June 26, 1996
I write to express our support for the efforts of Mr. Rohrabacher and others to disapprove this years extension of most favored nation trading status to the Peoples Republic of China.
The United States Catholic Conference has repeatedly called on our government to express its strong dissatisfaction with the human rights violations that the Chinese government commits with impunity and apparently without the slightest concern for the opinion of the rest of the world. We call attention especially to the persecution suffered by members of different religious groups, the Tibetan Buddhists, the Evangelical Protestants, and the Catholics of the underground church.
While we do not anticipate complete success of the disapproval motion at this time, we do believe that a strong signal should be sent to the Administration, and through our government to the Chinese authorities, that Chinas continued disregard for the universal norms of human rights must have a cost.
We hope that a large enough vote in support of the motion to disapprove will signal to President Clinton the need for firmer action in communicating U.S. revulsion at the many serious human rights violations of which the regime in Beijing is guilty.
With appreciation for your attention to this, I remain
Rev. Drew Christiansen, S.J.
Director, USCC Office of International Justice and Peace