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The President's Trip to China

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China Trip

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

For Immediate Release June 28, 1998


Great Wall
Mutianyu, People's Republic of China

2:45 P.M. (L)

Q: What are your impressions of the wall, Mr. President?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Quite unbelievable. It's amazing to imagine that it was done so long ago. They've even had bricks here for 400 and some odd years.

Q: Do you see any analogies, sir, to the way China is now and the way it was then?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: No. (Laughter.) I said yesterday that I felt -- I believe this wall now is a symbol that China shows to the rest of the world, not a wall to keep people out. It sort of unifies the country for over 7,000 kilometers.

Q: Mr. President, could you tell us what the woman in the church wanted to talk to you about today?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: She just kept saying how happy she was I was in the church and how she wished I could come to the little village where she was from. She was very emotional. But as nearly as I can tell, there was nothing specific that she was saying. She kept thanking me for being there and saying that she was glad I was there and she wished I could come to her village, her home village.

Q: What do you think, Mrs. Clinton? What are your impressions?

MRS. CLINTON: Magnificent.

PRESIDENT CLINTON: You know, the part -- the steep incline you see up there, we were told, is the steepest part of the wall. So if we had a couple of hours we could walk 10 kilometers and we'd hit the biggest incline and we'd all be in very good shape when we finished. Or we'd be finished. (Laughter.)

Q: Was it a good workout anyway?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: It was a good workout. It was great.

Nice cap, Peter.

Q: Thank you, sir.

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China Trip Speeches - June 28, 1998

Remarks at the Great Wall of China

Remarks at the Chongwenmen Church