After this background report, Elizabeth Farnsworth leads a panel discussion on the value of President Clinton's trip to China: what it means now and what it could do for the future.
KWAME HOLMAN: Late last night President and Mrs. Clinton arrived in Shanghai, the third city on the China tour. The president's first stop this morning was a new state of the art library. There he engaged in a 90-minute dialogue with a group that included writers, religious leaders, and local politicians. At one point in the discussion the president responded to the assertion of a participant that China is moving in the right direction on human rights.
PRESIDENT CLINTON: I also agree that the human rights dialogue I had with President Jiang was a good thing. I hope it will lead to more open discussion here. And I would be encouraged if that happened.
KWAME HOLMAN: The president also discussed U.S. policy toward Taiwan. Recounting his talks with Chinese President Jiang Zemin, President Clinton stated publicly for the first time American opposition to an independent Taiwan.
PRESIDENT CLINTON: I had a chance to reiterate our Taiwan policy, which is that we don't support independence for Taiwan.
KWAME HOLMAN: Next, the president was a guest on Shanghai's most popular radio station. During a call-in show Mr. Clinton took questions for an hour from an audience the radio station numbered some 10 million. The questions ran the gamut from the Asian financial crisis to environmental problems in China. One caller asked the president if he supported China's bid to join the World Trade Organization.
PRESIDENT CLINTON: What we're trying to do is America is to say, okay, China should be in the World Trade Organization, but it has to be a commercially realistic set of understandings when you have membership, and yet we owe you the right to a reasonable period of transition as you change your economy. And I think we'll get think we'll reach an agreement before long.
KWAME HOLMAN: While Mr. Clinton was on the radio this afternoon, Chinese police reportedly arrested another pro-democracy activist, this time in the Eastern city of Hangzhou. Tomorrow on his last day in Shanghai President Clinton will speak to business leaders about the Asian economic crisis.