George W. Bush on China

Agrees with Clinton-Gore: PNTR for China

I have defined some sharp disagreements with the Clinton-Gore administration. But today I want to address an important area of agreement. The issue is whether to extend normal trade relations to China on a permanent basis. China is on the verge of joining the 136 members of the World Trade Organization. Congress must now decide whether the US will gain the benefits of China’s more open economy.

The stakes are high, on all sides. For businesses, workers and farmers across our country, it will mean much lower trade barriers and enormous opportunities for US exports. For the people of East Asia, it will affect their relations with the region’s major power. For the people of China, it holds out the hope of more open contact with the world of freedom.

In short, this will be among the most serious decisions our government will make this year. I am here to urge all members of Congress, both Republicans & Democrats, to join together in making China a normal trading partner of the United States

Source: Speech at Boeing plant, part of “Renewing America’s Purpose” May 17, 2000

China NTR promotes freedom, security and economics

    There are three compelling reasons to support this agreement [of permanent NTR for China] - freedom, security and economics.
  1. Trade with China will promote freedom. The case for trade is not just monetary, but moral - not just a matter of commerce, but a matter of conviction. Economic freedom creates habits of liberty. And habits of liberty create expectations of democracy.
  2. Trade with China serves our own national interest, as well as the security interests of China’s neighbors. China is not our “strategic partner.” But neither is it our enemy. When both China and Taiwan are members of the WTO, both will need to apply global rules to their trade, including trade with one another, and the prospects for cross-straits relations should improve.
  3. Trade with China serves the economic interests of America. China today is the world’s fourth largest market for our agricultural products. China must cut its average tariff from almost 25% to 9% by 2005.
Source: Speech at Boeing plant, part of “Renewing America’s Purpose” May 17, 2000

Maintain relations with both Taiwan & China

Source: ‘Issues: Policy Points Overview’ Apr 2, 2000

Defend Taiwan if China violates one-China policy

Q: Would you commit US forces to defend Taiwan?
A: No. What the Chinese need to assume is that if they violate the One China Policy, the longstanding One China Policy, which has clearly said that the United States expects there to be a peaceful resolution between China and Taiwan, if they decide to use force, the United States must help Taiwan defend itself. Now, the Chinese can figure out what that means. But that’s going to mean a resolute stand on my part.
Source: GOP debate in Los Angeles Mar 2, 2000

No strategic ambiguity: US will defend Taiwan against China

Bush signaled his intention to break a long-standing policy by stating that the US would help Taiwan if it were attacked by China. Previous presidents, including Bush’s father, have adopted a policy called “strategic ambiguity,” which does not specify how the US would respond to an attack on Taiwan. Although the Taiwan Relations Act suggests that the US would help Taiwan, successive administrations have preserved this deliberate ambiguity so as not to encourage Taiwan to be bolder, making a war more likely.

But Bush said today, “It’s important for the Chinese to understand that if there’s a military action, we will help Taiwan defend itself.” He would not say whether this meant the US would send troops. Bush’s foreign policy advisor said that Bush was moving away from strategic ambiguity partly because Taiwan has become a democracy and partly because the policy has been poorly implemented in the Clinton administration.

Source: New York Times, p. A10 Feb 26, 2000

China is an American competitor, not a friend

Q: What area of international policy would you change immediately? A: Our relationship with China. The President has called the relationship with China a strategic partnership. I believe our relationship needs to be redefined as competitor. Competitors can find areas of agreement, but we must make it clear to the Chinese that we don’t appreciate any attempt to spread weapons of mass destruction around the world, that we don’t appreciate any threats to our friends and allies in the Far East.
Source: GOP Debate on the Larry King Show Feb 15, 2000

Entrepreneurial China trade differs from totalitarian Cuba

BUSH [to Bauer]: Capital that goes into Cuba will be used by the Castro government to prop itself up. Dollars invested will end up supporting this totalitarian regime.. It’s in our best interest to keep the pressure on Castro until he allows free elections, free press & free the prisoners.

BAUER: You just made the case for withdrawing MFN status from China. Everything that you just said about Cuba applies to China.

BUSH: There is a huge difference between trading with an entrepreneurial class like that which is growing in China and allowing a Castro government to skim capital monies off the top of capital investment.

BAUER: Tell the people rotting in the prisons of China that there’s any difference between Castro’s Cuba & Communist China. There is none.

BUSH: If we turn our back on the entrepreneurial class that is taking wing in China, we’re making a huge mistake.

BAUER: They are using that money for a massive arms buildup that our sons will have to deal with down the road.

Source: (cross-ref to Bauer) GOP Debate in Michigan Jan 10, 2000

WTO for both China & Taiwan; maintain Taiwan relations law

It’s in our nation’s best interests to open up Chinese markets to farm products, to high-tech manufactured goods. So therefore I believe China ought to be in the World Trade Organization. I also believe that Taiwan ought to be in the World Trade Organization. But let me make this clear to you and to the Chinese. I will enforce the Taiwan relations law if I’m the president, if the Chinese get aggressive with the Taiwanese we’ll help them defend themselves.
Source: Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

China’s taste of freedom encourages capitalism’s growth

BAUER [to Bush]: We would never make the argument [that we should work with China] if we were talking about Nazi Germany. Is there no atrocity that you can think of, the labor camps doubling in their slave labor, a bigger crackdown, more priests disappearing in the middle of the night, is there anything that would tell you to put trade on the back burner?

BUSH: Gary, I agree with you that forced abortion is abhorrent. And I agree with you when leaders try to snuff out religion. But I think if we turn our back on China and isolate China things will get worse. Imagine if the Internet took hold in China. Imagine how freedom would spread. Our greatest export to the world has been, is and always will be the incredible freedom we understand in America. And that’s why it’s important for us to trade with China to encourage the growth of an entrepreneurial class. It gets that taste of freedom. It gets that breath of freedom in the marketplace.

Source: (cross-ref. from Bauer) Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

Chinese nuclear spying will shift balance of power

Bush also called for a congressional investigation into “what went wrong and why.”

“I think the balance of power is going to shift as a result of this,” Bush said. “I think it’s going to accelerate China’s emergence as a nuclear power. And the next president and presidents after that are going to have to deal with that.”

Source: Associated Press, “Republicans on China”, by K. Srinivasan May 26, 1999

Reaction to espionage was not serious and not enough

Presented with detailed information about China’s espionage, this administration apparently did not take it seriously, did not react properly and it is still trying to minimize the scope and extent of the damage done. I trust that Congress will investigate to determine what went wrong and why, and I expect that our government will take immediate action to protect sensitive American technology. There are some areas of mutual benefit [but] we must deal with China in a firm and consistent manner.
Source: “Cox Report” May 25, 1999

Cox Report warrants review of all export controls to China

Trade will help expand the private sector in China. Trade will open a window to the free world for the people of China. But there is a difference between selling food and selling technology that could be used against America and our allies. China’s growing military capabilities present serious challenges for the United States. The Cox report should prompt a full and serious review of export controls, to make certain that America’s technology is not arming China’s military.
Source: “Cox Report” May 25, 1999

Other candidates on China: George W. Bush on other issues:
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Dick Cheney
Al Gore
Bill Clinton
Jesse Ventura
Ross Perot
Ralph Nader
Pat Buchanan
John McCain
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