President Clinton To Go On Private Visit To China

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton may some time soon take a trip to China as a private individual. His visit is expected to promote the settlement of the current U.S.-Chinese standoff. It has been caused by China's unwillingness to return to the States its spy plane that made a forced landing on a Chinese island April 1, after colliding with a Chinese fighter plane and thereby killing a Chinese pilot. Clinton's mission to China is reminiscent of the visits by Jimmy Carter to South Korea and by Richard Nixon to the Soviet Union, with the former American presidents trying to solve sensitive issues in the relations between the United States and other countries. The prediction made in April by the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman (of The New York Times) as to the settlement of the incident with the spy plane may come true. He predicts that the negotiations between the U.S. and China will drag on for some more time and that a breakthrough will be reached not within the framework of official talks, but rather "behind the curtains." This provides grounds for hope that Clinton's planned efforts to resolve the U.S.-Chinese controversy will yield positive results.

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