For Immediate Release
President Bush, Chinese President Jiang Zemin Discuss Iraq, N. Korea
Office of the Press Secretary
October 25, 2002
Remarks by the President and Chinese President Jiang Zemin in Press Conference
1:41 P.M. CDT
PRESIDENT BUSH: I want to welcome the President of China to our ranch, and to Texas.
I want to start off by saying how sad Laura and I are about the
sudden and tragic death of United States Senator Paul Wellstone, his
wife, and one of his children, as well as the death of others on that
private airplane. Our prayers and heart-felt sympathy goes to their
sons, their loved ones, their friends, and the people of Minnesota.
Paul Wellstone was a man of deep convictions, a plain-spoken fellow who
did his best for his state and for his country. May the good Lord bless
those who grieve.
This is the third meeting of the President and me, and our personal
relations and the relations between our two countries are strong.
In our meeting, we discussed the threat posed by the Iraqi
regime. China supports Iraq's strict compliance with U.N. Security
Council resolutions. And today we discussed, and I urged President
Jiang, to support a new Security Council resolution demanding Iraq
fully disarm itself of weapons of mass destruction.
The President and I also discussed and expressed concern about
the acknowledgment of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea of a
program to enrich uranium. We agreed that peace and stability in
Northeast Asia must be maintained. Both sides will continue to work
towards a nuclear-weapons-free Korean Peninsula and a peaceful
resolution of this issue.
The United States and China are also allies in the fight
against global terror and our two countries are deepening our economic
relations. It is inevitable that nations the size of the United States
and China will have differences, but the President and I agree that we
need to resolve our differences through mutual understanding and
On human rights, I emphasized that no nation's efforts to
counterterrorism should be used to justify suppressing minorities or
silencing peaceful dissent. I shared with the President my views on the
importance of China freeing prisoners of conscience, giving fair
treatment to peoples of faith, and preserving the rights of Hong Kong
I also spoke of the importance of respecting human rights in Tibet and encouraged more dialogue with Tibetan leaders.
On proliferation, I expressed our continuing concerns about
transfers of subsidy technologies. On Taiwan, I emphasized to the
President that our one China policy, based on the three communiques in
the Taiwan Relations Act, remains unchanged. I stressed the need for
dialogue between China and Taiwan that leads to a peaceful resolution
of their differences.
The United States seeks and is building a relationship with
China that is candid, constructive and cooperative. We will continue
building this relationship through contacts at many levels in months to
come, including a new dialogue on security issues.
I'm pleased to announce that Vice President Cheney will visit
China next spring. The United States and China believe that a strong
relationship between our nations will help to build a more peaceful
Thank you for coming, President Jiang.
PRESIDENT JIANG: Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen. I just
learned that one plane crashed. I would like to express my deep
condolences for the loss of the Senate. And also I would like to
express my condolences to the bereaved family.
I'm very pleased to visit President Bush at his ranch. I would
like to thank President Bush and Mrs. Bush for the warm hospitality
accorded to us. President Bush and I had a very good conversation. We
exchanged views on some important issues of mutual interest. The
meeting has been constructive and productive.
We all agree that China and the U.S. are two great nations
sharing extensive and important common interests. The two sides should
increase exchanges and cooperation in economic, trade, cultural,
educational and other fields. We should step-up dialogue and
coordination on major international and regional issues, and constantly
move our constructive and cooperative relationship forward.
We are satisfied with our counterterrorism cooperation of the
past year. We agreed to strengthen such cooperation in a two-way and
mutually beneficial manner, and work together against terrorism in all
forms and manifestations.
We have had a frank exchange of views on the Taiwan question,
which is of concern to the Chinese side. I have elaborated my
government's basic policy of peaceful unification and one country, two
systems, for the settlements of the Taiwan question. President Bush has
reiterated his clear-cut position, that the U.S. government abides by
the one China policy.
We did, indeed, discuss the nuclear issue concerning DPRK. I
point out that China has all along been supporter of a nuclear-free
Korean Peninsula and wants peace and stability there. I agreed with
President Bush that we will continue to consult on this issue and work
together to ensure a peaceful resolution of the problem.
We have also discussed human rights, religion and other
issues. I told President Bush that democracy and human rights are the
common pursuits of mankind and that China's human rights situation is
at its best time, characterized by constant improvement. Regarding our
differences in these areas, the Chinese side stands ready to continue
exchanging views with the U.S. side on basis of mutual respect and
seeking common ground while shelving differences, with a view to
deepening understanding and enhancing consensus.
I'm confident that, so long as the two sides persist in
viewing and handling their relations from a strategic height and with a
long-term perspective and keep expanding cooperation and enhancing
mutual trust, China-U.S. relations will be able to grow steadily and
bring benefits to both peoples. Thank you.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you, Mr. President.
I told the President that we would asked him if we could take
some questions. He said, sure. There will be two questions from each
side. And I promised him I would do my very best to make sure that the
questioners would only ask one question, if you know what I mean, Mr.
President Jiang said he remembered a couple of the American
reporters were quick to break the one-question rule, and he asked if a
fellow, Fournier, would be there. And I said, well, surely he won't do
it this time.
Mr. Fournier. (Laughter.)
Q I understand that means I can ask each President one question? (Laughter.)
PRESIDENT BUSH: That's exactly the problem. (Laughter.)
Q I'll be glad to -- I'll be glad to -- your question,
President Bush, is, are you willing to negotiate with North Korea,
while North Korea maintains a nuclear weapons program?
And President Jiang, could you tell us, do you think North
Korea's nuclear weapons program is a threat to your country and, if so,
how do you plan to stop it?
PRESIDENT BUSH: See, I told you he wouldn't abide by the one-question rule. (Laughter.)
Our first step, to make sure we resolve this peacefully, is to
work with our friends, is to remind our friends of the dangers of a
nuclear regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Jiang made it clear
that China, like the United States, believes in a Korean Peninsula
without nuclear weapons.
This is a chance for the United States and China to work very
closely together to achieve that vision of a nuclear free
nuclear-weapons-free peninsula. And so I've instructed Secretary Powell
to work very closely with his counterpart, as well as with their
counterparts in South Korea and Japan and Russia to come up with a
common strategy to convince Kim Chong-il to disarm, and we look forward
to working to that end.
And so to complete our -- the important dialogue of developing
a strategy that will hold North Korea to account in terms of disarming,
I'm going to be visiting with the Prime Minister of Japan and the
leader of South Korea tomorrow in Mexico.
PRESIDENT JIANG: I can answer your question in the most
clear-cut terms and most definitely that we Chinese always hold the
position that the Korean Peninsula should be nuclear weapon free. We
are completely in the dark, as for the recent development. But, today,
President Bush and I agreed that the problem should be resolved
Q My first question is for President Jiang. This is your third meeting
with President Bush. How do you evaluate China-U.S. relations in the
past year, and how do you envisage the future of the relationship?
And also a question for President Bush.
PRESIDENT BUSH: It's an international problem. (Laughter.)
Q Just now you said that the United States supports a one China policy.
What concrete step would you take to translate this commitment into
PRESIDENT JIANG: In the past year, China and the United States
have expanded their cooperation and enhanced mutual understanding and
trust. On the whole, the relationship has enjoyed a good momentum of
growth. Facts have proven once again that, despite the profound changes
in the international situation, and despite the differences of one type
or another between China and the U.S., our two countries have more,
rather than less, common interest. And the prospect of cooperation
between us has become broader, rather than narrower.
PRESIDENT BUSH: In terms of your question about the one China
policy -- one China policy means that the issue ought to be resolved
peacefully. We've got influence with some in the region; we intend to
make sure that the issue is resolved peacefully -- and that includes
making it clear that we do not support independence.
Q Sir, do you feel like you've got China's support for a new
resolution on Iraq? And are you willing to make any more concessions in
the language of a U.N. resolution, now that Russia and France have
offered a watered-down resolution?
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you for asking one question. (Laughter.) Now I'll try to answer it.
I made it clear to the President of China that I am interested
in seeing to it that the United Nations is effective -- effective in
disarming Saddam Hussein. That's what the United Nations has said for
11 years, that Saddam ought to disarm. And, therefore, any resolution
that evolves must be one which does the job of holding Saddam Hussein
to account. That includes a rigorous, new and vibrant inspections
regime, the purpose of which is disarmament, not inspections for the
sake of inspections.
And any resolution which will be effective must have -- there
must be consequences. Let me put it bluntly: there must be consequences
in order to be effective. And, therefore, in order for there to be
consequences, we won't accept a resolution which prevents us from doing
exactly what I have told the American people is going to happen. That
is, if the U.N. won't act and if Saddam won't disarm, we will lead a
coalition to disarm him. And we're working with all countries,
particularly those on the Perm 5, to do just that.
And that's what we'll accept, something that will enable us
to do precisely what I have just described, and what I describe almost
every day that I'm out there talking to the American people.
You tried to violate the rule, but I'm not going to let you.
Q For some time, certain people inside the United States call
for containment against China. These people believe that a rising China
poses a growing threat to the United States. What is your comment?
PRESIDENT JIANG: Given their different national conditions, it
is only natural for China and the United States to disagree from time
to time. Such a disagreement should be viewed and handled with a broad
perspective. China has chosen a development path suited to its national
conditions. It has enjoyed a rapid progress in economic growth,
cultural development and the building of democracy and rule of law,
bringing tangible benefits to the Chinese people. Their quality of life
and standard of living are improving.
As the biggest developing country in the world, this road is
still very long before China achieves full modernization; our central
task and long-term goal remain one of economic development and
improvement of people's living standards.
The Chinese people have a tradition of peace loving. China has
never engaged in expansion nor sought hegemony. We sincerely desire
peace all over the world. Even when China becomes more developed in the
future, it will not pose a threat to others. Threats have and will
continue to prove that China is a staunch force for the maintenance of
world and regional peace.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you all very much. (Applause.)
END 2:10 P.M. CDT