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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gore Tackles Trade, Rights in Beijing

BEIJING -- U.S. Vice President Al Gore ended two days of talks with Chinese leaders Wednesday, saying he had raised such touchy topics as human rights and trade with his Chinese hosts, but adding that the talks had been friendly and that prospects for improved ties were bright.

A probe into reports China tried to make donations to U.S. politicians should not affect Sino-U.S. relations, Gore said, but it would be a serious matter if such charges were proved.

Gore said his visit would help pave the way for an exchange of state visits, with Chinese President Jiang Zemin scheduled to travel to Washington this fall.

"Our discussions were productive, friendly, searching and above all wide-ranging," Gore told a news briefing after meeting Jiang.

The vice president, the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit China since Beijing crushed protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989, met Chinese Prime Minister Li Peng on Tuesday.

"Our vision is that the U.S. and China, as friends and partners, will share a prosperous and peaceful future of free minds and free markets," Gore told a gathering of students at the capital's elite Qinghua University.

He told reporters he had raised specific human rights cases in meetings with the Chinese leaders and that his statements had met with a better response than in the past. But he declined to say if he had won any concessions.

The U.S. vice president also said he had pulled no punches in talks on trade, telling leaders they needed to do more to open their markets to U.S. goods.

Both sides had affirmed that Jiang would visit the United States this fall, and officials were working on setting dates, he said.