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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Christopher Plays Down Expulsions

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- The expulsion of two American military attach?s by Beijing should have no effect on forward movement in U.S-China relations, U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher said Thursday.


He said the attach?s, who arrived earlier in Hong Kong, were "in good condition and good health" after their detention.


"There's no reason why this incident should have an effect on the forward momentum in the relationship," Christopher told reporters at an extradition-signing ceremony with his Malaysian counterpart.


He said he believed his meeting last Tuesday in Brunei with Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen had "placed the relationship back on a forward path" after damage done by President Bill Clinton's decision to let Taiwan's president visit the United States last June.


His comments -- and the fact that other State Department officials in his party were unwilling to provide much new information -- reflect the department's attempt to play down the incident as much as possible.


The Air Force liason officers, Joseph Chan and Dwayne Florenzie arrived back in Hong Kong hours earlier and were debriefed.