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US China visit

the following should interest free burma china watchers

dawn star

re/House Votes to Ban Chinese Leaders
/ Richard Gere Slams China: Stateless Dinner Mocks Stateside Visit

> By Laura Myers
> Thursday, November 6, 1997
> WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to bar Chinese
> officials from the United States,accusing them of "the worst human rights
> abuses in the world."
> Employing heated rhetoric and comparing communist China to the Nazi regime,
> lawmakers forcefully rejected President Clinton's efforts to work closer with
> Beijing to promote greater freedom through greater contact.
> "It is absurd and nonsensical to argue that these brutal thugs will change
> their ways if they simply come to the United States and enjoy some Chablis
> and California cuisine with the people here," declared Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
> R-Calif. "We don't want the Adolf Eichmanns of this generation to visit the
> United States at taxpayers' expense." Eichmann implemented the Nazi
> extermination of 6 million Jews.
> A package of nine China bills gave lawmakers two days to berate the Chinese
> government over human rights just a week after Clinton met with President
> Jiang Zemin at the White House. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., put off
> the debate in deference to the Chinese leader's state visit.
> The Senate won't take up the measures until next year and passage of the most
> anti-China bills, which the administration opposes, isn't expected.
> A religious persecution bill, approved Thursday on a 366-54 vote, would deny
> American visas to Beijing leaders deemed responsible for such practices in
> China and Tibet.
> Rep. Jim Davis, D-Fla., defending the Clinton administration, warned that the
> Chinese could take retaliatory action and deny entry to China for thousands
> of missionaries and human rights advocates. He said American leaders should
> instead confront Beijing officials face to face.
> "We cannot have that conversation, we cannot have that  scrutiny of human
> rights ... unless we bring them into this country," Davis said.
> A separate human rights sanctions bill under consideration  would deny U.S.
> entry to Chinese officials who demand abortions for population control, a
> practice Jiang denies is part of China's stated one-child policy.
> "Reports of forced abortion and sterilization in China rank among the worst
> human rights abuses in the world," said Rep. Tillie Fowler, R-Fla., sponsor
> of the bill. "As the haven of individual freedom and personal rights, the
> United States has an obligation to lead the crusade to end these abominable
> practices against women."
> The House, on a 414-8 vote, also urged the Clinton administration to enforce
> a 1992 law that restricts sale of advanced cruise missiles to Iran by China
> and Russia. The measure also bans U.S. entry to Chinese arms dealers.
> Other bills would give the president authority to bar activities of companies
> in the United States controlled by China's military, obstruct low-interest
> international loans to China and bolster Taiwan's defenses.
> Another measure, which the administration supports, would authorize money for
> Radio Free Asia and Voice of America broadcasts into China.
> During 5 1/2 hours of debate Wednesday, the House approved two bills to
> provide more money to monitor China's human rights and prison labor offenses.

 Richard Gere Slams China: Stateless Dinner Mocks Stateside Visit
> By Kalpana Srinivasan
> The Associated Press
> W A S H I N G T O N, Oct. 30 - As dignitaries gathered at the White House to
> honor Chinese president Jiang Zemin, actor Richard Gere offered his own,
> somber toast across the street before a group of activists and politicians
> critical of China.  Gere recounted a story from his last day on a visit to
> Tibet four years ago. He met two nuns at a small shrine who had been arrested
> and tortured by the Chinese government for marching around their convent with
> a Tibetan flag. The nuns told Gere that even though they were stripped and
> beaten, they would take up the flag and raise it again.
> He left the next day and never heard from them again.
> "I want to dedicate this to the people who are not here," Gere said. "We are
> their voices."
> Enthusiasm at "Stateless" Dinner
> Gere and others held their own "stateless" dinner Wednesday night on the roof
> of the Hotel Washington, just across the street from the White House. While
> dignitaries at the State Dinner indulged in chilled lobster and whipped
> potatoes, guests at the Tibet dinner selected from a more modest array of
> buffet appetizers.
> And as the National Symphony Orchestra tuned up for their White House
> performance, a Tibetan man played folk songs on his damnyen, a string
> instrument resembling a guitar.
> As far as "stateless" guests were concerned, the gala on the other side of
> Pennsylvania Avenue was no match.
> "I can assure you we had greater fun here than those across the street," said
> Lodi Gyari, president of the International Campaign for Tibet. "We had the
> real leaders of China in here tonight."
> A painted screen of the Potala Palace, once the winter residence of the Dalai
> Lama, hung in the background as guests took the stage and offered their
> toasts to freedom in Tibet and demanded an end to religious persecution
> there.
> Tibet is Focus of Protest
> Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., noting the stark contrast of the two dinner events,
> told the attendees, "You stand with the oppressed, the others stand with the
> oppressors."
> Guests were greeted at the reception by colorful, table-sized statues made of
> yak butter, a Tibetan custom for auspicious occasions. After the toasts
> ended, some celebrated with a round of Tibetan folk dancing.
> Speakers noted the culture and strength of Tibet and lauded the Dalai Lama
> for his spiritual leadership.
> "His Holiness may be stateless, but he is not powerless. No government can
> endure without legitimacy, and legitimacy only comes from the people," said
> Carl Gershman of the National Endowment for Democracy.
> The two evening ceremonies reflected the dueling schedules of the day: As
> Jiang met and discussed policy issues with President Clinton, protesters made
> their way through the capital voicing their dissatisfaction with China's
> human rights abuses.
> Demonstrations Cover Many Topics
> Wednesday afternoon, hundreds filled Lafayette Park, bearing signs and
> shouting chants for freedom in Tibet and Taiwan. A spectrum of activists and
> celebrities from AFL-CIO President John Sweeney to Beastie Boy Adam Yauche
> came out to criticize China's treatment of dissidents.
> Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, member of a Democratic political dynasty and founder of
> the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, chastised Clinton for
> meeting with the man who heads the government responsible for murdering
> peaceful demonstrators in Tiananmen Square.
> "Mr. President, there is no common ground," Cuomo said. Several hundred
> supporters of Taiwan marched through the day from the monument grounds to the
> White House and back up to Capitol Hill. Members of Congress addressed the
> group on the importance of Taiwan independence.
> "Taiwan is a friend, Taiwan is independent, we will not accept aggression of
> any kind against our friend," said Rep. Linda Smith, R-Wash.
> Busloads of demonstrators then made their way to the Chinese Embassy, where
> some protestors defiantly ripped apart and stomped on a Chinese flag.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> end WTN 97/01/06
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