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Powell with Chinese President Jiang Zemin

Remarks with Chinese President Jiang Zemin at Their Meeting

Secretary Colin L. Powell Great Hall of the People Beijing, China February 24, 2003

PRESIDENT JIANG: It gives me great pleasure to meet with you again. I hope you adjust to the jet lag.

SECRETARY POWELL: Mr. President, it is a great pleasure to see you again and the jet lag doesn t bother me.

PRESIDENT JIANG: And I know that this time you came from Japan and this evening you will be heading towards the Republic of Korea and after that, you will be heading for home, right? Of course, you are much younger than I am because you are about eleven years junior to me.

SECRETARY POWELL: I m getting older every day, Mr. President. I ll tell you.

PRESIDENT JIANG: Well, I can see that you are still full of energy.

SECRETARY POWELL: The Foreign Minister keeps me young because I have to see him now every week in New York.

PRESIDENT JIANG: Mr. Tang is a little bit younger than you. He was born in the year 1938 and you were born in 1937. One year difference. The people from the press won t go until we say something that interests them. I will give the floor to you first.

SECRETARY POWELL: Mr. President, I bring you greetings from your good friend President Bush and we have had good meetings so far this morning with Foreign Minister Tang and Vice-President Hu. We covered a large number of issues both of a bilateral nature and with respect to the international issues of the day. The bilateral relationship is strong and getting stronger. We have had very extensive discussions about Iraq and about North Korea, but I was sorry to learn just in the last few minutes of the earthquake in Western China and the loss of life and express my regrets to China s people.

PRESIDENT JIANG: Yes, I was told the earthquake was not very serious - about 5 on the Richter scale. [End]

Released on February 25, 2003

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