Chinese and U.S. Presidents Held Phone Conference Clinton Apologized to China for the Bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia Once Again and President Jiang Zemin Reaffirmed China's Solemn Pos
（May 14, 1999）
At the request of U.S. President Bill Clinton, Chinese President Jiang Zemin held a phone talk with him at the night of May 14.
Clinton expressed his sincere regrets for the tragedy that happened in Belgrade and his personal condolences to the injured staff and family members of the victims. Clinton promised that there would be an investigation of the incident and that he would let the Chinese people know the truth as soon as possible. He said that Sino-U.S. relations are very important, adding that he would make the utmost effort to deal with the tragedy to bring bilateral relations back to normal development.
Jiang told Clinton that he had received his recent letter and information about his talks with Li Zhaoxing, the Chinese ambassador to the U.S., earlier today and said that he had noticed the apology President Clinton had made once again. The Chinese government has solemnly expressed its stance and made its demands clear in its statement and relevant representations, Jiang said.
Jiang emphasized that the NATO attack on the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia was a serious incident that had shocked the world and one that caused a great number of casualties and reduced the embassy building to debris.
This, he said, is a serious infringement on Chinese sovereignty and a gross trampling on the U.N. Charter and norms in international relations and added that it was an unexpected disaster for the Chinese people.
The Chinese government takes good care of the life and safety of its citizens, he said, and China is a country with 1.2 billion people and every Chinese life is cherished. This is the most fundamental human right that the Chinese government must protect, he explained.
Jiang said that the attack on the Chinese embassy was an affront to the feelings of the Chinese people and that afterwards, the Chinese people spontaneously expressed their indignation and staged demonstrations nationwide. This was reasonable, he said.
The just struggle of the Chinese government and the Chinese people got the sympathy, understanding, and support of the international community, Jiang said, emphasizing that NATO should bear all responsibility for the action. "I hope the U.S. government fully realizes the seriousness of the incident, which has damaged China-U.S. relations," he said.
China has always placed importance on the improvement and growth of ties with the United States, he said, and the key to the issue is to strictly adhere to the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, especially the principle of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Jiang concluded that the pressing need is that the U.S. government should make a comprehensive, thorough and fair investigation of the incident and make the results of the investigation public to satisfy all demands of the Chinese government and the Chinese people.
Prior to the phone talk, President Clinton met with Li Zhaoxing early this morning (Beijing time) in the White House. Clinton wrote in a guest book: "With profound grief and sincere condolences for the victims, their families and the people of China."