Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Sunday, June 28, 1998 Published at 12:26 GMT 13:26 UK

Clinton visit makes headlines in China

A student reads about the presidential visit in the Beijing Youth Daily newspaper

BBC correspondent Duncan Hewitt reports from Beijing on the Chinese reaction to President Clinton's visit:

As President Clinton continues his visit to the Chinese capital, Beijing, China's official media have hailed the weekend's talks between the two sides as constructive and fruitful.

Newspapers gave front-page coverage to the summit meeting between Mr Clinton and China's President, Jiang Zemin.

Reports stressed the two countries' largely symbolic decision not to target nuclear weapons at each other as well as President Clinton's commitment not to support Taiwanese independence - one of China's key concerns.

Joint positions on issues such as biological weapons, Korea and South Asia were also emphasised, as was the resumption of a formal human rights dialogue and plans for closer exchanges in areas such as education, health and the environment.

Amid this emphasis on the positive aspects of the relationship, there was little reference to the more sensitive issues raised by President Clinton in Saturday's televised news conference.

Only the English-language China Daily hinted at his criticism of the Tiananmen crackdown of 1989 and it merely quoted President Jiang's defence of China's actions.

As President Clinton tours the city and its sights, curious locals have been coming out to see him.

On the streets of Beijing, those who had watched the broadcast expressed much interest in the remarks. Some said America should learn more about China and accused Mr Clinton of being too critical on the question of human rights.

But others welcomed his comments, saying they shared his view that human rights were universal and not dependent on cultural traditions.

One man said he thought the growing relationship between the two presidents, displayed on Saturday night's banquet, in which they took turns in conducting the orchestra, would help China's leaders to take a more relaxed approach.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |

Internet Links

South China Morning Post China Internet Corporation news site

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Special report: Clinton in China

Historic visit in review

Analysis: Did the trip succeed?

Clinton battles China syndrome

The US and China: An uneasy relationship

Is China a US investor's dream?

China hopes to join trade club dashed

Who's at China's top table?

Human rights flashpoints

Making money in China