A Tale of Two Cities: Washington: For Bill Clinton, the World Trade Organization Agreement with China Is a Foreign-Policy Milestone, One That Could Rank as a Great Political Achievement. That Is, If He Can Prevent a Wary Congress and Angry Labor Unions from Torpedoing the Deal
It was a decidedly odd way for Bill Clinton to hear the news. At about 8 a.m. on Nov. 15, the president was stepping into the shower in his hotel bathroom in Ankara, Turkey, where he was preparing for a summit of European leaders. A whole continent away, in Beijing, his China negotiators, Charlene Barshefsky and Gene Sperling, were huddling in another bathroom--the women's room on the first floor of the Chinese Trade Ministry. It was the only private place they could find to make a cellular-phone call. Just hours before, they had told Clinton that the news looked grim; there was little chance of a deal on China's entry into the World Trade Organization. The president had gone to bed somewhat downcast; a defeat would have been a personal slap in the face. He had recently pleaded with Chinese President Jiang Zemin to restart WTO talks after allowing a deal to slip away during Prime Minister Zhu Rongji's visit in April. But now, through the hiss of water in his shower, Clinton heard the voice of his personal aide, Kris Engskov, urgently calling him out.
So it was that Bill Clinton, dripping wet, learned of what may be one of his greatest foreign-policy triumphs. Clinton picked up the phone and heard Sperling, his National Economic Council chief, make the bathroom-to-bathroom connection. …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: A Tale of Two Cities: Washington: For Bill Clinton, the World Trade Organization Agreement with China Is a Foreign-Policy Milestone, One That Could Rank as a Great Political Achievement. That Is, If He Can Prevent a Wary Congress and Angry Labor Unions from Torpedoing the Deal. Contributors: Not available. Magazine title: Newsweek. Volume: 134. Issue: 22 Publication date: November 29, 1999. Page number: 54. © 2009 Newsweek, Inc. All rights reserved. Any reuse, distribution or alteration without express written permission of Newsweek is prohibited. For permission: www.newsweek.com. COPYRIGHT 1999 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.