to use obsolete and absolutely ineffective arms, the authorities of that Asian nation hoped to strike a blow against freedom of the press once again. They were not successful.... What is important is that press freedom received strong backing from the White House. 'I am going to grant an interview to the...correspondents to send a clear signal that we don't believe that ideas need visas and that we support freedom of the press in our country.' Nothing could be clearer. The U.S. chief executive left no margin of doubt."

CHILE: "Clinton In China"

Influential, conservative El Mercurio pointed out (6/26): "The internal change in China is only comparable to the accelerated transformation of its place in the international community, from an isolated and closed myth to a first-line economic and political presence.

"The United States cannot ignore this phenomenon.... Clinton's strategy of 'constructive engagement' is the one that is being applied (to China) mostly because up until now the United States, due to self-imposed ideological and economic barriers, has been disadvantaged in the Chinese market compared to other important (powers) in the world.... The first visit of a U.S. president in the last decade following by months the visit Jiang made to the United States last October, shows how relations have changed, and that both parties are emphasizing dialogue and not confrontation."

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