White House dismisses China's spying denials
March 15, 1999 - Reuters
WASHINGTON - The White House on Monday dismissed China's denials that it had stolen nuclear
weapons secrets from the United States and said the issue was
sure to come up when Premier Zhu Rongji visits Washington in
"I certainly expect this issue will be part of the discussion, but we
have a broad range of issues that we will discuss so I don't think this will be exclusive," White House
spokesman Joe Lockhart said.
Asked about Zhu's statement on Monday that U.S. charges of Chinese espionage were a "farce,"
Lockhart said, "Well, that's his view."
Revelations that China may have improperly obtained U.S. technology to make miniature nuclear
warheads during the 1980s have promoted sharp criticisms from Congressional Republicans that
U.S. President Bill Clinton acted too slowly in investigating, and fierce responses from China.
Zhu, at a news conference on Monday, called the allegations of Chinese spying at the Los Alamos
nuclear research library a "tale from the Arabian Nights."
Zhu said he was prepared for a hostile reception in the United States and made clear he did not
intend to duck a fight over sensitive political issues.
But he also dangled the prospect of major trade concessions to secure access for China to the
World Trade Organization and said China should open its markets to foreign telecommunications
companies and banks.
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