lørdag 9. mars 2024

In Retrospect: Full Text of Clinton's Speech on China Trade Bill, March 2000

"Supporting China's entry into the W.T.O is about more than our economic interests; it is clearly in our larger national interest. It represents the most significant opportunity that we have had to create positive change in China since the 1970's, when President Nixon first went there, and later in the decade when President Carter normalized relations. I am working as hard as I can to convince Congress and the American people to seize this opportunity.

For a long time now, the United States has debated its relationship with China. Through all the changes, particularly of the last century, and like all human beings everywhere, we see this relationship through the prism of our own experience. In the early 1900's, most Americans saw China either through the eyes of traders seeking new markets, or missionaries seeking new converts. During World War II, China was our ally; during the Korean War, our adversary. At the dawn of the Cold War, when I was a young boy beginning to study such things, it was a cudgel in a political battle: "Who lost China?"

Later it was a counterweight to the Soviet Union, and now, in some people's eyes, it's a caricature. Will it be the next great capitalist tiger, with the biggest market in the world, or the world's last great communist dragon and a threat to stability in Asia?

Through all the changes in China and the changes in our perceptions of China, there has been one constant. We understand that America has a profound stake in what happens in China and how China relates to the rest of the world. That's why, for 30 years, every president, without regard to party, has worked for a China that contributes to the stability of Asia, that is open to the world, that upholds the rule of law at home and abroad."

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