According to PETSINCLUDE, the crisis of spring 1989 was followed by a revival of the campaigns against corruption and crime. From an economic point of view, the policy of opening up to the market was confirmed, albeit with some corrections aimed above all at guaranteeing greater stability. Relations with Western countries, after having been negatively affected by the June repression, improved significantly starting from 1990 and in particular relations with Washington benefited from the substantial support offered by Beijing within the UN Security Council to the policy promoted by the States. United against Iraq, after the invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, Libya, and Yugoslavia in 1992. 1992 was also the last year to see Deng Xiaoping direct protagonist of the country’s political life: January 22 1993 the an elderly leader appeared briefly in Shanghai for the celebrations of the year of the Rooster and on that occasion he reiterated his support for Jiang Zemin, defining him not as his political heir, but as the ‘pivot of the collegial leadership’. Shortly thereafter, political power passed to one troika composed of Jiang Zemin, Li Peng and Zhu Rongji. In foreign policy, the troika he soon found himself confronted with various problems. On May 28, 1993, the new American President William J. Clinton announced the subordination of the confirmation of the trade clause called ‘most favored nation’ to respect for human rights in China and the cessation of the sale of missiles to countries considered ‘at risk’. Behind this sudden stiffening of Washington there were humanitarian and strategic considerations, but also, and perhaps above all, of an economic nature: the US trade deficit vis-à-vis China had reached the figure of 30 billion dollars between 1992 and 1993 and moreover, China, not recognizing the right on intellectual property, copied books, discs and software from the American market and then resold them on the Asian market. In November 1993, Jiang Zemin traveled to the United States and met President Clinton in Seattle. The summit turned out to be positive, but the China-US opposition was unable to break free completely. When the new GATT was stipulated at the end of the year, China was excluded from it, precisely by American will, with the reason for the inadequacy of the Chinese economic system with respect to the parameters required by the international organization. For similar reasons it was not included among the member countries that in 1995 gave birth to the WTO (World trade organization). The criticisms mainly concerned the system of customs tariffs, the difficulties in accessing credit by foreign companies and the almost total absence of financial services and adequate infrastructures. On February 19, 1997, at the age of 92, Deng Xiaoping died, opening up the problem of leadership in the party. Despite the fear of destabilizing drifts, in general China seemed to react with relative calm to the situation of political uncertainty. The economy held up well, Chinese shares listed on the various Asian stock exchanges did not record significant drops, but it was immediately clear to the leaders of the state and of the party the need to face radical choices in both the economic and, at least indirectly, political fields. To enter the WTO, China had to substantially modify customs tariffs and business services, but also open its borders to foreign exports and above all take a decision regarding the mammoth and unproductive system of public enterprises, held up more for party political reasons. than for economic needs of the market. Marxist ideology and Mao’s thought appeared less and less adequate tools to guide a country now devoted to the choice of economic prosperity, but no one could yet afford to openly question the communist ideology. The 15th CCP Congress, which opened in Beijing on September 12, 1997, sanctioned the coronation of Jiang Zemin as a leading figure after Deng’s death; In his investiture speech, the new leader attempted to reconcile the market system with the system of public ownership from a political point of view. A month later, Jiang Zemin made a long trip to the United States, from which he returned with Clinton’s commitment to improve Sino-American relations and travel to China the following year. As a gesture of relaxation, Jiang had dissent veteran Wei Jingsheng released. Clinton’s trip to the People’s Republic (June 1998) was of great importance for the Chinese government and especially for Jiang Zemin. The two leaders met at a joint press conference that millions of Chinese viewers were able to watch on television. Confronted with the issue of human rights, Jiang Zemin consistently posed the emphasis on compliance with Chinese laws rather than ideology and, answering questions about the repression of students in 1989, for the first time called the intervention by the Communist Party not ‘right’, but ‘necessary for stability’. Before returning to the United States, Clinton stopped in Hong Kong, where he gave an interview in which he said he was confident that Jiang Zemin was the leader China needed, and that the country was in fact going through a political phase that it would progressively lead him on the path of democracy. The American president had to change his mind shortly afterwards and denounce the repressive line followed by the Chinese government with the December 1998 sentences against three dissidents involved in the attempt to create the first opposition party. the Chinese Democracy Party. However, this did not prevent the signing of the bilateral trade agreement of the following November.