INDIA-CHINA (Senate - June 16, 1998)

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Mr. MACK. Mr. President, I rise today to express my concern with the handling of United States foreign policy on the eve of President Clinton's second summit with the People's Republic of China. American foreign policy should promote freedom, democracy, respect for human dignity, and the rule of law. It is hard for me to imagine that the President would reward inappropriate actions by the Chinese Communist Party leaders while simultaneously sanctioning the democratic leaders in India.

Over India's 50-year history, U.S. relations have been hot and cold. But we cannot deny the reality that today, India is the largest democracy in the world. India recently held the largest democratic elections in the history of the world. And democracy is more than just a word. We have a common bond with the Indian people based upon a commitment to democracy, freedom, and the rule of law. They are a people who have struggled for freedom from a colonial power in order to gain independence. We share that struggle in our histories.

India has many friends in the United States, and many Americans proudly claim Indian heritage. But our relationship with India has been neglected, and unfortunately, we find ourselves in a difficult bind. Due to India's recent decision to detonate nuclear devices on May 11 and May 13, we have instituted sanctions. I deeply regret the circumstances regarding India's decision to detonate nuclear devices. But the increased instability has been caused by China's proliferation policies, a U.S. foreign policy which favors China over India, and the licensing of technologies by the United States which enhances China's military capabilities.

Let me review some of the facts.

India has broken no international laws or agreements by choosing to test nuclear devices.

India is not a known proliferator of weapons or weapons technology.

India's 50-year history demonstrates peaceful intent exercised within a democratic society.

India has been a nuclear power since it conducted its first nuclear tests in 1974; this status did not change with last month's tests.

Although not at war, India's borders are considered `hot spots' for several reasons.

Since independence in 1947, India and Pakistan have been disputing borders.

Also since independence, India has understood the importance of good relations with China for its own security.

Relations were clouded by China's occupation in 1950 of Tibet, which had been independent until then and served as a stable buffer between the two countries. This occupation brought Chinese expansion to India's border.

India sought renewed cooperative relations on the basis of a policy that recognized Tibet's genuine autonomy under Chinese sovereignty in order to maintain a buffer between India and China.

Relations completely changed, however, following China's military build-up in Tibet beginning in 1956 and 1957. During this period, China began the systematic oppression of Tibetan religion and culture, forcing the mass migration of Tibetans. The Dalai Lama and thousands of Tibetans were given refuge in India in 1959. After forty years, the Tibetan oppression continues, the military occupation of Tibet continues, and nearly 200,000 Tibetans remain in India.

Between 1957 and 1962, India's relations with China were marred by Beijing's huge territorial claims amounting to 50,000 square miles, and its illegal use of force to occupy 15,000 square miles of that claimed area.

Indian attempts to reach a border settlement through negotiations with China failed in 1961, and its attempts to prevent further Chinese encroachment into Indian territory was met by a massive Chinese invasion in 1962.

To this day, China continues to occupy 15,000 square miles of Indian territory in Ladakh and it claims sovereignty over the entire 35,000 square miles of India's Northeastern most province [Arunachal Pradesh]. This source of tension and deep concern has not been removed despite several rounds of Sino-Indian diplomatic negotiations to resolve the border dispute since 1981.

China conducted its first nuclear test in October 1964, within 2 years of the outbreak of the Sino-Indian War. In 1966, China tested its first medium range ballistic missile, and tested again in 1970.

India decided to develop its nuclear weapons program in 1970. It conducted its first tests, declaring its capability to the world, in 1974.

India did not join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty--known as the `NPT'--in 1968 because the treaty sought to ensure an arms control system that would allow the five powers alone--China, France, the United Kingdom, Russia, and the United States--to possess nuclear weapons. That meant that China, the internally oppressive and undemocratic occupying force on India's border, would be permitted to have nuclear weapons while India, fearful and insecure, would be denied any recourse to such weapons.

India has not signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty because the treaty seeks to prevent India from conducting further tests without limiting China's ability to do the same. Like the NPT, India refuses to join this treaty as a nonnuclear power unless China and the other powers agree to disarm.

Between 1974 and 1998, India experienced sanctions by the United States on nuclear energy, space, computer, and other technologies.

Following India's first nuclear tests in 1974, it did not conduct further tests, until now.

India has not been a proliferator of nuclear weapons and missiles but China, a nuclear power, has proliferated.

Some estimates indicate 90 percent of China's weapons sales go to states which border India. Of particular concern is Chinese proliferation of such weapons and technologies to Pakistan.

Between 1974 and 1998, India has tried to break through the difficulties with China and Pakistan. India had not conducted any further tests, even though China had. India had not illegally proliferated weapons--China had. But India has been denied the same nuclear and technical cooperation which we have accorded to the PRC.

India's commercial electricity needs are among the largest in the world, similar to China's. We have recently signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with the PRC, but maintain restrictions on nuclear power agreements with India.

India's testing in 1974 and in 1998, again, violated no agreements. North Korea expelled international inspectors in 1993, in direct violation of the NPT. We `rewarded' the brutal dictatorship in North Korea with a classic appeasement plan--free fuel oil and $4 billion worth of the top of the line nuclear reactors in exchange for their promises to do what they didn't do under an internationally binding agreement.

China may be too preoccupied today to directly threaten India, but they need only employ Pakistan as a surrogate belligerent to jeopardize India's security.

Mr. President, the United States is helping the largest single-party authoritarian government in the world suppress the development of the largest democracy in the world. I submit that China's behavior against students on Tiananmen Square, resistance to freedom and democratic reforms, abysmal human rights record, and dangerous and irresponsible proliferation activities deserve America's scorn more than India's legal actions taken in defense of its own national interests. There is something inherently wrong with sanctioning a democracy legally acting in its perceived national interests while rewarding a single party communist state which threatens regional security in violation of international law.

India watched carefully as the United States has led the world in a policy of engagement with China. From the U.S.-China relationship, India has learned some important lessons. First, look at the rationale the U.S. gives for its policy toward China. We must `engage' with China because it is the most populous country, an enormous potential market, a major trading nation, a member of the permanent five at the United Nations Security Council, and China is a nuclear power with a modernizing military. With these qualifications China has been able to get top priority and attention from U.S. Government and business leaders. In spite of posing a potential threat to the United States and being among the world's worst human rights violators, China gets the perks of enormously favorable trade and investment flows and top level diplomatic treatment, including presidential visits, while India gets sanctioned. This makes no sense--it is strange--and it's just wrong.

The United States largely overlooks India despite its 950 million people, its democratic government, and the largest middle class in the world. Demographers predict that India's population will surpass that of China sometime during the next century. Thus, the only attribute India lacks when compared with its sometimes-aggressive neighbor, in this administration's definition of importance, is acceptance into the `nuclear club.' The message sent by the Clinton foreign policy team has encouraged India to conclude the most effective way to ensure its interests are protected from an increasingly powerful Asian superpower, and garner greater diplomatic and commercial attention from the West, is to remind the world of its nuclear deterrent capability.

What lessons are we to learn? First, the United States should be more cautious with our definition of `engagement.' By overlooking China's proliferation activities--not imposing sanctions when required by law--we are rewarding the wrong behavior. Second, understanding that India considered its security environment to be precarious enough to risk global condemnation and economic sanctions, the U.S. should take a closer look to assess whether India's fears and actions were justified. And finally, we must base our foreign policies upon the principles of freedom, democracy, respect for human dignity, and the rule of law. We must look to our friends first in this endeavor, and work together to `engage' those who would oppose freedom in the world. India, along with Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and other Asian democracies should form the foundation from which our engagement in Asia begins. Working with the democracies of the world, we should engage China and bring the 1.2 billion Chinese people into the community of free nations.

A foreign policy devoid of principle has led us to the point where we are rewarding dictators and punishing democracies. The President's visit to China this month represents another opportunity to define the United States' role in the world. The President must clearly articulate which behavior deserves praise, and which does not. He must demonstrate strong leadership on behalf of the American people. We must all understand, the behavior which the United States rewards is likely to be the behavior we will see more of in the future.

Mr. President, I yield the floor.

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Mr. BINGAMAN addressed the Chair.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico is recognized.

Mr. BINGAMAN. Mr. President, I ask, are we in morning business?

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is correct.

Mr. BINGAMAN. I ask unanimous consent to speak for up to 8 minutes in morning business.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? Without objection, it is so ordered.