Former Chinese Premier launches book on his country’s reforms

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(AP)

A former premier of China launched his book “Zhu Rongji on the Record: The Road to Reform, 1991 to 1997″ at the Chinese Consulate in New York City on Monday.

It has already been released in China, and has now been published by Brookings Institution Press in English.

The event featured a video message from Zhu Rongji who explained the importance of the book to understanding the difficulties he faced whilst reforming China.

“This was a critical period in China’s reform and development, and this book is a record of this historical process. Most of the contents will be new to all of you because they have never been published,” Rongji said in a taped message played at a press conference.

Other speakers at the event included: Dr. Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State; Zhang Yesui, China’s Executive Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs; Ambassador Cui Tiankai, China’s Ambassador to the United States; and Kenneth Lieberthal, of The Brookings Institution.

Kissinger recalled meeting Rongji during a visit to the United States.

“He behaved with enormous dignity and strength at a moment when some of the questioning to which he was admitted was not what one always would have welcomed,” Kissinger said.

Kenneth Lieberthal from The Brookings Institution compared China then to now.

“We are now seeing a period in China were everyone is waiting to see what the priorities and details of a new set of reforms will be, and these will be, as in the early nineties, critical, wide ranging and consequential both within China and abroad,” said Lieberthal.

Signed copies of the English edition by Premier Rongji were handed out by the Foreign Minister at the end of the event.

(Copyright 2013  Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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