Some people believe that there will emerge three major currencies in the world．One is the euro，another is the US dollar. Do you think there will be one major currency emerging in Asia？Do you think it will be the Japanese yen or the Chinese renminbi？Do you think there is the possibility for the Chinese renminbi to become one of the major currencies in the world？If so，what measures is the Chinese Government going to take to make that happen？
The question whether the renminbi will become a world currency，in my view，is not a question that should be answered by me and l think it is too ear1y now to discuss this question. What can say is that the renminbi is now very strong and it wiIl not be depreciated.
中央电视台记者：在过去一年中，中国政府经受了严峻的考验，也赢得广泛的赞誉。请问过去一年让你最感困难的是什么，最不满意的是什么，最感动的又是什么？ Over the past year，the Chinese Government has witnessed many severe tests and has also won extensive acclaim. My question is what was the most difficult task for you，what were you most dissatisfied with and what touched you the most over the past year?
I think the past year was extremelv difflcult and the difficulties actually were greater than we anticipated. The first reason was that the effect of the Asian financial crisis was more serious than we had expected. And the second reason was that extremelv severe fIooding----which had been rarely seen in history---also caused difficulties greater than we had expected.
What l am satisfied with over the past year is that，under the leadership of the CentraI Committee of the Communist Party of China with Comrade Jiang Zemin at its core and with the concerted efforts of the entire Chinese people，we have overcome these difficuties and stood rock-solid．I think that this was indeed very difficult．That’s why in my report on the work of the government，I said the achievements really are very hard won.
我所不满意的，是我的工作没有做好。但是，我也感觉到，有个别部门和地区没有很好贯彻中央的方针政策。 What l am dissatisfied with is that l have not done a good job. However，at the same time l also feel that some departments and localities have failed to implement to the letter the policies and measures formulated by the Central Commjttee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council.
What touched me most over the past year was what l saw on the forefront of the fight against flooding. I saw People’s Liberation Army soldiers using their bodies to reinforce river embankments and to protect the lives and the safety of the people. When seeing that，I was almost moved to tears.
Premier Zhu，you are goihg to the United States in a few days，but，given the bad anti-China mood in Washington，it looks like you are going to walk into another minefield．
They accuse China of spying，of stealing sensitive information---high-tech information which is then used to improve military technology that threatens US securlty.
How do you react to that，to such accusations？
What can you do to improve or to change such a perception of China in the United States？
Some politicians in Washington are calling for a re-evaluation of the engagement policy with China. Is it worthwhile for you，for Chjna，to befriend the Unjted States even if they do not seem to like you？
Since the exchange of visits between the state heads of China and the United States，the two countries have started to work on building a constructive strategic partnership.
The momentum of the growth of the Sino-US relationship has been quite good．
However，due to various reasons which I do not see the need to mention here，has emerged an anti-China trend in the United States,which has caused concern from our side.
I do not think that by paying a visit to the United States l will step into a minefield．But l do expect to encounter some hostile or unfiendly reactIons.
在今年2月22号的business weekly《商业周刊》上登了一篇题为China，what’s going wrong （《中出了什么问题？》）的文章，
In February 22 issue，Business Weekly carried an article titled China，what’s going wrong？This article is very special．
According to that article, it seems as though China is about to encounter a big calamity or insolvency and a major disaster is looming close by.
Actually before that l had never seen an acticle carried by US media describing China like that.
I think the emergence of such an article reflects the emerging anti-Chjna trend and that the Sino-US relationship has been victimized by partisan politics in the United States.
I am also a victim, for on the cover of that magazine I was portrayed like a dead person.
Under such circumstances，my visit to the US wiIl not be an easy job．According to the prediction of many media organizations，my forthcoming visit is unlikely to be successful. However，I will go anywav to lend them a chance to vent their anger or complaints.
As I just mentioned now,I do not think my visit will lead me into a minefield ,only that l will encounter a negative atmosphere in the United States. By going to the United States l will trv to clarify the truth and also to resume the momentum of developing a constructive strategic partnership between China and the United States.
Just now you asked me to clarify the truth about the allegation of China stealing US militarv secrets. Now I’d like to answer the question.
To me some people in the United States have made two mistakes．
One is that the they have underestimated the ability of the United States to guard their secrets．
To my knowledge，the Los Alamos laboratory has very tight security measures. As each of those working there knows about only a part of a project，it is impossible for them to leak any secrets．Therefore，even now，they have not found any solid evidence to prosecute Dr Wen Ho Lee. They can only fire him.
We shall never forget history.
Historically，both China and the United States have experienced such periods when hysteria becomes the norm.
A typical example in China is the“cultural revolution.”
Another of fheir rmistakes is that they have underestimated China military research development capabiiities，
The Chinese are intelligent and diligent，as evidenced by many Chinese Americans．
Also a case in point is that China independently developed its atomic and hydrogen bombs and man- made satellites.
China is fully capable of developing any military technology.
It is only a matter of time.
But please keep in mind that China is the first countrv to declare that not be the first to use nuclear weapons．
Already we have imposed an moratorium on nuclear testing.
We’ve agreed wlth the United States on the mudnon，targeting of missiles ffainst each other.
Why should Chjna take the political and moraI risk of stealing others’ military technology or secrets？
The alleged Chinese theft of US military technology is only a fictioh.
Since the introduction of the policy of macro regulation and control in the second half of 1993，such policy has produced four major results.
The first result is that it helped China to cope with the Asian financial crisis．
Secondly, it also has exerted three major functions in China，that is stability of the currency，the second is the stability of prices，and the third is social stability.
So my question is jn the course of macro regulation and control by what measures would you take into consideration all these four functions and also in your fiscal and economic policies.
You are going to visit the United States soon, so l expect the human rights question will become a very important topic during your trip. Would you please give us some of your views on this issue？
It was in l993 that China set up its policy of macro regulation and control．
That was a time when China had achieved great results after the widening of opening up to the outside world and deepening reform.
Meanwhile，there was also some overheating in the economic sector ,mainly in the real estate sector and the stock markets.
Such economic overheating resulted in a very high inflation rate of 21．7 per cent in l994.
At that time Deng Xiaoping still alive. With his support，and also under the leadership of the CPC CentraI Committee with comrade Jiang Zemin at the core，the decision was made to strengthen macro regulation and control．
Sixteen measures were adopted，of which l3 were economic measures. And out of the 13 economic measures,11 were related to the banking and financial sector .
Thanks to these 16 measures adopted aimed at strengthening macro regulation and control，within a period of a little more than two years，China successfully resolved the problem of economic overheating and resumed the momentum of economic growth，and also scored great achievements in socialist development..
去年中国之所以能够抵御亚洲金融危机的冲击，就是因为我们在1993年已经发生了这种金融问题， The reason why China had managed to avoid the impact of the Asian financial crisis last year was that it already experienced such a kind of financial crisis in l993．
And, fortunately,we managed to check such financial crisis before it spread.
And it was precisely because of the accumulated experiece of macro regulation and control that we were able to stand rock- solid last year amid the Asian financial crisis.
I’d like to recommend to you a February 16 article in The New York Times titled The.US Would Aid Asia to Let Cash Flow in According to this article，the United States has played a part in promoting the oyerflow of capital in Asia.,that result in the eruption of the crisis in Asia. After the eruption of the crisis, international financial institutions came out to extend loans to these countries while accompanied by some policies which were not approprlate to their national conditions，such as proposals for fiscal austerity and raising interest rates，that actually agravated the crisis．
I expressed the very same view last year during discussions with many foreign visitors，including Mr Alan Greenspan，Mr Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers, who were on the cover of the February l5 issue of Time magazine. Time magazine termed them the Three Musketeers who prevented a worldwide financial melt-down. I discussed this question with all these three gentlemen and I believed they agreed with me on that.
As for me, by mentioning the article,.I do not intend to ask the co-authors of that article to share with me their rovalties for that article，because l didn’t apply patent for my viewpoint.
What l want to say is that economlic development and financial liberalization must be accompanied by proper macro regulation and control．
And different strategies of macro regulation and control should be adopted according to the specific conditions of different countries.
To urge a country to liberalize or open its capital market too quickly or to request an overflow of capital in the country would only result in what we call“more haste，less speed” and would only undermine the economy of the country concerned.
Just now Mr Zhou Yousi also asked the question about human rights，I believe this is also a question of interest to many of you present here today，so l will say a few womds about it.
Actually，of the foreign guests received by Chinese leaders．few failed to mention the question of human rights.It seems that without mentioning the question of human rights thev would find it dillicult to justify themselves after going back.
But after so many repetitions regarding this question of human rights，I am really very reluctant to talk about this any more today.
And here I just want to mention one thing，that at my meeting with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during her recent visit to China，I told her that l started my struggle for the protection and preservation of human rights much earlier than she did．She asked,“Really？”
That shows she did not quite agree with me.
And then I replied,“Isn’t that the case？” I said I was l0 years older than she is--when l took part in the movement for democracy，freedom and human rights against the Kuomintang government at the cost of my life，she was still in middle school.
I also said that actually we share many similarities in the viewpoint of human rights.
When l was in middie school，I had already learned froin textbooks works by Rousseau of France，Emile，Confessions and The SociaI Contract，at all people are born equal and that human rights are endowed by heaven，I have actually learned of such concepts long ago.
We were very much influenced by the May 4th Movement，which was a movement for democracy and science.Then under the leadership of the Communist Party of China，we struggled against dictatorship and also against human rights violations by the reactionary regime.
So today how possibly could we just reverse our position and suppress human rights？
And only we know best how we can best preserve and protect human rights in China.
But l cannot say that China is perfect in human rights and it is impossible for China to be perfect in this regard，because China has a history of several thousand years of feudal society and also dictatorship．China also experienced a semi-colonial period and that resulted in a colonial mentality. It is only 50 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. How could we possibly resolve all problems accumulated through several thousand years of feudal rule within such a short period of 50 years？
But we are willing to solicit views from all sides and our people.
We are reading letters from our people everyday and we are doing our best to satisfy their needs．
We are also willing to listen to the views and comments from friends abroad.We also have al ot of channels for dialogue in human rights areas. For instance, we have diologue with the United States ,the European Union , Australia and so on..
Progress is being made every day on the issue of human rights.
Sometimes when I have met with friends from abroad ,as soon as we see each other ,they would just take out a list and read the names on the list, saying these are people who have been arrested for the cause of so-called pro-democracy activities and would you release them？And then l would say in China we have i．25 billion people and everv day we have criminal ofenses committed ,everyday we arrest some criminals，would you please give me the list so l can go back and look into that and to find out what is going on？
The just concluded sessions of congress adopted amendents to the Constitution including the adition to the Constition of rulng the country according to law and also building a socialist legal system. We are doing legislative work every day.
The Standing Committee of the NationaI People’s Congress is doing legislative work every day.The State Council is drawing up adnministrative rules and regulations everyday.
So we are improving our legal system and leslative work every day，and we are doing our job to protect the human rights of the entire Chinese people every day. And we will continue to do so.
Foreign friends are welcome to criticize us in our job but do not be too impatient．Actually，I am more impatient than you are.
Do not support those so-called pro-democracy activists．If these people were to return to China，then there would be no legal system，no democracy，no rule of law in China. There would not be the sitluation as you would imagine.
Japan and the United States have agreed to jointly develop the Theatre Missile Defence(THD）system. What negative impact do you think that will have on the friendly relationship and cooperation as well as the partnership between Japan and China？Some observers say that the bankruptcy of China’s Guangdong International Trust ＆ Investment Companv（Gitic）has actually made foreign financial Institutions, including some Japanese ones，lower their credit ratings for China，what is your comment on that？When will your first visit to Japan as premier take place？)
We are opposed to TMD and we are particularly and firmly opposed to including Taiwan jnto THD，because THD would constitute a violation of international agreements on missiles and an encroachment of China’s sovereignty and territorial jntegrity as well as interference in China;s jnternal affairs.
The reason given for the development of TMD is the allegation that China has deployed 600 missiles along the Taiwan Straits and that in the past only several dozen were deployed there. But I did not know that. How could you know that 600 missiles have been deployed？I did not know that．The deplopment of missiles falls under China’s sovereigntv and these missiles have by no means been targeted at our brothers and sisters in Taiwan. And it is not verv likely that we will use these missiles，or would treat their use very likely and easily. However，we could not but deploy the missiles．We hope to achieve peaceful reunification of the countrv. However，we cannot declare that we renounce the use of force in this regard because otherwise Taiwan would be in a state of perpetual separation from the motherland.
Another reason given for developing TMD is that the DPRK has launched missiles and js doing research and development on nuclear weapons and that China has not exerted its jnfluence on the DPRK.
Then I would ask how could you know that，why do I not know that？And how can we exert influence or how can we interfere in the DPRK which is an independent countrv？
Just now l cited two underestimations,but here I think there is an overestimation of the so-called threat．
As all those advanced weapons origjnate in the United States,then what is the need for the United States to be afraid of that, anything？
On the question of Gitic,I think this is also a question of interest to many of the press correspondents here.
The application bv Gitic for bankruptcv is an individual case in the course of financjal reform in China.
But this incident is of great significance for it has sent a signal，a message to the entire world，which is that the Chinese Government wiIl not repay debts for financial institutions jf the debts are not guaranteed by the governments at various levels in China.
That is to say foreign banks and financial institutions need to perform risk analysis and act prudently and cautiously in extending loans to these financial firms．
And I think that the view of dominant public opinion is that this Chinese approach is consistent with the principle of financial reform and international practice.
I think some credit banks and financial institutions have been too pessimistic in their estimation and evaluation of this ncident in believing that China is experiencing a financial crisis and that China has no payment capabilities and that China is no longer creditworthy. I think that is going too far.
China is maintaining rapid economic growth and has foreign exchange reserves of US $1 46．5 billion and also equilibrium in its balance of international payments.So China is fully capable of repay its debts. But the question is whether these debts should be repaid by the government．The answer is, of course，they should not．
But here l wish to point out that although Gitic’s bankruptcy is lawful，reasonable and fair，one should not assume that one can benefit from the bankruptcy and one should not rush from bankruptcy.
When I was in middle school,I read the Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare and that was translated into Chinese as One Pound of Flesh. According to that script，the merchant，Shylock，lent 3，000 ducats to Antonio. Accordjng to the contract thev signed，if Antonio failed to repay the monev in three months，Shylock would have the right to cut one pound of flesh from any part of Antonio.
Of course，nowadays if one fails to repay debts，he wiIl not face the risk of sacrificing one pound of flesh. But even so，credItor banks wiIl not let you go so easily. So l do not expect to see too many bankruptcies of financial firms in the future and maybe there will be none.
But the precondition is that the creditor banks should not press too hard for debt repayment beforehand or in advance. If you press too hard，they would have no choice but to apply for bankruptcy.
If everybody can just sit down and have a discussion according to international practice，for instance to recapitalize the firm or to inject fresh capital into it or to swap the debt into equity，then the problem can be settled and the debts will be repaid and there is no need for the firm concerned to apply for bankruptcy.
I regret that this problem has somewhat affected some Japanese banks. But l guess maybe there wiIl no longer be such a situation in the future，provided that we make joint efferts.
Now about your question concerning my visit to Japan. Last year was the 20th anniversary of the signing of Sino-Japanese Treaty on Peace and Friendship. President Jiang Zemin paid a state visit to Japan and the two sides agreed to take history as a guide and to work to establish a friendly relationship and co-operation for peace and development between China and Japan，I think this serves the fundamental interests of both China and Japan.
As for how to implement the joint statements signed between the two sides, the Chinese side will do its utmost and I personally am ready to do my part in this regard．But as to when l will pav a visit to Japan，that can be discussed through diplomatic channels.)
Some observers say that it seems that Russia right now is supporting China in the most strategic and important international affairs. The most obvious fact may be the position of Russia and China on TMD.
Does mean that someday China would like to adopt and to take more practical and specific measures to respond to TMD with Russia？
And does it mean that someday China would be much more closer to Russia than to the United States in international affairs？
Mr Prime Minister,do you think that Russia will be able to fulfill its obligations to China in accordance with the documents signed between the countries，especially in economics？
At the invitation of Prime Minister of Yevgeny Primakov, I recently went to Russia for the fifth regular meeting between the Chinese Premier and the Russian Prime Mjnister.
The purpose of the meeting was to realize the agreement as well the projects signed by President Jjang Zemin and President Boris Yeltsin which were aimed at building a strategic partnership of co-ordination between China and Russia.
We made a very sjgnificant achievement, mainly in the field of economic co-operation and trade. We signed more than l0 agreements in this field，wliich is unprecedented.
It is true that Russia supports China on its stand against TMD，but we’ve not discussed how to respond to TMD.
In my opinion，our relationship with the United States has been very good so far. We are still engaged in developing a constructive and strategic partnership．So is our relationship with Russia. The two sides are working on building a strategic partnership of co-ordination.
I can reveal a secret to you. I receive a very warm welcome in Russia.
As you can see on TV，while meeting with me, President Yeltsin put my hand on his chest．Do youk now what he uttered to me？He told me that just as President Jiang Zemin is his best friend, I am also his best friend．As one belondng to a people known for its courtesy，I also put his hand on mv chest and told him that we Chinese are his trustworthv friends. In another scene you did not see,when the camera men had already left,PresidentYeltsin walked to me and hugged me,putting his cheek to mine.
I view this as an indication of true friendship.
l believe that upon my visit to the United States l will receive the same warm reception. I do not think I will step into a minefield.
May be President Bill Clinton and l wiIl not necessarity hug each other，but we can shake each other’s hands very firnlly，which might be no less than a strong indication of true friendship.
My question is closely related to the life of and investment by Hong Kong people. If said, I placed a phone call in Hong Kong to President Clinton of the US,it would cost me HK$0.98 per minute.Sut if I placed the call to you in Beijing ,it would cost me HK$9.8,ten times as much.This time when I came to Beijing for thess sessions，I found thati if I placed the phone call from Beijing to Hong Kong，the cost has been reduced from 8.1 yuan to 5 yuan per minute. This shows that competition can help reduce the cost of the phone calls and also can help improve the quality of services. So my question is what measures do you plan to adopt to accelerate the competition in the telecommunications sector in China？My second question is some foreign banks are now already allowed to be engaged in renminbi business，so how soon wiII China totally open renminbi business to foreign banks?
Indeed，China Telecom is reducing prices. But l do not think the reduction is far enough. I think the price should be reduced continuously and over several times．The way for that is to introduce competition.Now we are reforming the system of China’s telecommunications industrv and trying to break the monopoly and encourage competition. Secondly，we should open the Chinese telecommunications market to foreign investors.
And we will also open renminbi busihess to foreign banks in Chna. But as for details, I am not in the position to talk about them here and now. The general principle is we will open up. So Hong Kong bankers should apply immediately. The earlier you apply，the sooner you will get approval.
Could you tell us what the chances are China and the United States to reach an agreement on China’s entry into the WTO either when you visit Washington or sometime later in the month following？Are these chances increased or reduced by the current deterioration in relations between China and the United States ? Are what are the main areas of difficulty from China’s point of view in opening your market to foreign competition？
Thirteen years have passed since China started its negotiations first for resuming contracting-party status in Gatt and then for applying for WTO membership.The black hair has turned grey. So now it is time to conclude such negotiations．Now for that there are conditions and possibilities.
First，the WTO member states have come to realize that a WTO without China will not be representative enough and that the WTO would have neglected China，the 1argest potential market in the world．
Second，with the deepening of reform and opening wider to the outside world as well as the accumulation of experience in this regard，China has alreadv strengthened its supervision and regulation as well as its capability and sustainability with regard to some problems that could arise after China joins the WTO.
So China is prepared to make the biggest concessions within its abilities．
Recently China conducted serious negotiations with the United States and the European Union in this regard．The gap between the positions of China and its partners is narrowing. But there remains a considerable gap.
As long as the two sides can make concessions based on the larger interest and out of,the large interest of promoting prosperity and stabilitv in respect of the world market and trade.I am very hopeful that we will be able to reach an agreement.
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