Gosh, this is strange:
July 10, 2000 8:24 AM   Subscribe

Gosh, this is strange: US Congressman Robert Aderholt (R, 4th District of Alabama) wrote to President Clinton asking him to postpone the upcoming visit of the Philippine president to Washington, "citing certain businessmen close to Mr. Estrada with alleged ''strong ties to the communist Chinese.''

The funny thing, for me at least, is that the people the oh-so-smart Rep. Aderholt named aren't just CAPITALISTS, but are among the richest men in Asia!

Errr, since when did having a chinese surname make someone a communist? And doesn't China have most favored trading status with the US anyway?
posted by lia (17 comments total)
any contact that the Clinton has with China (indirect or direct) should be suspect
posted by alethe at 8:53 AM on July 10, 2000

What other President would have given China favored trading status? I am not sure if the request not to meet is legitimate, but I do think the track record is so horrible that it is not unreasonable to suspect the worst.
posted by thirteen at 8:58 AM on July 10, 2000

> What other President would have given China favored trading status?

Ronald Reagan, apparently. From a summary by the Federation of American Scientists:

"After having been suspended in 1951, MFN status was restored to China in 1980 conditionally under the Jackson-Vanik freedom-of-emigration amendment of the Trade Act of 1974 and must be renewed annually."
So Reagan had to renew MFN for China multiple times. However, China's MFN status was suspended in 1989 over Tiananmen Square. In the first half of the 90s there was a lot of back-and-forth over it, and at some point (not sure what year, possibly 1997?) it was enacted again.
Somebody correct me if this stuff is wrong.

posted by tingley at 9:14 AM on July 10, 2000

alethe said: "any contact that the Clinton has with China (indirect or direct) should be suspect"Um, would you mind explaining to me how "the Clinton" would be doing his job by ignoring more than a third of the planet's population? You might not like their politics (or his, for that matter), but the Chinese (not to mention communism) aren't going to disappear off the face of the earth if any country or group of countries decided to break off communication.
posted by lia at 9:22 AM on July 10, 2000

the renewal of mfn for china was an election year talking point once reagan left office. both president bush and president clinton ran campaigns calling for the end of mfn status for china. of course, once in office, both men backed down from that effort.
posted by lescour at 9:29 AM on July 10, 2000

It is my understanding that Tawian is somewhat safer these days because China is so enamoured with their trade status that they will not risk losing it by invading and bringing their brand of tough loving to the people they think they still own.
I knew China's trade status was being voted on every year, but I am unsure what has recently happened. Was China not recently given permanent trade privilages without any human rights concessions? That was what I was thinking happened when I made my oblique remark. Sorry if I am spreading misinformation.
posted by thirteen at 9:45 AM on July 10, 2000

the house voted a couple weeks ago to grant permanent normal trade relations (i think that's what it's called) to china. the senate has yet to vote on it, but it's widely expected to pass without any trouble -- PNTR for china is pretty much assumed at this point.
posted by sudama at 11:40 AM on July 10, 2000

If there are Americans without a Chinese-made item of clothing (or especially footwear) in their possession, then I'm yet to meet them. It's because of "Communist China" (in its loosest, Deng Xiaoping sense) that Nike just does it.

This is the funniest quotation: "To begin with, I am concerned about the impact that known communist Chinese and smugglers of fake American products are having on the Estrada government, and also the long-term impact such activities will have on American workers." Um, the "fake American products" are coming out of the same factories as the real ones, just without the markup which comes with brand maintenance...
posted by holgate at 12:07 PM on July 10, 2000

Where does British clothing come from?
posted by thirteen at 12:17 PM on July 10, 2000

in response to lia:
communication or trade with china is not the problem, it's clinton's campaign finance and fundraising scandals (even the offering up of national secrets through the lack of security and the lack of recognizing the need for national security) that cast a long shadow over any friendly dealings that he has with china.
china is not being ignored, but ignoring clinton (not watching over him) would be a mistake.
leave it to the senate.
posted by alethe at 12:47 PM on July 10, 2000

Don't worry about Clinton, he'll be out of the picture soon enough. And I doubt you'll have to worry about Gore soon either. Come this November, Bush Jr will be in the whitehouse, for all the wrong reasons. Clinton being a communist sympathizer is almost as funny to me as every time I hear Bush Jr. talk about leadership. He couldn't teach his dog to play dead.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:38 PM on July 10, 2000

thirteen: we don't have the big ongoing debate about trading with "Communist China"; after all, we used to own the richest part of it.
posted by holgate at 9:27 PM on July 10, 2000

and to answer your question in the most personal terms:

underwear and shirt: UK (M&S, bought in the UK)
jeans: US (Levi's, bought in the US)
shoes: China (Vans, bought in the US)
posted by holgate at 9:31 PM on July 10, 2000

alethe:I don't really see how the US Senate is fit to watch over anyone, especially considering trade secrets and campaign contributions, considering how they themselves deal with those things.
posted by lia at 7:08 AM on July 11, 2000

your point is moot - if given that both braches are guilty in some way of abusing their power, it is clinton that should step aside and let congress act within it's given powers. he alone should not make trade policy with anyone.

to zachsmind:
vote Nader
posted by alethe at 7:25 AM on July 11, 2000

alethe:That's not how the law works, so whose point is moot?
posted by lia at 11:10 PM on July 11, 2000

not how the law works?
the Constitution enumerates powers that gives Congress the ability to "regulate commerce with foreign nations." the president can only make treaties (assuming that a trade deal is a type of treaty) "by and with the advice and consent of the Senate."
therefore my previous statement stands:
clinton alone should not (cannot) make trade policy with anyone.
posted by alethe at 7:56 AM on July 13, 2000

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