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Remarks By The President To Phe Tool

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China Trip

Office of the Press Secretary
(Xian, People's Republic of China)

For Immediate Release June 26, 1998


Village of Xiahe
People's Republic of China

10:35 A.M. (L)

Q Good morning, sir.

Q Mr. President, the Chinese arrested a couple ofdissidents, one apparently for intending to do an interview with anAmericanjournalist. I wonder does such action make it more difficult for you tomakethe case to the American people that your policy of engagement is improvingthe lot of the Chinese people, is improving the human rights situation.

THE PRESIDENT: No. I found the reports disturbing, andI'veasked Ambassador Sasser to raise it with the Chinese authorities. And, iftrue, they represent not China at its best and not China looking forward,butlooking backward.

One of the reasons that I came here was to discuss bothprivately and publicly issues of personal freedom. So I think it's veryimportant for me to do that. But I think it makes the case, it makes itallthe more important that we continue to work with the Chinese and to engagethem.

Q There have been some suggestions that you're going to

sort of accept the Chinese insistence, that during the press conferenceyou'regoing to sort of declare the United States decision not supporting Taiwanindependence, not supporting Taiwan's bid for the United Nations, and notsupporting one China-one Taiwan, but two Chinas. Is it going to happen?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, you should come to thepress conference to see what happens. But our position with regard toTaiwanis embodied in the three communiques and in the Taiwan Relations Act and inthe facts of our relationship over the years. So I think it's obvious thatthere will be no change in our position one way or the other on this trip.

Q Mr. President, on a domestic matter, Mr.President, are you happy with the Susan McDougal -- Mr.President, are you happy for Susan McDougal? Do you feel --

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I'm concerned about her healthand I hope that she gets better now. I think it's a -- I hopethat it puts her in a position where she can get over her painand her difficulty.

Q Sir, the line item veto, sir, was struck down.What do you think about that?

THE PRESIDENT: I'm disappointed. I think thathaving it has made it much easier to control spending and I thinkthat -- and control special interest tax breaks. And so I hopevery much that Congress will not use this decision to move awayfrom the path of fiscal discipline that we have followed the lastfive years that has gotten us to our present state of economicprosperity. I think it would be a mistake.

Thank you.

Q Would you support a constitutional amendment tocreate a line item veto?

THE PRESS: Thank you.

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China Trip Speeches - June 26, 1998

Remarks In Discussion With Villagers & Area Residents

Remarks to The People of Xiahe

Remarks By The President To Phe Tool