THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
(Shanghai, People's Republic of China)
For Immediate Release
July 1, 1998
PRESS BRIEFING BY
MIKE MCCURRY AND
JIM STEINBERG, DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR
Portman Ritz-Carlton Hotel
Shanghai, People's Republic of China
5:48 P.M. (L)
MR. MCCURRY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'll
one or two program notes and some future travel that I need to get on the
record so that your news organizations can sign up for future travel. and
then I will turn the podium over to someone more learned than I.
First, the President was delighted to have another
to address the people of China through Central China Television. We were
to arrange an interview with the President that was conducted at the Stock
Exchange earlier today. The President did an interview that last about 20,
minutes. My understanding is that it is going to be promoed tonight on the
evening primetime broadcast of Central China Television, CCTV, because they
are dealing with a lot of news from Hong Kong and President Jiang Zemin's
visit. It then will air, if possible, in its entirety, at least most of
tomorrow, and on CCTV-4 will be replayed in its entirety tomorrow.
My understanding is that CCTV is making the feed of that
interview available to you and they will do what is customary in the States
they'll allow you to use up to two minutes of it at your discretion for
own broadcast purposes, and they're also making a transcript of it
Q Is it in English?
MR. MCCURRY: The President conducted the interview in
and the translation, the interpretation of the interview, was gone over by
U.S. and CCTV interpreters and they agreed on a joint interpretation so
wouldn't be any
question about the quality or the veracity of the interpretation.
Q Did he make any news, Mike?
MR. MCCURRY: That's for you to judge, not for me to
judge. But the answer is no. (Laughter.) I'll describe it for
you. I think -- Bill, you were -- where is Nichols? You were in
on it; so Bill, in the pool report, you'll get his assessment of
it. But it was another opportunity for the President in a very
direct, but I think a very sensitive way to make the argument for
freedom and democracy in a way that he thought would most
resonate with the Chinese people. And he was very pleased to
have the opportunity to do that and pleased to do it in a format
that will clearly reach scores of millions of people here in
All right, I'm going to run through a bunch of
travel dates. I don't have a clue what we're doing on any of
these trips, but I'll give you what I'm told I must read here.
The President will travel to Little Rock, Arkansas,
July 17th through 19th. He'll spend private time with family and
friends. There may be a local political fundraiser down there;
no official events planned. He departs from Little Rock for New
Orleans. He will be in New Orleans, Louisiana, July 19th through
20th, arriving the evening of the 19th. He will address the
American Federation of Teachers Convention on the morning of the
20th and may have some other events as well.
The President of the United States of America will
travel to Norfolk, Virginia, July 25th for the dedication of the
USS Truman. He will then depart from Norfolk for Aspen,
Colorado. The President will go to Aspen, Colorado July 25th and
26th, arriving in the afternoon of the 25th, and will participate
in a DNC dinner. He will stay overnight in Aspen, attend a
brunch and depart Aspen to Albuquerque, New Mexico --
Albuquerque, New Mexico, nearby Sam Donaldson's God's country
--July 26th through 27th. The President will arrive the evening
of the 26th.
He will RON in Albuquerque on the 26th, participate
in the Social Security Conference. This is the regional fora
about long-term entitlement reform that the Concord Coalition and
the AARP are doing together. The next session is in Albuquerque
on July 27th. He'll do some political chores down there, as well
-- wouldn't miss that opportunity.
The President of the United States will go to the
Hamptons July 31st to August 2nd, for a DNC dinner and DNC
reception and a Saxophone Club reception; returning to D.C. The
money people go to the Hamptons during the summer months, so the
political people go --
Q -- says it's a long dinner, two days.
MR. MCCURRY: It's a long dinner. (Laughter.) It's
a rough crowd.
Q Why is he traveling so much?
MR. MCCURRY: Why is he traveling so much? Because
he enjoys getting out of the rather sulphurous atmosphere of
Washington during the summertime.
Q Guess who will be testifying then.
MR. MCCURRY: The Deputy National Security Advisor
to the President of the United States, Mr. James Steinberg.
Q Is this the end of your briefing or will you be
MR. MCCURRY: I don't know, what do you plan for me?
I'll come back after Jim's done. I don't want to hold Jim up any
Jim Steinberg would like to tell you a little bit
about the President's trip tomorrow to Guilin. And then he is
available for other subjects, too. You can set up Hong Kong if
you want to. Whatever. But that and other subjects. It's a
delight to have him here.
MR. STEINBERG: It's a pleasure as always. Well,
speaking of sulphurous atmospheres, tomorrow the President is
going to highlight our efforts in working with China on issues of
energy and the environment. I think all of you will have noticed
over the course of the last five or six days that even though
tomorrow is a focused effort on the environment, that this is an
issue which is very much on the President's mind.
I think one of the clearest and most powerful
indications of that was his remarks at Beida, where he told the
audience that he was going off script because he wanted to talk a
little bit more about the environment, about the challenges that
China faces, and about the opportunities that it presents for
cooperation between the United States and China.
And again, you will have heard this morning the
President in talking about economic issues, about the importance
of the environment and his conviction, one, that it is a very
serious problem for China -- this is a country that has five of
the 10 most polluted cities in the world, that has very serious
air pollution problems, very serious problems with water, both in
terms of water scarcity and water pollution, and these are
problems which not only affect the health of the people of China,
where respiratory disease is the largest cause of death, but also
has implications for the global environment, not least of which
is on the issue of climate change and greenhouse gases.
And the President I think is very much aware, as are
the Chinese, that the Chinese must be a part of any solution to
global environmental problems. While the United States is
currently the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, in the next 20
years China will become the largest emitter. And so if we're
going to have any kind of solution to issues like global climate
change, China needs to be a part of that.
So we will go to Guilin tomorrow, which is at the
heart of one of the most beautiful parts of China, the Li River,
which I have not yet seen but am looking forward to. And we will
have a chance -- the President will have a chance to meet with a
number of environmental experts, both Chinese national experts
and some local individuals involved in the environment. And I'll
say a word in a minute about those individuals who will be there.
He will, as I say, meet with these individual
experts to learn more about the issues that China is facing, and
then he will give remarks, talking about our own approach and our
efforts with the Chinese. As part of that, the President will
announce several of the projects that we are engaged in with
China, including working with them to provide assistance to their
nationwide air quality monitoring network -- which for those of
you who have been with us will know, is a quite important issue
-- and also the $50 million Ex-Im loan for clean energy projects,
a contract to develop coal-bed methane resources, and an oil and
gas industry forum to promote cooperation between our two
We'll also launch a series of exchanges between our
experts on global climate change working within the framework of
the Vice President's energy and environment forum to try to make
progress on the climate change issues.
I think that it's fair to say that while the
challenges that China is facing are enormous, that there has been
a real sea change in attitudes here. I think that if you have
heard Mayor Xu over the last couple of days and heard from the
Chinese themselves, that there is a growing awareness of the fact
that the environmental problems require attention. Just recently
Beijing has banned leaded gasoline, for example. Their efforts
to upgrade home cooking and home heating issues where there's a
lot of soft coal being used. And one of the most prominent
features of the nightly news on television stations throughout
China are reports on air quality.
One of the things that's important about that is
that it is citizens themselves are now becoming empowered and
active on environmental issues. And there is a growing number of
environmental NGOs in China, many of whom are working with NGOs
in the United States to try to develop effective strategies of
involving citizens. And so, in many ways, this environment
discussion tomorrow will connect up to a lot of other themes that
you've heard about civil society and about the growing role of
citizens in affecting their lives.
Let me just briefly describe a couple of the
individuals. There will be a group of both, as I say, national
experts and some local officials. And there may be some
additional ones to the ones that I'm going to describe to you,
but I have at least some of the individuals here. We'll put out
the names tomorrow if you need specifics, but let me just briefly
touch on so you get a sense of the kinds of individuals.
Ling Con Jie, who founded Friends of Nature, which
is one of the first and best known environmental groups in China.
He's a retired university professor and environmental activist.
Zhang Hong Jun, who's an environmental lawyer who is now working
for the National People's Congress on environmental issues and
environmental legislation. Liao Xiaoyi, who is the founder of
the Global Village Cultural Center. She's a woman who has
focused on a number of the issues involved with women in the
environment. She has recently traveled to the United States to
film a documentary on environmental issues. Dr. Ding Zongyi, who
is an expert of the effect of pollution on Children's health.
Dr. Ding is the chairman of the Chinese Medical Society.
Zhou Dadi is an expert on energy efficiency and is a
member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is
the international group of scientists who basically came up with
a consensus conclusion that human activities were a factor in
And, finally, at least one of the local individuals
will be there is a gentleman named Kong Fanjian, who is the
founder and president of the Guilan Liquan brewery, which has its
own positive environmental implications. (Laughter.) But one of
the things he is most noted for is in his own industrial
techniques and the equipment the he uses, he pays particular
attention to the environmental side effects, for example, in
terms of waste water and the like.
So the President will be briefed by these
individuals and he'll give remarks and talk about the challenges
before us. I think that, as I say, it really is a reflection of
the growing sense of citizens being able to be active here, a
theme that you've heard through a variety of issues, whether it's
consumer issues, whether it's legal issues -- the sense in which
there is beginning to be a grass-roots throughout China which can
be a very important factor for change.
Just to briefly preview going into Hong Kong --
which I gather you'll all arrive in extremely late tomorrow
evening -- we will have a chance both to meet with the
government, the executive branch officials, C.H. Tung and Ansin
Chan, the senior civil servant, to discuss the efforts there, one
year after the reversion; and also, the following day, to meet
with the democratically-elected leaders and some of the other
elements of civil society in Hong Kong to show the fact that the
United States continues to be active and involved and concerned
about preserving Hong Kong's autonomy and strengthening democracy
So let me stop with that and take your questions.
Q Why is the meeting with the
democratically-elected leaders of Hong Kong closed to our
MR. STEINBERG: Normally when we meet with officials
like that, it's kind of standard. For example, we met with
Gerhard Schroeder, the opposition candidate in Germany, recently.
That's the normal practice; these are private meetings. Most of
our private meetings with the officials are closed to your
cameras. I don't think that's particularly unusual.
Q Any chance of getting some brief excerpts
MR. STEINBERG: We're going to work on that. I
don't know whether we -- it depends a little on getting things
finalized. But I understand the deadline issue and if we can do
it -- my guess is tonight is going to be very difficult, but it
may be possible for first thing in the morning. I understand the
difficulties. And I'm not ruling it out. We will make best
efforts; that's all I can say.
Q Are you planning to meet Dai Qing or any of the
other environmentalists who are considered sort of dissidents?
MR. STEINBERG: Well, I think you'll see that this
is a very active and outspoken group. We are not meeting with
Dai Qing on this, although it's interesting, we just heard from
Dai Qing just the other day, who made a remarkably warm and
positive statement -- I wrote it down, but I can't seem to find
it here -- about the President's remarks in Beijing, and how she
said her heart was warmed by what she heard and saw. And so I
think this is somebody -- again, we have a broad range of people
here and we can't get everybody into this, but we're certainly in
contact with her.
Q But, Jim, there have been times when the
President has met with opposition leaders in which you've allowed
a camera to record that event. With Martin Lee and others who
were involved in the democratic movement in Hong Kong so
sensitive to this --
MR. STEINBERG: There will be a photograph. We
almost never do anything more than a photograph. I've been with
a number of meetings with Martin Lee with other U.S. officials.
This is more or less our standard practice. This is a chance to
have the President talk to Martin Lee. We don't usually have
these meetings before cameras.
Q Are you going to meet all the 20 members of the
democratically elected legislature or are you selecting --
MR. STEINBERG: It's not all the 20, but there are a
number of them. And there will also be members of sort of part
of the broader civil society, like some legal officials and the
like to give sort of a cross-section of those democratic forces
in Hong Kong.
Q On the Hong Kong meeting, are you meeting only
with people who are elected through the direct elections and
excluding any of the 40 legislators who were chosen through --
MR. STEINBERG: We are not meeting with any of the
40 legislators who were chosen either by the special assembly or
by the functional groups. But there will be other, non-elected
individuals in the second meeting. There is a separate meeting
with Martin Lee, followed by a broader meeting with a broader
group which has other individuals in society. But none of them
are of the 40 that were not directly elected.
Q On the environment, the U.S. has said it won't
sign the Kyoto Protocol unless it gets developing countries, like
China, to make commitments as well. In the events it seems that
the only thing that's emerging are expert level meetings. Is
that enough? What's the state of play and movement towards
getting China to make commitments for things like the Kyoto
MR. STEINBERG: Just a minor initial correction.
What we said is we will not submit the treaty for ratification.
We've not said we wouldn't sign it, but we would not submit the
treaty for ratification unless there was meaningful participation
by developing countries.
This is clearly a process and we are engaging now
with China because, as I said and the President has said a number
of times in this trip, given China's role and the impact of
emissions from China, there cannot be a solution to the global
climate change program without a very active involvement with
There are lots of different ways that that
meaningful participation can be achieved. We have not said that
we expect developing countries to have the same kinds of limits
that developed countries have taken on. But, clearly, if there
isn't some kind of way in which countries like China take measure
that will affect their global greenhouse emissions we cannot
solve this problem.
And so one of the things -- for example, these clean
energy projects are things that will have an impact on reducing
China's emissions. We need to have, clearly, a package of
activities from China and other developing countries -- it's not
just China -- that will really have an impact. And we're not
rigid in terms of the specific mechanism, but it clearly has to
be something that we can conclude will really begin to address
the program. That's what we're working on. We're clearly not
there yet, but we need to do more and this is an important step.
Q -- issue of an eventual commitment with the
Chinese government and how did they respond? What's your read of
MR. STEINBERG: Again, I mean, what he said is that
we don't seek to have identical commitments or necessarily the
same kind of commitments. But we do need to have meaningful
steps so that if you look at the global greenhouse gas emissions
that there is an effect on global warming. And we're prepared to
engage in a dialogue with them in terms of how they would take on
those things -- whether it's a collection of different kinds of
steps or one overall step, I think it's too soon to judge. But
he very much engaged in this discussion with President Jiang and
with Premier Zhu Rongje and it's been very much at the top of his
mind throughout this trip.
Q The question was asked yesterday, but I think
Mike McCurry was confused.
MR. STEINBERG: It's not possible. (Laughter.)
Q All right. The question is about whether the
President has any plans to meet with Mr. Wang Dao-han, Jiang
Zemin's mentor, and also China's top man for conducting cross-
strait talks with Taiwan, in light of the President's interest in
encouraging China to resume the dialogue with Taiwan?
MR. STEINBERG: I would not anticipate the President
would meet with Mr. Wang. He's clearly an important element of a
process which we're very supportive of and that's something that
we obviously stay in touch with individuals who are involved in
that process. But I would not anticipate the President would
meet with him.
Q Another question. In the past, you have been
involved in conducting what you call unofficial conversations
with Taiwan's NSC director, Mr. Ding Mou-shih.
MR. STEINBERG: I don't know what could possibly
have given you that impression.
Q Well, are you going to do it the same after
this summit, because of the concern that Taiwan has expressed
over the President's statement of the so-called three no policy,
one China policy?
MR. STEINBERG: We have a variety of unofficial
contacts with the officials in Taiwan and I expect we will
continue to do so. We have a very transparent relationship with
them and we think it's very important that they are very familiar
with what we're doing, what our plans, what our objectives are.
and in a variety of ways we will have opportunities to make that
clear to them -- including through AIT, which is obviously an
important channel for us.
Q If the policy is transparent, why can't you say
whether you will be doing it?
MR. STEINBERG: Because I have no particular plans
at the moment, but we have a variety of contacts, and we will
continue to have them.
Q On the CCTV interview again, could you just
tell us a little bit about how that interview came about, who
MR. STEINBERG: Can I defer that to Mike, because I
have sort of a secondhand knowledge of it, but I'll just -- that
will sow confusion if I try to answer the question.
Q Jim, do you have any better sense tonight as to
what happened in Iraq with the Iraqi surface-to-air battery
painting up the British planes?
MR. STEINBERG: David, I heard Secretary Cohen's --I
don't know whether it was a press conference or just a statement
-- earlier today, and I think he pretty much accurately reflected
what we know, which is to say that the Tornados were illuminated;
operating under our standing rules of engagement, we responded to
that. We do not have any particular reason to believe that this
is more than an isolated incident, but why this particular radar
illuminated the aircraft at this time I just can't speculate on
because we don't have a basis with which to do it.
But we have not seen other instances of it. There
are no other -- and just as the Secretary said, we're not seeing
SAM sites being moved or other kinds of activities that have been
associated in the past when there have been greater periods of
tension. So I think it's pure speculation at this point to try
to guess what the basis for the decision to illuminate. But the
Tornados were painted and we responded.
Q What's the final authoritative and true version
of when the President was informed about this --
MR. STEINBERG: I know the President was informed
yesterday. I believe it was in the early evening. I don't have
the exact time.
Q Back to Taiwan, in one of the three
communiques, I think the U.S. commits itself to reducing arms
sales to Taiwan. As a result of this -- and I think Beijing has
for some time protested that the U.S. hasn't, in fact, done this
-- is there an intention now for the U.S. to begin reducing arms
sales to Taiwan?
MR. STEINBERG: I wouldn't put it in those terms. I
would say that we will continue to sell arms to Taiwan consistent
with our law and with the three communiques. Our arms sales are
exclusively defense and for the legitimate defensive needs of
Taiwan. And that is something that we will continue to do.
Q Have the Chinese lived up to the second part of
that communique, which is that they have to adopt a peaceful
perspective on unifying with Taiwan?
MR. STEINBERG: The Chinese say that their goal is
peaceful reunification. We have obviously indicated that we
would like them to renounce the use of force, which they have not
done. So in terms of the positive side of what they claim their
policy to be, they would be consistent with the communiques, but
again, what we would like to see is a renunciation of force and a
commitment to subscribe exclusively to peaceful means.
Q If they renunciate force would we stop
MR. STEINBERG: I'm just not going to speculate on
that. I think that we continue to sell arms consistent with what
we believe are the legitimate defensive needs of Taiwan,
consistent with the three communiques and our law.
Q -- China renouncing the use of force -- did the
President ever get to talk about that to President Jiang during
MR. STEINBERG: The President talked in great detail
about these issues and reiterated our longstanding positions. He
didn't say anything different.
Q -- reiterate that point?
MR. STEINBERG: Absolutely.
Q To follow up on that, what do you mean then
that you will reduce arms sales to Taiwan? On the one hand, you
say you're going to continue the sales because they're only
defensive; on the other hand, you have this commitment to reduce
arms. How do you square the two?
MR. STEINBERG: We look at the overall situation and
we look at the communiques in the context of what the situation
is and what the legitimate defensive needs of Taiwan are. We're
convinced that those are consistent with the communiques. And
it's a judgment call that we have to make, but it's our judgment
that that is consistent with our obligations.
Q So then do you ever see the United States in
fact reducing arms sales to Taiwan?
MR. STEINBERG: I think what we're focused on, which
is the first step of this process, is we'd like to see reduced
tensions between the two. I think we're obviously encouraged by
signs that there is a greater resumption of cross-strait
contacts, and I think that that will be the place in which the
impact will be felt first.
Q Is there anything more in the CCTV interview
about Taiwan tonight? And if so --
MR. MCCURRY: No.
Q Jim, one last one on informing the President.
Does the President feel he was informed satisfactorily promptly
on this matter, eight hours after the fact?
MR. MCCURRY: The President was fully satisfied with
the performance of the National Security Advisor and the Deputy
National Security Advisor. Given the nature of the incident, the
first question the President would want an answer to is what do
we know about the reasons for the incident. And they were quite
unclear for some time after the incident.
Q Linda Tripp is testifying before the Washington
grand jury. Has the President expressed any concern or worry
MR. MCCURRY: The President has been concentrated on
one trip, and it's China, not Linda. (Laughter.)
Q I'd like a follow-up. Let me just ask a
MR. MCCURRY: I'll come back to you, Sam.
Q On Taiwan, did he ever mention -- of this issue
of the many Chinese who are smuggled into the U.S. to seek
political asylum on the basis of --
MR. MCCURRY: I think that Mr. Steinberg addressed
most of those issues. I'm here to kind of clean up on anything
else we have.
Q Yes, I had a question about the CCTV interview.
MR. MCCURRY: Yes. Prior to departing for China,
you'll recall the President did a roundtable with a number of
Chinese journalists. It was our sense that because of editing
pressures, that interview didn't get as full coverage as it might
have on China television, and we had expressed that to the
Chinese side. They initiated a request to us two days ago
through our embassy here, indicating that they would like another
opportunity to interview the President, and they would like to do
it in a format that would allow his conversation to be carried
unedited at least on one of the CCTV channels and mostly in its
entirety, subject to the restrictions of the program Focal, which
is a short primetime news program on CCTV-1.
Consistent with what the President has been doing on
this trip, reaching out to the Chinese people and making the case
for our view of the synergy that exists between political
freedom, freedom of expression, and economic modernization, it
was an opportunity to carry that message further, and we were
delighted to accept the opportunity.
Q If I could just follow up, considering the
translation problems and the transmission problem with the Beida
MR. MCCURRY: That's why we did it in English.
Q Is the embassy aware of whether a full
transcript, properly translated, has been made available to the
MR. MCCURRY: You may have missed me say that one of
the things that CCTV agreed to was to go over the interpretation
that will be used of the audio version, and I think on one of the
two channels -- I'm not sure which -- they will use Chinese
characters. And the interpretation of the President's remarks
has been done in a way that's satisfactory to our side and has
been reviewed by a U.S. government interpreter.
By the way, I looked into the other issue. The
question of whether or not the interpretation of the President's
Beijing University remarks was a good and accurate one, that's a
source of a great deal of strong counter-arguments on the part of
those who heard the translation and listened to it carefully.
All up and down our interpretive services and language division
folks who have looked at it, they are confident that the
interpretation was a good one.
Q Mike, but was it an empathetic interpretation?
MR. MCCURRY: I don't speak Chinese, so I have no
way of knowing.
Q What did they say about that?
MR. MCCURRY: They thought it was an excellent
translation. There were technical problems involved with it, so
you couldn't hear it a some point, but that's not the same as
having any problem with the translation itself.
Q Did you insist that it run unedited and in its
MR. MCCURRY: We wanted -- we indicated that was our
desire. Now, the problem is the interview ran -- it was clocked
initially to fit a segment that they've got on CCTV-1 during a
program called Focal -- or that's what the English edition is.
The President ran a little bit over and I understand they're
going to try to get the whole thing on, even though it falls --
it will go somewhat longer than what the normal time clock is for
that particular program. On one of the other channels, it will
run in its entirety.
Q Has the President made the decision of whether
to voluntarily answer a request to testify?
MR. MCCURRY: Sam, there's nothing new for me to
report on that subject.
Q Can you tell us a little bit about the private
activities of the President? For instance, last night, the Mayor
hosted a dinner. We didn't know about it. I learned about this
reading the local newspaper.
MR. MCCURRY: Well, you should have checked the pool
report. The pool that was representing the people in this room
who was with the President reported on the dinner to the
satisfaction of the pool last night. And we have had some, what
we call off-the-record events that those in the room that are
familiar with OTRs, know what that's all about and they can help
you if you don't understand that concept. But the President will
do an OTR tonight and I think most of you know what it is. I'm
not going to talk about it here on the record.
Q Will the President be making any kind of
statement about the importance of democracy in Hong Kong, and if
so, what can we expect to hear him say?
MR. MCCURRY: He will talk about the transition one
year after the fact, the importance we attach to freedom of
expression and the ability to express ones political beliefs, and
the nature of the transformation that's occurred one year later.
He'll do that, I believe, and he's got at least one public
setting where he's got a chance to do that.
Q He won't have a chance to hear him use the
MR. MCCURRY: I'm not going -- I don't know what
word he will use, but I wouldn't -- until I look at the speech
and take a look at what he's going to say, I don't want to
Q On the issue of the meeting with Martin Lee, I
can understand why there's not going to be any open coverage of
the whole meeting, but what about just a photo-op at the top of
MR. MCCURRY: I'll look into it, but I think Mr.
Steinberg answered that as well as that can be answered at this
Q Local people are complaining that the American
Consulate General shut down their visa service for a whole week
just because the President is here, because of short of hand. Do
you care to comment on that or take this question?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, having succeeded Mr. Boucher at
the State Department as spokesman, I'm fully aware of the
capacity of our Counsel General to address questions from the
press, so I'll defer that to him.
Q Mike, can I get at the issue which sort of
underlies the photo-op, which is, it seems as if the
MR. MCCURRY: I understand the issue that underlies
it and I can't help you and there's no point in us arguing about
Q Mike, I'm not arguing about it. I'm saying --
MR. MCCURRY: Just ask your question.
Q Thank you. Is there an attempt by the United
States not to offend the Chinese government by downplaying this
visit with Martin Lee?
MR. MCCURRY: That's been asked and answered. Mr.
Steinberg said that when we meet with opposition figures, we very
rarely do photo opportunities. We reserve photo opportunities by
and large for meetings with heads of state/heads of government,
as you know. When we meet below that level, we very rarely do
photo opportunities. I think everyone here knows that. That's
our practice at the White House. That's certainly our practice
when we're overseas. He cited a recent experience in Germany,
and I don't have anything beyond that to add what Mr. Steinberg
has already said.
Q Mike, I'm not asking about the photo op. I'm
saying is there an attempt by the United States not to offend the
Chinese government sensibilities when you go to Hong Kong?
MR. MCCURRY: There's an offense -- there's a desire
by the United States to conduct our diplomatic work here
consistent with what our goals and objectives are diplomatically
and consistent with protocol.
Q Just to look ahead a little bit, his domestic
travel schedule seems to be sending the message that he doesn't
think much is going to get accomplished in Congress this year,
and he might as well go and raise a bunch of money and take it to
the voters in November.
MR. MCCURRY: Well, I gave you a couple of dates,
mostly for convenience purposes and planning purposes and to make
things easier for you during the summer when a lot of you want to
plan vacation. I did you the courtesy of giving you some travel
dates. I don't think I'd read a lot more into that. Obviously,
from the schedule I just gave you, he's in Washington many more
days than he's out of town.
Q Mike, can you tell us again when you think that
this CCTV interview will air and when we'll see a transcript of
MR. MCCURRY: We think that we're going to be able
to get the feed available to you sometime in the next several
hours. It will be available; the transcript we hope will be
available in and around that same time. They're negotiating
right now any embargo that they'd like to have on it, but I think
since they want to promote it on their show tonight and defer the
full interview until tomorrow that we sort of said should make it
available for broadcast now. And Nichols was there, so if you
want to get a better --
Q But it's your understanding that it will air
MR. MCCURRY: It's our understanding that they're
airing it tomorrow because they're loaded up with President Jiang
Zemin's visit to Hong Kong today. And obviously we'd rather have
as much time as possible available for President Clinton's
Q Mike, the First Lady has done a number of
events with the Secretary of State. Is that a deliberate show of
women in power doing something here or --
MR. MCCURRY: No, it's a happy coincidence that the
First Lady, who's actively involved in so many issues can be
joined with the Secretary of State who happens to be of the same
Q You folks have asked the Chinese government to
try and take some steps to remedy the Asian financial crisis.
They're lowering interest rates today in Beijing -- is this part
of a coordinated effort to move in that direction?
MR. MCCURRY: I think just as we would make
decisions on monetary policy based on structures that exist to
make those decisions with our own economy, decision-making on
sensitive financial matters like that by the People's Republic
are surely theirs alone to make.
Q -- you aware of --
MR. MCCURRY: I know a little bit about it and I
know enough to know that they would be acting based on their own
Q Does the United States have a position on
whether the schedule for increasing the directly-elected
proportion -- is correct -- because Lee says it should be moved
ahead -- and also election of the administrative chief should be
MR. MCCURRY: If I recall correctly, I'd have to --I
want to go back and check and see precisely what we've said about
that in the past. My recollection is that we said it's important
for them to adhere to the schedule that they have articulated if,
in fact, not moving on an accelerated basis to increase the role
that individuals play in making decisions about their own elected
Q Can you just put out the guidance on that?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes, I can go -- we can get whatever
I've said about that.
Q Has there been any contact between Jiang Zemin
and the President, for instance, over Hong Kong in the last day
or so or in any other matters since you guys left Beijing?
MR. MCCURRY: I'm not aware that they've had any
direct contacts since they had dinner Sunday night. We've been,
obviously, numerous contacts and follow-ups on all the wealth of
things that we've done here. We've got as part of this summit
beyond just the meetings between the two, we've had extensive
working sessions for U.S. officials at a variety of levels from
cabinet level on down. And a lot of that is work that follows up
what the two presidents worked on and expands and amplifies on
things said in motion at the highest level.
Q The President didn't call to congratulate him
on the Hong Kong --
MR. MCCURRY: I'm not aware of that, although I
think they did spend some time on Hong Kong in their sessions.
Q Mike, you said that part of what the President
would do in Hong Kong is to speak about the assessment and how
well things have gone. In light of the U.S.-Hong Kong Relations
MR. MCCURRY: We'll be talking about that in Hong
Q Has the Chinese government asked Mr. Clinton
not to meet Martin Lee?
MR. MCCURRY: I'm not aware of any such requests,
and obviously we are meeting him.