April 09,1999

Roth Statement on Meeting with Zhu

WASHINGTON -- Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. and several other members of Congress met at Blair House this morning with Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji. Roth's discussion with the Premier covered the overall U.S.-China relationship, American concerns over Chinese missile deployments and espionage in American weapons laboratories, and trade issues, particularly poultry.

"In my discussion with the premier, I stressed that the U.S.-China relationship has entered a critical phase, one beset with great challenges, but also one holding great potential opportunity," Roth stated. I made clear my concerns over China's behavior on missile deployments directed at Taiwan, the recent revelations of Chinese espionage in American nuclear labs and China's ongoing human rights violations. At the same time, I stressed the importance of the U.S.-China relationship and the opportunity we have to cooperate on a range of issues where we share interests and could derive mutual benefits.

"On trade, I registered my preliminary support for progress made toward an agreement that would move China closer to accession to the World Trade Organization. But I went on to explain that more work needs to be done. I also indicated that a separate agreement reached yesterday on agricultural products -- including poultry -- sounded promising. I concluded by urging China in the strongest terms to increase its imports of poultry products from Delaware."