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25 Years as China grows stronger ...

President Bill Clinton reassured Beijing of Washington's acceptance that Taiwan was part of China

Republican Speaker of House Newt Gingrich visits Beijing before visit of Taiwan.

House Speaker Newt Gingrich, meeting with Chinese leaders in Beijing today | CNN - March 28, 1997 |

Li Ping described Gingrich's visit as "an opportunity in which we can enhance mutual understanding."

Gingrich is leading an 11-member congressional delegation to talk with Chinese leaders about several issues, including trade, human rights and the future of Hong Kong after July 1, when it returns to Chinese rule. The U.S. has pressed China to maintain Hong Kong's free market environment and its citizens' basic freedoms.

"Every evidence we get is that they want to make this work," Gingrich said of the Hong Kong transfer of power. He described the Chinese leaders as serious, respectful and friendly in the discussions. "Their interest is building a relationship," he said.

The Chinese are hosting back-to-back U.S. delegations. Vice President Al Gore left China today, wrapping up a four-day visit to discuss many of the same issues and lay the groundwork for a 1998 visit to China by President Bill Clinton.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 2nd, 2022 at 10:01:44 AM EST
The U.S. and age of disengagement by comparison to Clinton's presidency.

China's President Jiang Wins Gingrich's Vote on Capitol Hill Visit | LA Times - Oct. 31, 1997 |

Gingrich's stance is particularly significant because he presides over the House, whose members over the last eight years have been the driving force behind legislative measures aimed at China.

The Senate has been consistently less willing to support such legislation, including failed efforts to restrict China's trade benefits.

For the last two years, Gingrich has tried to maintain a careful balance between Republican conservatives who seek a more confrontational U.S. stance against China and business-oriented Republicans who favor a policy of engagement.

He has also talked several times to former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, who has argued that China is too important to alienate.

The House speaker, who visited China last spring, said he plans to return next summer--to visit Tibet.

"I hope he [Jiang] and the Dalai Lama will be there to meet me," he said.
It was difficult to tell whether Gingrich intended these last words to be taken seriously. The Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, has not set foot in Tibet since he fled into exile in 1959, and Beijing has been unwilling to allow even his picture to be displayed there.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 2nd, 2022 at 10:02:28 AM EST
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