China: April 19, 2000


The vote on granting China permanent Most Favored Nation trade status is scheduled for 22 May. The Senate is expected to agree easily, but the House is in furious debate and more than a hundred members are undecided. President Clinton promised China an end to the humiliating annual reviews as part of the deal that allowed China to enter the World Trade Federation (on US terms, including numerous Chinese concessions). For Congress to refuse to go along would be a humiliating defeat for the Clinton Legacy. The price of Congressional approval is already known. Taiwan wants four new aegis missile destroyers that could be used as part of a missile defense system. China objects to any sale of weapons to Taiwan, and particularly to new technology, and especially to anything that would disrupt China's expensive missile program.--Stephen V Cole


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