Since the meeting between the heads of state of China and the U.S. in Auckland, the atmosphere of China-U.S. relations have been improved to some extent, and the exchanges and contacts in various fields have been increased. On September 23, Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan met with U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright during the 54th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. On October 11-23, at the invitation of the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress, a delegation of National People's Congress of China led by Mr. Zen Jianhui, member of the Standing Committee and Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the National People's Congress visited the U.S. During the visit, the delegation met with Senator Strom Thurmond, President Pro Tempore of the Senate and other Congressmen and officials from the Department of State. On Oct. 17, upon the request of President Clinton, President Jiang Zemin had a phone talk with President Clinton through the direct secure telephone link, exchanging views on the negotiation between China and the U.S. on China's accession to the WTO. On Oct. 25, President Jiang Zemin sent a letter to President Clinton, expressing thanks to President Clinton for his congratulatory message on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30. In his letter, President Jiang also stated that his official meeting with President Clinton during the APEC informal leaders meeting in Auckland had achieved positive and constructive results. He expressed his wishes that China and the U.S. should further improve and develop the bilateral relations of the two countries through their joint efforts. On the same day, the 12th session of China-U.S. Joint Economic Committee was held in Beijing, co-chaired by Chinese Minister of Finance Xiang Huaicheng and U.S. Secretary of Treasury Lawrence Summers. On October 28, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi held the Sino-U.S. vice-foreign-ministerial consultation with the U.S. Under-Secretary of State Thomas Pickering. On November 7, upon the request of U.S. President Clinton, President Jiang Zemin had a phone talk with President Clinton on the bilateral negotiation between China and the U.S. on China's accession to the WTO.

On Nov. 10-15, Chinese Government delegation headed by Mr. Shi Guangsheng, Minister of Foreign Trade & Economic Cooperation and the U.S. Government delegation headed by Ms. Bashervski, U.S. Trade Representative and Mr. Sperling, Director of U.S. National Economic Council held talks in Beijing on China's accession to the World Trade Organization. The two sides signed the Bilateral Agreement on China's Accession to the World Trade Organization on Nov. 15, 1999. After the signing ceremony, President Jian Zemin met with the U.S. delegation. President Jiang stated that the signing of the agreement was conducive to expediting China's accession to the World Trade Organization, promoting the overall development of China - U.S. economic and trade cooperation, the improvement and development of China - U.S. relations, as well as adding new momentum to the development and prosperity of the world economy. Jiang Zemin also pointed out that the conclusion of the bilateral agreement by both sides of China and the U.S. has fully demonstrated that both sides should view and handle the major issues concerning the fundamental interests of the Chinese and American people and the people of the world in a strategic and the twenty-first century perspective.

On Dec. 15, President Jiang Zemin accepted the credentials presented by the new U.S. Ambassador in China, Mr. Prueher at the Great Hall of the People and exchanged views with him on China - U.S. relations and the Taiwan question. On Dec. 16, China and the United States reached an agreement on the U.S. compensation for its bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia. According to the agreement, the U.S. Government will pay twenty-eight million U.S. dollars to the Chinese Government to compensate for the property losses caused by the U.S. bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia last May.

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