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Jiang Visit May Occur on Nov. 1

By Nanaho Sawano, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Although the Fairbanks Center yesterday released a listing notice of Chinese President Jiang Zemin's historic visit to Harvard, University administrators refused to issue an official confirmation.

"We have every expectation of President Jiang Zemin's visit," said Richard Hunt, University marshal, citing unnamed independent sources in the State Department. "But this is not an official confirmation."

However, Hunt did say that security procedures are being carried out in anticipation of the possibility of Jiang's visit.

If President Jiang does visit, he will speak to the Harvard University community on Saturday, November 1, most likely in Sanders Theatre. The exact time has not been set.

Admission would be restricted to University faculty, staff and students. Non-transferable tickets would be allocated by lottery.

Hunt said that although there may be student protests if Jiang visits, the event would be a valuable one for the Harvard community.

"The students have every right to protest," he said. "[But] I guess my position is that there are some who believe that it's not desirable but appropriate for the world leader to come here. It's also a great experience for students to see leaders in action."

"The students have every right to protest," he said. "[But] I guess my position is that there are some who believe that it's not desirable but appropriate for the world leader to come here. It's also a great experience for students to see leaders in action."

Hunt emphasized that Jiang's proposed visit was in no way a political statement or endorsement by the University.

According to Ezra Vogel, Ford professor of social science and director of the Fairbanks Center, which is arranging the event, the idea of Jiang coming to make a speech at Harvard came up a year and a half ago.

Vogel emphasized the historic importance of the event.

"He is the first really high-level official to come here in 18 years--I think it is the result of a major effort." Vogel said.

"Clinton has met Jiang three times briefly, but they haven't had a chance to have broader contact or for Jiang to have contact with a variety of leaders in Washington," Vogel added.

Vogel said that it was the right time for Chinese leaders to engage in increased dialogue with the US.

"When Deng Ziao Peng came 18 years ago he was just beginning the reform process, and now the reform process has worked as a whole quite well," Vogel said. "Now there are a lot of issues as China becomes more involved in world affairs and trade that need to be dealt with by leaders of such importance."

The controversy that the leader's visit may create on campus was also addressed by Vogel.

"I would like to use this as an occasion for discussion," he said. "We are trying to set up a time, assuming this goes through, to have a large public gathering where people with different points of view can express their opinions, including people who have interest in human rights [and] in Tibet."

Harvard is a logical site for the Jiang to make his address, according to Vogel.

"I think China considers Harvard to be an outstanding University in the U.S.," he said. "I think it is an important address for the president of China. Harvard is an important place to give that speech."

If the visit does take place, headphones translating Jiang's speech from Chinese will be provided for audience members

"The students have every right to protest," he said. "[But] I guess my position is that there are some who believe that it's not desirable but appropriate for the world leader to come here. It's also a great experience for students to see leaders in action."

Hunt emphasized that Jiang's proposed visit was in no way a political statement or endorsement by the University.

According to Ezra Vogel, Ford professor of social science and director of the Fairbanks Center, which is arranging the event, the idea of Jiang coming to make a speech at Harvard came up a year and a half ago.

Vogel emphasized the historic importance of the event.

"He is the first really high-level official to come here in 18 years--I think it is the result of a major effort." Vogel said.

"Clinton has met Jiang three times briefly, but they haven't had a chance to have broader contact or for Jiang to have contact with a variety of leaders in Washington," Vogel added.

Vogel said that it was the right time for Chinese leaders to engage in increased dialogue with the US.

"When Deng Ziao Peng came 18 years ago he was just beginning the reform process, and now the reform process has worked as a whole quite well," Vogel said. "Now there are a lot of issues as China becomes more involved in world affairs and trade that need to be dealt with by leaders of such importance."

The controversy that the leader's visit may create on campus was also addressed by Vogel.

"I would like to use this as an occasion for discussion," he said. "We are trying to set up a time, assuming this goes through, to have a large public gathering where people with different points of view can express their opinions, including people who have interest in human rights [and] in Tibet."

Harvard is a logical site for the Jiang to make his address, according to Vogel.

"I think China considers Harvard to be an outstanding University in the U.S.," he said. "I think it is an important address for the president of China. Harvard is an important place to give that speech."

If the visit does take place, headphones translating Jiang's speech from Chinese will be provided for audience members

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