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China in Republican Party Platforms, 1996-2016

Excerpts from the Republican Party platforms approved at each presidential nominating convention. A downloadable 19 page pdf is available at the link at the bottom of the page.
November 14, 2016
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GOP Platform from 1860, with Republican elephant symbol.

The Republican platform from 1860, when Abraham Lincoln was nominated.

In the platforms they develop for each presidential race, political parties outline their priorities and the policies they intend to implement. Since the parties are not invented anew each four years, many of their core positions go relatively unchanged from year to year. In the Republican Party platforms excerpted here, there is considerable continuity, particularly in arguing for stability in the Taiwan strait and in stating flatly that if China were to unilaterally upset the status quo and use force against Taiwan, the U.S. would aid Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act (1979). In these documents, the Republican Party emphasizes its interest in trade with China and collaboration when possible, but the Party also insists that American interests are harmed by Chinese currency manipulation, theft of intellectual property, limits on access to the some parts of China's market and tolerance for nuclear weapons proliferation, particularly by North Korea. At various times, the Party will also condemn China's family planning program, restrictions on religious practice, and the treatment of Tibetans and other ethnic minorities. In recent platforms, the Republicans have noted China's military build-up and complained of China's actions in the South China Sea. In the most recent platform, adopted in July 2016, the Republican Party wrote that "China's behavior has negated the optimistic language of our last platform concerning our future relations with China." What followed was a pointed list of actions that the Party takes exception to, including a revival of Maoism. Ultimately, however, the Party calls for continued, but open-eyed, engagement with China, so that Chinese can see "how real democracy works."   

Presidential candidates nominated at the conventions where these platforms were adopted:

1996 Kansas Senator Bob Dole (who ran against Democrat Incumbent Bill Clinton and independent Ross Perot)

2000 Texas Governor George W. Bush (who ran against Democrat Al Gore and the Green Party's Ralph Nader)

2004 President George W. Bush (running for re-election against Senator John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat)

2008 Arizona Senator John McCain (who ran against Senator Barack Obama, Illinois Democrat)

2012 Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (who ran against Democrat Incumbent Barack Obama)

2016 New York Businessman Donald J. Trump (who ran against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, New York Democrat)

Excerpts from adopted platforms. Platforms from the GOP website (gop.com) and American Presidency Project (presidency.ucsb.edu). Emphasis added.

 

2016

[Trade]
We need better negotiated trade agreements that put America first. When trade agreements have been carefully negotiated with friendly democracies, they have resulted in millions of new jobs here at home supported by our exports. When those agreements do not adequately protect U.S. interests, U.S. sovereignty, or when they are violated with impunity, they must be rejected.

We cannot allow foreign governments to limit American access to their markets while stealing our designs, patents, brands, know-how, and technology. We cannot allow China to continue its currency manipulation, exclusion of U.S. products from government purchases, and subsidization of Chinese companies to thwart American imports. The current Administration’s way of dealing with these violations of world trade standards has been a virtual surrender.

The Fifth Amendment: Intellectual Property Rights

… Intellectual property is a driving force in today’s global economy of constant innovation. It is the wellspring of American economic growth and job creation. With the rise of the digital economy, it has become even more critical that we protect intellectual property rights and preserve freedom of contract rather than create regulatory barriers to creativity, growth, and innovation.

Protecting intellectual property is also a national security issue. We must guard against

counterfeit parts that can compromise the reliability of our weapons systems and the safety of military personnel. Today, the worst offenses against intellectual property rights come from abroad, especially in China. We call for strong action by Congress and a new Republican president to enforce intellectual property laws against all infringers, whether foreign or domestic.

[Energy]

We support the development of all forms of energy that are marketable in a free economy without subsidies, including coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear power, and hydropower. The United States is overwhelmingly dependent on China and other nations for rare earth and other hardrock minerals. These minerals are critical to advanced technology, renewable energy, and defense manufacturing. We support expediting the permitting process for mineral production on public lands…

Protecting Internet Freedom

The survival of the internet as we know it is at risk. Its gravest peril originates in the White House, the current occupant of which has launched a campaign, both at home and internationally, to subjugate it to agents of government. The President ordered the chair of the supposedly independent Federal Communications Commission to impose upon the internet rules devised in the 1930s for the telephone monopoly. He has unilaterally announced America’s abandonment of the international internet by surrendering U.S. control of the root zone of web names and addresses. He threw the internet to the wolves, and they — Russia, China, Iran, and others — are ready to devour it.

We salute the Congressional Republicans who have legislatively impeded his plans to turn over the Information Freedom Highway to regulators and tyrants. That fight must continue, for its outcome is in doubt.

America Resurgent

In the international arena, a weak Administration has invited aggression. The results of the Administration’s unilateral approach to disarmament are already clear: An emboldened China in the South China Sea, a resurgent Russia occupying parts of   Ukraine and threatening neighbors from the Baltic to the Caucasus, and an aggressive Islamist terror network in the Middle East. We support maintaining and, if warranted, increasing sanctions, together with our allies, against Russia unless and until Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are fully restored. We also support providing appropriate assistance to the armed forces of Ukraine and greater coordination with NATO defense planning. All our adversaries heard the message in the Administration’s cutbacks: America is weaker and retreating. Concomitantly, we honor, support, and thank all law enforcement, first responders, and emergency personnel for their service. 

U.S. Leadership in the Asian Pacific

We are a Pacific nation with economic, military, and cultural ties to all the countries of the oceanic rim and treaty alliances with Japan, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, and Thailand. With them, we look toward the establishment of human rights for the people of North Korea. We urge the government of China to recognize the inevitability of change in the Kim family’s slave state and, for everyone’s safety against nuclear disaster, to hasten positive change on the Korean peninsula. The United States will continue to demand the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program with full accounting of its proliferation activities. We also pledge to counter any threats from the North Korean regime.

We salute the people of Taiwan, with whom we share the values of democracy, human rights, a free market economy, and the rule of law. Our relations will continue to be based upon the provisions of the Taiwan Relations Act, and we affirm the Six Assurances given to Taiwan in 1982 by President Reagan. We oppose any unilateral steps by either side to alter the status quo in the Taiwan Straits on the principle that all issues regarding the island’s future must be resolved peacefully, through dialogue, and be agreeable to the people of Taiwan. If China were to violate those principles, the United States, in accord with the Taiwan Relations Act, will help Taiwan defend itself. We praise efforts by the new government in Taipei to continue constructive relations across the Taiwan Strait and call on China to reciprocate. As a loyal friend of America, Taiwan has merited our strong support, including free trade agreement status, the timely sale of defensive arms including technology to build diesel submarines, and full participation in the World Health Organization, International Civil Aviation Organization, and other multilateral institutions.

China’s behavior has negated the optimistic language of our last platform concerning our future relations with China. The liberalizing policies of recent decades have been abruptly reversed, dissent brutally crushed, religious persecution heightened, the internet crippled, a barbaric population control two-child policy of forced abortions and forced sterilizations continued, and the cult of Mao revived. Critics of the regime have been kidnapped by its agents in foreign countries. To distract the populace from its increasing economic problems and, more importantly, to expand its military might, the government asserts a preposterous claim to the entire South China Sea and continues to dredge ports and create landing fields in contested waters where none have existed before, ever nearer to U.S. territories and our allies, while building a navy far out of proportion to defensive purposes. The complacency of the Obama regime has emboldened the Chinese government and military to issue threats of intimidation throughout the South China Sea, not to mention parading their new >missile, “the Guam Killer,” down the main streets of Beijing, a direct shot at Guam as America’s first line of defense. Meanwhile, cultural genocide continues in Tibet and Xinjiang, the promised autonomy of Hong Kong is eroded, the currency is manipulated, our technology is stolen, and intellectual property and copyrights are mocked in an economy based on piracy. In business terms, this is not competition; it is a hostile takeover. For any American company to abet those offenses, especially governmental censorship and tracking of dissenters, is a disgrace.

The return to Maoism by China’s current rulers is not reason to disengage with the Chinese people or their institutions. We welcome students, tourists, and investors, who can see for themselves our vibrant American democracy and how real democracy works.  We caution, however, against academic or cultural operations under the control of the Chinese government and call upon American colleges to dissociate themselves from this increasing threat to academic freedom and honest research….

Sovereign American Leadership in International Organizations

Our continued participation in the United Nations should be contingent upon the enactment of long-overdue changes in the way that institution functions. American taxpayers, the chief funders of the U.N., deserve full transparency in the financial operations of its overpaid bureaucrats. We should no longer tolerate its managerial scandals, its Human Rights Council composed of some of the world’s worst tyrants, and its treatment of Israel as a pariah state. The U.N.’s Population Fund has, from its origin, been rooted in no-growth policies that limit economic development in the countries needing it most. Its complicity in China’s barbaric program of forced abortion led President Reagan to set a wall of separation — his Mexico City Policy, which prohibits the granting of federal monies to non-governmental organizations that provide or promote abortion. We affirm his position and, in light of plummeting birth rates around the world, suggest a reevaluation of the U.N.’s record on economic progress.

Defending International Religious Freedom

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an initiative of Congressional Republicans, has been neglected by the current Administration at a time when its voice more than ever needs to be heard…. At a time when China has renewed its destruction  of  churches, Christian home-schooling parents are jailed in parts of Europe, and even Canada threatens pastors for their  preaching, a Republican administration will return the advocacy of religious liberty to a central place in its  diplomacy, will quickly  designate the systematic killing of religious and ethnic minorities a genocide, and will work with the leaders of other nations to condemn and combat genocidal acts….

Advancing Human Rights

…The United States needs a radical rethinking of our human rights diplomacy.  A Republican administration will adopt a “whole of government” approach to protect fundamental freedoms globally, one where pressing human rights and rule of law issues are integrated at every appropriate level of our bilateral relationships and strategic decision-making. Republican policy will reflect the fact that the health of the U.S. economy and environment, the safety of our food and drug supplies, the security of our investments and personal information in cyberspace, and the stability and security of the oceans will increasingly depend on allowing the free flow of news and information and developing an independent judiciary and civil society in countries with repressive governments such as China, Russia, and many nations in the Middle East and Africa. 

Cybersecurity in an Insecure World

Cyberattacks against our businesses, institutions, and the government itself have become almost routine. They will continue until the world understands that an attack will not be tolerated — that we are prepared to respond in kind and in greater magnitude. Despite their promises to the contrary, Russia and China see cyber operations as a part of a warfare strategy during peacetime. Our response should be to cause diplomatic, financial, and legal pain, curtailing visas for guilty parties, freezing their assets, and pursuing criminal actions against them. We should seek to weaken control over the internet by regimes that engage in cyber crimes. We must stop playing defense and go on offense to avoid the cyber-equivalent of Pearl Harbor.

The Republican Congress has passed important legislation to advance information-sharing among entities endangered by cyberattacks. We will explore the possibility of a free market for Cyber-Insurance and make clear that users have a self-defense right to deal with hackers as they see fit. It is critical that we protect the cyber supply chain to ensure against contamination of components made all over the world, sometimes in offending countries. Our own cyber workforce should be expanded with the assistance of the military, business, and hacker communities to better protect our country.  

Protection Against an Electromagnetic Pulse

A single nuclear weapon detonated at high altitude over this country would collapse our electrical grid and other critical infrastructures and endanger the lives of millions. With North Korea in possession of nuclear missiles and Iran close to having them, an EMP is no longer a theoretical concern — it is a real threat. Moreover, China and Russia include sabotage as part of their warfare planning. Nonetheless, hundreds of electrical utilities in the United States have not acted to protect themselves from EMP, and they cannot be expected to do so voluntarily since homeland security is a government responsibility. The President, the Congress, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the States, the utilities, and the private sector should work together on  an  urgent  basis  to  enact  Republican legislation, pending in both chambers, to protect the national grid and encourage states to take the initiative to protect their own grids expeditiously.

Confronting Internet Tyranny

Internet firewall circumvention and anti-censorship technology must become a national priority in light of the way authoritarian governments such as China, Cuba, and Iran restrict free press and isolate their people limiting political, cultural, and religious freedom. Leaders of authoritarian governments argue that governments have the same legal right to control internet access as they do to control migrant access. A focus on internet freedom is a cost-effective means of peacefully advancing fundamental freedoms in closed and authoritarian societies.  But it is also an important economic interest, as censorship constitutes a trade barrier for U.S. companies operating in societies like China with advanced firewall protection policies. 

A Republican administration will champion an open and free internet based on principles of free expression and universal values and will pursue policies to empower citizens and U.S. companies operating in authoritarian countries to circumvent internet firewalls and gain accurate news and information online. 

 

2012

More American Jobs, Higher Wages, and A Better Standard of Living

International trade is crucial for our economy. It means more American jobs, higher wages, and a better standard of living. Every $1 billion in additional U.S. exports means another 5,000 jobs here at home. The Free Trade Agreements negotiated with friendly democracies since President Reagan’s trailblazing pact with Israel in 1985 facilitated the creation of nearly ten million jobs supported by our exports. That record makes all the more deplorable the current Administration’s slowness in completing agreements begun by its predecessor and its failure to pursue any new trade agreements with friendly nations.

This worldwide explosion of trade has had a downside, however, as some governments have used a variety of unfair means to limit American access to their markets while stealing our designs, patents, brands, know-how, and technology—the “intellectual property” that drives innovation. The chief offender is China, which has built up its economy in part by piggybacking onto Western technological advances, manipulates its currency to the disadvantage of American exporters, excludes American products from government purchases, subsidizes Chinese companies to give them a commercial advantage, and invents regulations and standards designed to keep out foreign competition. The current Administration’s way of dealing with all these violations of world trade standards has been a virtual surrender.

Republicans understand that you can succeed in a negotiation only if you are willing to walk away from it. Thus, a Republican President will insist on full parity in trade with China and stand ready to impose countervailing duties if China fails to amend its currency policies. Commercial discrimination will be met in kind. Counterfeit goods will be aggressively kept out of the country. Victimized private firms will be encouraged to raise claims in both U.S. courts and at the World Trade Organization.  Punitive measures will be imposed on foreign firms that misappropriate American technology and intellectual property. Until China abides by the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement, the United States government will end procurement of Chinese goods and services.

Because American workers have shown that, on a truly level playing field, they can surpass the competition in international trade, we call for the restoration of presidential Trade Promotion Authority. It will ensure up or down votes in Congress on any new trade agreements, without meddling by special interests. A Republican President will complete negotiations developing Asian markets to U.S. products.  Beyond that, we envision a worldwide multilateral agreement among nations committed to the principles of open markets, what has been called a “Reagan Economic Zone,” in which free trade will truly be fair trade for all concerned.

Nuclear Forces and Missile Defense Imperiled

…. A strong and effective strategic arsenal is still necessary as a deterrent against competitors like Russia or China. But the danger in this age of asymmetric or non-traditional warfare comes from other quarters as well. With unstable regimes in Iran and North Korea determined to develop nuclear-tipped missiles capable of reaching the United States, with the possibility that a terrorist group could gain control of a nuclear weapon, it is folly to abandon a missile shield for the country.

Sovereign American Leadership in International Organizations

The United Nations Population Fund has a shameful record of collaboration with China’s program of compulsory abortion. We affirm the Republican Party’s long-held position known as the Mexico City Policy, first announced by President Reagan in 1984, which prohibits the granting of federal monies to non-governmental organization that provide or promote abortion.

Strengthening Ties in the Americas… Our Canadian neighbors can count on our close cooperation and respect. As soon as possible, we will reverse the current Administration’s blocking of the Keystone XL Pipeline so that both our countries can profit from this vital venture and there will no need for hemispheric oil to be shipped to China.

U.S. Leadership in the Asian-Pacific Community

Taiwan

We salute the people of Taiwan, a sound democracy and economic model for mainland China. Our relations must continue to be based upon the provisions of the Taiwan Relations Act. America and Taiwan are united in our shared belief in fair elections, personal liberty, and free enterprise. We oppose any unilateral steps by either side to alter the status quo in the Taiwan Straits on the principle that all issues regarding the island’s future must be resolved peacefully, through dialogue, and be agreeable to the people of Taiwan. If China were to violate those principles, the U.S., in accord with the Taiwan Relations Act, will help Taiwan defend itself. We praise steps taken by both sides of the Taiwan Strait to reduce tension and strengthen economic ties. As a loyal friend of America, Taiwan has merited our strong support, including free trade agreements status, as well as the timely sale of defensive arms and full participation in the World Health Organization, International Civil Aviation Organization, and other multilateral institutions.

China

We will welcome the emergence of a peaceful and prosperous China, and we will welcome even more the development of a democratic China. Its rulers have discovered that economic freedom leads to national wealth. The next lesson is that political and religious freedom leads to national greatness. The exposure of the Chinese people to our way of life can be the greatest force for change in their country. We should make it easier for the people of China to experience our vibrant democracy and to see for themselves how freedom works. We welcome the increase in trade and education alliances with the U.S. and the opening of Chinese markets to American companies.

The Chinese government has engaged in a number of activities that we condemn: China’s pursuit of advanced military capabilities without any apparent need; suppression of human rights in Tibet, Xinjiang, and other areas; religious persecution; a barbaric one-child policy involving forced abortion; the erosion of democracy in Hong Kong; and its destabilizing claims in the South China Sea. Our serious trade disputes, especially China’s failure to enforce international standards for the protection of intellectual property and copyrights, as well as its manipulation of its currency, call for a firm response from a new Republican Administration.

 

2008

Partnerships across the Asia-Pacific Region

Taiwan

Our policy toward Taiwan, a sound democracy and economic model for mainland China, must continue to be based upon the provisions of the Taiwan Relations Act. We oppose any unilateral steps by either side to alter the status quo in the Taiwan straits on the principle that all issues regarding the island's future must be resolved peacefully, through dialogue, and be agreeable to the people of Taiwan. If China were to violate these principles, the U.S., in accord with the Taiwan Relations Act, will help Taiwan defend itself. As a loyal friend of America, the democracy of Taiwan has merited our strong support, including the timely sale of defensive arms and full participation in the World Health Organization and other multilateral institutions.

China

We will welcome the emergence of a peaceful and prosperous China, and we will welcome even more the development of a democratic China. Its rulers have already discovered that economic freedom leads to national wealth; the next lesson is that political and religious freedom leads to national greatness. That is not likely to be learned while the government in Beijing pursues advanced military capabilities without any apparent need, imposes a "one-child" policy on its people, suppresses basic human rights in Tibet and elsewhere, and erodes democracy in Hong Kong. China must honor its obligations regarding free speech and a free press as announced prior to the Olympics.

Our bilateral trade with China has created export opportunities for American farmers and workers, while both the requirements of the World Trade Organization and the realities of the marketplace have increased openness and the rule of law in China. We must yet ensure that China fulfills its WTO obligations, especially those related to protecting intellectual property rights, elimination of subsidies, and repeal of import restrictions. China's full integration into the global economy requires that it adopt a flexible monetary exchange rate and allow free movement of capital. China's economic growth brings with it the responsibility for environmental improvement, both for its own people and for the world community.

International Cooperation

Because the issue of climate change is global, it must become a truly global concern as well. All developed and developing economies, particularly India and China, can make significant contributions in dealing with the matter. It would be unrealistic and counterproductive to expect the U.S. to carry burdens which are more appropriately shared by all.

 

2004

Halting the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

The risks posed by this dangerous relationship cannot be contained or deterred by traditional means. We applaud President Bush for pursuing from the beginning of his Administration a comprehensive strategy through which the United States works with its allies to …. confronting the threat from North Korea through Six-Party Talks involving the Republic of Korea, Japan, China, and Russia.

Across the Pacific

Republicans believe that America’s relationship with China is an important part of our strategy to promote a stable, peaceful, and prosperous Asia-Pacific region. We welcome the emergence of a strong, peaceful, and prosperous China. The democratic development of China is crucial to that future. Yet, a quarter-century after beginning the process of shedding the worst features of the Communist legacy, China’s leaders have not yet made the next series of fundamental choices about the character of their state. In pursuing advanced military capabilities that can threaten its neighbors in the Asia-Pacific region, China is following an outdated path that, in the end, will hamper its own pursuit of national greatness. In time, China will find that social and political freedoms are the only source of that greatness.

Under President Bush’s leadership, the United States has sought a constructive relationship with a changing China. Our two nations have cooperated well where our interests overlap, including the current War on Terror and in promoting stability on the Korean peninsula. Likewise, we have coordinated on the future of Afghanistan and have initiated a comprehensive dialogue on counterterrorism. Shared health and environmental threats, such as the threat of HIV/AIDS, SARS, and other infectious diseases, challenge us to promote jointly the welfare of our citizens.

Addressing these transnational threats will challenge China to become more open with information, promote the development of civil society, enhance individual human rights, and end suppression of the media. To make that nation accountable to its citizens’ needs and aspirations, much work remains to be done. Only by allowing the Chinese people to think, speak, assemble, and worship freely can China reach its full potential. China has discovered that economic freedom leads to national wealth. China’s leaders will also discover that freedom is indivisible – that social and religious freedoms are also essential to national greatness and national dignity. Eventually, men and women who are allowed to control their own wealth will insist on controlling their own lives and their own country.

Our important bilateral trade relationship has benefited from China’s entry into the World Trade Organization, creating export opportunities and jobs for American farmers, workers, and companies. The power of market principles and the WTO’s requirements for transparency and accountability have bolstered openness and the rule of law in China. Republicans support the commitment of President Bush and Republicans in Congress to ensure that China fulfills its WTO obligations.

There are, however, other areas in which we have profound disagreements, including human rights, China’s observance of its nonproliferation commitments, and America’s commitment to the self-defense of Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act.

We support President Bush’s efforts to narrow differences where they exist but not to allow them to preclude cooperation where there is agreement.

The United States government’s policy is that there is one China, as reflected in the three communiqués and the Taiwan Relations Act. America opposes any unilateral decision by either China or Taiwan to change the status quo. Republicans recognize that America’s policy is based on the principle that there must be no use of force by China against Taiwan. We deny the right of Beijing to impose its rule on the free Taiwanese people. All issues regarding Taiwan’s future must be resolved peacefully and must be agreeable to the people of Taiwan. If China violates these principles and attacks Taiwan, then the United States will respond appropriately in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act. America will help Taiwan defend itself.

Republicans applaud President Bush and the Republican Congress for honoring our nation’s promises to the people of Taiwan, a longstanding friend of the United States and a genuine democracy. Taiwan deserves America’s strong support, including the timely sale of defensive arms to enhance Taiwan’s security. In recognition of its growing importance in the global economy, Republicans applaud Taiwan’s membership in the World Trade Organization and support its participation in the World Health Organization and other multilateral institutions.

Enforcing Trade Agreements and Opening New Markets

In 2000 we resolved to renew Trade Promotion Authority so the President could more easily negotiate trade agreements. In 2002 President Bush and Republicans in Congress did exactly that. After lapsing for eight years, the law now allows President Bush to work with other countries to reduce barriers to our products and services. And he is using the new authority:

…. As part of its trade enforcement efforts, the Bush Administration has imposed more anti-dumping orders on average each year than the previous Administration. The United States was the first country in the world to impose a safeguard action against Chinese textile and apparel imports and to file a case against China in the WTO. China settled that case, agreeing to repeal its subsidy of semiconductors that was penalizing U.S. manufacturers. Also this year, through bilateral consultations with China, the United States resolved seven other potential trade disputes over high technology products, agriculture, and intellectual property protection.

We strongly endorse the Bush Administration’s unprecedented effort to persuade and encourage China to desist in its policy of manipulating its currency to give Chinese manufacturers an artificial advantage in global markets.

 

2000

American Agriculture and Rural America in the Global Economy

For American agriculture, prosperity depends in large measure on expansion of global markets. Our farmers already export some $54 billion in products and commodities every year. For them, for the aspirations of their families and the dreams of their children, the opening of foreign markets is essential. Governor Bush understands that. That's why he has asked for restoration of presidential fast-track negotiating authority, the key to forceful trade negotiations abroad. And it's why he's determined to open the China market for America's farmers and ranchers. It's why he's called for the U.S. to demand, in the next round of global trade talks, the complete elimination of agricultural export subsidies and tariffs. It's why he will fight the European Community's outrageous restrictions against imports of U.S. crops and livestock. And it's why he has pledged to exempt food exports from any new trade sanctions.

The Emerging Fellowship of Freedom

In the last eight years the administration has squandered the opportunity granted to the United States by the courage and sacrifice of previous generations:

A misguided policy toward China was exemplified by President Clinton's trip to Beijing that produced an embarrassing presidential kowtow and a public insult to our longstanding ally, Japan.

Protecting the Fellowship of Freedom from Weapons of Mass Destruction

Ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction threaten the world's future. America is currently without defense against these threats. The administration's failure to guard America's nuclear secrets is allowing China to modernize its ballistic missile force, thereby increasing the threat to our country and to our allies. The theft of vital nuclear secrets by China represents one of the greatest security defeats in the history of the United States. The next Republican president will protect our nuclear secrets and aggressively implement a sweeping reorganization of our nuclear weapons program.

A comprehensive strategy for combating the new dangers posed by weapons of mass destruction must include a variety of other measures to contain and prevent the spread of such weapons. We need the cooperation of friends and allies — and should seek the cooperation of Russia and China — in developing realistic strategies using political, economic, and military instruments to deter and defeat the proliferation efforts of others. We need to address threats from both rogue states and terrorist group — whether delivered by missile, aircraft, shipping container, or suitcase.

Seeking Enduring Prosperity

With China, the administration sought to link normal trade relations to human rights performance. Then it flip-flopped and dropped the linkage. They tried to bring China into the World Trade Organization as the Prime Minister of China visited the United States in 1999, but the political waters got choppy. So the administration reversed course again. Finally the administration turned to Republican leadership in the Congress to enact permanent normal trade relations with China.

The United States should aggressively pursue its national interest. Unlike the current administration, Republicans do not believe multilateral agreements and international institutions are ends in themselves. The Kyoto treaty to address momentous energy and environmental issues was a case in point. Whatever the theories on global warming, a treaty that does not include China and exempts "developing" countries from necessary standards while penalizing American industry is not in the national interest. We reject the extremist call for the United Nations to create a "Stewardship Council," modeled on the Security Council, to oversee the global environment. Republicans understand that workable agreements will build on the free democratic processes of national governments, not try to bypass them with international bureaucrats.

Across the Pacific

… Republican priorities in the next administration will be clear. We will strengthen our alliance with Japan. We will help to deter aggression on the Korean peninsula. We will counter the regional proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems and deploy, in cooperation with our allies, effective theater missile defenses. We will promote peace in the Taiwan Strait. We will reconstitute our relations with the nations of Southeast Asia. We will obtain the fullest possible accounting for our POW/MIAs from the Pacific wars. And we will promote democracy, open markets, and human rights for the betterment of the people of Asia and the United States.

America's key challenge in Asia is the People's Republic of China. China is not a free society. The Chinese government represses political expression at home and unsettles neighbors abroad. It stifles freedom of religion and proliferates weapons of mass destruction.

Yet China is a country in transition, all the more reason for the policies of the United States to be firm and steady. America will welcome the advent of a free and prosperous China. Conflict is not inevitable, and the United States offers no threat to China. Republicans support China's accession into the World Trade Organization, but this will not be a substitute for, or lessen the resolve of, our pursuit of improved human rights and an end to proliferation of dangerous technologies by China.

China is a strategic competitor of the United States, not a strategic partner. We will deal with China without ill will — but also without illusions. A new Republican government will understand the importance of China but not place China at the center of its Asia policy.

A Republican president will honor our promises to the people of Taiwan, a longstanding friend of the United States and a genuine democracy. Only months ago the people of Taiwan chose a new president in free and fair elections. Taiwan deserves America's strong support, including the timely sale of defensive arms to enhance Taiwan's security.

In recognition of its growing importance in the global economy, we support Taiwan's accession to the World Trade Organization, as well as its participation in the World Health Organization and other multilateral institutions.

America has acknowledged the view that there is one China. Our policy is based on the principle that there must be no use of force by China against Taiwan. We deny the right of Beijing to impose its rule on the free Taiwanese people. All issues regarding Taiwan's future must be resolved peacefully and must be agreeable to the people of Taiwan. If China violates these principles and attacks Taiwan, then the United States will respond appropriately in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act. America will help Taiwan defend itself.

1996

Promoting Trade and International Prosperity

… Republicans support free and fair trade... Exports already fuel our economy; their continuing expansion is essential for full employment and long-term prosperity. That is possible only within the context of expanding trade, and we can do it better without a Department of Commerce.

Our country's merchandise trade deficit exploded to $175 billion in 1995 and will likely set an all-time record in 1996, siphoning American wealth into the hands of foreigners. Trade deficits with all our major trading partners were worse in 1995 than in 1992. With China alone, the deficit more than doubled to $35 billion in the last three and a half years. With Japan, Bill Clinton announced a series of hollow agreements that have done little to improve market access. With Russia, he approved a $1 billion Export-Import Bank loan to foster competition with the American aircraft industry. With Canada, he tolerates discrimination against the United States beverage industry and focused on our lumber crisis too late to help closed logging mills. With Mexico, he ignored injury to American agriculture from massive surges in imports.

Restoring American World Leadership

Bill Clinton made tough campaign pledges on China but subsequently failed in his attempt to bluff the Chinese government - diminishing American prestige while not addressing the serious issues of human rights, regional stability, and nuclear proliferation. Bill Clinton's weakness, indecision, and double-talk, have undermined America's role as leader of the free world.

Defending America Against Missile Attack

…. In a peaceful world, such limitations would be imprudent. In today's world, they are immoral. The danger of a missile attack with nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons is the most serious threat to our national security. Communist China has mocked our vulnerability by threatening to attack Los Angeles if we stand by our historic commitment to the Republic of China on Taiwan.

Protecting American Interests

China and Taiwan: We support the aspiration of the Chinese people for both economic and political liberty, which includes respect for the human rights of the people of Tibet. Our relationship with the Chinese government will be based on vigilance with regard to its military potential, proliferation activities, and its attitude toward human rights, especially in Hong Kong. The Taiwan Relations Act must remain the basis for our relations with the Republic of China on Taiwan. We reaffirm our commitment to Taiwan's security and will regard any threat to alter its status by force as a threat to our own security interests. We will make available to Taiwan the material it needs for self-defense, particularly theater missile defense and coastal patrol submarines. In recognition of its growing importance in the global economy, we support a larger role for Taiwan in international organizations. 

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Events

August 5, 2020 - 4:00pm

During this digital report launch, PEN America and our panelists will discuss the pressures filmmakers confront and the choices they make in order to have their films be shown in China. 

August 20, 2020 - 4:00pm

The USC U.S.-China Institute presents a webinar with Han Li to examine how Chinese are rediscovering the rural China and idealizing rural life in the social media age. She'll also look at the social and political forces driving this trend.