Senate Leader Says China Trade Plan Would Be ‘Wrong’

Associated Press

In advance of an expected White House announcement that it will renew trade benefits to China, Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell (D-Me.) today strongly criticized such a policy.

“Should we, by now giving the Chinese government what it wants, passively adopt the Chinese government’s casual dismissal of our concerns?” Mitchell asked. “I say we should not . . . because it is contrary to our principles, contrary to American interests and wrong.”

Mitchell was referring to congressional concern over China’s suppression of human rights, particularly last year’s bloody repression of pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing’s Tian An Men Square.

Mitchell said the Bush Administration, by its actions, is “sowing the seeds of disaster with respect to the next generation of leaders in China.”