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CRAWFORD, Tex., Oct. 25, 2002 -- (Story)
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-----President and Mrs. Bush will welcome Chinese President Jiang Zemin and his wife to their ranch at Crawford, Texas on October 25, 2002. This visit is an opportunity for the President to work with the Chinese leader on a number of areas of mutual concern and to make progress in resolving outstanding differences. They will discuss a number of issues, including the ongoing campaign against terrorism and nonproliferation. Photo: Tina Hager, Whitehouse Staff

----- President Bush and Mrs. Bush walk with Chinese President Jiang Zemin at the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing, Friday, Feb. 22. "This is the 30th year -- 30th anniversary of President Nixon's first visit to China, the beginning of 30 years of growth in the U.S.-China relationship," said President Bush during a news conference. "Our ties are mature, respectful and important to both our nations and to the world."

----- President George W. Bush and Chinese President Jiang Zemin enter a news conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Thursday, Feb. 21. "I appreciate so very much your hospitality," said President Bush." We have just concluded some very candid and positive talks." Photo: Eric Draper, Whitehouse Staff

----- Jiang Zemin In his remarks to President Bush, said, "We have agreed that under the current complex and volatile international situation, China and the United States, both with significant influence in the world, should step up dialogue and cooperation, properly handle their differences, and work together to move the constructive and cooperative relations between us further forward." Photo: Eric Draper, Whitehouse Staff

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  The Jiang Zemin Visit
To Crawford, Texas

CRAWFORD, Tex., Oct. 25, 2002 -- President Bush and President Jiang Zemin of China publicly vowed today to work together to persuade North Korea to abandon its newest nuclear weapons project, though they carefully wended their way around the divisive question of whether China would take part in Washington's emerging strategy of economically isolating the North unless it complied.

Their comments came during a break in a four-hour meeting here at Mr. Bush's ranch that was initially planned as a largely ceremonial farewell visit for Mr. Jiang as he gives up China's presidency, but which turned into a strategy session on how to deal with a nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula and the disarming of President Saddam Hussein of Iraq.

Mr. Bush said at a short news conference outside his home that the two men had agreed that Iraq had to "fully disarm itself of weapons of mass destruction." Mr. Jiang, however, carefully evaded answering any questions about Iraq.

Mr. Bush's aides acknowledged continuing disagreements between China and the United States on Iraq, but said the two men had not discussed specifics of a United Nations resolution on Iraq. In the end, the aides believe that Beijing will abstain from any vote.

Mr. Jiang, as is his habit, stuck close to his prepared script today, using the visit to cement his reputation as the Chinese leader who defused tensions between Beijing and Washington after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. One participant in the meeting said the discussion had turned briefly to whether Mr. Jiang planned to retire from power fully when he relinquishes his title to a successor.

"We raised that slightly," the administration official said, relating that Mr. Jiang, a master of cryptic understatements, said only, "Ah, yes, many people are talking about that."

At every moment, Mr. Jiang sought to file down the edges of differences with Mr. Bush. Perhaps to signal that he does not have as much influence over North Korea as the White House hopes, he told reporters that he had been "completely in the dark" about North Korea's secret nuclear project. That statement raised some eyebrows because the administration believes that Chinese companies played a small role in selling technology to Pyongyang.

But the desire to avoid divisive issues ran deep, and as soon as the two men finished a talk that lasted an hour or so, they and their wives jammed into Mr. Bush's white extended-cab truck for a tour of the ranch. That was followed by a lunch catered by one of Mr. Bush's favorite barbecue restaurants, which fed the two couples Southern fried catfish, barbecued brisket, black-eyed pea salad, and brownies, lemon bars and miniature pecan pies, known to children across Texas as pecan tassies.

Speaking in a helicopter hangar on the ranch to stay out of the drizzle, Mr. Bush was asked directly whether he would negotiate with North Korea while it was still developing nuclear weapons, the path that the North seemed to argue for today.

The president never answered directly, saying, "We will continue to work with our allies." But his aides, speaking on background, said North Korea "would not be rewarded for bad behavior."

Mr. Bush, his aides have said in recent days, has no intention of repeating the path taken by the Clinton administration in 1994, when it agreed to provide energy to North Korea in return for its freezing of its nuclear programs.

"We are at the beginning of a campaign to mobilize the world against this program, and I think we are making good progress," the official said, adding later that he expects a "strong statement" from the United States, South Korea and Japan on Saturday after Mr. Bush, on the edges of the Asian economic summit conference in Mexico, meets the leaders of both countries for the first time since the North Korean disclosure.

The administration was happy to hear Mr. Jiang declare, in very blunt terms today, that "China has always held the position that the Korean peninsula ought to be nuclear weapons-free."

One official described the emerging American strategy this way: "We play the bad cop, the Chinese play the good cop, and the Japanese potentially play the sugar daddy whose investment in North Korea is at stake."

But it is far from certain that Mr. Bush will be able to sell that strategy. South Korea's president, Kim Dae Jung, who is also at the end of his presidency, has staked his legacy on a "Sunshine Policy" of economic engagement with the North that a senior administration official said today "hasn't turned out so well" given the North Korean disclosures.

The Chinese fear that any effort to deepen the North's economic isolation will lead to more illegal immigration to China and the risk of a North Korean backlash.

On Iraq, Mr. Bush stressed common ground, and steered clear of the differences at the United Nations.

"China supports Iraq's strict compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions," Mr. Bush said. He added, "I urged President Jiang to support a new Security Council resolution," but tellingly said nothing about his guest's response. Neither did Mr. Jiang, though the participant in the meeting said the two men had discussed Iraq "fairly thoroughly."

Mr. Bush made some specific references to human rights issues today, saying he offered Mr. Jiang "My views on the importance of China freeing prisoners of conscience, giving fair treat to people of faith, and preserving the rights of Hong Kong citizens."

Mr. Jiang was also ready for the human rights references that are now a standard part of any meeting like this one, and said he had told Mr. Bush that "China's human rights situation is at its best time, characterized by constant improvement."
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Respectfully
Josie Cory
Publisher/Editor TVI Magazine
TVI Magazine, tvinews.net, Associated press, Reuters, BBC, LA Times, NY Times and VRA's D-Diaries were used in compiling and ascertaining this news report.
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