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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                            Washington, D.C.
For Immediate Release                                      July 22, 1998

Normal Trade Relations with China

I welcome the strong, bipartisan vote in the House today to extend normal trade relations with China.

This vote reflects my conviction that active engagement with China -- expanding our areas of cooperation while dealing forthrightly with our differences -- is the most effective way to advance our interests and our values. Over the past year and during my recent trip to China, engagement has produced tangible results and steady progress on vital issues: fostering political and economic stability in Asia; stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction; combating international crime and drug trafficking; protecting the environment; promoting human rights and religious freedom.

Trade is a vital part of engagement -- supporting jobs here at home, lowering product prices, and helping us to build ties to nearly one quarter of the world's people. Normal trade relations with China will help us strengthen those ties and continue our efforts to make China an increasingly open and productive partner for America.