China President Criticizes NATO
Mar. 27, 1999
BASEL, Switzerland (AP) _ Chinese President Jiang Zemin on Saturday criticized NATO airstrikes and what he called ``the drive for hegemony'' in global politics.
He criticized NATO's attack on Yugoslavia and, in a thinly veiled reference to the United States, lashed out at Washington's domination of global affairs.
``Power politics and the drive for hegemony is becoming more and more unpopular,'' he said before leaving Switzerland. Still, Jiang urged more Western investment in his country and pushed for closer economic ties with Western Europe.
Security was exceptionally tight to prevent a repeat of pro-Tibetan demonstrations on Thursday that embarrassed Switzerland and caused Jiang to skip a welcoming ceremony on the first day of his visit.
In his remarks to Swiss business leaders on Saturday, Jiang reiterated his criticism of NATO air strikes that began Wednesday and said that only the United Nations has the authority to order military operations.
Jiang said Beijing would keep to its policy of cautious economic reform despite losses inflicted by the Asian crisis. But he said Asia's economic woes had shown that the current financial system was in need of reform and more controls.
``A prosperous China is a guarantee for a stable China,'' Jiang told an audience that included the heads of pharmaceutical giants Novartis and Roche, the Swatch watch company and Swissair.
Swiss companies have invested billions of dollars in China and economic cooperation dates back about 50 years.
After lambasting his Swiss hosts at the start of the visit for not controlling demonstrators, Jiang appeared in good humor for the final day of his trip. He was accompanied throughout by Swiss President Ruth Dreifuss, and several Cabinet ministers.
He said that Switzerland and China had differing interpretations of human rights. But as long as they were discussed ``respectfully and pragmatically,'' they would not harm bilateral relations.
After a parade at Zurich airport, Jiang departed for Austria, where he arrived late Saturday on the final leg of his 11-day visit to Europe.