Sino-US Summit: Priorities, Problems, and Prospects

Swaran Singh,Res. Fellow,IDSA


President Bill Clinton is scheduled to visit China during the last week of June this year. This will be the first trip by a US President since June 1989 when the Tiananmen Square crisis had resulted in Washington unilaterally severing all diplomatic ties with Beijing. This had put a sudden end to their successful detente since the early 1970s which had already made the United States the largest supplier of advanced defence technologies to China by the mid-1980s. However, their rapprochement once again picked up momentum from the early 1990s and even witnessed China becoming party to all the western sponsored arms control regimes, though their relations did temporarily again touch the bottom following the visit of Taiwanese President Li Teng-hui to New York in June 1995. The two sides have since recovered from their diplomatic showdown and their rapprochement touched its peak in the form of a week-long visit to the US by President Jiang Zemin during October last year. The high-point of this visit was their bilateral Presidential summit in Washington. Technically, therefore, President Clinton's trip is a reciprocal visit to Beijing.

But what makes this visit so significant is the fact that this was suddenly preponed by about five months. Moreover, this seems to have happened entirely at Washington's requisition which today seems far more interested in improving ties with Beijing. President Clinton was at one stage planning to travel to China, India and Pakistan sometime in fall this year. While, his visits to India and Pakistan stay as earlier planned, it was only his visit to China that has been preponed from November to June. In fact, this was done in such a hurry that the announcement was made public even before the dates and other details of Clinton's travel plan had been finalised. And going by the barrage of high-level official delegations that have since travelled from the US to Beijing, this hyperactivity clearly betrays Washington's anxiety in making this summit a major milestone in strengthening Sino-US cooperation. At its face value, this anxiety seems to have resulted primarily from two reasons. Firstly, China's continued economic progress has now become more ensured following their peaceful transfer of power which has obtained for them the much taunted political stability. Secondly, Beijing has lately been extremely successful in building bridges with all other power centres around the globe and its 'strategic partnership' with Moscow has particularly been a cause of worry for Washington's strategic circles who seem to be getting increasingly impatient with the slow pace of progress in building their own 'security dialogue' with Beijing. A recent example of this came early this year when the combined opposition to military action against Iraq by the three permanent members of the UN Security Council—China, Russia, France—had compelled the United States to retreat from its aggressive posturing for using force against President Saddam Hussein which had been projected by amassing a large US military presence in the Gulf region. It is in this broader context of China's gradual acceptance around the world as the next global power on-the-horizon that this paper tries to examine various factors that went into preponing President Clinton's China visit, and seeks to highlight various issues that are likely to dominate their summit in Beijing in order to forecast its likely outcome.

The Timing: Why End June?

A number of reasons have been ascribed to the decision to prepone Clinton's China visit though the announcement of change in dates was sudden and, therefore, no public debate had preceded it which could indicate its reasons. On March 13, 1998, just before his meeting with the Thai Prime Minister, President Clinton told reporters that in view of rapid progress made in US-China relations he had decided to visit China ahead of time. He said this was aimed at continuing their "comprehensive and concrete" negotiations to maintain the good momentum of their bilateral relations.1 The November visit had perhaps been a little uncertain in view of the US Congressional elections coming around the same time. This was described as the most apparent reason for this change in the timings of Clinton's China visit. Commentators, however, have explained it in terms of Washington's impatience with the slow progress in the Sino-US rapprochement. However, once it was decided to shift its timing, the new schedule had to be acceptable to both Beijing and Washington. As regards the Chinese leadership, they have repeatedly made it clear that they place special importance on this visit by President Bill Clinton. Beijing also considers it as a major triumph of China's diplomacy which has resulted in breaking loose the diplomatic isolation imposed on them following the Tiananmen Square incidents of June 1989. And, just like Washington, they remain equally committed to taking maximum mileage from what they describe as the mega event of this year. However, starting from their already fixed schedule for 1998, President Clinton could not be received before April as the Ninth National People's Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) were scheduled to meet during the second half of March and Chinese leaders were expected to be too busy to entertain any foreign visitors, not the least the US President. Expectedly, April was to witness the leadership being involved in major institutional reforms and in adopting other major decisions taken during these sessions of the NPC and CPPCC, as also in trying to sort out their new domestic priorities and personal equations.

Chinese leaders also could not receive President Clinton during May for the following two reasons. Firstly, during May, after tortuous progress in cross-strait relations, China had invited senior Taiwan officials to Beijing for reviving the cross-strait negotiations which were lying suspended for the last three years. This also obtains special importance in view of Taiwan being one major stumbling block in Beijing's recent diplomatic showdown with Washington. In fact, considering the special role that the US has in China's cross-strait relations, China would like to receive President Clinton only after having opened their talks with Taiwan in order to then project him on the side of the mainland. Secondly, going by the experience of the last eight years, the whole month of May and until early June is the period which is generally very sensitive for China in view of historicity of Tiananmen Square incidents of June 4, 1989. This, therefore, did not provide the ideal climate for holding such an important event as the second Sino-US presidential summit. And finally, most of all, both sides also needed some time to mull over various issues and agreements that are expected to obtain the final seal during their presidential summit in Beijing.

But after June, during months from July to September, both President Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji and other Chinese leaders are reported to be already engaged in their own foreign trips. These had been decided a long time ago. Also, Clinton has to be in Washington on the US Independence day which falls in early July and he had his own commitments for the rest of these months. Moreover, holding it in September would have brought it very near to their original schedule of meeting in coming November. This left virtually only the last two or three weeks of the month of June when the two sides could arrange their presidential summit in Beijing. Accordingly, keeping it as far as possible from the dates of Tiananmen Square crisis of 1989, the last week of June was considered the most appropriate time for receiving President Clinton in Beijing. From the US side, of course, the press has also analysed this re-scheduling in terms of their domestic issues. Some commentators have even explained this change in terms of Clinton's ongoing trial involving sex scandals. The trip now will come just after Clinton's testimony in Ms Paula Jones sexual harassment suit against him. Therefore, the trip is explained as an attempt at trying to divert public attention from this investigation by projecting President Bill Clinton as being busy on an important mission to Beijing, dealing with America's strongest rival of the 21st century.

The Run-Up to the Summit

Whatever may be the truth behind these speculations, both bilateral as well as domestic issues have definitely been important factors behind the change of dates for the forthcoming Sino-US presidential summit. Keeping in mind the election year in Washington, the White House staff has been working on this summit in an attempt to enhance its popular appeal for the public in both the countries. In order to grant it a certain punch in terms of its achievements, and to obtain for it a much required media attention, the US officials have long been working on possible sites for the presidential visit. Firstly, talking about the possible destinations for President Clinton to travel to, apart from the venue of summit in the capital, Beijing, Hong Kong has definitely been rated high on the list of Washington's travel plan. This has been done keeping two things in mind. Firstly, ensuring that Hong Kong continues to have a flourishing open market is extremely important for US bilateral trade with China. Secondly, Clinton is also expected to stop at Hong Kong to make amends for Vice-President Al Gore's much-criticised failure to visit the territory in a trip to the mainland during March last year. China's commercial megalopolis, Shanghai, is another city which is certainly on the itinerary of the President. Also, depending on time and various other factors, President Clinton could visit some of the scenic beautiful places in China's southwestern region which have also been at the centre of much of China's recent economic boom. As regards China's leaders, they have made it clear that they are eager to make President Clinton feel at home and had offered his White house staff an open book to draw his plans. This is not very normal in Communist tradition, especially when it comes to dealing with western heads of state. Besides, despite their aforesaid engagements they have been able to receive a series of US official delegations that have marked a flurry of activity towards finalising various issues as part of the run-up to the presidential summit this June.

It had all started with acting Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, John Holum, whose visit to China was the first delegation to follow the announcement of change of dates. His mission was aimed at sorting the most critical issues of weapons proliferation and to further expand their 'security dialogue' which had been initiated during the last Clinton-Jiang summit in Washington. This was followed in the first week of April 1998 by another high-level White House team visiting China to select sites for the visit of President Clinton. Thomas Pickering, the US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, led another delegation whose mission was geared towards facilitating greater understanding on issue of weapons proliferation and human rights. To be more specific, he sought to obtain release of some important political prisoners of the Tiananmen Square crisis, some of whom have a following in the United States. There were even reports that he had signed some sort of a deal with the Chinese leaders wherein Beijing, following the earlier examples when Wei Jinsheng had been freed on medical grounds, is likely to repeat this once again as a goodwill gesture towards American sentiments. Famous dissident Wang Dan has already been released from prison and some more dissidents may also be freed soon before or after this summit.

David Aaron, Commerce Department Undersecretary for International Trade was the next one to follow in these series of trips to Beijing and he headed a large trade delegation representing 17 small, medium and large companies which visited Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong during April 13-18, 1998 thus, trying to lay the groundwork for important economic agreements that may be signed during Clinton's forthcoming visit. Amongst other things, he also participated in the meetings of China's NPC Deputies' Joint Committee on Commerce and Trade. His visit was soon followed by a week-long four-nation trip by US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright during April 27-May 3, 1998 which saw her travelling to Japan, China, South Korea and Mongolia. Ms Albright was in Beijing during April 29-30 and held detailed discussions on a whole range of issues that are likely to come up during the presidential summit. These included issues like human rights, trade deficit and weapons proliferation. Her visit was also dedicated to exploring possibilities of cooperation in sectors like environment and energy and other likely issues that might come up during the Clinton-Jiang summit. And finally, the two sides have also been working together towards building defence cooperation. The focus right now remains confined to expanding transparency in defence related areas and on evolving other confidence building measures (CBMs). Apart from these bilateral issues, the two sides also discussed other issues of regional and global importance. These include issues like the East Asian financial crisis, and other problems like in the Korean peninsula and Cambodia where both China and US have stake and influence.

The trade issue, however, seems to have gained great importance and was the focus of discussion during the visit by the US Trade Representative, Charles Barshefsky, who travelled to China in May and held detailed discussions on China's sweeping economic reforms, Sino-American trade deficit, and on possibilities of China's induction into the World Trade Organisation (WTO). At the bottomline, apart from Beijing's gradual efforts towards reducing tariffs and other measures, he appeared satisfied with Beijing's determination not to devalue its currency and described it as Beijing's major trump card in facilitating its growing acceptance amongst WTO members. In fact, according to China's Vice Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, Long Yongtu, in their bilateral negotiations on market access with 35 WTO member countries, China has already signed agreements with 10 of them and with the other 25 countries negotiations were approaching an early conclusion.2 It is against this backdrop of East Asian financial crisis and China being recognised as the new Asian balancer, that Beijing would try to explain to President Clinton their difficulties in announcing any sudden reduction in their tariffs or in opening up the whole range of sectors for foreign investment in a hurry. These crises have affected the US trade vis-a-vis Asian economies and Washington has repeatedly recognised how China's decision not to devalue its renminbi and its Hong Kong dollar as having had a major impact in stabilising East Asian currencies.

Bilateral Trade Deficit

Keeping in view their rapprochement with China, the US Government has come to downplay contentious issues like weapons proliferation, human rights and Taiwan. Yet, their bilateral trade has lately shot to the forefront as a major barrier in their fast improving ties. This ballooning US trade deficit with China remains the most contentious issue on the agenda for their forthcoming summit. The trade deficit has crossed $50 billion for 1997 which is a sizeable deficit, second only to the US trade deficit vis-a-vis Japan. What is particularly disturbing is the fact that this trend seems to be continuing. The last five years, for example, have witnessed China's exports to the US increasing by an average of 25 per cent while the US export to China increasing only by 10 per cent a year. Considering such a sharp rise, it threatens to even surpass the US deficit with the Japanese. This downtrend in American exports can be seen right from mid-1980s, and this has become more conspicuous and constant since early 1990s. As a result, while China today is fourth in terms of being the supplier from whom the US gets its imports, it is only the 15th largest recipient in terms of US exports to it. In domestic politics, this has been a major pressure point behind US allegations on China's piracy that violates the US intellectual property rights (IPR).

Accordingly, one most important item on agenda for President Clinton during his forthcoming visit will be to improve the business climate in China for American companies and to stress to Chinese officials the need to improve their balance of trade by increasing their imports from US companies. During his recent trip to China, the US Commerce Department Undersecretary for International Trade, David Aaron, had repeatedly described this bulging trade deficit as being 'politically unsustainable' for the Clinton administration. He had also urged Chinese leaders to relax restrictions on the distribution of specific items like the US films thus facilitating efforts to cut piracy and to fuel the legitimate sale of American intellectual property. China, however, has different projections of this Sino-US trade deficit since it shows it as much too little by adding the US trade with Hong Kong which is now a part of China. China has also been, of course, making efforts and it did sign important deals on the eve of President Jiang Zemin's visit to Washington last year. Following their last year's example, China, in fact, has already begun signing major contracts with US companies as part of the run-up to the summit. These include a recently concluded $167 million contract between Westinghouse Electric Corp. and Chinese power firms for a thermal power plant in central Henan province.

Trade deficit is one issue that also remains closely intertwined with American objections to China's entry into the WTO and this has mainly been responsible for China not yet having been allowed membership of this world body. Though, China has lately made major strides by reducing its tariffs in a whole range of items varying from 15 to 50 per cent, it still remains reluctant to open its services sector, especially the finance sectors like banking and insurance. In 1997, for example, China's insurance market was valued at $12 billion, most of which remains within the confines of China's state sector. While a total of 93 foreign insurance companies have been allowed to open offices inside China (which include 23 American companies), only nine of them have obtained licenses for operations, three of which have gone to American companies.3

Weapons Proliferation

The issue of China's role in proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)—especially nuclear and missile technologies—though lately downplayed, will also be an important item on agenda of the forthcoming Clinton-Jiang summit in Beijing. As a follow-up to their last summit in Washington, President Clinton had already issued on January 12 this year the required presidential certification expressing satisfaction on China's efforts towards preventing the proliferation of nuclear and missile technologies, thus virtually lifting their ban on the supply of US technologies to China. This had finally become effective from March 18 after completing the 30 working day period during which the Congress has the power to deliberate on such certification, as also to return it to the President for reconsideration. Nevertheless, efforts of John Holum during his recent trip to China did not appear to be very successful and at the end of his visit, he did not seem very optimistic about any major agreements being signed on this issue during Clinton's forthcoming visit. Nevertheless, Holum called China 'indispensable' to all US efforts at controlling the spread of nuclear, chemical, biological weapons and missiles which means that none of these issues can be brushed under the carpet, though these may not gain undue publicity during Clinton's forthcoming trip to China.

As a long-term policy, however, President Clinton would try and persuade China's leadership to formally join the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), under which 29 countries have already pledged to curb all missile transfers. Beijing, on its part, has also made public commitments to 'adhere' by MTCR's provisions. Yet it remains reluctant to become its signatory since it perceives this regime as being wholly western-sponsored and western-controlled. Any progress in this area will also facilitate Sino-US cooperation in civilian nuclear programmes and in joint space research and exploration. The revival of their 1985 Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation Agreement has already resulted in a hot-race amongst US companies which have been feeling left out for so long from China's expanding nuclear power industry which is likely to involve imports worth $50 to $60 billion in a matter of next 10 to 15 years. Some of the US companies like Westinghouse Electric Corporation and the General Electric Company have already promised to supply China with the most advanced nuclear technologies and for adapting them to China's localised requirements. Howard Bruschi, Vice President of Westinghouse's science and technology department has, in fact, promised to help China in growing into an exporter of nuclear power technologies.4 Both these American companies have already formed teams with Japanese partners—Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Hitachi—to jointly bid for Chinese business opportunities.

A classified US Defence Department report has concluded that scientists from two American companies—Hughes Electronics Corp. and Coral Space & Communications Ltd.—have already turned over expertise to China that significantly improved the reliability of China's nuclear missiles. This was reported by the New York Times of April 6, 1998. This was done as part of a 200 page accident assessment report compiled by two scientists from these two companies who were investigating the February 16, 1996 crash of a Chinese rocket that Loral had contracted for the launch of its $200 million satellite. The report which was submitted to Chinese authorities in May 1997 had details on sensitive aspects of China's rocket guidance and control systems, an area of weakness in China's missile programme. This had resulted in the US Justice Department initiating a criminal investigation against these two companies. However, these criminal charges are no longer likely to be brought, largely because the investigation was undermined early this year when President Bill Clinton approved Loral's export to China of the same information about guidance systems. This was done despite strong opposition from the Justice Department which had argued that any such approval would undercut their investigation. There are also speculations that there is an element of politics in this decision. It is reported that Loral Chairman, Bernard Schwartz, was the largest personal donor to the Democratic Party last year which brings in the larger issue of lobbies and political interference. As a follow-up on these issues the Clinton Administration is planning to finally lift the ban on American firms using Chinese launch facilities which may be announced as part of their trade off for signing important documents at the forthcoming summit.

The same is also true for China's space programme (read missiles). As part of its trade sanctions following the Tiananmen Square crisis of June 1989, Washington had banned American firms from buying satellite launching service from China. But lately, in view of their recent rapprochement, there has been a definite change in Washington's attitude and it has already begun taking a much softer approach on this issue. There have been many waivers of this sanction granted to US firms to launch satellites via Chinese boosters since their last summit. In fact, as part of various agreements signed during their last summit in Washington, the US based Motorola Corporation had contracted China's Great Wall Industry Corporation for the launch of their Iridium communication satellites. The first two of these satellites were launched on March 26, 1998 by China's Long March 2C rocket which also marked the 50 flight by the Long March series. The China Aerospace Corporation (CASC) also announced that three more Iridium satellites will be launched within this year.5 In fact, encouraged by these examples, the Clinton administration is now considering a formal lifting of these sanctions that would make such waivers unnecessary. Another example of such technology transfers is the recently launched joint venture between US based Pratt & Whitney and Aviation Industries of China which was established in 1996 and is today known as Chengdu Aerotech Manufacturing Co. It is manufacturing engine parts and assemblies for Boeing 727, 737 and MD-80 and 82 planes. It has already received orders worth $6.9 million for 1998 and aims at doing about $50 million business every year.6 All these issues are likely to come up for serious discussion during the presidential summit.

Human Rights

Beijing has recently become much more accommodative on the sensitive issue of human rights and it has already signed 17 major international agreements on this. On March 18 this year, China's senior Vice Premier, Qian Qichen, announced that China had decided to sign the most important of all such agreements i.e. the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a treaty that would commit China to principles such as freedom of expression and religion. US officials have interpreted it as an indicator of China's willingness to accept the universality of human rights. Washington has responded by declaring its satisfaction with China's efforts and it did not sponsor their resolution to censure China at the annual session of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva during March end this year. This change in the US attitude has also come partly due to China's increasing economic and military prowess and political stability and its increasing engagement with other important powers. The European Union (EU) had also made a similar announcement saying that following the change in China's policies, they would not propose their annual anti-China censure motion at this year's session of the UN Human Rights Commission at Geneva. This had also led to a realisation amongst Washington's policy-makers on how their leverage vis-a-vis China's human rights issues has declined. A consideration that despite the EU having decided to stop confronting China on human rights, USA continuing to criticise China's human rights record might prove counterproductive and result in American isolation prompted such a move. Such a view-point is clearly reflected in recent US policy statements. Having noticed that it was impossible to find a partner in its opposition of China at the human rights meeting, and that opposing China would further isolate Washington, this year's US State Department human rights report has readjusted its stand and made a positive appraisal of China's human rights report.7 Accordingly, this issue may not be very vehemently pushed. Yet, it will continue to remain a part of discussions especially during their closed-door meetings.

Taiwan is another issue that is bound to come up during this presidential summit. But tracking the trends of US response on this issue will depend on the nature and outcome of China's forthcoming cross-strait negotiations in the coming weeks. However, going by the experience of the last two years, the US has certainly softened its stand towards mainland China and especially while speaking from Beijing, questions on these issues are not likely to elicit a very strong response from President Clinton. Certainly, it will not be the way he had responded during the cross-strait crisis of 1995-96 when he had despatched a three aircraft carrier task force to stop China from bullying Taiwan.8 But how far President Clinton will go in supporting Beijing's Taiwan policy remains to be seen.

The Likely Outcome

As is clear from the above examination, the forthcoming Sino-US presidential summit in Beijing is likely to cover a whole range of issues like trade, weapons proliferation, human rights, and Taiwan. It shall also explore possibilities of cooperating in new areas like energy, environment and defence cooperation. However, for public consumption, not all of these issues will be projected with same vigour and frankness. In the closed door meetings, President Clinton is expected to insist on progress in human rights and to ask for a release of what they call the political prisoners from China's 1989 pro-democracy movement. On the Chinese side, President Jiang is likely to press for an early entry into the World Trade Organisation. China has been battling for 11 years to join the trade body, but the US and other trading partners insist it must offer deeper tariff cuts and open wider its market for services sector, including banking and insurance. Lately, trade has come to be China's most important instrument in dealing with the United States and China might offer some fresh contracts in areas like nuclear reactors, aircraft or other such sectors to facilitate a proper projection of the presidential summit. Earlier as well, Beijing has used its heavy import orders as political weapons. This has not only facilitated Sino-US rapprochement but also obtained for China far more advanced technologies than were normally available to them. China, for example, is due to take delivery of 53 airliners this year from the US giant Boeing and Europe's Airbus Industry consortium. These orders were part of a $3 billion purchase agreement that was signed with Boeing on the eve of President Jiang Zemin's visit to the US last year. China has declared it would boost its civilian aircraft fleet to 1,921 planes by the year 2016 which means that more orders are also likely to be signed either during or after the summit.9

Other issues like Korean peace talks, Cambodia, Taiwan, restructuring of the United Nations and the new world order will also be discussed, as is normal. Taiwan is one issue that will come up for discussion and mainland China will try to explain their position and ask for assurance of US non-interference, and on non-supply of weapons. Much of the tenor of these discussions will depend on the progress that China makes on its cross-strait relations. On the issue of Korean talks, the US and China have been lately involved in the four nation talks between North and South Koreas which aims at resolving the issues of their division since the 1953 war in which both China and US had fought on opposing sides. This can also be seen as another positive sign for Sino-US rapprochement and this is the first time when their initiative has revived the Korean dialogue that had stopped following the death of Pyongyang leader Kim II Sung in 1994.


Starting from the breakthrough visits by US Presidents Nixon and Ford in February 1972 and December 1975, the Sino-US rapprochement had particularly picked up momentum since the early 1980s. Later, Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush visited China in April 1984 and February 1989 respectively. This was followed by Tiananmen Square crisis of 1989 which had resulted in a diplomatic deep freeze until President Jiang Zemin visited USA during October last year. Since then both sides have come to realise two things. One, that they are the two important pillars of the new global order for the 21st century and confrontation has not served well during the Cold War years. Secondly, with this increased dialogue, both sides have also begun to appreciate the fact that the two of them have different cultures, social systems, and historical experiences which obviously determine their priorities and perceptions. As a result, despite having divergent views on issues like human rights, religion, trade and so on, the two seem to have decided to continue their interactions so as to narrow down their differences and to remove their misperceptions and misunderstandings. One major factor behind this change seems to be Washington's recognition of China as the second most important actor in global affairs and Chinese leaders seem extremely pleased with this recognition.

While their last summit in Washington had dominated the world media, China had been described by most American officials and commentators as 'the second most important power' or as 'the next global power on-the-horizon'. By comparison, the recent reports have been talking about the warming up of ties between what they now describe as the 'two pacific giants' which is certainly a step forward and obtains for China a far greater recognition. The Chinese obviously seem to like the trend and President Jiang Zemin has already indicated his three priorities for 1998: fighting corruption, improving ties with the United States, and speeding up reunification with Taiwan.10 While, the first one is entirely a domestic agenda, the progress on the following two will largely depend on the outcome of this forthcoming Sino-US presidential summit in Beijing.



1. "Xinhua Reports Clinton's Decision to Visit Early," Summary of World Broadcasts-Far East-3176 G/2, March 16, 1998; "Official News Agency Comments on 'Positive Sign' in Sino-US ties," Summary of World Broadcast-Far East-3178 G/1, March 18, 1998.

2. "Currency Stability Conducive to China's Accession to WTO," Summary of World Broadcasts-Far East-3171 S1/1, March 10, 1998.

3. "US Commercial Mission heads to China," Rueters (internet), April 10, 1998.

4. Liu Weiling, "Power Projets Spark Reaction Among Foreign Rivals," China Daily (Business Weekly) (Beijing), March 29-April 4, 1998, p.1.

5. Wan Lixin, "LM rockets' 50th Launch Celeberated in Beijing," China Daily (Hong Kong), April 1, 1998, p. 2; "Long March Blasts Off Two US Satellites," China Daily (Beijing), March 27, 1998. CASC also develops China's missiles which means that this growing cooperation has very positive implications for China's missile capabilities.

6. Zhang Yan, "Sino-US aerospace venture launched," China Daily (Hong Kong), April 2, 1998, p. 5.

7. "Paper Urges Earlier Clinton Visit to PRC," Foreign Broadcast Information Service - China-98-072, March 13, 1998.

8. For details see Swaran Singh, "Sino-US Defence Ties: Whys and Hows of the Recent Engagement," Strategic Analysis, vol. xxiI, no. 1, April 1998.

9. "53 Airliners Due in Mainland," China Daily (Hong Kong) April 9, 1998, p.6.

10. Willy Wo-lap Lam, "Jiang Sets Agenda at Top-Level Conclave," The South China Morning Post, March 27, 1998.