Conference with Chinese President Jiang Zemin
October 25, 2002
1:41 P.M CDT
PRESIDENT BUSH: I want to welcome the President of China to our ranch, and to
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
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
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 respect.
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 citizens.
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
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 world.
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
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. Fournier. (Laughter.)
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.)
QUESTION: I understand that means I can ask each President one question? (Laughter.)
PRESIDENT BUSH: That's exactly the problem. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: 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
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.
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 peacefully.
QUESTION: 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.)
QUESTION: Just now you said that the United States supports a one China policy. What
concrete step would you take to translate this commitment into reality?
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
QUESTION: 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
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.
QUESTION: 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.)