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Previous Visits
Special> Hu's Visit to the United States> Previous Visits
UPDATED: January 17, 2011 NO. 45 NOVEMBER 10, 1997
Jiang Kicks off Visit to U.S.

President Jiang Zemin is warmly welcomed at Honolulu Airport on October 26 (FAN RUJUN)

A stable, sound and growing Sino-U.S. relationship not only serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples and the rest of the world, but also conforms to the trend of the times toward peace and development.

These remarks were made by President Jiang Zemin in Honolulu on October 26. Hawaii, which Jiang termed as the "major converging point of cultures of the East and West", was the first stop on his state visit to the United States.

Jiang's visit, in response to U.S. President Bill Clinton's invitation, is the first state visit to the United States by a Chinese head of state in 12 years. Late President Li Xiannian visited the North American country in 1985.

Besides Honolulu and a few other American cities, Jiang will travel to Washington DC for the long-awaiting summit meeting with Clinton.

At the dinner hosted by Hawaiian Governor Benjamin Cayetano on the evening of October 26, Jiang said he was looking forward to discU.S.sions with Clinton on developing Sino-U.S. relations, "oriented toward the 21st century", and major international and regional issues, so as to U.S.her the relations of the two countries into a new stage.

He reminded his hosts of the responsibilities shared by China and the United States for peace and development in the Asian-Pacific Region and the world, for "both countries carry considerable weight in the world today".

He also pointed out that the two countries had "stood side by side in the fight against Fascism" during World War II.

Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris also hosted a luncheon reception in honor of Jiang. Both Harris and Governor Cayetano expressed pleasure at Jiang's choosing Honolulu as the first stop on his state visit.

Admiral Buluhe Prueher, commander-in-chief of U.S. Pacific Forces and host of the welcoming ceremony at the airport, accompanied Jiang on a tour of Pearl Harbor.

The Chinese president laid a wreath at the U.S.S Arizona Memorial to "salute the sailors of the Arizona warship killed in the battle".

The battleship sank, with 1,177 sailors on board, during a surprise Japanese attack on the American military base in the Pacific on December 7, 1941.

In his tightly scheduled one-day stay in Honolulu, Jiang also met with the representatives of the Chinese Community in Hawaii.

He told the representatives of his belief that the promotion of Sino-U.S. relations through the summit meeting between the top leaders of both countries "also accords with the hopes of Chinese communities abroad".

On the eve of his U.S. trip, Jiang, meeting with some Beijing-based U.S. reporters, said he was going to the United States with the wish of "expanding and strengthening the common points and friendly cooperation" between the two countries.

He said that apart from talks and meetings in Washington D.C., he would also meet with a variety of people and get in touch with the general public to "deepen mutual understanding and enhance friendship" between the two peoples.

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