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Friday June 26, 1998

Chinese offer 'throne' for first lady's use

By Tatsudo Akayama, Asia Correspondent for Daily Republican Newspaper

TOKYO DESK - Chinese authorities in Ziang have reportedly built a throne, of sorts, for the first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton. It is a portable "regal restroom" for her use during the China trip.

According to Liz Sly who is in Beijing this week, the water closet's $23,000 price tag even exceeds by about 30 times the average annual income of the typical worker in Beijing. Zhao Chen, vice bureau chief of the Badaling Great Wall Cleaning Supervision Department, told Sly that the Chinese people provided the water closet for the first lady ' show how much we honor and respect her visit.'

Detailes of the portable water closet contraption include a Western-style self-contained privy with all the necessaries, including a porcelain toilet bowl, seat, and air-conditioning.

The gesture apparently is not being extended to president Clinton by the Chinese people, however. President Clinton is not holding any press conferences on this China trip and he could not be reached for comment.

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