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Thursday, July 2, 1998 Published at 06:58 GMT 07:58 UK

World: Asia-Pacific

Clinton upbeat on China's human rights

Surfing USA: President Clinton in a Shanghai Internet cafe

On his last full day on the Chinese mainland, President Clinton has praised what he called China's moves to allow "a genuine movement toward openness and freedom" and said he hopes the process will continue.

Speaking on Chinese television, Mr Clinton said there had been a genuine increase in people's control over their lives.

He also spoke highly of the access he had been given to the Chinese media during his visit.

'Challenges of the global economy'

[ image: President Clinton praised access given to Chinese media]
President Clinton praised access given to Chinese media
Speaking to the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai Mr Clinton also returned to a familiar theme of his visit - the link between economic progress and political freedom which he said was the key to maximising China's potential.

"For China, as for America, the promise for the future lies in helping our citizens to master the challenges of the global economy, not to deny them or run away from them," he said.

President Clinton in Shanghai: "wealth is generated by ideas"
Mr Clinton expressed regret that his China trip had failed to bring agreement on lowering trade barriers, market liberalisation and other economic reforms - conditions that must be met before China gains entry into the World Trade Organisation.

Rising deficit

[ image: Mr Clinton expressed support for the role of private business]
Mr Clinton expressed support for the role of private business
The US trade deficit with China stands at $US50 billion and rising with Americans purchasing one-third of Chinese exports. In return, he said, America should get "a fair shot at China's markets."

Nonetheless he received a warm welcome on a visit to the Shanghai stock exchange, as well as stopping off at a local Internet café.

BBC Washington correspondent Bridget Kendall on the next stage of Clinton's visit
He expressed support for China's expanding private business sector, saying it could help create jobs for workers being made redundant from the fast changing state industries that once dominated China's economic and social life.

Whilst in Shanghai Mr Clinton also met with local young entrepreneurs and travelled to a new housing development to visit some of the growing number of Chinese home-owners resulting from the reform of state housing policy.

On Thursday, Mr Clinton arrived in Guilin to attend events devoted to environmental problems.

He called on China and the US to increase their co-operation to combat problems of pollution and global warming. After Guilin he will fly to Hong Kong, the last stop on his nine-day visit.

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Clinton in China: China Daily special report

President Clinton's trip to China: US State Dept.

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