George W. Bush photo

Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Hu Jintao of China in Beijing

August 10, 2008

President Hu. I'm very happy to meet you again, President Bush. And I would like to welcome you and your family members to Beijing for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games and also to watch the games. This is already your fourth visit to China, and this has certainly made you a American President that visited China more than any other U.S. President while in office. This is a good test to the importance you've placed on U.S. relations with China.

I know that the day before yesterday, you attended the inauguration of the U.S. Embassy in China, and the new Chinese Embassy in the United States was inaugurated at the end of July. And all this must further growth of China-U.S. relationship.

Now the various events of the Beijing Olympic Games are underway smoothly. And I know you just came here from swimming center, and I would like to offer you my sincere congratulations on the excellent performance of Mr. Phelps.

President Bush. Thank you. [Laughter]

President Hu. We are confident that he will score even better achievements in the coming games.

President Bush. Thank you, sir.

President Hu. I would also like to mention the unfortunate happening yesterday. Yesterday two American tourists were attacked and one was killed; the another was injured. And I would like to take the opportunity—please accept my profound sympathy to you, Mr. President, and the family members of the victims. The Chinese side takes this unfortunate incident very seriously. Yesterday I already instructed the competent official in charge of the Chinese Foreign Ministry to go to the hospital to see the injured. We take this case very seriously, and we have already instructed the competent authorities to carry out a very serious investigation and handle the case in accordance with law. We'll keep in touch with the U.S. side on the latest developments.

We're now willing to listen to your views, Mr. President.

President Bush. Thank you, sir. First, Mr. President, thank you for your hospitality. I am so honored that you would invite my wife, my daughter, my father, my brother, my sister, and sister-in-law to lunch. And I congratulate you on the opening ceremonies. I'm not sure what it looked like on TV, but I can tell you what it looked in person, and it was spectacular.

And we are enjoying the games and, matter of fact, looking forward to tonight's big game, U.S. men's versus China men's basketball. [Laughter] Somebody asked me if we were going to make a bet on the game. I said, I don't think so.

I do want to thank you very much for how you handled—I do want to thank you very much, Mr. President, for how you handled the situation with the Bachman family. And I thank you for your expressions of sympathy. And the Ambassador informs me that your Government has been very attentive and very sympathetic, and I appreciate that a lot.

Today—I mean, every time I come to China, I have memorable experiences. I enjoy our conversations that we have. As you know, our relationship is constructive and it's important. And it's also very candid, and I thank you for that.

And once again, I had a very uplifting experience by going to a church, and I want to thank you for arranging that as well. It was a spirit-filled, good feeling. And as you know, I feel very strongly about religion, and I am so appreciative of the chance to go to church here in your society.

NOTE: The President spoke at 12:25 p.m. in Han Yuan Dian Hall at the Zhongnanhai. In his remarks, he referred to Todd and Barbara Bachman, who were attacked on August 9 while touring the Drum Tower in Beijing; and U.S. Ambassador to China Clark T. Randt, Jr. He also referred to his daughter Barbara P. Bush; his brother Marvin P. Bush and his sister-in-law Margaret Bush; and his sister Dorothy Bush Koch. President Hu referred to Michael Phelps, swimmer, U.S. Olympic team; and Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi of China. President Hu spoke in Chinese, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

George W. Bush, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Hu Jintao of China in Beijing Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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