[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[June 30, 1998]
[Pages 1104-1105]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks at a Reception Hosted by Mayor Xu Kuangdi of Shanghai
June 30, 1998

    Thank you very much, Mr. Mayor, Madame Xu; to Museum Director 
Ma; ladies and gentlemen. It is a great honor for my wife and members 
of our family, six Members of the United States Congress, and many 
members of our Cabinet and other American citizens to be here in 
Shanghai tonight.
    This museum is a fitting symbol of what I have seen in China these 
last few days, the magnificence of your ancient past and your brilliant 
    I have seen a nation rising in its influence in the world, with 
China's leadership for stability in the Asian economic crisis and 
China's leadership for peace on the Korean Peninsula and in working with 
us to help to deal with the difficulties caused by the nuclear tests by 
India and Pakistan.
    I have seen the Chinese people rising, millions of them, out of 
poverty; millions more finding interesting work of their own choice, 
pursuing more educational opportunities, having more say in their local 
affairs. I saw a great example of that when the mayor and I did a talk 
radio show this morning here in Shanghai. And I was especially impressed 
when one of the callers called in and said, ``I don't want to talk to 
the President; I want to talk to the mayor about traffic problems in 
Shanghai.'' [Laughter]
    Shanghai is truly the place where East meets West. Over the last 150 
to 200 years, the West has not always been the best of partners in 
Shanghai, but now we have a good partnership. I am especially pleased 
that a United States firm, RTKL, will design the new Scienceland Museum 
here. I hope that is a symbol of the kinds of positive, good things we 
will do together in the future.
    I also want to say a special word of appreciation to your mayor. Mr. 
Mayor, I heard--this may not be a true story, but don't tell me if it's 
not--[laughter]--I heard that years ago when your predecessor, Zhu 
Rongji, invited you to head Shanghai's Central 
Planning Commission, you told him you hated the whole idea of central 
planning. And Zhu replied, ``Then you're exactly the man I want for the 
job.'' [Laughter]
    Now we see you unleashing this city's great potential, cutting 
redtape, fighting corruption, protecting the environment, spurring an 
artistic revival. You are making Shanghai a place the

[[Page 1105]]

world looks to for commerce, culture, and people of different walks of 
life thriving together.
    Mr. Mayor, in 1996 when I asked the American people to give me 
another term as President of the United States, the theme of my campaign 
was ``Building a Bridge to the 21st Century.'' In Shanghai, you are 
building that bridge to the 21st century, and we want to build it with 
    Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 6:40 p.m. at the Shanghai Museum. In his 
remarks, he referred to Mayor Xu Kuangdi of Shanghai and his wife, Xu 
Luoping; Ma Chengyan, director, Shanghai Museum; and Premier Zhu Rongji 
of China.