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|June 25, 1998||
Clinton praises China's leadership of P-5 meeting
US President Bill Clinton has praised China for the ''great leadership'' it gave to the June 4 meeting of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council on the Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests and its statement which called upon the two countries to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty immediately and without conditions.
In an interview yesterday to three Radio Free Asia journalists who were denied a visa by the Chinese government to cover his 9-day visit to the Communist state, he said, ''I've seen the Chinese work with us, for example, with great reliability.''
''I could just mention a few things -- on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the chemical weapons treaty, observing most of the Missile Technology Control Regime's requirements, stopping co-operation with Pakistan and Iran on a lot of their nuclear programmes, other programmes,'' the president, said adding, ''It's not -- they've been very good allies in many of these areas.''
"We have very important non-proliferation concerns which have been given new urgency because of the nuclear tests in India and Pakistan. We have very important concerns about trying to stabilise the economic situation in Asia, which if it got out of hand could have an enormous destructive impact on hundreds of millions of people in China, and a number of other issues that we're working on," Clinton said.
He believed his trip to China will result in progress in a number of areas, including non-proliferation and human rights.
"I think we'll make some progress in non-proliferation. I think we'll make some progress in dealing with the Asian financial challenges. I think well make some progress in dealing with energy and environmental issues which are very, very important," he added.
He thought there would be some progress in bilateral scientific cooperation which, he said, has already yielded some significant benefits.
Replying to questions about Tibet, Clinton said, ''I would say my general point is --not just to President Jiang but to the other influential members of the Chinese government as well -- forget about our difference over what's right and wrong. We think it's wrong to deny the Dalai Lama access to his people in Tibet. We think it's wrong for the people of Tibet to be subject to any sort of religious, cultural or economic discrimination.''
''We have not advocated independence for Tibet, separation, civil war, anything disruptive. We have advocated, if you will, autonomy with integrity. It's supposed to be an autonomous region anyway. It is our understanding that that is the position that the Dalai Lama has taken,'' he added.
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