Press Release by Congresswoman Pelosi
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi
Statement on President Clinton's Speech on China
June 11, 1998
President Clinton has done a disservice to the U.S.-China issue by insisting on labeling his opponents as isolationist. We who oppose his policy are calling for effective engagement. It is sad that the President believes he must resort to mischaracterizing the majority of his critics in order to cover his policy's failures.
- Since President Clinton has taken office, the cumulative U.S. trade deficit with China will reach $238 BILLION -- over a quarter of a trillion dollars in trade deficit with China in the Clinton years alone.
- The President says we need the Chinese government's help in solving the nuclear weapons crisis in South Asia, but Pakistan's nuclear program was developed with China's help, which the U.S. has consistently ignored.
- The President touts the agreement that Chinese President Jiang Zemin signed at the summit last October as progress in halting China's proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Yet less than four months later, the Administration caught China trying to transfer dangerous chemical weapons to Iran, in violation of the very agreement the President claims is progress.
- The President points to the forced exile of Wei Jingsheng and Wang Dan as evidence that his human rights policy is working, but glosses over the continued detention, harassment and imprisonment of thousands of others who speak out for freedom in China and Tibet or seek to practice their religious beliefs.
As the President said, he can choose to make a symbolic point or a real difference. In light of his failed China policy and his meager agenda for the summit, a real difference is out of the question. The only symbolic point he is making is that his Administration sides with China's authoritarian regime. If the President doesn't face-up to the realities of his trip to China, to use his own words, he will be going on a fool's errand.
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