George W. Bush photo

Remarks on Viewing the Cummins Bus Engine and an Exchange With Reporters in Beijing

February 21, 2002

The President. Well, thank you very much, Martha. I appreciate that explanation as to why trade is to the advantage of the United States worker and to the Chinese worker. I want to thank you very much for inviting me and the Secretary of State here and our Ambassador.

We've just come from a very fruitful discussion of key issues with President Jiang, and part of our discussion had to do with trade, and part of our discussion had to do with how do we make sure we've got a clean environment. And it's very interesting to me that this presentation that you just made is a clear indication of how we can achieve both, prosperity and a cleaner environment.

Before I say a few comments, I do want to thank Mr. Shusen, as well, for being here. Thank you, sir, for your leadership. I also want to thank Tim Stafford and Steven Chew, as well, for bringing their product by.

As Martha said, China has bought about 2,000 U.S.-built bus engines that burn clean compressed natural gas instead of diesel fuel. The city of Beijing now owns one of the largest natural gas bus fleets in the world. It is—it's wise policy, because natural gas burns cleanly.

It is also wise policy that we trade together, because it means somebody is going to have a job. You know, there are some in the United States that fear trade. They want to erect barriers. I think this is a living example of why trade is positive and good. The bus engines China buys from America create jobs in North Carolina. The money that the workers earn in North Carolina can be used to purchase goods made in China. And as a result, both people benefit—both people, both countries, people in both countries are better off as a result of the commerce that takes place, in this case, as a result of automobile and bus engines and transmissions.

As well, one of the things that the President and I talked about was the need to address greenhouse gases in a way that recognizes that economic growth and a cleaner environment can go hand in hand. I addressed our Nation a couple of weeks ago and laid out my administration's policy on climate change. In my address, I made it very clear that any policy must encourage economic vitality. Societies that are economically vital are those that are more able to afford the technologies that will end up cleaning up the environment.

And so, growth is essential for our country and for China. And wise growth and the use of technologies can clean up our environment, and that's exactly what we're looking at here, and so I want to thank you all for a vivid example of why I have been so strong for China entering the WTO and why I believe that good, constructive policy using modern technologies can clean up both our environments.

You know, we've got a strong relationship with China. China is a great country. China is a country that has got vast potential. And it's in our Nation's interest that we work with China on a variety of issues. It's in our Nation's interest that we trade with China. It's in our Nation's interest that China adhere to the rules of the World Trade Organization.

It's in our Nation's interest we cooperate with China on the war against terror. And we are. And I appreciate the Chinese leadership for not only its quick response to the terrorist activities that hit our country on September the 11th and their compassionate response for the people of our country; I also appreciate the fact that we're working closely to battle terror around the world.

It's in our interest to have good, strong dialog. As I said in a speech earlier today in South Korea, a point I also mentioned in Japan, is that the United States is a Pacific nation. And as a result, we've got to have and will maintain close relations with Pacific—or other nations in the Pacific. And there's no more important nation than China. And we will have close dialog with China. Sometimes we will agree, and sometimes we won't agree. But in those instances where we don't agree, we will do so in a respectful way.

I want to thank you all for coming. I appreciate this living exhibit as to why trade is positive for the people of America and trade is positive for the people of China.

Thank you.

Okay. How is everybody doing over here?

Upcoming Remarks at Tsinghua University

Q. Will you be asking China to embrace American values?

The President. You had your chance at the press conference.

Q. What's your message for tomorrow?

The President. My message, what?

Q. Your message for tomorrow. We have to pitch ahead. Tomorrow at the university, will you be asking China to embrace American values?

The President. I will be defending American values and talking clearly about American values. It's important for—starting with freedom. And I don't want to give it all away because you won't——

Q. I will.

The President. No, you won't. [Laughter]

Q. What will you be asking the Chinese to do——

The President. See, you're trying to get me to—I'd like you to come and pay attention to it word for word.

NOTE: The President spoke at 2:47 p.m. at the St. Regis Hotel. In his remarks, he referred to Martha Brooks, vice president of marketing and sales, Cummins, Inc.; U.S. Ambassador to China Clark T. Randt, Jr.; President Jiang Zemin of China; Zheng Shusen, general manager, Beijing Public Transit Corp.; Timothy P. Stratford, vice chairman, General Motors China; and Steven Chew, commercial director, Allison Transmission China Operation. The exchange portion of these remarks could not be verified because the tape was incomplete.

George W. Bush, Remarks on Viewing the Cummins Bus Engine and an Exchange With Reporters in Beijing Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under





Simple Search of Our Archives