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General Powell comment on Boao 2008 Forum
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11:05, April 11, 2008

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People's Daily Washington-based chief correspondent Li Xuejiang recently had an interview with Colin Powell, former US Secretary of State on the upcoming Boao Forum 2008.

LI XUEJIANG: I know you are very busy, why you are interested in attending the BOAO FORUM FOR ASIA 2008 ANNUAL MEETING? Why do you think it is an important event?

GENERAL POWELL: This is, of cause, an important meeting, which bring together many leaders from the Asian-Pacific region as well as from the rest of the world. And I look forward to visiting China again and have an opportunity to exchange views. I am particularly impressed this year there will be a quite focus on green recognition on how the environment needs to be protected and also it focuses on economics and education as well as focus on information technology rather than just political discussions. And there will be discussions that will have to tell the well-fare people how to make better life of the people in Asia and the other part of the world. It also gives an opportunity to meet with a number of very impressive foreign leaders from different countries there and hope there will be a chance to see President Hu Jintao.

LI XUEJIANG :Will you make a speech at the Forum?

GENERAL POWELL: Well, I have been asked to talk about the leadership in a changing world. And I will also make one of final presentations. There will be a short speech of twenty minutes because then I will participate for another hour in a discussion with panelists and moderator. And it is always much more interesting to take questions from the audience than just talk to the audience. So looking forward to this session and by the time the session comes around I will have chance to listen to many important Asian leaders and hopefully I will be able to summarize the session by talking what to need for in light of the leadership in the 21st century. I am also pleased to pay a visit to Hainan Island I have never been to. Do you remember the incident took place in early 2001 when our two airplanes had an accident over the sea. We were able to resolve the incident in spirit of dialogue and co-operation understanding which set a very positive tone for our relationship for the next seven years. The regret was about Chinese pilot lost. But it did not create a crisis since the accident was resolved in co-operation between U.S. and Chinese Government. .

LI XUEJIANG: How would you like to comment on the current China-U.S. relation?

GENERAL POWELL: U.S. China relations are in good standing. But there does not mean there is no issues that are concerns to us: You know these economic issues: Chinese currency, trade imbalance. But I would rather ague that these are economic issues than issues that could lead to more serious trouble or to conflict that lead to more worries about in those old days. Now we are worried about the economic issues. It is clear that our relations are much improved and the world in many ways is more peaceful world than it was before. I am not one of those who see China as an enemy, I see China as a powerful and strong nation with rich history that we have to work with. But we do have some difficulties in Chinese human rights policy. And it is well known that we are concerned about the current situation in Tibet. My government has been encouraging Chinese leadership to reach out to Dalai Lama and begin a dialogue.

LI XUEJIANG: How would you foresee the future bilateral relation between China and U.S. new administration?

GENERAL POWELL: I don’ t know what the U.S. next president would do, but I can say that, looking at all three candidates, I don’t see any one of them, either Senator McCain, Senator Clinton, or Senator Obama, who will wish to do anything but build more productive relationship with China. There would be differences and emphases on trade issues I could see as reading newspapers now. All of three those leaders understanding the importance of having good relation with China and key role China pays in Asia and the world, for example, the need of the United State has for Chinese products American citizens who did not make a lot of money and need we have to export to China while many Chinese middle class are interested in American products. So anyone of those candidates when became the U.S. President, I think, will continue to try to build our bilateral relationship. We have different political systems but we are both the important countries that have to talk to one another and understand one another. All tree candidates, I am also confident that will continue to follow “one China policy” based on three communiqués and our responsibility under the Taiwan Relations Act and see absolutely no change in that positions in the part of any of the potential president candidates.

LI XUEJIANG: How would you like to predict the future relations across the Taiwan Straits with the Taiwanese new leaders taking office.

GENERAL POWELL: I hope and may have an opportunity to meet with newly elected Taiwanese leader. I think that Taiwanese people have given a strong statement how they want to be governed and lead. I think initial statement made by incoming leadership indicate the possibility of improvement across straits relations through communication.

LI XUEJIANG: How do you comment the disruption of Olympic torch relay in London and Paris?

GENERAL POWELL: United Kingdom and France are open democratic countries as well as United States where freedom of express is protected. I think everybody understand that Olympic Game are important event and must go forward. And I would prefer not to see this kind of expression of concerns through interference in transfer of the torch. At the same time I hope the Chinese Government will realize that this is an expression of concerns of international community over the situation in Tibet. I hope the Chinese Government will see this as another indication that will be in their interest to open the dialogue with Dalai Lama.

LI XUEJIANG: Do you support President Bush to attend the Olympic opening ceremony?
GENERAL POWELL: That is, of cause, a decision for President Bush to make and right now he said he is going to the opening ceremony.

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