Issue Position: Foreign Policy, Trade, & Defense - China
I believe that the United States should continue to engage China in an ongoing dialogue about trade issues. But our dialogue should not be limited to a discussion of economic concerns. America's interests are broadly based, reflecting such democratic values as free speech, freedom of religion, the right to privacy, and the right to organize. Trade is only a part of our relationship with China.
Our China policy is not working. Economic liberalization is not producing political reform. In fact, the Chinese government's policy is precisely the oppositeuse consumerism to prevent democratization. The Chinese policy is to engage on economic matters and to continue political, religious and human rights oppression. China still imprisons or exiles religious leaders who question the current regime, and continues its policies of resettling Tibet with ethnic Chinese, arresting and prosecuting Falun Gong practitioners, using forced labor, and torturing activists struggling to win basic rights for workers. There are more than 230,000 prisoners in forced labor campsmost are held without a trial and many are held without even being charged with a crime.
I voted against extending Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) because I believe we cannot reward China for lack of substantive progress on human rights and labor standards. I am also opposed to China's membership in the WTO at this time.
It is my hope that the Administration broadens its policy of engagement and restores the link between human rights and trade.