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China: Jiang Promises More Openness

Washington, 31 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - Chinese President Jiang Zemin says China believes that there can be no modernization without democracy, and he pledged to open China still wider to the outside world.

However, in a speech in Washington yesterday to the private Asia Society, the Chinese leader made it clear that China's view of human rights is very different from that of the U.S. and its allies.

Jiang ended the Washington leg of his U.S. visit yesterday with meetings with U.S. congressional leaders and the speech to Asian specialists, including former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. China's human rights practices have come in for sharp criticism during Jiang's visit.

In his speech, Jiang said different views on human rights ought to be addressed through dialogue so confrontation could be avoided. Jiang will visit several other American cities before Sunday, when he returns to China.