Newsweek interview with Zhu Rongji

On May 26th, 1997 , Newsweek published an interview with China's Deputy Prime Minister Zhu Rongji, titled "Beijing's toughest Boss."

Mr. Zhu's remarks had us Taiwanese rolling in the aisles with laughter. Does he himself believe anything he says ?

He states that he "has seen" the book "The Coming Conflict with China." We wonder if he has also read it. It is recommended reading for someone who states "China will never get involved in aggression against other countries or interfere in other countries internal affairs." Mr. Zhu of course conveniently forgets China's aggression against Tibet, its attacks against Vietnam, its encroachment of the Spratley's, and its military threats against Taiwan.

Mr. Zhu's remarks become even more laughable when he states that China can be trusted to keep its promise to allow Hong Kong its freedoms. The slow strangling of freedoms we have already observed -- even before the transfer of power has taken place -- is a clear indication that China doesn't intend to keep its word at all.

With regard to Taiwan, Mr. Zhu simply doesn't seem to be able to comprehend that we Taiwanese have no desire whatsoever to be absorbed by a repressive and backward China. We want a free, democratic and independent nation, according to the principles laid down in the Charter of the United Nations.

And finally: Mr. Zhu doesn't seem to like Taiwan president Lee Teng-hui. The difference between the two is of course that President Lee was democratically elected, and that Mr. Zhu is part of a repressive dictatorship.

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