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November 4, 1997
(House Rules)

H.R. 2570 - Forced Abortion Condemnation Act
(Fowler (R) Florida and 12 cosponsors)

The Administration agrees with the proponents of H.R. 2570 that the practice of forced abortion and involuntary sterilization is abhorrent. The Administration, however, strongly opposes H.R. 2570 on several other grounds.

The Administration opposes the bill because it would:

  • Contradict U.S. policy to expand dialogue with China in order to advance critical U.S. security, political, economic, and human rights interests.


  • Possibly prompt China to impose its own visa restrictions that could further limit the ability of U.S. officials to advocate views in China.


  • Raise serious constitutional concerns to the extent that it would inhibit the President's ability to conduct the foreign relations of the United States and to receive foreign government officials.


  • Fail to take account of U.S. international obligations to admit certain foreigners to the United Nations and other international organizations.


  • Require the State Department to divert scarce resources from core tasks to comply with the requirement to maintain lists of officials covered by the bill.
U.S. interests are best served by increasing the transparency of Chinese society and promoting expansion of China's participation in international fora governed by standards and rules agreed to by the international community of nations. U.S. engagement exposes Chinese officials first-hand to the benefits of an open and democratic system. There is no better way to demonstrate the advantages of a free and open society than to let them experience it for themselves.