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First Gov  

November 4, 1997
(House Rules)

H.R. 967 - Prohibition of U.S. Funds for Certain Chinese Officials' Travel
(Gilman (R) New York and 35 cosponsors)

The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 967, which would prohibit the use of U.S. funds to provide for the participation of certain Chinese officials in international programs and exclude specified Chinese officials from admission to the United States.

The Administration opposes the bill because it would:

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

  • Possibly prompt China to impose its own visa restriction that could further limit the ability of U.S. officials and American religious figures 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.