News Release

Clinton in China: Balancing Business and Rights?


WASHINGTON — Reports of a “large-scale” signing and major business deals on tap during the U.S.-China summit are intensifying the concerns of some analysts. Many support dialogue with the world’s most populous nation, but they remain troubled by President Clinton’s handling of economic, military and human rights issues.

Among those available for comment are:

A Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute, Mr. Nolt specializes in U.S.-East Asia relations and dismisses the notion that China poses a threat. He said: “China remains militarily weak, despite rapid economic growth. China’s pattern of economic growth is actually undermining the old military-industrial state. U.S. criticism and fear of China have mounted in recent years, more because of shifts in U.S. policy than because of any increased assertiveness by China. Arms control efforts vis-a-vis China have been one-sided, and offer no reciprocal concessions. I’d be encouraged if the summit produces more effort to incorporate China into multilateral security discussions, along the lines of the four-power talks on Korea.”

A Program Associate at the International Labor Rights Fund and director of its China program, Ms. Athreya said: “Clinton and the Chinese leadership will certainly discuss China’s bid for membership in the World Trade Organization. WTO membership is something the Chinese government would dearly like to have, and something the U.S. government has the power to facilitate or impede. However, China’s harsh repression of labor activists should be on the summit agenda, and Clinton should make progress on labor rights a precondition for China’s inclusion in the WTO.”

An economics professor at Marymount Manhattan College who specializes in trade and Third World development.

A lecturer in the International Banking and Financial Law Studies Program at Boston University School of Law.

Author of Red Cat, White Cat: China and the Contradictions of `Market Socialism.’

For more information, contact Theresa Caldwell or Sam Husseini at the Institute for Public Accuracy, (202) 347-0020.