News / Asia

China's Ex-leader: Nothing to Fear from Disputes with US

Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin gestures during the opening session of the 18th Communist Party Congress in Beijing, China, Nov. 8, 2012.
Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin gestures during the opening session of the 18th Communist Party Congress in Beijing, China, Nov. 8, 2012.
Reuters
Former Chinese president Jiang Zemin, who broke China out of diplomatic isolation in the post-Tiananmen era, has made a rare return to public life, saying that his country should not fear disputes with Washington and that honest dialogue is needed.
 
Ties between the world's two largest economies have been strained of late by U.S. accusations of Chinese hacking attacks, and China's anger at revelations by fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden of U.S. electronic surveillance activities in China and Hong Kong.
 
Meeting in Shanghai with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Jiang recalled the challenging time following the June 4, 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators around Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
 
“After 1989 Sino-U.S. relations certainly went through a difficult period, and then with the hard work of both sides, myself and President Clinton were able to visit each other,” Jiang said during the meeting on July 3, according to a statement issued on Monday by China's Foreign Ministry.
 
“My personal understanding is that although at present there are certain contradictions which exist between China and the United States, as long as our leaders have a frank exchange of views many problems can be resolved,” he said.
 
Jiang visited the United States in 1993, four years after Tiananmen, despite Washington's anger at the crackdown.
 
Under Jiang, China weathered the Asian financial crisis of the 1990s, joined the World Trade Organization in 2001 and won the right to stage the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
 
Jiang said he was pleased that current Chinese leader Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama had had such an honest exchange of opinions when they met in California last month, where cyber-security was a focus of the talks.
 
“This is extremely beneficial to developing bilateral relations,” said Jiang, who retired in 2002 and handed the reins to Hu Jintao in China's first bloodless leadership transition since the 1949 revolution.
 
Jiang has remained influential while in retirement. He has returned to public life in a limited way since rumors swirled he was on his death bed in 2011, though he made a formal pledge to step back earlier this year.
 
Jiang told Kissinger that Xi was a person of resolute character. Xi owes his political rise to Jiang, who marked him early on as a potential leader.
 
“As you know, a large country with 1.3 billion people like China needs a strong leader,” added Jiang, who said he had telephoned Xi recently. “Xi Jinping is a wise leader who can really get things done.
 
“In such a large country, of course, there will be all sorts of problems. Problems are not scary: what is crucial is decisive action,” he said.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Wangchuk from: NY
July 26, 2013 9:51 AM
During Jiang Zemin's reign as Chairman of the CCP, his govt was responsible for numerous atrocities against Tibetans, Uighurs & Chinese. He should be arrrested & indicted for crimes against the people. The Int'l Criminal Court should issue an arrest warrent for Jiang Zemin.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More