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Document 6 of 8.

Copyright 1998 Star Tribune  
Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)

June 30, 1998, Metro Edition

SECTION: china; Pg. 1A

LENGTH: 1018 words

HEADLINE: Getting down to business in Shanghai;
Clinton begins visit to nation's capital of trade and banking

SOURCE: News Services

DATELINE: Shanghai, China

   Leaving the high-profile summits behind him, President Clinton arrived in Shanghai on Monday evening to begin the economic phase of his trip.

This morning, Clinton switched his focus to another China altogether: a fast-emerging economic giant better symbolized by booming Shanghai, the business capital of the nation.

Clinton said there is "a new China emerging in the world that is more prosperous, more open and more dynamic."

He continued his dialogue with the Chinese people in a morning roundtable with seven leaders from business, law, the arts, media and the religious community, then via a quintessential U.S. form of communication - a radio talk show.

"I hope that you will . . . speak with us frankly and openly," he said. "What we want is to build the right sort of partnership and friendship with the Chinese people over the long run into the 21st century."

In a joint appearance with the First Lady, the president's message was that the dynamic forces of change propelling the booming economy in Shanghai can spread prosperity throughout China.

Hillary Rodham Clinton invited roundtable panelists to talk about "the good, the bad, the hard, the easy."

Zuo Xuejin, an economist and expert on migrant research, said the United States has a big influence on China's young generation.

"Today there are not many people who have the chance to go abroad, but they know there are many popular American stars, and they know those popular stars' names better than I do," Zuo said. "And many of the kids in China love Kentucky Fried Chicken or McDonald's, and their parents are worrying about whether there will be problems of obesity."

Xie Xide, a physicist and educator, told the Clintons: "Our life is way better than it was. The Chinese people enjoy every bit of democracy given under the law if he or she doesn't violate the law. So I want Mr. President and the First Lady to know that democracy does not mean giving people every individual freedom to do what he likes. And in China our legal framework is being perfected on daily basis."

Responding to a question, Clinton carefully spelled out U.S. policy toward Taiwan, a politically charged issue because China regards Taiwan as a renegade province. Adhering to finely worded diplomatic language that broke no new ground, Clinton said, "We don't support independence for Taiwan, or two Chinas, or one Taiwan, one China. And we don't believe that Taiwan should be a member in any organization for which statehood is a requirement."

He said Taiwan and China should pursue a peaceful settlement through dialogue. "I think eventually it will bear fruit if everyone is patient and works hard."

Bishop Jin Luxian, who belongs to an officially recognized Catholic church, told Clinton that religious leaders should cooperate more with the government rather than challenge its control of churches. "I believe, Mr. President, you are here to have more dialogue with us, with the Chinese government, not to contend with us."

Later, Clinton sat down at the microphones of Shanghai People's Radio to field call-in questions on a program called "Citizens and Society." Most of the talk-show calls in China are devoted to everyday problems - coping with children, rising joblessness, China's slowing economy and housing reforms - just the kind of subjects Clinton loves to talk about.

A view of Shanghai

On one side of the dark and brooding Huangpu River, a long row of stately, colonial bank buildings were vividly lighted as if in celebration of Shanghai's swanky past. Across the river, in a newly developing area known as Pudong, a crowd of shiny new skyscrapers seemed to play to the city's boast of being the future of China.

As Clinton stepped out of his limousine Monday evening at the Portman Ritz-Carlton Hotel, located on a busy street in downtown Shanghai that was lined with crowds of people craning for a glimpse of him, Clinton waved to acknowledge the roar of cheering that greeted him.

Then he went inside, passing up the chance to peek at Shanghai's boisterous nightlife at any of the bars and supper clubs that self-consciously fashion themselves after the styles set in the 1920s and '30s, when Shanghai was the most cosmopolitan city in Asia.

Also on Clinton's agenda in Shanghai are three landmarks that, in an indication of how the city is coming alive, have opened in just the past two years: one of the world's most technologically advanced stock exchanges, a world-class museum with inventive display techniques and the nation's most modern and accessible public library.

There are relatively few formal events planned during Clinton's stay in Shanghai, which offers the First Family the flexibility for shopping and walks, or quiet time away from its 1,000-member entourage.

Prickly trade issues

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said that while the televised summits between Clinton and Chinese President Jiang Zemin were remarkably successful, talks on prickly trade issues weren't as rewarding. For example, the United States still will not back China for entrance into the World Trade Organization, which it has been seeking for 14 years.

Dissident discord

As Clinton left for Shanghai, a democracy activist who was trying to set up an opposition political party was detained by Chinese police - the latest dissident rounded up during the president's visit.

Wang Youcai had tried to register his China Democracy Party with provincial authorities Friday but was turned away. He had planned to try again Monday afternoon, the Hong Kong-based Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement said.

His application marked the first time Chinese dissidents have openly tried to gain government approval for an opposition party, the Washington-based Free China Movement reported.

Wang, a student leader in the democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square in 1989, was at least the sixth dissident taken into custody since Wednesday. He spent 2 years in prison for helping lead the 1989 protests and has had repeated run-ins with police ever since.


LOAD-DATE: June 30, 1998

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