"China's biggest challenge in the coming years will be to maintain stability at home by meeting, not stifling, the growing demands of its people for openness and accountability... Our long-term strategy must be to encourage the right kind of development in China -- to help China grow at home into a strong, prosperous and open society, coming together, not falling apart; to integrate China into the institutions that promote global norms on proliferation, trade, the environment and human rights."

President Clinton
U.S. Institute for Peace
April 7, 1999

China presents a paradox: it faces demographic, environmental, political, and economic and social challenges so severe that the country could become highly unstable; and it has achieved sufficiently rapid economic growth that it may in the coming years become a major factor in regional and global affairs. These uncertainties about China's future require a comprehensive policy of engagement that promotes and protects all of America's interests, from guarding against potential security threats to facilitating the economic success and political changes that will benefit the people of both China and the United States. President Clinton’s vision and policy toward China over the past eight years reflect his belief that U.S. interests are best served by a secure, stable, open and prosperous China that embraces international non-proliferation and trade rules, cooperates in regional and global peacekeeping and security initiatives, and expands the rule of law and respect for the basic rights of the Chinese people. The Clinton Administration’s strategy of engagement with China has produced concrete results for Americans, including an historic trade agreement paving the way for China’s entry into the World Trade Organization and benefiting U.S. commercial, agricultural, environmental and labor interests while opening Chinese society to democratic values and the rule of law. President Clinton’s record of achievement with China serves American interests and will set the course for U.S.-China relations in the 21st century.


Strengthening Security and Nonproliferation


North Korea:

South Asia:


Expanding Trade

U.S. Exports:

Advancing Human Rights and Promoting International Organizations

Human and Political Rights:

Rule of Law:

Other Human Rights Initiatives:

Fostering Cooperation on Global Issues


Law Enforcement:


October 10, 2000 President Clinton signs legislation enacting Permanent NormalTrade Relations (PNTR) status for China following presidential certification of the terms of China’s WTO accession.
September 19, 2000 President Clinton’s leadership results in 83-15 vote in the Senate in favor of enacting permanent Normal Trade Relations status for China.
May 28, 2000 President Jiang calls President Clinton to congratulate him on the House vote on PNTR and urge stronger U.S.-China relations.
May 24, 2000 President Clinton’s leadership results in 237-197 vote on May 24 in House of Representatives in favor of enacting permanent Normal Trade Relations status for China.
November 1999 President Clinton calls President Jiang to break logjam in WTO negotiations.
September 1999 President Clinton meets President Jiang at APEC in Auckland, New Zealand. Elicits agreement to resume WTO negotiations.
July 1999 President Clinton calls President Jiang in wake of Lee Teng-hui's "special state-to-state relations" remarks to confirm U.S. "one China" policy is unchanged.
June 1999 President Clinton dispatches Presidential Envoy Thomas Pickering to China to present the explanation of the tragic mistaken bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia.
April 1999 President Clinton hosts visit of Premier Zhu to the United States, first by a Premier from China since 1984. Makes substantial progress on WTO, signs Aviation Agreement, holds Joint Environment and Development Forum with Vice President Gore, and signs Customs Assistance Agreement.
June 1998 President Clinton travels to China on State visit, holding an historic live open press event with President Jiang. China announces decision to begin active study of MTCR membership. Both sides pledge greater coordination on the environment, science and technology.
November 1997 President Clinton promotes nonproliferation, human rights and trade agenda in meeting with President Jiang at APEC in Vancouver. Pledges U.S. support in Asian financial crisis and elicits PRC cooperation, particularly with respect to restraint on devaluation of Chinese currency.
October 1997 President Clinton hosts President Jiang’s State visit to the United States, the first since 1985. Renews cooperative spirit in relationship, signs Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, initiates Rule of Law cooperation, and expands meaningful human rights dialogue.
November 1996 President Clinton meets President Jiang at APEC in Manila, helps to stabilize relationship buffeted by tension in the Taiwan Strait.
March 1996 President Clinton dispatches two carrier battle groups to area near Taiwan in response to PRC missile tests on the eve of Taiwan elections.
October 1995 President Clinton meets President Jiang at APEC in Osaka.
November 1993 President Clinton establishes personal relationship with President Jiang at APEC meeting in Seattle, elicits commitment to advance bilateral ties.


Summary of U.S.-China Bilateral WTO Agreement, November 17, 1999.

Joint Press Conference of the President and with Premier Zhu Rongji of the People's Republic of China, April 8, 1999.

Remarks by the President to the U.S. Institute for Peace, April 7, 1999.

Remarks by the President to Students and Community of Beijing University, June 29, 1998.

Fact Sheet: Achievements of U.S.-China Summit, June 27, 1998.

President Clinton: U.S.-China Relations in the 21st Century, June 11, 1998.

Joint U.S.-China Statement, October 29, 1997.

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