Exchange With Reporters in New York City Prior to Discussions With President Jiang Zemin of China
Q. President Jiang, are you still hoping for a promise from President Clinton that the Taiwan President will not be allowed to visit America again?
President Jiang. We will discuss this issue. We will—[inaudible]—discuss this issue.
[At this point, one group of reporters left the room, and another group entered.]
Q. Mr. President, will human rights be an issue in your talks today with President Jiang?
President Clinton. We'll talk about a lot of things, but we're just meeting. We haven't even had a chance to say anything yet, but we'll give you a report later.
Q. Mr. President, with symbolism being so important with these kind of meetings, why would you allow the Chinese to dictate the meeting place so they could avoid confronting a Tiananmen Square display?
President Clinton. The important thing is that we're going to have this meeting. It's very important. And we'll have it. It'll be a good exchange. And then afterwards we will report about it.
Q. Well, what is the purpose of this meeting, Mr. President? Is it a face-saving gesture on both sides?
President Clinton. No. These are two great countries that have a real interest in maintaining a constructive dialog with each other and, wherever possible, a partnership.
NOTE: The exchange began at 3:05 p.m. at the Lincoln Center. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.
William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters in New York City Prior to Discussions With President Jiang Zemin of China Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/220412