Voter's Voice: Clinton's China Trip
We've received considerable e-mail since President Bill Clinton's speech about U.S.-China relations and his upcoming trip to China.
Here's a sample of what AllPolitics readers are saying,
and if you'd like to comment on that or anything else, drop us
an e-mail note. Please
include your name and home town.
'One Big Contradiction'
This man's presidency is one big contradiction after another. Our foreign
policy is in a state of chaos. After rubbing elbows and fattening the
wallets at the DNC with Chinese 'goodies,' how could he ever take a stand
on human rights issues over there? Why go? What would it gain us now?
He'd be better off staying home and practicing with his chopsticks!
-- Bill Kempf, Peachtree City, Ga., June 11
'Holding The Honor Of The Country In His Hands'
The most important thing to say today which transcends all the topics is
the president is holding the honor of the country in his hands. He will set
us back as a beacon for freedom for a century if he greets the dictators in
China on the ground on which they brutally slaughtered children holding
Statues of Liberty and the American constitution. What was the meaning of our
forefathers struggling and dying for our democracy, the Civil War, the loss of
millions of American soldiers in World War II if the president goes and shakes
the hands of the brutal Chinese dictators on the very ground where they
sanctioned the murder of children holding statues of Liberty and the U.S.
-- Steve Clapp, Sequim, Wash., June 11
'Exceptionally Poor Negotiating'
I think Clinton's trip to China is an example of how that country's
leadership wants to demonstrate its influence over ours. This is the
reason for the location of the "summit."
I further think the Clinton Administration is guilty of exceptionally
poor negotiating. What if, in the future, China's leadership elects to
reverse positions to which they have agreed by these exchanges? Can we
get our satellite technology back? Do the Chinese have a record of
communicating truthfully, of claiming us to be their ally?
I want to know what influence the Chinese have over Clinton that makes
him willing to debase himself and our country in their presence.
-- Chad Simmons, Prairie Village, Kan., June 11
'Tie The Hand Of The President'
In my opinion, all of this fury is another Republican party attempt to tie
the hand of the president in any way they possibly can. I listened to the
CEO of the company involved in the so-called secrets given to China and the
previous actions during the Bush and Reagan administrations, and I believe
this furor is causing serious problems for us in our future relations with
China. I believe because of the adverse publicity it is ever more
important that the president make the trip and follow his best judgment on
-- Ellen Nicholson, June 11
'A Future Ally'
By not isolating the Chinese, Clinton is turning a potential threat into
a future ally. We need to give Bill more credit for doing what is right
rather than what will be viewed as popular and for his strides in
foreign relations. What other presidents have taken on the gun and
tobacco lobbies? Did anyone ever think that Ireland and England would
ever come to any peace agreements in our lifetime and that when they did,
the U.S would get such recognition for the important role we played?
Republicans have been very effective in masking the real issues such as
campaign finance reform, tobacco and less nuclear weapons by attacking
the president's personal life and standard presidential waivers.
Lighten up, Republicans! Let's figure out what we can agree on and do
it while the economy is strong and we can put our focus on the
-- Richard Hopcroft, Royal Oak, Mich., June 11
The only way that I would agree with Clinton's trip to China would be if
it is one way!
-- Donald W. Turley, June 11
'Do The Following'
Bill Clinton should go to the People's Republic of China and do the
1) Return all Chinese Clinton/Gore and DNC campaign contributions (1992
& 1996) with interest to the communists.
2) Enter the Great Hall of the People by a rear entrance, not via
3) Tell the PRC leaders that we want returned the supercomputers, high
tech aircraft manufacturing tooling and all other high tech equipment
sold/given to China that the Chinese could use against us or our friends
Will that happen? Fat chance! It is more likely that the Clinton trip
is designed to gather more campaign contributions for the DNC & Gore/?
-- Don Anderson, Lowell, Mass., June 11
'Just Won't Cut It'
If Clinton really wanted to show some leadership, he'd go to Tiananmen
Square and use the occasion to urge greater liberalization in the
country. After all, what good is "constructive engagement" if our
president doesn't actually "engage" the Chinese in a discussion about
the human rights record? A few diplomatic words to the effect of "gee,
we really wish you'd respect human rights..." just won't cut it.
-- Christopher Larkins, Ph.D., Long Beach, CA., June 11
'A Little Tired'
I am a little tired of the cry for symbolism when it comes to the right-wing critics of Clinton and his policies. Don't go to Tiananmen Square (but continue with the trade policies and even the waivers) because it
will condone the massacre. Did Bush's sending of an envoy just a few
weeks after the massacre condone the massacre? Of course not and neither
will Clinton's visit.
-- Frank Minutillo, Manchester, Conn., June 11
'He Should Not Go'
No, he should not go, but if he does he should do what Reagan did in Europe. "Mr. Gorbachev; tear down these walls..."
-- E. DuBois, Fullerton, Calif., June 11
'Keep The Doors Open'
I totally support the president's upcoming China visit. It is
imperative that we keep the doors open for dialogue regarding our
differing views of human rights violations. As a footnote, I would like
to add that such virulent public criticism of the president regarding
every thing he does not only appears to be very partisan, it also
presents a very bad public face for both the president and his
-- Amy Wilcox, June 11
'A Crucial Time'
This is a crucial time in our relationship with China. It is time to
stop the hysteria regarding foreign enemies, and embrace the rest of
the world. China is composed of a billion people, not all of them
think alike, act alike, or follow the party line.
They are probably 40 to 50 years behind us. Think what this
country, the U.S.A., was like in the '50s and '60s. We were making
many mistakes in racial relationships (voting rights in the south),
wars (Vietnam), and Nixonian politics.
The Chinese people and their provincial governments want to do business
with the rest of the world. We should engage them without the fear
that is being expressed by some of the right-wing Republicans who
believe there are still threats to our security by military means. We
are the strongest nation in the world. We have the strongest economy
in the world. We have the best leaders in the world. We have the best
science in the world. We have the best technology in the world and
know how to use it.
What are we afraid of?
-- Mike Neubauer, June 11