Congress Must Stop Kowtowing to China
April 23, 1997
All segments of the conservative movement are united in opposing Most Favored Nation
(MFN) status and World Trade Organization (WTO) membership for Communist China. Newt
Gingrich has a golden opportunity to step out in front of his troops and lead them to victory on
The Speaker's rhetoric on his China trip showed movement in the right direction, but the
day is long past when conservatives can be placated by words. They want action, and they want
Taking a principled position against MFN and WTO for China would give Republicans
the high ground on morals, national security, and economics. It would put them on the side of
human rights, freedom, fair trade, and jobs for Americans, while at the same time exposing
Clinton's policy of abandoning human rights, exporting U.S. jobs, and endangering national
security in order to get cash for his reelection.
We were promised that trade relations would encourage the Chinese Communists to
become civilized members of the family of nations and open up a billion-person market. We
gave them 16 years of MFN to prove it, and they flunked the test.
The Chinese cracked down brutally on all the brave Tiananmen Square youngsters. If we
care about human rights, we must not forget those who marched with the paper-mache Statue of
China leads the world in the persecution of people of all religious faiths, especially
Christians. China bans all religious activity and expression unless directed by Communist Party
Priests have been arrested for saying Mass. Evangelical "house churches" have been
disrupted and closed. Christians have been interned for "re-education." The police intimidate
the people with anti-religious slogans painted in public places.
China's policy of forced abortions, sterilizations, and infanticide is a festering scandal.
China is fast abolishing freedom in Hong Kong.
The Chinese are professional thieves. Chinese plants openly steal, then manufacture and
sell, our computer software, video films, musical recordings, compact disks, books, and other
intellectual property. This illegal industry costs us $2 billion a year.
Last year, the Chinese were caught red-handed smuggling 2,000 AK-47 automatic assault
rifles to Los Angeles street gangs. The Chinese agents were linked to Deng Xiaoping's son-in-law, and the suspected arms dealer, Wang Jun, attended a Clinton White House coffee.
Chinese "businessmen" are into weapons trafficking in a big way. China sells missiles,
nuclear components, and chemical and germ warfare equipment to our enemies such as Libya,
Iran and Iraq.
U.S. trade with China is a one-way street: China sells to us but won't buy from us. Our
annual trade deficit with China is $40 billion and still climbing. People who won't buy aren't
much of a "market."
China has a 35 percent tariff on U.S. goods going to China, while we have only a
ridiculously low 2 percent tariff on Chinese products imported to America. No wonder they call
it "free" trade.
China thus has 40-plus billion U.S. dollars a year with which to buy modern weapons,
planes and missiles. China already has the world's largest army (3 million men), 5,000 combat
aircraft, and 300 nuclear warheads, and is trying to buy Russia's long-range missiles able to
target Washington and New York.
China is determined to become both a nuclear superpower and a world-class industrial
power, and the Communist bosses expect slave labor and U.S. folly to help them achieve those
goals. They require a transfer of U.S. high technology as part of every business deal so that, in
the next round, they expect to manufacture the goods without U.S. help and become a major
exporter of cars, chemicals, steel, electronics, and aircraft.
Here's what we expect Congress to do, with Speaker Gingrich leading the charge.
- Reject MFN status for China and notify the World Trade Organization that, if it
admits China, we pull out.
- Stop all U.S. taxpayer subsidies to China. That includes World Bank and
International Monetary Fund loans (which usually are long-term and low-interest),
Asian Development Bank credits, Export-Import Bank financing, and Overseas
Private Investment Corporation guarantees. When U.S. businesses invest in China,
they should do it on their own dime, not on the taxpayers'.
- Impose a tariff on imported Chinese goods equal to the tariff they impose on our
goods going into China. This will enable Gingrich to fulfill his promise to cut our tax
burden. It's more important to reduce income taxes across-the-board than to favor the
people who want to buy imports from China made with slave labor.
- Move rapidly with congressional investigations of Asian attempts to influence U.S.
policy through cash contributions to Bill Clinton and the Democratic National
Committee. These investigations should also expose to public scrutiny the deals
made by U.S. companies, not only to transfer American jobs to China, but also to give
away our industrial technology.
- Stop China's purchase of a U.S. naval base in Long Beach, a prime location to carry
out all kinds of military and commercial espionage. Stop China's 25-year lease of
two former U.S. ports on the Panama Canal, which are militarily and commercially
strategic sites that anchor the Canal on the Atlantic and Pacific.