Congress Slams China
On November 5, 1997, the House of Representatives passed overwhelmingly a bundle of nine measures
criticizing China. Even though votes tended to exceed 90 percent favoring the punitive measures, it seemed
that the House was only grandstanding, because the Senate is expected to let the bills die without
consideration. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich collaborated with President Bill Clinton to keep
legislation that was hostile to China off the House floor until after the summit.
The nine bills passed by the House include:
Source: Kerry Dumbaugh, "China: Pending Legislation in 1997.” Congressional Research Service,
Library of Congress.
- H.R. 2605: A bill to require the United States to oppose concessional loans from any international financial
institutions to any entity in the People's Republic of China. Sponsor: Rep. Solomon (R-N.Y.). Passed with
amendment, 354-59, 11/6/97.
- H.R. 2358: A bill to provide improved monitoring of human rights violations in the People's Republic of
China by increasing U.S. Embassy and consulate personnel to monitor political repression and prison
abuses. Sponsor: Rep. Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.). Passed, 416-5, 11/5/97.
- H.R. 2570: A bill to condemn Chinese Communist Party and government officials, and other persons who
can be credibly determined as involved in the establishment or enforcement of population policies
resulting in forced abortions or forced sterilizations, by preventing such persons from entering or
remaining in the United States. Sponsor: Rep. Fowler (R-Fla.). Passed, 415-1, 11/6/97.
- H.R. 967: A bill to prohibit the use of funds for the participation of certain Chinese officials in
international programs, activities, and conferences and to provide that certain Chinese officials shall be
ineligible to receive visas and be excluded from admission to the U.S. Sponsor: Rep. Gilman (R-N.Y.).
Passed, 366-54, 11/6/97.
- H.R. 2232: A bill providing increased funding of $52 million over two years for Radio Free Asia
activities beamed at China. Sponsor: Rep. Royce (R-Calif.). Passed with amendment, 401-21, 11/9/97.
- H. Res. 188: A resolution that urges the executive branch to take action regarding the acquisition by Iran
of C-802 cruise missiles. Sponsor: Rep. Gilman (R-N.Y). Passed with amendment, 414-8, 11/6/97.
- H.R. 2647: A bill to ensure that commercial activities of China’s People's Liberation Army and any
enterprises under its control are monitored and subject to the authorities under the International
Emergency Economic Powers Act. Sponsor: Rep. Fowler (R-Fla.). Passed 408-10, 11/7/97.
- H.R. 2386: A bill to call on the United States to cooperate with Taiwan on the development and
acquisition of a theater missile defense system. The section that declared that the defense provisions of the
Taiwan Relations Act superseded the three U.S.-China communiqués was struck from the final version.
Sponsor: Rep. Hunter (R-Calif.). Passed, 301-116, 11/6/97.
- H.R. 2195: A bill to provide for certain measures to increase monitoring of products that are made with
forced labor, including those that are from the People's Republic of China. Sponsor: Rep. C. Smith (R-N.J.).
Passed, 419-2, 11/5/97.
There are two bills regarding China pending in the Senate, where no action has been taken on them since
introduction (September 11, and October 21, respectively).
- S. 1164: A Senate bill that sets forth a fairly comprehensive U.S. policy on China and is similar to the tone
and substance of bills passed by the House, including measures such as the denial of visas, instructions for
American representatives at multilateral development banks to vote against assistance to China, sanctions
on People’s Liberation Army enterprises, funding for Radio Free Asia, annual reports on intelligence
activities in the U.S., and an assessment of a theater missile defense system for Taiwan. Sponsor: Sen.
Abraham (R-Mich.). Hearings were held on September 17.
- S. 1303: A bill that sets forth a more moderate and conciliatory approach to U.S.-China relations and states
its main purpose as integrating China into the world community. It would require an annual accounting
of U.S.-China economic relations and would encourage China’s integration into multilateral economic
institutions--including permanent Most Favored Nation (MFN) status upon China’s entry of the World Trade
Organization (WTO) and requiring the President to draw up guidelines for China’s participation in the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and Group of 7 meetings.
Also, this bill would: require more information on energy and national security issues; establish a
commission to promote the rule of law, respect for human rights, religious tolerance, and civil society in
China; call for the formation of a commission to prepare a profile of China province-by-province to serve as
a basis for permitting the Overseas Private Investment Corporation to invest in certain provinces. S. 1303
incorporates H.R. 1712, introduced May, 1997, by Rep. Bereuter (R-Neb.). Sponsor: Sen. Lieberman
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