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American Yogurt Franchise in Southern ChinaWhite House
China Trade Deal
Pep Rally

Ex-Presidents join Clinton
in praise of China

WASHINGTON, DC   In the stately East Room of the White House, under a full-length portrait of US Founding Father George Washington, political leaders past and present rallied support for US-China relations.

The real debate in Congress is over granting China Permanent Normal Trade Relations or PNTR
Find out more at the official web site of the
White House China Trade Relations Working Group

"We can't control what China does"
President Clinton

Distinguished Americans On China
Read the full text of remarks at the China rally:
Press Secretary Release
       The symbolic importance of the East Room, in which seven US Presidents have lain in state (most recently John F. Kennedy), emphasized the historical opportunity the US-China trade deal represents according to the Clinton administration.
       Weighing in as a bi-partisan group, former US Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George Bush (Sr.), signed a letter to the American people urging acceptance of the trade deal negotiated in November 1999. The agreement, they said in the statement, was a cumulation of efforts by every US President since the end of war in 1945.
Full Details On The US-China Trade Deal

       Former US Presidents were joined with former Secretaries of State Warren Christopher, Alexander Haig, and Henry Kissinger, as well as current Secretary, Madeline Albright. Albright, who once chastised her Chinese hosts about human rights at a dinner, declared that the trade deal is important for the long-term security of the US.
       The earnest crowd included ambassadors, university professors and even wrestler-turned-Governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura. US Vice President and presidential candidate, Al Gore, was one of the speakers.
       1970s President Carter talked about the grass-roots village level elections, monitored by his Carter Center, saying that so far the elections are a success and because of that "there's a chance at least for more democracy in China."
       The meeting recounted the past fifty years of US-China relations and stressed the necessity of recognizing China as a great power and respecting the Chinese civilization, despite the differences between the two countries.
       Henry Kissinger, the first US official to meet with both Mao Zedong and Zhou EnLai (although unknown to Americans at the time), said "a rejection of this agreement would be a vote for an adversarial relationship with the most populous nation of China, with the longest uninterrupted history of self-government."
       Although not present at the White House rally, President George Bush, who was head of the US liaison office in China during the Cold War, said earlier that the agreement would strengthen "those Chinese there who share our ideas about how prosperity and promise transform people's lives."
       Earlier in his lobbying drive, President Clinton told the Business Council, a group of powerful corporate leaders eager to gain greater access to China's vast market, "China still does things that we don't agree with [but] we can't control what China does".
       More importantly, Clinton believes that the US-China trade deal is a "once-in-a-generation" opportunity that the US would regret immediately, if not acted on. Echoing Clinton's sentiment, President Ford said after the ceremonies, "A rejection would be catastrophic, disastrous."
Based on UPI and Agence-France Press Reports, US Press Secretary Releases, and Sinomania! research.

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