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Saturday, June 27, 1998 Published at 16:16 GMT 17:16 UK

No let-up from Clinton on Chinese human rights

President Clinton inspects the military with President Jiang Zemin

President Bill Clinton has said he will continue to raise the issue of human rights for the remainder of his nine-day visit to China.

Clinton: 'People still are not completely free'
Mr Clinton said there had been progress, but there was also resistance to change among the Chinese.

"People still are not completely free, to meet, to publish, to speak, to worship according to the dictates of their own hearts," the president said.

"Throughout this trip I will try to raise human rights and explain how freedom has been at the heart of America's success and prosperity," he continued.

BBC News' Duncan Hewitt reports from Beijing
Mr Clinton made these remarks during his weekly radio address to Americans. The address was made following a news conference, broadcast live on Chinese television, in which Mr Clinton differed publicly with his Chinese counterpart, Jiang Zemin, over the suppression of the 1989 pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square.

[ image: Students fill Tiananmen Square in 1989]
Students fill Tiananmen Square in 1989
Earlier on Saturday, Mr Clinton became the first US President to step into the square since the suppression of the movement. Later, at a news conference in which the two men announced agreement on a number of issues, including nuclear weapons, President Clinton said the use of force against the pro-democracy demonstrators had been wrong.

Bill Clinton: "use of force was wrong"
President Jiang replied that it had been necessary to ensure stability.

Formal ceremony

BBC China specialist James Miles: Clinton's tough words
Accompanied by President Jiang, Mr Clinton was introduced to Chinese dignitaries in Tiananmen Square and listened from a podium to the national anthems of both countries.

At the end of the ceremony the two leaders inspected a guard of honour before walking up the stairs into the Great Hall to begin their formal summit meeting.

The BBC Beijing correspondent says that for China the event was standard diplomatic protocol, something a series of world leaders have taken part in in recent years.

For Mr Clinton, however, it was perhaps one of the most controversial moments of his career.

Human rights groups and opponents in Congress have complained that Mr Clinton's appearance with the Chinese leadership in Tiananmen Square will send a signal that the world no longer cares about the events of 1989.

Both Republicans and Democrats have argued against the visit on the grounds of China's human rights record as well as being suspicious that Beijing's strategic aims are a threat to US security.

In their joint statement, the presidents talked of being partners, not adversaries, and said they had reached a broad range of agreements on political and economic issues.

Mr Clinton also expressed respect for China's economic reforms which he said had improved conditions for its people, but he stressed the importance that Americans placed on human rights.

He said he had asked President Jiang to open a dialogue with the Dalai Lama on Tibet, and to continue talks with Taiwan.

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