CHINA MOST-FAVORED NATION STATUS (House of Representatives - June 19, 1997)


[Page: H4070]

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from New Jersey [Mr. Pascrell] is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, over the course of the next few days, the Members of this august body will be forced to weigh a great deal of information, withstand a tremendous lobbying effort from both sides of the issue, and eventually cast one of the most critical votes that we will take in this Congress.

I am referring to the vote on extending most-favored-trade status to China. The outcome of this vote, Mr. Speaker, will say as much about where our priorities lie as any other dozen votes we will cast in the Congress, the 105th Congress.

I am certain that there will be those who will take to this well over the next few days and claim that this vote is not really about anything exceptional. They will no doubt argue that we are already simply extending the same trade status to China that we do to 160 other nations. Such an evaluation of this debate is nothing short of sophomoric and fails to do little more than scratch the surface of the issue.

In reality, the China MFN debate is about nuclear proliferation. It is about human rights. It is about small business in America, and it is about American jobs. We may in fact afford most-favored-nation status to nearly every other country, Mr. Speaker, but China is not any other Nation. China is very different and poses a far different set of issues to deal with as a package than any of the nations with which we have MFN status.

China is one of the world's most dangerous proliferators of nuclear weapons. The Communist Chinese Government has, and is currently, engaged in the transfer of dangerous technology for nuclear weapons to rogue nations. The Chinese Government has provided Iran with advanced missile and chemical weapons technology. They have provided Iraq and Libya with materials used to produce nuclear weapons. They have provided missile -related components to Syria and given the Pakistanis the technology for nuclear weapons at the same time that Pakistanis get poorer and poorer. The Chinese Government has provided the nations with the least stable governments and that pose the greatest threat to the security of the Middle East, to our own security, with weapons of mass destruction.

A vote in favor of MFN for China is a vote to condone nuclear proliferation by China...