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Albright To Attend Hong Kong Transfer Ceremony

hand over

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AllPolitics, April 16) -- Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will represent the United States at ceremonies marking Hong Kong's handover from Britain to China.

During a speech Tuesday night at the U.S. Naval Academy, Albright announced she will attend the July 1 ceremony. She told the corps of midshipmen her presence will "underline American support for the continuation of Hong Kong's current way of life and freedoms."

Hong Kong

Albright stressed that she is making the trip at the invitation of both the British and Chinese governments. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said the secretary discussed this decision with Martin Lee, leader of Hong Kong's largest democratic party. According to Burns, Lee said "you must come."

In a far-ranging speech on East Asia, Albright argued for a policy of engaging China, not containing it. She said containment "would divide our Asian allies and encourage China to withdraw into narrow nationalism and militarism."


And she argued for greater attempts to pull China into the international mainstream: by pushing China's admission into the World Trade Organization, by further cooperation with China on the Korean Peninsula and by continuing a dialogue on human rights at every opportunity.

Albright also warned Burma's leaders "that unless the clouds of repression are lifted, they will face investment sanctions under U.S. law."

Finally, Albright pledged continued U.S. support for South Korea and defended the just-announced decision to ship 15 million dollars of food aid to North Korea.

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