Clinton states case for closer Sino-US ties

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 November, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 October, 2016, 5:52pm

Closer trade ties between the United States and China will benefit both countries and bring prosperity to Asia, former US president Bill Clinton said yesterday.

Delivering a keynote speech at the Business Week CEO forum, he said China should further promote free trade and increase transparency in its trade regime.

'I'm glad that I built close ties with China during my tenure,' he said. 'China has been moving closer to the west since 1989 and we have been doing okay in the past 14 years.'

He said thousands of students from the United States were studying on the mainland, but joked that Chinese was one of the most difficult foreign languages to learn.

He also called on China to make a greater contribution to maintaining world peace.

Mr Clinton praised Hong Kong for its global outlook.

He urged countries around the world to step up co-operation in tackling environmental pollution and easing poverty in developing countries.

Mr Clinton said about two-thirds of the world's Aids cases were found in Africa and many children in the world were drinking unsafe water every day.

Touching on global warming, he said that many business leaders assumed the issue did not concern their companies, but he warned that in the long run the effects would be unavoidable.

'If I were in business, I would do something about it. If I were a CEO, I would devote more resources to undeveloped countries in Africa.'

He also said countries across the world should unite to combat terrorism. 'We have no alternative but to come together. Everything is related whether you like it or not.'

Mr Clinton predicted the 21st century would be the most prosperous in human history.