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Al Gore on China


To union: we disagree on China; but agree elsewhere

Gore made his case yesterday for the China trade bill to union workers. “I know that one of your legislative priorities is to urge members of Congress not to support permanent normal trade relations with China,” Gore said. “You know that I don’t share that view. I strongly support normal trade relations with China because I believe it is right for America’s economy and right for the cause of reform in China.” George W. Bush has accused Gore of reticence on the trade issue. The Bush campaign was so certain that Gore would say nothing about the impending House trade vote in his union address that they issued a statement one hour earlier saying, “Before union audiences, his support disappears.” But Gore faced the difference of opinion head on, if not too enthusiastically. Reading from his text in even tones to a silent audience, Gore said, “I respect the depth and strength of your feeling, but I’m also proud that on other great issues, you and I stand together - virtually on all of the other ones.”
Source: Sandra Sobieraj, Associated Press May 22, 2000

Push Congress aggressively on China/WTO

On the sensitive question of how aggressively he will urge Democrats to support the administration’s plan for normalizing trade relations with China, Gore asserted that he would be a vigorous advocate, even at the risk of alienating organized labor, which opposes the plan. “I’m going to be aggressive and forward leaning in urging Congress to pass the China/WTO legislation,” he said of the World Trade Organization.
Source: Richard Berke & Katharine Seelye, NyTimes.com Mar 11, 2000

Do not reveal strategy and inflame China or Taiwan

Q: Would you commit American military power to defend Taiwan?
A: The last 4 presidents in both political parties have purposely refrained from spelling out the details of what would trigger a direct military action by the US in the Taiwan Straits. That ambiguity is not due to a failure to think it through, it is due to a considered judgment that we do not want to give the hotheads on either side of the Taiwan Straits an ability to drive circumstances toward American involvement for their own purposes.
Source: Democrat debate in Los Angeles Mar 1, 2000

Engage China, but demand respect for human rights

Q. Over the course of the Clinton administration we’ve seen a marked deterioration in our relations with both Russia and China. To what do you attribute this decline?

A: In China I think that we need to demand the respect for human rights and religious freedom. But bringing China into the community of nations, fostering peace between China and Taiwan and engaging them in a way that furthers our values, I think that’s in our interest.

Source: Democratic Debate in Durham, NH Jan 5, 2000

Supports permanent normal trade relations with China

On pressure from unions to soften his support for China’s entry into the WTO: I support the [China WTO] agreement. Getting permanent normal trade relations through Congress may require some other steps to put together a coalition. We have to keep an open mind.
Source: Interview in Business Week, p. 42-43 Dec 20, 1999

Diplomacy with both Taiwan and China

Q: How do we balance defending Taiwan, against the many business interests that want favored trade status with China? A: We don’t want to embolden the hotheads or hard-liners on either side of the Taiwan Straits. Some kinds of missile defense systems are well within the bounds of the relationship. Others are not. I think the kind of diplomacy that has pushed both sides toward a peaceful resolution of the long-standing problems that they hav
Source: Town Hall Meeting, Nashua NH Dec 18, 1999

Supports MFN for China

Clinton and Gore strongly support [Most-Favored Nation trading status] for China.
Source: Pittsburgh Post Gazette May 26, 1999

Speed up China’s access to WTO

China’s President Jiang Zemin and Vice-President Al Gore agreed to try to speed China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation.
Source: Financial Times Nov 18, 1998

  • Click here for definitions & background information on China.
  • Click here for policy papers on China.
  • Click here for a profile of Al Gore.
  • Click here for VoteMatch responses by Al Gore.
  • Agree? Disagree? Voice your opinions on China or about Al Gore in The Forum.
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