Chinese President Jiang Zemin will get a full picture of how Americans feel about China's human rights record, both from protest demonstrations outside and tough talk inside the White House, Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright said Sunday.
She also made clear that while human rights are just one aspect of increasingly important U.S.-China ties, "We will never have a completely normal relationship with them until they have a better human-rights policy."
Jiang arrived Sunday in Honolulu to begin the first U.S. visit by a Chinese leader in a dozen years. He is expected to face protest rallies over China's alleged human-rights abuses at each of his stops in Williamsburg, Va.; Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia; New York City; Boston; and Los Angeles.
Sunday in Washington, nine protesters were arrested after they reportedly refused 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 red carpet being laid for Jiang's visit is "stained with the blood of thousands of innocent people," said the Rev. Patrick Mahoney of Christian Defense Coalition and Loyal Opposition. He was detained along with Randall Terry, founder of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue.
As Jiang's jet landed at Hickam Air Force Base, he was met with full military honors and a 21-gun salute. The full honors of a state visit were one of China's prerequisites for agreeing to a summit with the United States.
Jiang, 71, laid a wreath of white carnations at a marble wall inscribed with the names of the 1,177 American servicemen killed aboard the USS Arizona in a sneak attack by Japanese warplanes Dec. 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor. The somber ceremony was designed at least in part to remind Americans that they once fought and died in a world war beside Chinese allies.
He made no public remarks, but issued a statement saying, "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."
Speaking of the historic locales Jiang is to see on his weeklong visit, Ms. Albright said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he "will not have a totally fuzzy time at these places. I think that it is important for him, actually, to see where our liberty came from."
Jiang, who rose to power in the Chinese Communist Party hierarchy in the wake of the 1989 crackdown on China's pro-democracy movement, is to meet with President Clinton on Wednesday for talks expected to cover trade, weapons proliferation, Taiwan, drug trafficking and the environment, and human rights.
Ms. Albright said "substantial progress" has been made toward an agreement where China would pledge not to give nuclear assistance to Iran, Pakistan and other countries. An agreement would include the Clinton administration lifting restrictions on the sale to China of U.S. nuclear reactors.
She said some good news also has come on human rights -- the recent release from custody of a Chinese Catholic bishop imprisoned for preaching outside the government-sanctioned church.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who recently visited China, praised the administration's position on human rights, pronouncing it "the best way to work with China."
He predicted on "Fox News Sunday" that while China, not wanting to appear to surrender to pressure, will avoid making human rights concessions at the summit, "I do believe that shortly after that, you'll see some changes in human rights."