Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the Broadcast of the President's Remarks to Chinese Leaders

April 28, 1984

On Thursday we were informed by the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that Chinese Central Television would carry the President's Friday speech to Chinese leaders in full in a taped program in prime-time evening television Friday night. Late in the day Friday, Mr. Qi Huaiyuan, Director of the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, advised me that portions of the speech dealing with the Soviet Union would not be broadcast.

Last night we learned that the broadcast also omitted several other segments of the speech, including key passages dealing with the President's view of values that Americans cherish, including religion and democracy. We had made it clear to the Chinese Government prior to the trip that we hoped for an opportunity for the President to communicate with the Chinese people on the American approach to world affairs, its bases in our system, and the goals we seek in our relationship with the People's Republic.

The Chinese Government, which controls information in the country, has given the President extensive news coverage; certainly more than we would consider likely for most foreign leaders visiting the United States. The decision to delete material from the President's speech from the Chinese television broadcast and from other Chinese news media is an internal matter for the Chinese to decide, and we understand that. We, nevertheless, regret the fact that statements by the President which would have given the Chinese people a better understanding of our country and its people were not included in Chinese media coverage of the speech.