On November 19, 1993, Chinese President Jiang Zemin held his first official meeting with U.S. President Bill Clinton during the APEC Leaders Informal Meeting in Seattle. The two leaders stated that for the common interests of both countries, China and the U.S. should view and handle their relations from a strategic and 21st- century perspective, and properly handle the differences between them. The two leaders held several meetings on the occasion of the APEC Informal Leaders Meeting ever since then.

In May 1995, the U.S. Government announced its decision to permit Lee Teng-hui to pay a "private visit" to the U.S. in June of the same year. China-U.S. relations plummeted to its lowest point. The Chinese Government expressed its strong opposition and made solemn respresentation to the U.S. Government over such an act of interfering with China's internal affairs and infringing upon China's sovereignty.

From the end of October to the beginning of November, 1997, Chinese President Jiang Zemin paid a state visit to the U.S. at the invitation of U.S. President Bill Clinton, which was the first state visit to the U.S. by Chinese head of state in 12 years. This visit has achieved the goal of enhancing mutual understanding, broadening common ground, developing cooperation and building a future together, and ushered the China-U.S. relations to a new stage. During the visit, the two sides signed the "Joint China-U.S. Statement" on October 29. The two sides agreed in the Statement to approach China-U.S. relations on the basis of the principles of the three China-U.S. Joint Communiques and build towards a constructive strategic partnership between China and the U.S. The two sides agreed to further promote cooperation in bilateral economic and trade relations, expand exchanges and cooperation in the fields of environment protection, energy, science and technology, law, education, culture, etc. The U.S. side reiterated in the "Joint China-U.S. Statement" that it adheres to its "one China" policy and the principles set forth in the three China-U.S. Joint Communiques. U.S. leaders reiterated publicly and unequivocally that the U.S. Government does not support the ideas of "Two Chinas" or "One China, One Taiwan", does not support Taiwan's independence, does not support Taiwan's membership in the UN, and will handle the issue of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan in accordance with the principles laid by the China-U.S. August 17 Communique. Besides Washington, D.C., President Jiang visited Honolulu, Williamsburg, Philadelphia, New York, Boston and Los Angeles. Through the speeches, press interviews and other activities, President Jiang had met with a broad spectrum of personage in the U.S., including members of U.S. congress, major news media, the business community and academic circles, which enhanced the American people's understanding of China.

In January 1998, during U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen's visit to China, the two sides signed the Agreement between the Ministry of Defense of China and the U.S. Department of Defense on Establishing a Consultation Mechanism to Strengthen Military Maritime Safety. From April 29 to May 1, U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright visited China. The foreign ministers of the two countries signed the Agreement Between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the United States of America on the Establishment of Direct Secure Telephone Link. On May 25, Chinese President Jiang Zemin and U.S. President Bill Clinton had their first talk through the newly established direct secure telephone link, exchanging views on the situation in South Asia and China-U.S. Relations. On June 1 - 2, Samuel Burger, U.S. Advisor to the President for National Security Affairs visited China. On June 3, U.S. President Bill Clinton announced the extension of China's MFN trading status for another year.

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