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Deng Praised For Opening China To The World


WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Feb. 20) -- A generation of American leaders reacted to Chinese paramount leader Deng Xiaoping's death Wednesday, praising his efforts to open his country to the rest of the world and predicting a smooth transition of power.

"I do not expect an immediate power struggle," former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told NBC's "Today" show. "I don't really expect it because Deng has been ill for several years and it won't happen quickly -- if it does happen."

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's scheduled trip to China next week "will go forward," State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns told reporters. "We'll move forward here without undue problems," predicted U.S. ambassador to China James Sasser, appearing on ABC-TV this morning.


On Wednesday, President Bill Clinton praised Deng, 92, as the "driving force" behind normalized relations between the U.S. and China and China's emergence as a player on the world stage. Other prominent Americans echoed those sentiments as well.

"We owe him a debt of gratitude for the economic progress and increased societal openness that normalized relations have brought," said former President Jimmy Carter, whose administration established full relations with China. (256K AIFF or WAV sound)

Added former President George Bush, who headed the U.S. diplomatic mission to China in the mid-'70s, "Deng without a doubt made a powerful contribution to a foundation for enduring peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region."

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