March 28, 1996 - Issue: Vol. 142, No. 45 — Daily Edition104th Congress (1995 - 1996) - 2nd Session
CLINTON'S DAMAGE TO U.S. FOREIGN POLICY; Congressional Record Vol. 142, No. 45
(Extensions of Remarks - March 28, 1996)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Pages E482-E483] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] CLINTON'S DAMAGE TO U.S. FOREIGN POLICY ______ HON. GERALD B.H. SOLOMON of new york in the house of representatives Thursday, March 28, 1996 Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, I insert for the record two articles which point out the depths to which the Clinton administration has brought U.S. foreign policy. The first is an oped by Charles Krauthammer, detailing the administration's obsequious appeasement of Communist China, which seems more like a parody with each passing day. The second is a Washington Times article revealing President Clinton's offer to help Boris Yeltsin get reelected in Russia, in exchange for Russia dropping a recent ban on United States chicken imports. Of course, this ban severely impacted some of President Clinton's friends back in Arkansas. What is so pathetic is that after Russia imposed this absurd chicken import ban, the Clinton administration's response was not to use our enormous leverage with Russia due to the fact that we provide them with billions of dollars of taxpayer aid. Instead, the President offered to help Yeltsin get reelected, which means making more concessions on matters of national security such as NATO expansion and missile defenses. Mr. Speaker, China and Russia are two nuclear armed giants that grow more adversarial by the day, and this administration is doing nothing about it. In fact, they are openly encouraging this dangerous trend, and voters should do something about it this November. [From the Washington Post, Mar. 22, 1996] China's Four Slaps--And the United States' Craven Response (By Charles Krauthammer) The semi-communist rulers of China like to assign numbers to things. They particularly like the number 4. There was the Gang of Four. There were the Four Modernizations (agriculture, industry, technology and national defense). And now, I dare say, we have the Four Slaps: four dramatic demonstrations of Chinese contempt for expressed American interests and for the Clinton administration's ability to do anything to defend them. (1) Proliferation. The Clinton administration makes clear to China that it strongly objects to the export of nuclear and other mass destruction military technology. What does China do? Last month, reports the CIA, China secretly sent 5,000 ring magnets to Pakistan for nuclear bomb-making and sent ready-made poison gas factories to Iran. (2) Human rights. Clinton comes into office chiding Bush for ``coddling dictators.'' In March 1994, Secretary of State Warren Christopher goes to China wagging his finger about human rights. The Chinese respond by placing more than a dozen dissidents under house arrest while Christopher is there, then declare that human rights in China are none of his business. Christopher slinks away. (3) Trade. The administration signs agreements with China under which it pledges to halt its massive pirating of American software and other intellectual property. China doesn't just break the agreements, it flouts them. Two years later the piracy thrives. (4) And now Taiwan. For a quarter-century, the United States has insisted that the unification of Taiwan with China must occur only peacefully. Yet for the last two weeks, China has been conducting the most threatening military demonstration against Taiwan in 40 years: firing M-9 surface-to-surface missiles within miles of the island, holding huge live-fire war games with practice invasions, closing shipping in the Taiwan Strait. Slap four is the logical outcome of the first three, each of which was met with a supine American response, some sputtering expression of concern backed by nothing. On nuclear proliferation, for example, Clinton suspended granting new loan guarantees for U.S. businesses in China-- itself a risible sanction--for all of one month! ``Our policy is one of engagement, not containment,'' says Winston Lord, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs. This is neither. This is encouragement. Two issues are a stake here. The first is the fate of Taiwan and its democracy. Taiwan is important not just because it is our [[Page E483]] eighth-largest trading partner. With its presidential elections tomorrow, Taiwan becomes the first Chinese state in history to become a full-fledged democracy. It thus constitutes the definitive rebuff to the claim of Asian dictators from Beijing to Singapore that democracy is alien to Confucian societies. Hence Beijing's furious bullying response. The second issue has nothing to do with Taiwan. It is freedom of the seas. As the world's major naval power, we are, like 19th century Britain, its guarantor--and not from altruism. Living on an island continent, America is a maritime trading nation with allies and interests and commerce across the seas. If the United States has any vital interests at all--forget for the moment Taiwan or even democracy--it is freedom of navigation. Chinese Premier Li Peng warns Washington not to make a show of force--i.e., send our Navy--through the Taiwan Strait. Secretary of Defense William Perry responds with a boast that while the Chinese ``are a great military power, the premier-- the strongest--military power in the Western Pacific in the United States.'' Fine words. But Perry has been keeping his Navy away from the strait. This is to talk loudly and carry a twig. If we have, in Perry's words, ``the best damned Navy in the world,'' why are its movements being dictated by Li Peng? The Taiwan Strait is not a Chinese lake. It is indisputably international water and a vital shipping lane. Send the fleet through it. And tell China that its continued flouting of the rules of civil international conduct--everything from commercial piracy to nuclear proliferation, culminating with its intimidation of Taiwan--means the cancellation of most- favored-nation trading status with the United States. Yes, revoking MFN would hurt the United States somewhat. But U.S.-China trade amounts to a mere two-thirds of one percent of U.S. GDP. It amounts to fully 9 percent of Chinese GDP. Revocation would be a major blow to China. Yet astonishingly, with live Chinese fire lighting up the Taiwan Strait, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin said Tuesday that the Clinton administration supports continued MFN for China. He did aver that Congress, angered by recent events, would probably not go along. This is timorousness compounded. Revoking MFN is the least we should do in response to China's provocations. Pointing to Congress is a classic Clinton cop-out. The issue is not Congress's zeal. It is Beijing's thuggery. Quiet diplomacy is one thing. But this is craven diplomacy. What does it take to get this administration to act? The actual invasion of Taiwan? you wait for war, you invite war. ____ [From the Washington Times, Mar. 27, 1996] Clinton Vows Help for Yeltsin Campaign--Arkansas' Interest in Poultry Dispute Discussed at Antiterrorism Summit (By Bill Gertz) President Clinton, in a private meeting at the recent anti- terrorism summit, promised Boris Yeltsin he would back the Russian president's re-election bid with ``positive'' U.S. policies toward Russia. In exchange, Mr. Clinton asked for Mr. Yeltsin's help in clearing up ``negative'' issues such as the poultry dispute between the two countries, according to a classified State Department record of the meeting obtained by The Washington Times. Mr. Clinton told Mr. Yeltsin that ``this is a big issue, especially since about 40 percent of U.S. poultry is produced in Arkansas. An effort should be made to keep such things from getting out of hand,'' the memo said. White House and State Department spokesmen confirmed the authenticity of the memo but declined to comment on what they acknowledged was an extremely sensitive exchange between the two leaders. The memorandum on the March 13 talks in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, does not quote the two presidents directly but paraphrases in detail their conversation. According to the classified memorandum, Mr. Yeltsin said ``a leader of international stature such as President Clinton should support Russia and that meant supporting Yeltsin. Thought should be given to how to do that wisely.'' The president replied that Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov ``would talk about that'' at a meeting in Moscow. The meeting ended last week. Mr. Clinton told Mr. Yeltsin ``there was not much time'' before the Russian elections and ``he wanted to make sure that everything the United States did would have a positive impact, and nothing should have a negative impact,'' the memo said. ``The main thing is that the two sides not do anything that would harm the other,'' Mr. Clinton said to Mr. Yeltsin. ``Things could come up between now and the elections in Russia or the United States which could cause conflicts.'' The memorandum, contained in a cable sent Friday by Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, was marked ``confidential'' and was intended for the ``eyes only'' of Thomas Pickering, U.S. ambassador to Russia, and James F. Collins, the State Department's senior diplomat for the former Soviet Union. The memo said Mr. Clinton suggested that the chicken dispute and others like it could be made part of talks between Vice President Al Gore and Russian Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin. Mr. Gore announced Monday that Russia has lifted the ban on U.S. chicken imports that had been imposed out of concern that the chicken was tainted with bacteria. The Washington Times reported March 8 that Mr. Clinton intervened personally in the poultry dispute late last month. The president's directives to his staff to solve the problem right away benefited powerful Arkansas poultry concerns. Among them is the nation's leading producer, Tyson Foods Inc., whose owner, Don Tyson, has long been a major contributor to Mr. Clinton's campaigns. U.S. poultry exports made up one-third of all U.S. exports to Russia and are expected to total $700 million this year. Asked about the memo on the Clinton-Yeltsin meeting, White House Press Secretary Michael McCurry said yesterday that it is ``inaccurate'' to say Mr. Clinton promised to orient U.S. policy toward helping the Russian leader's political fortunes. Rather, he said, the president wanted to make sure that issues in the two countries do not hamper good relations. The poulty issue was raised in that context only, the press secretary said. Mr. McCurry, who said he was present at the meeting, also said the president was referring to ``positive relations'' between the two countries and not political campaings. Those present at the meeting included Mr. Christopher, CIA Director John Deutch, National Security adviser Anthony Lake and, besides Mr. Yeltsin, four Russian officials, including Mr. Primakov and Mikhail Barsukov, director of the Federal Security Service. During the discussion, Mr. Yeltsin outlined his political strategy for winning the June presidential elections and said he still had doubts about running as late as last month. ``But after he saw the Communist platform, he decided to run,'' the memo said. ``The Communists would destroy reform, do away with privatization, nationalize production, confiscate land and homes. They would even execute people. This was in their blood.'' Mr. Yeltsin said he will begin his campaign early next month, traveling throughout Russia for two months to ``get his message to every apartment, house and person'' about his plan to strengthen democracy and reforms. ``The aim of Yeltsin and his supporters would be to convince the candidates one by one to withdraw from the race and to throw their support behind Yeltsin,'' the memo said. Russian Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov is ``the one candidate who would not do this'' because he is ``a die- hard communist,'' and Mr. Yeltsin noted that he ``would need to do battle with him.'' Mr. Yeltsin dismissed former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev as ``not a serious candidate.'' ``He had awaken one morning and decided to run and would wake up another morning and decide to withdraw his candidacy,'' Mr. Yeltsin said of his predecessor. ``This would be better for him because he now had some standing and if he participated in the elections, he would lose any reputation he had left.'' ____________________