News

May 20, 1998

PRESS BRIEFING BY MIKE MCCURRY





                           THE WHITE HOUSE

                    Office of the Press Secretary
______________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                                May 20, 1998     


	     
                         PRESS BRIEFING BY 
                            MIKE MCCURRY 
	     
	     
The Briefing Room 
	     	  
             

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	     Q	  Would the Clinton administration like to see China 
be Pakistan's security guarantor, in other words put them under a 
kind of iron-clad nuclear umbrella? 

	     MR. MCCURRY:  We would like steps taken by all 
governments in the region to enhance regional security and stability.  
And there are a number of ways that can happen and a number of ways 
in which we pursue our diplomacy in coming weeks and months, we'll 
try to make that happen, in light of India's test. 

	     Q	  So is that one of them?

	     MR. MCCURRY:  There will be lots of discussions about 
ways in which we can enhance security and balance on the Indian 
subcontinent.
	     
	     Q	  Well, when would he be ready to present Pakistan 
with measures that you could take to improve their security beyond 
the F-16s, which they've already dismissed as being not good enough?
	     
	     MR. MCCURRY:  I'm just not previewing the kind of 
substantive discussions we've had with the government of Pakistan or 
others about ways in which in the face of the Indian nuclear test we 
can work to try to put the genie back in the bottle and to limit 
tensions.
	     
	     Q	  Mike, was it a mistake with hindsight that the U.S. 
was so tough on terms of proliferation as far as the Pakistanis are 
concerned because now U.S. leverage in trying to convince the 
Pakistanis not to detonate a nuclear device is rather limited?
	     
	     MR. MCCURRY:  When we imposed sanctions on the M-11* 
transfer back in '94?
	     
	     Q	  Or the Pressler Amendment and all of that -- not 
this administration, the U.S. government over a couple of 
administrations.
	     
	     MR. MCCURRY:  Well, as most executive branches have, 
this executive branch has indicated some measure of disagreement with 
Congress when they tried to handcuff the executive branch in the 
performance of its constitutional responsibility to conduct foreign 
policy.  And there has been some chaffing at that, yes.