[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1997, Book II)]
[October 29, 1997]
[Pages 1444-1445]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks at the Welcoming Ceremony for President Jiang Zemin of China
October 29, 1997

    President Jiang, Mrs. Wang, members of the Chinese delegation, 
welcome to the White House, and welcome to America. Mr. President, your 
visit gives us both an opportunity and a responsibility. At the dawn of 
a new century and a new millennium, let us strengthen the bonds between 
us; let us pursue common causes; let us address our differences openly 
and with respect; let us build a better world for our children.
    We admire the progress China has made in such a short time. Your 
reforms have lifted millions from poverty, offering better housing and 
better schools. The Chinese people enjoy today a better standard of 
living than at any time in China's history. China is playing a stronger 
role in the community of nations, from promoting peace in Korea and 
Cambodia to fighting international crime and drug trafficking. Hundreds 
of international organizations now benefit from Chinese participation, 
and we welcome tens of thousands of Chinese students to the United 
States every year. They come to learn, but they also teach us a lot and 
they teach a lot, especially, to our young people with whom they will 
shape the future.
    Mr. President, our challenge is to build on this progress for the 
benefit of China, the United States, and the world. For even as we 
admire the Great Wall of China, we must work to ensure that fewer and 
fewer barriers separate us.
    Both our countries can best advance our interests and our values by 
working together rather than standing apart. For together we can lay the 
groundwork for a safer, better world, where peace prevails and 
prosperity grows; where we join to fight the threats that none of us can 
conquer alone; where all our children enjoy clean air, clean water, and 
a healthy future; and where people are treated with dignity, free to 
express their beliefs and observe their faiths.
    Mr. President, Chinese immigrants who came here in the 19th century 
called America the ``Golden Mountain.'' They made their dream a reality 
when they helped to build San Francisco into a thriving cosmopolitan 
city on a hill. Since then our people have climbed many mountains 
together. When you laid a wreath at Pearl Harbor, you paid tribute to 
the alliance between our people that brought victory in World War II. 
Now, on the verge of a new century, our two great nations must join our 
strength again.
    As we cast our eyes over the horizon and toward the future, one 
thing is absolutely clear: China, with its ancient civilization and 
renewed economic and political vigor, will have a profound influence on 
the new world of the 21st century. How China defines its greatness will 
shape the future for all the world's children.
    Mr. President, together, we can make this new era the brightest 
chapter in China's long and rich history, the best days America has ever 
known, and a new age of unprecedented peace and prosperity for all the 
world. That, Mr. President, is the future we hope for as we welcome you 
to the United States.

Note: The President spoke at 10:18 a.m. on the South Lawn at the White 
House, where President Jiang was accorded a formal welcome with full

[[Page 1445]]

military honors. In his remarks, he referred to President Jiang's wife, 
Madame Wang Yeping. The transcript made available by the Office of the 
Press Secretary also included the remarks of President Jiang.