China's democracy movement opposed the US' granting of PNTR (permanent most favored trade status) to Communist China in 2000. Famed Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng now writes an open letter to the Democratic presidential candidates (Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama), in which he wags a finger ("I told you so") about the negative effects of China trade on the US economy, and on workers rights from China to America. He urges that whomever is the next president, he/she must immediately lift PNTR.
What follows is full text of his new letter--
I am grateful to the two candidates of the Democratic Party of the USA. Finally, you have included the important issues of millions of American workers' jobs in your campaign agenda.
Seven years ago, during the hot debate over whether to give China Permanent Normal Trade Relationship (PNTR) or not, it was the then US representatives David Bonior (D, MI), Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Marcy Kaptur (D, OH), Sherrod Brown (D, OH), Frank Wolf (R, VA) and Chris Smith (R, NJ) who stood on the frontline against offering the dictatorial Communist China PNTR and entrance into the World Trade Organizations (WTO). They were defending human rights, as well as protecting American workers' interests and Chinese workers' rights. Most of democratic politicians were on their side, but the majority of American politicians stood on the side of the dictatorial Chinese government. We failed in this battle.
The result of this failure is that not only did Chinese workers lose their opportunity of striving for their legitimate rights and reasonable treatment, but also millions of Americans lost their job opportunities and their fight for reasonable treatment as well. Eight years ago, we had already warned Americans that giving PNTR to the Chinese Communists would damage the rights and interests of the American workers and the Chinese workers, as well as damage the interests of the small and middle sized business enterprises in America, further damaging America's market and America's national interest. At that time, 70% of Americans already realized this problem, but less than half of American politicians admitted this problem.
I am grateful to the candidates of the Democratic Party who raised this grave problem to a point of urgency. On the most important timetable for the US president to work, this problem is the one that should have the first priority. It is the root problem behind all the other important problems. Regardless of who will be elected for the next term as the US president, if he/she is sincere in defending the interests of the Americans, as well as the free and democratic countries, he/she must solve this problem first, to correct the root mistakes that the past American government had made.
Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition