Press Briefing By Mike McCurry and Sandy Berger - June 26, 1998

Office of the Press Secretary
(Xian, People's Republic of China)

For Immediate Release June 26, 1998


Shangri-la Hotel
Xian, People's Republic of China

4:08 P.M. (L)

MR. MCCURRY: Good afternoon. One program note before IbringSandy up. During the course of the tour, the very interesting tour thePresident had of the Terra Cotta Warriors, your print pooler was with himandhad an opportunity to talk to the President afterwards, so you're going togeta pool report that has him commenting with some color on his tour. I won'tattempt to do that now.

Q All color, no substance?

MR. MCCURRY: All color, no substantive comments. Mostlyjustabout the tour itself.

Sandy, very graciously, will do a little preview oftomorrowand discussion today.

MR. BERGER: There are a few comments in the pool reportaboutthe construction of the Terra Cotta Warriors, the President's perspectiveonthat. So it is substantive. I was kidding. (Laughter.) Mistake.(Laughter.)

Let me talk briefly about today, a little bit abouttomorrow,and then if there are any questions I will be happy to try to answer them.

I think in day one here in China we have seen that Chinahasmany faces, and we have seen several of them over the past 24 hours. Inthevillage this morning that we visited, both in the roundtable with thevillagers and then just generally, listening to the Mayor, this is one of ahalf a million villages

in China that have had multicandidate, genuine elections. About500,000 of China's one million villages have gone through thisprocess. And these have generally been real elections,Incumbents have often been defeated, and the Carter Center, forexample, has a project here in China that both assists in thisprocess and observes it and has generally found the process to bequite a good one.

I thought it was particularly noteworthy, thePresident's comments at the end of the remarks to the village --and I think, obviously, deliberately so, that "I have run inelections, I have won, and I have lost, I prefer winning, butwhen there is a democratic process, then everybody is a winner."And I think you'll see in all of the President's statements aneffort to draw from the specific to make the general point ofencouraging and reinforcing the processes of change that aretaking place.

I thought it was also particularly interesting interms of this morning, the question, the one question from Ibelieve the teacher, the gentleman, to the President's -- sittingto the President's left, when the First Lady asked if there wereany questions -- he said, why are you here, why did you come toour village? This is obviously not a general practice of Chineseofficials, just as we found when we went to South America, thatthe President doing this has been quite a dramatic differencefrom the way in which they're used to relating to their nationalofficials.

The President's answer, as you know, was because hethinks it's important for people who run countries to understandhow what they do affects the average people in those countriesand because he wants the American people to see various aspectsof Chinese life.

This afternoon the President saw what is clearly oneof the most extraordinary archaeological sites in the world, andan enormous statement about China's past. The President'scomment to me was that he was impressed by the awesome nature ofthe site, but equally impressed by the care and meticulousnesswith which the Chinese people are reconstructing what they havefound and what they have been working on now for about 25 years.

Before Emperor Qin, whose tombs those were ofcourse, the soldiers were buried alive. Qin instituted thepolicy apparently of having them simply replicate themselves, Ithink thus being the first "third way" emperor in history.

China is changing. There are still forces that arepulling the other direction, that are resisting. That change--we've seen that in the episodes over the last day of dissidentswho have been detained, obviously, the Chinese apparatus, Chinesesecurity apparatus doing what comes naturally for them. Peopleare not debris to be swept up for a visitor, and we haveexpressed our concern about this to the Chinese government.

Their response so far has not been terriblysatisfactory. They dispute the facts or otherwise explain theseincidents away. But we will continue to make clear, and thePresident will make clear in his meetings tomorrow, that this issimply, as he said today, China looking backward, quite at oddswith the China that we see all around us here in the last 24hours; a China that is moving in leaps and bounds into the 21stcentury.

Let me talk a little bit about tomorrow. After thearrival ceremony, the President will meet with President Jiang.There will be, the first day, a larger meeting and then a smallermeeting. There then will be a press availability , jointpress availability, between President Jiang and President Clintonwith a -- a brief press availability -- they will each make astatement and take a few questions. And then there will be alunch with Premier Zhu Rongji.

In terms of the substance, we've obviously beenworking on this over some time. There are some matters that arestill under discussion, the outcome of which, I think at thispoint, unclear and obviously will not materialize unless it issatisfactory to us.

On the issue of detargeting, for example, theChinese traditionally have linked that issue to our unwillingnessto accept a doctrine of no first use of nuclear weapons. That isnot something that we're prepared to do. And we continue todiscuss this with them.

With respect to other security areas, we will betalking to them, we have been talking to them since theSecretary's trip, my trip, Sandy Kristoff's trip, discussionsover the last few days in Beijing with Jim Steinberg and SandyKristoff -- a number of issues, missile issues in particular,where we would hope that we would make some progress.

On human rights, this is something we've talkedabout very extensively with the Chinese. We have made a numberof suggestions relating to dissidents, relating to Tibet. Iwould not anticipate that we would see the fruits of thosediscussions while we're here. As you'll recall, when PresidentJiang came to Washington and we had very extensive discussionswith him on a number of human rights topics, it was not until hereturned to China, until some weeks or even months later thatthey announced the release of Wei Jingsheng and Wang Dan andBishop Jin and intention to sign the U.N. Covenant of PoliticalCivil Rights. I would anticipate the same pattern in this case.

On rule of law, an area that we are placingincreasing importance on, I believe we will be able to concludean agreement to intensify a process that's begun over the lastyear of training Chinese judges and lawyers, of working withChinese jurists and judicial, legal officials on legal assistanceto the poor, working with the Chinese on making sure that theprocess of rule of law includes personal rights as well asproperty rights -- human rights as well as intellectual propertyrights.

On energy and the environment, a process begun wellover a year ago by the Vice President, it is moving along verynicely. We will be undertaking a number of projects with theChinese as we help them move away from a heavy coal-based economyto a clean energy economy. When you get to Beijing tomorrow, ifyou haven't been there recently, look up in the sky, and youwill, simply looking up in the sky, believe that you were in LosAngeles 10 years ago. It is a rather dramatically polluted city,and obviously extraordinarily important to them and to us, sincethey will become the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in thenext 10 years.

We will be undertaking with them specific projectson coal gassification, involving American technology and we'll beworking with them on a nationwide air quality monitoring networkwith the help of EPA.

Finally, in the science and technology area, an areawhere we have been working with the Chinese for 20 years andwhich has produced some extraordinary developments, includingbreakthroughs in the treatment of spina bifida, includingcooperative projects in detecting natural disasters before theyoccur, we will be undertaking some collective projects in thehealth area, particularly concentrating on the area of birthdefects, polio, and the effects of tobacco use.

There are other areas, but that reflects the broadrange of issues that this relationship now embraces, and we willbe, hopefully, making progress on a number of them while we'rehere.

Q Sandy, you said that in their response theChinese government was disputing the facts on the dissidentarrests. Can you tell us what the facts are as you know them?It's very hard to get a handle on what's going on.

MR. BERGER: I can't give you a definitive versionof the facts. We have heard the reports from you folks and insome cases the Chinese have had a different version of facts; insome cases -- their response has not been satisfactory, let mejust leave it at that.

Q Sandy, what have the Chinese been saying? Whatis their version of the facts?

MR. BERGER: As I say, I don't want to get intoenormous specifics here. They have basically not adequatelyexplained the situation, as far as we're --

Q Well, how hard have you been protesting? And Imean by that, with Ambassador Sasser -- he's the one?

MR. BERGER: Among others.

Q Well, he has presented these protests. Whathas he said to the Chinese?

MR. BERGER: He has said to the Chinese, this isthoroughly unacceptable, as the President will say to the Chinesetomorrow, as I have said to the Chinese today, as I expect mydeputy, Mr. Steinberg, will say to the Chinese today. So this isnot in China's interest. The fact that we're obviously focusedon this as opposed to the other things that are happening inChina. We've made this point to the Chinese. It's not in theirinterests. But --

Q What does "unacceptable" mean? That's a strongword. What's behind it?

MR. BERGER: It's unacceptable, in my judgment, forpeople to be detained in connection with an event like this --this is not surprising, but it's not unacceptable. Those of youwho have been here before, that have traveled with President Bushor traveled with Secretary Christopher or others, know that thesecurity apparatus often undertakes these kinds of steps. Theysee a trip like this with a combination of, I think, anticipationand some fear. But if China is going to make that next step intoreally being a nation whose practices are fully acceptable to theinternational community, then this is a step -- this is not astep in that direction.

Q Sandy, on that point, are you trying toseparate the security apparatus from the folks you will see inBeijing tomorrow? They're all the same thing, aren't they?

MR. BERGER: I'm not trying to make any -- I can'ttell you where these decisions are made. I know in the planningof this trip there have been very large decisions that have beenmade at a local level and sometimes very small decisions thathave been pushed to Beijing. So it's hard to know exactly whatthe line of responsibility is here. It really doesn't matter.As I say, people are not debris to be swept up for visitors.

Q Do the Ambassador's comments to the Chineserepresent a formal objection?

MR. BERGER: Certainly.

Q Are we suggesting that there is something thatthe United States will withhold in terms of cooperation as aresult of this?

MR. BERGER: I think it is just as effective for thePresident to speak about it forthrightly and directly today, forus to speak to them about it directly. I think -- we willcertainly not accept this, but as I say, this is a not unusualpattern, although not an acceptable pattern. And as Chinaincreasingly moves into the international community, it has to beless fearful of its own people.

Q Yeah, but, Sandy, what's the "or else"? Whatare we going to do except stomp our feet?

MR. BERGER: I think there has already been -- youspeak almost as loudly as Sam does, Bill. Not quite, but almost.I think there has been change in China over the last five to 10years, even in the area of the options that people have in theirlives and the general freedom of expression that they haveoverall. And many of your correspondents have written about it.So the movement is in the right direction. And I think part ofthe reason for that has been the presence and pressure of theinternational community. I think that's effective.

Q Sandy, the Chinese in Beijing are indicatingthat the President will not have an opportunity to speak at largeby television to the Chinese people. Is that your understanding?

MR. BERGER: I have not heard one way or the otheron that.

Q So you think it's still an open question?

MR. BERGER: It was open as far as I know.

Q And what does the United States want? Is ittomorrow's event, Monday's speech? What are you seeking?

MR. BERGER: Well, we'd like the most exposure forthe President as we can. Tomorrow, I think you know thelogistics. The President arrives in front of the Great Hall ofthe People adjacent to Tiananmen Square, and there will be abrief arrival ceremony, which I understand will last about 15minutes. He will then go in for the meetings. There then willbe a brief press availability after that meeting. He will speakon Monday at Beijing University . He willspeak in Shanghai. There are a number of opportunities for thePresident to speak.

Q To follow on that point, Sandy, it seems thatin the summit preparations, all the flexibility has been on theU.S. side regarding the arrival ceremony in Tiananmen Square,where the U.S. delegation stays, the guest house versus the China--- all the flexibility on the U.S. side, none on the Chineseside. Are you getting anything?

MR. BERGER: I think that's just wrong, John. Ithink if you --

Q What are you getting, can you give me anexample?

MR. BERGER: Can I answer?

Q Yes. I was wondering if you can give me anexample of the Chinese flexibility --

MR. BERGER: Anything else? Okay. First of all, Ithink it's hard to make a judgment about what is the net resultof the summit on day one. So for starters, I think the premisehere is a little difficult. Second of all, I think all of thethings that I have indicated are areas that we have wanted to seeprogress on from China. I think that with respect to a hundredissues involving logistics, involving Secret Service, involvingother issues, the Chinese have done things that they have notdone before -- even, in fact, ironically, in terms of visas.Except for the foolishness of the Radio Free Asia, they haveallowed people into China that have never been permitted intoChina before.

Again, even with respect to the actions they'vetaken on dissidents, which I think, as I say, are thoroughlyunacceptable, I think that they probably are not of the scalethat has happened before.

So I think that there is an effort on the part ofthe Chinese to make this successful, and I think that in the end,if our objective is to advance America's national interest acrossa range of issues and to make sure the President has anopportunity with the Chinese officials to raise very directly hisconcerns, I think that will happen. And the last thing I wouldsay is, if you just look over the last year or two, the thingsthat have been accomplished, I think you have to say that by andlarge China has moved in our direction, whether it has beengiving up nuclear testing, signing the Comprehensive Test BanTreaty, giving up their nuclear cooperation with Iran, giving uptheir nuclear cooperation with Pakistan -- those are big deals.And I think signing the Chemical Weapons Convention and all ofthose things -- they have not done it for us, but they've donewhat we have asked them to do.

With respect to South Asia, an area of enormous riskand danger at this point, China has played a very constructiverole since the tests. So I think you have to look at the overallpicture and I think if you simply look at where the Presidentstays or take one fact out of it, I think that's a snapshot.

Q What are the prospects of a detargetingagreement?

MR. BERGER: I don't know the answer, Wolf. Wecertainly -- we would like such an agreement. I think such anagreement would be useful in two respects. Number one, it wouldbe a commitment by the Chinese to us that they would not targetour cities and, therefore, would preclude the danger of anaccidental launch, which is not insubstantial. There was a timewhen entire movies were based on swans going across radarscreens.

And second of all, I think it would be an importantstatement about -- a confidence-building measure and a statementabout the evolution of our relationship since adversaries pointtheir missiles against each other and not countries that areworking to build a better relationship.

Q Where does it stand right now --

MR. BERGER: I cannot tell you that we will have--we are unwilling to, and have been, to change our doctrine onno first use, and that's a bottom red line for us.

Q Is that what you meant when you were talkingabout you were looking for progress on missile issues, thedetargeting thing? Or what are you talking about?

MR. BERGER: No, I think beyond detargeting --divide the nonproliferation world into two areas, nuclear anddelivery systems. On the nuclear side we've made a lot ofprogress. As I said, on Iran, in connection with Jiang'smeeting, they agreed they had no plans to assist the Iraniannuclear program. They've said that they would not assistunsafeguarded nuclear facilities -- read that Pakistan. And theyhave recently adopted in their law most of the nuclear exportcontrols of the so-called Zanger Committee, which are kind of theinternationally recognized nuclear technology no-nos. That's atechnical term. (Laughter.) So that's the nuclear side.

On the missile side their commitments have been moreambiguous and more subject to differing interpretations. Theyhave said that they would adhere to the MTCR guidelines. Theyhave not talked about looking ahead towards a day when they mightjoin the MTCR itself, where they would actually undertake notjust the principles of restraint, but also the obligations ofrestraint. If we could make some progress in moving them in thatdirection I think that would be a plus.

Q Sandy, you've said that the Chinese aregenerally moving in the right direction on the issue of humanrights and that these dissident roundups, such as they are, areprobably not on the scale that we've seen before. Are youconcerned that your comments might be interpreted by the Chineseas sort of a tacit approval of what they're doing, despite whatthe U.S. saying --


Q -- and, Sandy, if not, if you don't believethat, then why do you think that the Chinese would do this ifthey're not afraid of our response?

MR. BERGER: Well, first of all, I think China'shuman rights record is terrible. I think China is anauthoritarian nation, as I've said before. I think there's beensome progress in human rights, but it has been not nearly enough.So I, by no means -- I think that what I said, or at leastintended to say was that the choices the Chinese people have intheir lives today were unimaginable 10 years ago, 20 years ago.You saw those people out there today -- where to work, where tolive, where to travel. Two and a half million Chinese wentabroad last year. The choices that come from the cabletelevision -- I love the fact that the income that they derivefrom the community companies was plowed back into that villageinto cable television. I think that's a step in the rightdirection.

So, in that sense, when I say -- I think that thedegree of options that the Chinese people have today are greaterthan they were. I think in the area of public dissent, they arestill totally unacceptable. And I don't think this is directed-- the implication is that this directed at President Clinton.This is -- the fact that this happens generally in connectionwith these kinds of visits does not make it acceptable. It isnot appropriate. It's not necessary. It is also not the firsttime it's happened.

Q How does this roundup affect the chemistry ofthe summit? How does it push up the issue of human rights aboveother issues that you intended to put forward?

MR. BERGER: I think human rights -- I think humanrights was, is, and will be a very high priority for thePresident in his conversations with President Jiang. I think --that these episodes I think simply reinforce that priority.

Q So will the President specifically raise thedetaining of those dissidents when he is talking with JiangZemin?

MR. BERGER: I expect that they will be raised inconnection with that meeting. I'll give you a readout after themeeting rather than --

Q Sandy, by staging this roundup now, on theoccasion of the President's visit, doesn't it show that theChinese authorities, or at least some of them, just don't carewhat the American President thinks about these matters?

MR. BERGER: No, I think -- I don't think that's thecase. I think they have anticipated this visit with greatexcitement. I think they -- look at the number of people whohave been here in Xian. I'm not a great crowd counter, but therehave been certainly hundreds of thousands of people, if not more.

There is enormous excitement here, as I saw when I came twice inthe last two months, about the President's visit. As I saidbefore, I think the Chinese face these things with thecombination of excitement, anticipation, and fear. And theirinstinct -- the instinct of some at least -- is to let theirdesire for order overwhelm their ability to permit expression.And that is something that has to change.

Q A question on the Zhu Rongji meeting. What areyou expecting to get out of the Zhu Rongji meeting, and willthere be any announcements coming out of that?

MR. BERGER: The Zhu Rongji meeting I think will belargely about the economy, both the Chinese economy, the Asianeconomy. I expect we'll have some discussion of trade, althoughI don't expect anything concrete to come out of that. There area number of larger issues the President wants to raise, the tradedeficit being one; a number of specific sectoral issues thePresident wants to raise. But I think the President wants tohear about Jiang's sweeping economic reform program, what he seesthe consequences of it being. And also how he sees the Asianfinancial situation and the impact that that will have on China.

Q Sandy, is the idea of lifting sanctions, evenrelatively minor ones like trade and development assistance, nowoff the tables for the summit?

MR. BERGER: Well, we have always said that thatwould happen only in the context of the fundamental requirementsand the national interests being served by doing that.

Q Mr. Berger, can you clarify a couple of pointsabout an issue in Taiwan? This morning the President was askedabout whether or not he's going to reinterpret, reinstate thethree nos of the one China policy. Based on his answer I get theimpression he's not going to do so. Can you tell us --

MR. BERGER: What he said was our policy will not bechanged here. I'd refer you to Secretary Albright's commentswhen she was here. Our policy has been that we support the oneChina policy and that we don't support the independence of Taiwanor one China, one Taiwan, or Taiwan's admission intointernational organizations that depend on statehood. But webelieve there ought to be a peaceful resolution of the Taiwanissue and we will encourage the Chinese towards that end.

Q But, Mr. Berger, my question to you is reallywhether the President will restate the policy in his meetingswith Jiang Zemin?

MR. BERGER: Well, I just stated the policy.Secretary Albright has stated the policy. The President maystate the policy.

Q Arms sales -- they don't want arm sales toTaiwan.

MR. MCCURRY: This is the last chance on any othersubjects. Hearing none, thank you.

Q Can you explain why the President didn'texpress these outrages publicly in his remarks to the Chinesepeople? He has said that he wants to speak with them directly.Why didn't he ask them if they'd ever been harassed by police orhas anyone ever experienced these types --

MR. MCCURRY: The President, speaking both to members and Chinese press members very directly, addressedthe situation this morning. Maybe you haven't seen thetranscript.

Q What, if anything, is the President planning ondoing on the line item veto now that it's unconstitutional?

MR. MCCURRY: The White House Legal Counsel's Officeis reviewing the opinion, but, clearly, the President believesthis authority is important to protect taxpayers in the UnitedStates. It's an authority that he believes he has used correctlyand constitutionally to protect the American people from wastefulspending. We will clearly work with those who believe that thePresident needs this authority to find some constitutional way inwhich the President can use the same tool available to governorsaround the United States to protect taxpayers.

Q But he won't defy the court, will he? Thecourt --

MR. MCCURRY: Clearly, we're not going to defy thecourt or the ruling of the court. But there are many who believethere ought to be an effort to continue to find someconstitutional way to make this authority available to thePresident, and that's why the White House Legal Counsel's Officeis examining the opinion very carefully at this point.

Q Mike, is HHS looking into possibly suing thetobacco companies?

MR. MCCURRY: I'd have to check into that. Ifthat's happening, that's happening a long ways away from here.I'll see if I can find out anything about that.

Q Can you add anything to what Sandy said aboutthe possibility of a live address by the President? What is thehang-up there?

MR. MCCURRY: No, I can't.

Anything else?

Q What about on the Supreme Court decision on theVince Foster attorney-client privilege? Does that suggest thatthe other attorney-client privilege involving Bruce LIndsey mightmove in the right direction?

MR. MCCURRY: I think you know that White HouseLegal Counsel Chuck Ruff has been quoted saying that they'll haveto see how the court considers the arguments that will be madewith respect to the other attorney-client privilege issues thathave arisen. Clearly, the court's reaffirmation of theimportance of that principle yesterday was something that waswelcomed by Mr. Ruff. Whether or not it has a bearing on thecase that's pending with respect to Mr. Lindsey remains to beseen. Certainly the White House would hope so, given theargument that we'd make, but we'll have to see. We were not aparty to the litigation over the notes involving Mr. Foster, butwe are a party to the litigation that's pending and that will beargued, I believe, next week.

Q Mike, do you know what at point of the visitthe President will give the American flag and the Americanhistorical documents to Chinese leaders? And will it be toPresident Jiang himself?

MR. MCCURRY: I believe that will be presented asthe official presentation of gifts as made through our protocolchannels when we arrive in Beijing, either tonight or tomorrow.But it's not customary in any state visit for the heads of stateto directly exchange gifts; it's done through their protocoldepartments.

Q Did you have to clear that the Chinese wouldaccept these gifts?

MR. MCCURRY: It's not necessary as far as I know.We can present any gift we so choose, and it will be a part ofthe gift presented by the President to the people of China.

Q Mike, can you talk about his schedule tonightwhen he arrives in Beijing? Can you rule out any impromptu visitto Tiananmen or anything like that?

MR. MCCURRY: I haven't heard of any considerationof that type of visit.

Q Any reaction to the recently announced mergerof -- Trust and the deeply troubled -- Credit Bank?


Anything else?

Q Mike, what are the logistics for the ceremony

tomorrow in the square. Will he review troops? Are therenational anthems? What are the two or three elements?

MR. MCCURRY: I'm not sure exactly -- let me consultare handy-dandy book. The way I have it listed currently -- butthese things have been on a number of issues, a number of matterspending and subject to change right down to the last minute -- itis currently listed as: The President is introduced by PresidentJiang Zemin to the Chinese delegation. President Clintonintroduces President Jiang Zemin to the American delegation. The

two anthems are played. The two Presidents proceed to the dais.They review the troops. They march and review the Honor Guard.Then they bid farewell and go into the Great Hall of the Peoplefor the meeting.

Q All of these are comments just between the twoleaders. They're not public comments, right?

MR. MCCURRY: That's correct. And a way of thinkingof it is, it's more similar to the way state arrivals are done inmost of the places in the world. We have a rather unique elementin our state arrivals which includes speaking points. But as youknow if you've seen the President arrive elsewhere, that's notthe custom in most countries.

Q When the President arrives at Tiananmen Square,is he expected to talk about --

MR. MCCURRY: He will address the events of June1989 at some appropriate point, but, as I just indicated, itwon't be during the course of the arrival ceremony because thereare no speeches given during the arrival ceremony.

Q Would you say, Mike, that the speech on Mondayat Beijing University will not be carried live by Chinesetelevision?

MR. MCCURRY: Twice now in response to questions, Idon't have any further information on that.

Q Mike, just let me follow up on that. If thePresident's comments either in Beijing on Monday or in Shanghaiaren't televised, isn't he just here in a bubble, in a vacuum, ifthe Chinese people never hear him --

MR. MCCURRY: No, of course not. We have -- numberone of the changes occurring throughout China is the way thatinformation is disseminated and information proliferates --through the Internet, through a variety of sources. This isbecoming a complex culture in part because of all the influencesthat are beginning to penetrate through what in the past has beena great wall of disinformation.

So I think the President's remarks will certainly bedistributed widely through a variety of news sources representedhere in this room, and obviously our embassy will make a greateffort to translate them and distribute them appropriately. Andthe best of all worlds would be to have the address carried liveso that the people of China can hear it, and I think there issufficient demand in China here for it if anyone is going to makethe judgment based on news value.

Q What are the expectations that the talksbetween President and Jiang Zemin extend beyond the rather smallwindow tomorrow?

MR. MCCURRY: Well, they have a private dinner. Imean, they will see each other again on Sunday and have a privatedinner. And I suspect, just as when Jiang Zemin visited theUnited States and a very substantial part of the conversationsbetween the two Presidents occurred privately in the White Houseresidence, I suspect that the private dinner that they haveSunday night will be important and be a continuing part of theeffort to deepen and nurture the relations between bothcountries.

Q Mike, regardless of the Chinese plans whetherthey broadcast the President's speech at Beijing University, willVOA carry that live and broadcast it on Radio Free Asia?

MR. MCCURRY: That's a good question. Well, VOA andRadio Free are separate, but there will be a variety of ways inwhich we could try to get broader interest in coverage of thespeech.

Q But there's not a plan that you're aware atthis point?

MR. MCCURRY: Both of those organizations may haveplans for coverage. You should ask them -- they make theirdecisions independently.

Q What's the briefing time tomorrow? Will you doa feedback --

MR. MCCURRY: I think that everyone -- just in termsof logistics needs to understand, particularly print people, thatyou're in a real crunch deadline because the two Presidents aregoing to come out, they will presumably say something. There'ssome interest in having at least a few questions taken by bothsides. That's all going to happen presumably right aroundmidnight Eastern Time. So, for print people, you have to beconscious of the fact you're going to be on deadline trying tocover the results of the initial rounds of meetings.

We will tip as much as we can in advance what weknow about the substantive outcome of the discussions and some ofthe negotiations occurring up in Beijing now, as we get into themorning hours tomorrow, so we can protect those of you who wouldbe right on deadline tomorrow.

Q Mike, you had mentioned that the President isstill intending to receive a 21-gun salute from the PLA. Is thatcorrect?

MR. MCCURRY: I don't see that listed in my book.I'd have to check further and see. I don't know whether that'spart of their custom or not.

Q You say you're going to give us a tip some timeduring the morning, but when are the formal agreements announcedor whatever happens at this summit -- when does that happen?

MR. MCCURRY: Right on deadline tomorrow.

Q Does that all happen -- everything happens inthe --

MR. MCCURRY: Whatever happens, happens. That'swhat I'm trying to convey to you, that you need to be alert tothat, and we're obviously conscious of that. And we're going totry to begin reading out substantively whatever we can as soon aswe can even if there's going to be any delay before the twoPresidents come out and make their joint statements, particularlyfor print folks who are right up against their deadline at thatpoint.

Q So, are you going to be doing that in thefiling center or to the pool or --

MR. MCCURRY: We're figuring out how to do that --probably have to be a phone call into a filing center where youall are is my guess. I don't know. I mean, we're open tosuggestions on that because some of you presumably will want tobe there and be wherever the two Presidents are going to comeout. But others of you are going to need be writing on deadline.

Q -- give it to us tonight?

MR. MCCURRY: We don't have it, as you just heard.

Q -- from dissident groups indicated that ifthere's an opportunity they might -- and under thosecircumstances, how would the President --

MR. MCCURRY: They may do what? I'm sorry, Imissed the question.

Q They might try to take an opportunity that theycan find in order to see the President.

MR. MCCURRY: I'm not aware of any plans for ameeting.

THE PRESS: Thank you.

China Briefings - June 26, 1998

Briefing By Mike McCurry and Sandy Berger

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