ALBRIGHT: Good evening. I am very pleased to be here in
China for my fifth visit as Secretary of State. It is an intriguing
moment because there is an awful lot going on and a great
deal to discuss. But before I go on, let me express my condolences
and regret about the airplane crash near Wuhan of a local
Chinese airplane and obviously express our condolences to
today I had good substantive discussions with Premier Zhu
Rongji, Vice Premier Qian Qichen, and Foreign Minister Tang
Jiaxuan. Later this evening, I will meet with President Jiang
Zemin. And as you would expect, China's planned accession
to WTO and U.S. Congressional action on Permanent Normal Trading
Relations for China were the major topics of our talks.
leadership deserves credit for its decision to seek WTO membership
and for the commitment it has made to abide by WTO rules.
These bring with them the promise of continued economic reform
and a greater transparency and accountability for China in
international organizations. The United States welcomes this,
not only because of the economic benefits generated by greater
and more equitable trade with China; but also because the
more integrated China is into the world economy, [and] the
more it plays by global rules, the more incentives it will
have to find and promote peaceful solutions for regional problems.
As I said
in my meetings today, the administration was very pleased
by the vote in the House of Representatives to grant Permanent
Normal Trades Relations; and our top legislative agenda, or
legislative priority, on our agenda now is to encourage similar
actions by our Senate as rapidly as possible.
and very timely topic in our meetings today was Taiwan. The
United States would like to see a resumption of the cross-strait
dialogue and efforts to reduce tensions. The recent election
of a new President of Taiwan could provide a fresh opportunity
for progress, and certainly more will be gained through flexibility
and appeals to shared interest, than could possibly be achieved
through efforts to intimidate.
we discussed regional issues during our meetings as part of
the U.S.-China strategic dialogue. And one of the tangible
benefits of this dialogue has been our cooperation and supporting
stability and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula. Both
our governments welcomed the historic summit between President
Kim Dae Jung and Kim Jung Il in Pyongyang and the promising
agreements reached there. And we will both encourage further
steps toward improved relations.
on today's discussions, I expect the next six months will
be very busy and, I hope, a very productive period in U.S.-China
relations. Our agenda includes a possibility for additional
cooperation on a broad range of issues such as non-proliferation,
the environment, the Rule of Law, and counter-terrorism.
the U.S. agenda also includes, and will continue to include,
areas where we have sharp differences with China. These include
human rights, where China has done little to bring its practices
into line with international norms and Tibet, whose unique
cultural, religious and linguistic heritage must be preserved.
visited China more than twenty years ago as a staff member
of the U.S. National Security Council, and back then our two
countries barely knew other, and we were separated by a great
wall of mutual suspicion and ignorance. On fundamentals such
as economics and controlling the spread of nuclear weapons,
our philosophies were completely different, and on human rights
we were so far apart there was nothing to discuss.
then, China has made remarkable strides toward greater openness,
and the ties between our governments and peoples have deepened
dramatically. The anticipated entry of China into the WTO,
and congressional support for that step, are evidence of how
far our relationship has come. I look forward to my meetings
with President Jiang Zemin tonight, at the ASEAN meetings
in July, and a month thereafter to exploring with China further
progress to benefit other countries, Asia and the world. And
in closing, I would like to thank our hosts here for their
hospitality in Beijing today. And I will be very pleased to
answer your questions.
Madame Secretary, could you (inaudible)… give us your views
on the proliferation issue. It is, I almost want to say, a
perennial issue, but you have been here five times as Secretary
of State. It seems we keep replaying this theme that you want
greater curbs by the Chinese. Are they still off the charts,
and what might have been accomplished at this meeting? And
is the Administration tough enough in its own controls over
technology, which some critics say, like the Loral sales,
improves Chinese military capabilities?
ALBRIGHT: Well first of all, let me say I think if you
take a broader view here, while we do raise it every time,
I think that the overall record has been one of a systematic
improvement in the Chinese record of becoming a part of various
arms control regimes. NPT, the Chemical Weapons Convention,
working towards an MTCR, generally, I think, having discussions
with us about issues that they had not discussed before.
this visit, I obviously mentioned some of our concerns and
we are going to be continuing to follow those up. Mr. Holum
is going to be coming out here in July and he is going to
be discussing more of the specifics of it. But I think, Barry,
it is very important, while there are issues obviously that
continue, and non-proliferation generally is a subject which
is much on our minds and we discuss almost everywhere we go,
in some form or another, I think that it is important to note
that China has systematically moved to be a part of a system.
That is important to the international community, and obviously,
specific concerns will be followed up by Mr. Holum.
Madame Secretary, you spoke of the need for flexibility in
solving the Taiwan [problem], or in reunification talks between
the Mainland and Taiwan. Will you be prepared to suggest any
sort of formula, or ways, to President Jiang in, say, coming
up with a chance for a summit with the Taiwanese leader?
ALBRIGHT: Let me just say clearly: in the talks today,
Taiwan is very much on their minds. It is a subject that obviously
has been a part [of our discussions] every time that I have
come, but it is much more acutely central to their thinking
at the moment, I think, for all the obvious reasons. What
we have said to them is that our major goal is for there to
be a resumption in the cross-strait dialogue and that it is
very important for them to find the appropriate level and
channel, and that obviously this is up to them. There are
any number of ways that this can be done, from a lower-level
to a summit, but it is up to them to choose. But we made very
clear our usual policy that we have enunciated now, so many
times, about a "One China", and the "Three
Nos", and the various other principles upon which that
relationship is based, and the importance that we attach to
having a peaceful cross-strait dialogue.
Madame Secretary, it is our understanding that you came here
today in the hopes of learning more from some of China's leaders
about Kim Jung Il. I'm wondering what, if anything, you heard
that you hadn't heard before, and also I'd like you to respond
to some rather strong statements from the Chinese Foreign
Ministry today, basically saying that the summit between North
and South Korea just shows the fact that the U.S. plans to,
or at least is thinking about, going forward with National
Missile Defense or Theater Missile Defense wouldn't be necessary.
And that Korea is not really the threat, North Korea is not
really the threat that the U.S. claims it is.
ALBRIGHT: Well, let me take it from back to front, because
as I said, my meetings are not over but I can tell you that
that was not the gist of the discussion that we had. There
was some mention of NMD but not in the way apparently that
you say. There was a statement that came out. We did talk
a lot about Korea, though, and I must say that I found their
discussions of what Kim Jung Il was like, and the fact that
talks took place, a little bit of the surprise. That the world
basically has about what Kim Jong Il seems to be like in initial
everybody is a little careful not to make final judgements
but that clearly he is, appeared anyway, to be different from
the way that he had been described, and that he was jovial,
and forthcoming, and interested, and knowledgeable, and, different,
from what we had all been led to believe. I think that we
agreed on the fact that the summit was historic, that it provided
the basis for a different kind of relationship in terms of
how the pieces of the two parts of Korea could relate to each
a little bit about the fact that it is on the eve of the fiftieth
anniversary of the Korean War, and the fact that we have very
common goals, that is, China and the United States and the
Republic of Korea, for what we want to see, in terms of family
reunifications and the possibility of the people on the Peninsula
living in a peaceful way. I found the discussions, I have
to say, as well as other discussions, really interesting today.
a very wide-ranging strategic dialogue where we talked not
only about Korea, but we talked about the "-stans",
because I had been there, and we had been talking about --
I'm sorry, Kazahkstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgistan -- the problems
that everybody faces in terms of dealing with the threat of
terrorism. We talked about drugs and the threats coming from
them, [and] cooperation in the environment. They were very
interested in knowing about the Middle East, the status of
the Middle East peace talks, and what I was going to do when
I got there to the Middle East. And generally [it was] a very
wide-ranging discussion, probably more wide-ranging than I'd
had before, either here or in other places with them.
I'm from the Wall Street Journal. Madame Secretary, how did
the people you were talking to respond to your comments that
you hope China and Taiwan engage in a cross-strait dialogue
soon? Also, China's leadership has been guarded in revealing
its feelings toward Taiwan's President, Chen Shui-bian. At
the very least, they haven't leveled the kind of invective
against him that they have against his predecessor and his
Vice President. I wonder if you gleaned any feelings from
the Chinese leaders on how they feel about Chen Shui-bian?
ALBRIGHT: Well, I think generally I can't say that there
was, I mean I really did have very interesting discussions
today, so not every answer was uniform, and I think that they
are questioning basically who he is, what his motives are,
how he's going to operate. And I think that they also feel
that they don't have enough information about him. And I think
they know, and this is always a little dangerous, trying to
impute into people's heads something out of a few sentences.
But what was so evident to me today is that they know that
this is on the front burner, that this is something that they
want to deal with, that they have to deal with, and that the
world is watching how they deal with this issue.
like to, it's very interesting, you know you try to compare
it to other things, and basically as far as they're concerned
it is a unique issue, and analogies or historical comparisons
don't work. I mean, for them, they see it as a very important
issue to them that they have to deal with in their own way.
This is your first visit since the bombing of the Embassy.
Did that issue come up, and in what context? And secondly,
as I understand it, the only relations that have not resumed
since then is the dialogue on human rights. Did you make any
progress on getting a resumption of that?
ALBRIGHT: The subject did not come up. I must say I did
raise that I had a problem with Li Peng going to Belgrade,
but the bombing did not come up, but the human rights issues
did. I raised them, and we talked about the various aspects
of it that were troublesome, and there's going to be follow-up
from our embassy here and also from other members of my delegation.
And we talked about, I talked about, the need to resume the
dialogue. Assistant Secretary Harold Koh is here, with us,
was in the meetings, and we hope that they would pick it up.
I talked to them about the ratification of the Covenant.
Madame Secretary, you said that the character of the conversation
you had about NMD did not match the comments which have come
out of the Foreign Ministry today which were quite strong.
Could you characterize a little more the nature of that conversation,
and what the Chinese had to say about the defense plans?
ALBRIGHT: They basically only in one meeting talked about
the fact that they were concerned more about TMD, and then
said that there were some questions that they had about the
need for the territorial security of the United States, I
think that was the way it was put.
Madame Secretary, several months ago you gave an important
speech on Iran, and it was seen by many analysts as throwing
an olive branch to Iran's reformist President Mohammed Khatami.
You must have been delighted to learn that he's also in Beijing
now. Do you, or any members of your staff, have any plans
to meet with Khatami or any members of his staff while you're
ALBRIGHT: No, we don't. You know, I did give the speech,
and we have, you know, we've adjusted some of the sanctions
aspects, and there are a lot more people-to-people events
taking place, and, I don't know, it's a pretty big hotel.
Madame Secretary, from CBS News. Following up on Andrea's
questions about Korea, since the Summit, President Kim Dae
Jung has said that he thinks the threat of war is over now
on the Korean Peninsula, and obviously there's a great sense
of euphoria. And as you mentioned, we are coming up on the
anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War. This seems
to have prompted a lot of conversation in Korea about, is
it time for American troops to leave the Peninsula? And I'm
wondering if you're satisfied that enough progress has been
made that it is time to begin that conversation, or if you
want to see more before this conversation gets going?
ALBRIGHT: Well first of all, I think that it is pretty
much agreed that our troops in Korea are a stabilizing factor,
not only for the Peninsula, but generally here, and I think
that, first of all, the subject did not come up, and second,
as historic as this summit is, it's not definitive in terms
of every aspect of what has been a long and difficult relationship,
and I think we would be rightfully termed as naïve to assume
that everything has been dealt with. I think it's historic,
it's encouraging, that our troops here play a very important,
or not here[but] Korea, play a very important role. I'm going
to Seoul tomorrow, I'm sure that there will be a lot of discussions,
but I would be very surprised if they had to do with our troops.
Because in preliminary briefings that we have had, it's been
made very evident that that's not an issue for discussion.