WASHINGTON (July 21, 1998) -- Congressional refusal to renew China's "most favored nation" trading status will send a strong message to the Clinton Administration, according the Chairman of the U.S. Catholic Conference International Policy Committee.
In a letter delivered to members of the U.S. House of Representatives Monday, Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick urged Congress to vote overwhelmingly to deny continued MFN to China.
"A strong vote to deny MFN to China should strengthen the Administration's commitment to putting human rights at the top of the China agenda and send a strong signal that the status quo is not acceptable," said Archbishop McCarrick.
Archbishop McCarrick acknowledged President Clinton's efforts to raise the issues of religious liberty and other human rights during his recent visit to China. He said, however that little has changed as a consequence of the President's visit.
"Indeed, the continued arrest and detention of democracy advocates there only point up the necessity for unrelenting official U.S. firmness on issues of human rights and religious freedom," Archbishop McCarrick said.
He noted specific violations which have been raised before, including the persecution of unregistered Protestant and Catholic churches and Tibetan Buddhists, China's one-child policy and resulting coerced abortions, and the use of conscript labor.
The House is expected to vote on the renewal of China's MFN status later this week.