CHINA'S MOST-FAVORED-NATION STATUS (Senate - June 05, 1997)

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Mr. HUTCHINSON. Mr. President, I rise today to voice my strong opposition to the administration's proposal to renew most-favored-nation status for China, and I rise as an original cosponsor of Senate Joint Resolution 31, the resolution of disapproval of MFN....

Newspapers in early April reported that China has been selling Iran the components of chemical weapons for several years. This was one in an ongoing series of reports about the Chinese military. The Chinese are also said to be dealing in nuclear weapons with Pakistan, buying advanced jet aircraft from Russia, and contracting for Russian-made aircraft carriers equipped with surface-to-surface missiles .

This is the nation, this is the government, this is the regime that we say, `You deserve again to have most-favored-nation status renewed,' a nation that has a growing military capacity, that is increasing its military defense spending, has an expansionist view of its own territorial goals and has snubbed us at every turn in our seeking conciliation and moderation in their foreign policy?

It seems while the administration would like Congress to renew MFN to China, they were and are fully aware of China's supplying Iran, Iraq and other enemies of the United States with deadly weapons--conventional, chemical, and nuclear.

Robert Einhorn, Deputy Secretary of State for Nonproliferation, has recently stated:

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These dual-use, chemical-related transfers to Iran's chemical weapons program indicates that, at minimum, China's chemical export controls are not operating effectively enough to ensure compliance with China's prospective obligation not to assist anyone in any way to acquire chemical weapons.

Mr. Einhorn has also confirmed reports that China has been providing Iran with advanced C-802 cruise missiles capable of threatening United States warships in the Persian Gulf. Moreover, Mr. President, he testified to a Senate panel that:

We have information of discussions between Iran and China about additional conventional weapons sales. We expect there will be more.

That is what our State Department is saying about China's export controls.

Mr. President, as for still other reports that China has been running a brisk sale of mobile, nuclear-capable M-11

nuclear components to Pakistan--2 years after it pledged not to do so--Mr. Einhorn said those reports are, in fact, correct.

Mr. President, I ask my colleagues, can China, under the current regime, be trusted to honor its treaty obligations? If China, our partner in engagement under the Clinton administration policy of constructive engagement, if China, our partner in engagement, supplies Iran, Iraq, and other enemies of the United States with deadly weapons, what in reality does that make China?

Mr. President, the biggest question of all in this year's MFN debate should be, is United States trade with China in effect subsidizing a military buildup that will soon threaten not only Taiwan, Japan, and China's other Asian neighbors, but even our own national security?

Mr. President, militarily, the administration has sought to strengthen Taiwan. We have shipped Patriot missiles to Taiwan, and Taiwanese pilots are at this moment in the United States being trained to use the F-16 jet fighters that America has also pledged to send to our ally.

When the Chinese in effect blockaded Taiwan during a missile -testing exercise off its coast in March of last year, the President--and I commend him--responded with a firm show of America's force dispatching the Independence in the area.

I ask, why, even though we deplore the Chinese military buildup in diplomacy and counter it in strategy, do we continue to help to finance it in trade?...