May 22, 1990
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We have evidence that as many as fifty Roman Catholic bishops and priests may be under various forms of detention or house arrest in China today. In addition, these are the many hundreds of Chinese students and workers who are still being held without charges or trial in the aftermath of the crushing of the popular cry for justice at Tiananmen Square one year ago.
We believe that the annual renewal of Chinas most favored nation trade status which requires your certification provides an opportunity which should not be missed of ensuring that Chinas leaders understand that their continuing denial of human and religious rights has a price. We understand the serious economic impact which the denial of most favored nation status would have on many who are quite innocent of human rights violations.
Therefore, we would commend for your consideration a time-limited certification conditioned on significant improvement in human rights and in freedom of religion, which, at the very least, should include the early release of all imprisoned religious leaders and political prisoners. The millions of Chinese who seek to practice their faith without fear and work for a just and democratic society deserve our support.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Roger M. Mahony
Archbishop of Los Angeles
Chairman, International Policy Committee