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    House Debate on the Disapproval of Normal Trade Relations with China

DISAPPROVAL OF NORMAL TRADE RELATIONS TREATMENT TO PRODUCTS OF PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA -- (House of Representatives - July 19, 2001)

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Mr. THOMAS. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to the unanimous consent agreement of July 17, I call up the joint resolution (H.J. Res. 50) disapproving the extension of the waiver authority contained in section 402(c) of the Trade Act of 1974 with respect to the People's Republic of China, and ask for its immediate consideration.

The Clerk read the title of the joint resolution.

The text of H.J. Res. 50 is as follows:

H.J. Res. 50

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Congress does not approve the extension of the authority contained in section 402(c) of the Trade Act of 1974 recommended by the President to the Congress on June 1, 2001, with respect to the People's Republic of China.

 [...]

 Mr. TRAFICANT. Mr. Speaker, let us get to the point: China is a communist dictatorship. China has threatened Taiwan, and even Los Angeles. As we speak, China is shipping arms to Cuba. China has just signed an agreement with Russia. China held 24 Americans hostage, no matter how you want to state it. China stole our secrets. China just recently illegally bought U.S. microchips to make more missiles. China already, according to the Pentagon, has missiles aimed at American cities. Hey, China is on record, according to the Pentagon, as referring to Uncle Sam as imperialist and, quote-unquote, ``the enemy.''

Now, if that is not enough to spoil your stir-fry, China is taking $100 billion in trade surplus a year out of America. And we might laugh, but I believe that the Congress of the United States, with American taxpayer dollars, is funding World War III. World War III.

A dragon does not negotiate with its prey; a dragon kills its prey. When are we going to wise up around here? China's record speaks for itself.

 [...]

 Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.

It is historically accurate to say, I believe, that political freedom can influence economic vitality. I think that that is a provable point. I think it is much more difficult to try to prove the opposite, that, in fact, economic freedom can somehow force political freedom. It is a very difficult thing to do, just as my colleague has described. In the past, economic freedom, economic vitality did not lead ipso facto to political freedom, which is the case that is made over and over in defense of NTR. It will not necessarily work that way.

The gentleman from California earlier, in opposition to this bill, suggested that we have to deal with the fact that China is an emerging nation. Wow. Pretty profound. It is, in fact, yes, it is an emerging nation. No one can deny that. No one does deny that.

What kind of an emerging nation is China? It is a nation that in the last year has increased military capabilities to threaten Taiwan; exploded a neutron bomb a little over a year ago, that event went widely unpublicized; constructed 11 naval bases around the Spratley and Paracel Island group; convicted a U.S. scholar of spying for Taiwan; jailed or exiled every major dissident in China; closed or destroyed thousands of unregistered religious institutions; arrested 35 Christians for worshipping outside the official church and sentenced them indefinitely to forced labor camps; expanded the total number of slave labor camps to around 1,100; expanded the industry of harvesting and selling human organs... This since we passed PNTR. This is the result. This is what we got for doing what we did. What can we expect, do my colleagues think? I quake to think what we can expect from a continued relationship of this nature.

 [...]

 Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time, and I rise in strong support of the Rohrabacher-Brown resolution, H.J. Res. 50, disapproving the extension of the waiver authority that is contained in section 402(c) of the Trade Act of 1974 with respect to the People's Republic of China. I commend the sponsors for bringing this measure to the House floor at this time.

Mr. Speaker, what will it take for us to wake up and understand that trade benefits for the People's Republic of China is not in our Nation's best interest? Human rights, religious tolerance, labor rights, even the right to die without having one's organs removed before one is dead are nonexistent in the People's Republic of China. The dictatorship in China threatens its neighbors, Democratic Taiwan, India, Japan, and the stability of the entire Pacific region with its threats and military buildup, funded almost exclusively by our enormous growing trade imbalance in China, $80 billion this year and growing even greater. This trade imbalance now surpasses our trade deficit with Japan.

The Chinese totalitarian dictatorship has now embraced an alliance with Russia. China also supports the dictatorships in North Korea, Cuba and Burma. It has threatened democracy throughout the world by obstructing the United Nations' Human Rights Convention in Geneva. Its agents attempt to sell AK-47s and stinger missiles to Los Angeles street gangs here in our own Nation.

Mr. Speaker, the time has come to recognize that China, the sleeping dragon, has awakened; and we need to respond appropriately. My colleagues, as we consider this proposal of denying free trade to China, let us bear in mind some of China's violations of basic international accords: its threats to Taiwan, its murder and its arrest of Christians, of Buddhists, and Falun Gong practitioners, the downing of our surveillance aircraft, and its occupation of Tibet. This is not peaceful behavior by that nation.

I think it is time now for us to give an appropriate assessment of where China is. Mr. Speaker, the time has come to recognize that China's behavior does not support stability and we need to respond appropriately. And until it changes its behavior and until it stops threatening its neighbors and does not repress its citizens, we should not be supporting this repressive government and its growing military with normal trade benefits.

Accordingly, I urge all my colleagues to support H.J. Res. 50 in opposition to the favorable trade status for China.

 [...]

 Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the Rohrabacher-Brown amendment as someone who loves liberty and believes in free trade among free people... Turning a blind eye to Beijing's depredations may make economic sense. But to pretend we can democratize China by means of economics is, finally, a self-serving conceit. Democracy is a political choice, an act of will. Someone, not something, must create it. Often that someone is a single leader--a Mikhail Gorbachev, a King Juna Carlos, or a Vaclav Havel. But such a man won't be found in China's current leadership. Other times, the pressure for democracy comes from a political opposition--the African National Congress in South Africa, Solidarity in Poland, or the marchers in Tiananmen Square. But there are no more marchers in Tiananmen Square.

Pressure for democratization, however, can also come from abroad. And usually it comes from the United States or from nowhere at all. During the 1980s America applied diplomatic and economic pressure to repressive regimes from Poland to South Africa; intervened to prevent military coups in the Philippines, Peru, El Salvador, Honduras, and Bolivia; and loudly enshrined human rights and democracy in official policy. The United States played a pivotal and direct role in democratizing even countries like South Korea and Taiwan, which many China-engagers now tout as evidence that the market alone creates political freedom. Appropriately enough, the decade closed with democracy activists erecting a facsimile of the Statue of Liberty in Tiananmen Square.

 [...]

 Mr. KIRK. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from Illinois for yielding me time.

Mr. Speaker, as a member of the Human Rights Caucus, I rise in support of trade with China. China is in the middle of a historic transformation. Half of all construction cranes in the world now operate in China. More cell phone users and Internet subscribers will live in China than in Europe. Opening China will help human rights.

In the 1960s, 30 million people died in China of starvation, and it took the U.S. intelligence community over 20 years to even find out. Today, tens of thousands of Westerners travel throughout China each day. We know more about China than ever before, and we can fight for democratic change and more effective human rights better than ever before.

Martin Lee, the democratic leader of Hong Kong's pro-democracy forces, supports trade with China. Taiwan supports trade with China.

As the world is being remade in our image, I believe that free trade with China is the most effective way to support democratic change and human rights in China.

 []

 Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to House Joint Resolution 50, which would deny extension of normal trade relations (NTR) to the People's Republic of China. I urge our colleagues to vote against the measure... Prominent Chinese democracy activists such as Bao Tong, Xie Wanjun, Ren Wanding, Dai Qing, Zhou Litai and Wang Dan have urged the United States to extend China normal trade relations as it would hasten China's entry into the WTO, forcing adherence to international standards of conduct and respect for the rule of law. Moreover, they urge that closer economic relations between the U.S. and China allows America to more effectively monitor human rights and push for political reforms in China.

Joining their voices are other Chinese leaders who have opposed Beijing's communist control, including Hong Kong's Democratic Party Chairman Martin Lee and Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian. Both Lee and Chen have called for normalization of trade relations between the U.S. and China and WTO accession by China.

 [...]

 The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 169, nays 259, not voting 6.

 So the joint resolution was not passed.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.


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