Chinese President Jiang Zemin Is Greeted With 21-Gun Salute As He Lands in HawaiiBy RON STATON
HONOLULU (AP) _ Chinese President Jiang Zemin arrived here Sunday for a one-day stopover enroute to a meeting with President Clinton, a visit he hoped would deepen understanding between the two countries.
``I believe that through the joint efforts of China and the U.S., my visit will deepen our mutual understanding, broaden our common ground and promote friendship and cooperation between our two countries, and that China-U.S. relations will enter a new stage of development,″ Jiang said in a statement issued to the press.
``I will also meet a broad spectrum of people of the U.S. and see with my own eyes achievements the American people have made in economic and social development,″ Jiang said in the statement.
Jiang’s visit was the first to the U.S. by a Chinese leader in 12 years.
Jiang’s plane landed just after 9 a.m. at Hickam Air Force Base. The president was greeted by Gov. Benjamin Cayetano; Adm. Joseph Prueher, head of U.S. military forces in the Pacific; James Sasser, the U.S. ambassador to China; retired U.S. Sen. Hiram Fong and other dignitaries.
Jiang was given a 21-gun salute and reviewed a military honor guard with Prueher as more than a hundred people from Hawaii’s Chinese community waved American and Chinese flags while chanting ``Welcome! Welcome!″
Following the arrival ceremony, Jiang traveled in a motorcade to Pearl Harbor, where he placed a wreath at the USS Arizona Memorial and dropped a floral lei in the harbor.
Jiang learned a lot about Pearl Harbor at the memorial, he said later at a luncheon hosted by Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris, who returned last week from a trip to China.
``In that war, which brought untold suffering to mankind, the Chinese and American people once fought shoulder to shoulder against fascist aggression and safeguarded world peace together with other people of the world,″ Jiang said.
About 100 Taiwanese supporters demonstrated outside the hotel during the luncheon.
In Washington, nine protesters were arrested for refusing to leave a restricted sidewalk in front of the White House during a prayer vigil staged to bring attention to China’s religious persecution and abortion policies.
The meeting between Jiang and Clinton is the first U.S.-China summit since President Bush went to Beijing four months before pro-democracy demonstrators were attacked in Tiananmen Square.
Jiang will leave Monday morning to join Clinton in Williamsburg, Va. The Chinese leader will then go to Washington Tuesday, and will be honored by Clinton at a state dinner that night.