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 TIME CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics with Congressional Quarterly

Zhu-ish humor

By Harriet Barovick, Tam Gray, Daniel Levy, Lina Lofaro, Andrew Meier, David Spitz, Flora Tartakovsky and Chris Taylor

April 12, 1999
Web posted at: 12:09 p.m. EDT (1609 GMT)

TIME magazine

He may not have been able to get China into the World Trade Organization, but during his visit to the U.S., Premier Zhu Rongji got a chance to work on his comedy routine. As his best lines prove, he's not quite ready for prime time.

"God does not welcome me that much because it's raining today, and I know that it was very sunny here yesterday."
--on his arrival

"California has a woman who comes each year to China. Every time she raises the same old issue about citrus fruit. Thank God, from now on she will never raise it again!"
--on lifting the ban on fruit imports

"Jiang likes it, but if you bring me to see any, I'll just take a nap."
--on opera

"To tell you the truth, I was really reluctant to come,...but President Jiang Zemin decided that I should come,...and he is No. 1 in China, so I had to obey him."
--on his trip

"I like to call the attention of the Hong Kong press people. In your future reports, don't ever write things like 'present a big gift,' because that would be interpreted equivalent to political contribution or campaign financing. That will be very detrimental to President Clinton."
--on campaign-finance reform, we think


Cover Date: April 19, 1999

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