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Jiang on Sino-US Ties

Jiang made the remark in a meeting with US President Bill Clinton on the sideline of the 8th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) informal leadership meeting on November 16 in Bandar Seri Bagewan.

No matter what difficulties existed in past relations between the two countries, he said, leaders should have the courage to face the challenge and remove all disturbances so as to take firm hold on the main course of bilateral ties.

Jiang appreciated the efforts made by President Clinton in improving and developing China-US ties and hoped that he would continue to care and support its development.

"Eight years ago when we first met in Seattle, we proposed making efforts to bring a stable and healthy China-US relationship into the 21st century," he said.

Now China-US ties are stepping forward with important and positive progress following various challenges in the past years, he said.

The growth of such ties demonstrate that a healthy and stable cooperative relationship between China and the United States, two powers with great influence on the rest of the world, is in the interests of both peoples and the world, Jiang added.

Clinton also extended his gratitude to Jiang for his cooperation during the past eight years, saying that whenever a difficult situation emerged, both of them have stood up to overcome it.

A strong, stable and prosperous China that plays an active role in Asia and the world is of great significance to the United States, he added.

Clinton said he is satisfied that the two powers have come closer within his tenure and wishes that the two nations will have a relationship of cooperation instead of conflict and containment in the future.

All differences can not be avoided, but they can be ironed out through dialogue, Clinton said.

The two heads of state also talked about China's accession to the World Trade Organization and other issues of common concern.

On Taiwan issue, Jiang said that over the past 21 years since China and the US established diplomatic relations, including the past eight years of the Clinton administration, it has been repeatedly demonstrated that proper handling of the Taiwan issue is closely linked with the stability, improvement and development of China-US relations.

He urged the US government to honor its commitments and explicitly support China's peaceful reunification.

He told Clinton that "as long as the Taiwan authorities accept the One-China principle, consultation can start and proceed on all issues across the Taiwan Straits on the basis of equality," adding that he believes a solution acceptable for both sides can definitely be found.

Jiang said that China will continue to develop relations across the Taiwan Straits and push forward the reunification process in line with the basic policy of "peaceful reunification" and "one country, two systems" formulated by late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping and Jiang's eight-point proposal advanced in 1995.

He stressed that it cannot be tolerated if Taiwan authorities seek "independence" or hold an illusion about maintaining the current separated situation for long.

Clinton pledged that the US government would continue to observe the One-China policy.

The meeting would be the 10th and the last between the two heads of state during the Clinton administration. Jiang and Clinton held their first meeting at the first APEC informal leadership meeting in Seattle, Washington, USA, in November 1993.

(People's Daily 11/17/2000)

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