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SHOW: CNN EARLY EDITION 07:00
May 23, 2000; Tuesday
Transcript # 00052315V08
SECTION: News; Domestic
LENGTH: 750 words
HEADLINE: Lian: U.S. Engagement of China Should be Conditional on Improvement of Human
GUESTS: Shengde Lian
BYLINE: Linda Stouffer
On Capitol Hill, the arm twisting is intense on the eve of House debate and
eventual vote on the bill to grant permanent normal trading status to China.
Shengde Lian discusses why Congress should vote against this bill.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: On Capitol Hill, the arm twisting is intense on the eve
of House debate and an eventual vote on the bill to grant permanent trading
status to China. The Clinton administration and the business community are
backing the bill. Organized labor is against it, and the vote is expected to
LINDA STOUFFER, CNN ANCHOR: President Clinton says that the reform element in
China supports the trade pact.
But here in the U.S., Chinese dissident Shengde Lian makes it clear he is
against it. He was a student protester at Tiananmen Square and he spent two
years in jail in China before coming to the United States. He joins us now
Good morning, thank you for being with us today.
SHENGDE LIAN, CHINESE DISSIDENT: Good morning, my honor to be here.
STOUFFER: Well, for so many Americans, this is all about business and all about
money, but for you it's all about principle. How do you explain that?
LIAN: Yes, you know, business is great here, and the probably been this way
since its inception. But business is not, you know, is regulated in the free
example, not use the slavery labor. But as you may know, that in China that,
you know, the whole system is a totalitarian regime. And it's institutional
labor in the slavery labor system. There, you know, labor has no protection,
no rights to form independent labor unions, no pension, no welfare, no social
So, but we believe, you know, 79 percent of polled Americans saying that the
U.S. should not grant PNTR to China now. And we believe that the
representative of the people should listen to the voices of the people and
stand up for the principles of which make this country great, which is:
freedom, justice, human rights and democracy.
STOUFFER: Well, President Clinton and the administration say that the way to
make that happen is to engage China. Why don't you think that will work? LIAN:
You know what? engage with China , engage with China should be, you know, based
on conditions and principles,
not unconditionally engaging with China no matter what they do. We just do
business, we just putting money and profit for them to build up their military
parts, to build up their armed place to continue the crackdown, you know, on
citizen's rights, to continue, you know, executing religious leaders; crackdown
the student democracy party and honest citizens.
So engage with principles and be realistic. You know, NTR to China, MFN to
China each year, last year, the trade deficit from the United States is minus
about $70 billion. If this PNTR is granted and there's no rule of law (ph) and
China has never demonstrated that they would abide by international norms. We
can see that, you know, that will not help the pro democracy movement at all
and on the other hand, it will not help the workers here. The low unemployment
rate of four percent, and that's the way I can say would
not be, you know, the case anymore if PNTR is granted to China after there's
such, you know, such a percentage (ph).
STOUFFER: Now the vote in the House is scheduled for tomorrow, it looks like
it's going to be very close. But what if it passes and China is granted
permanent normal trade relations, what will you do then?
LIAN: I hope that, first of all, that the representatives of the people in this
great country should be very clear that PNTR should be voted down this time.
And we keep up the annual review of MFN and put conditions on China's communist
government. If this is voted, you know, this is voted through, and I believe
this is a huge mistake, that this great nation is making at this time. You're
dealing with communists, because a more powerful, you know, totalitarian
regime, like the People's Republic of China, you know, militarily and
economically, will be very confident not only to the freedom-fighting of -- for
people, but also for the national security and national interest of this great
country which should not supporting, stabilizing and, you know, helping this
regime to grow and survive while the war is going toward freedom and democracy.
STOUFFER: Shengde Lian, we appreciate you being with us today. Thank you very
much for your time.
LIAN: Thank you very much.
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LOAD-DATE: May 23, 2000