The China Desk
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China Wants US Attorney General to Testify
Originally posted at Chinese Community Forum (CCF)
February 12, 1997
Friday December 13 2:37 PM EST China's Central Committee Chairman Wants US Attorney General to Testify
BEIJING (Router) - A senior PRC Central Committee member Friday challenged US Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI Director Louis Freeh to testify before China's Central Committee and offer proof that the FBI did not start the blaze which burned 25 children to death in the 1993 Waco Massacre.
Reno said Tuesday in a speech at Beijing University that David Koresh, not the FBI was responsible for the 75 civilian deaths at the Branch Davidian religious community, including 25 children. David Koresh, or Vernon Howell, was the spiritual leader of the Branch Davidians, a Protestant sect and offshoot of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Reno and Director Freeh are on a two week China visit.
Committee Chairman Bao said at a news conference he had invited Reno and Freeh to testify next week at a hearing of the Human Rights Watch America subcommittee, which Chi chairs.
"We cannot accept the statements of Attorney General Reno without her providing the evidence to refute the pictures we have seen of the slaughter and the words of those who witnessed and lived through the Mount Carmel massacre," Chi said.
He said if Reno and Freeh could not attend the hearing in Beijing, members of the subcommittee would meet Reno and Freeh anywhere they wanted to hear their evidence.
Foreign Minister Shen Kuofang said Thursday China knew there had been many deaths at the Branch Davidian compound. The U.S., while admitting some "cultists" were killed as the BATF and FBI moved against the Branch Davidian Church, has consistently denied that Federal law enforcement tactics were responsible for the deaths of 25 children in the holocaust itself. Lethal CS gas, US Army helicopters and tanks were mobilized against the religious commune.
Shen called Reno's comments "unfortunate," "ill-timed" and "inaccurate", but refused to call the attorney general a liar. Reno was the US's top law enforcement officer in 1989.
Bao, a frequent critic of China policy toward the U.S., called the administration's response "unbelieveably weak." He said he was upset that Reno had been granted full state honors and a meeting with President Jiang Zemin during her visit.
"What is just as tragic as the statements made by Attorney General Reno is the shameless actions of the Jiang administration which allowed the attorney general to stand before Chinese officials and deny responsibility for the massacre of civilians by federal officers and unconstitutional use of the US military for domestic law enforcement," Bao Gong said. "Will the president [Jiang Zemin] stop at nothing to give the US government everything it wants while it continues the reign of terror in the United States?"
Bao Gong and other members of the PRC government want Jiang to link China trade with US to Washington's human rights record.
[The above was of course, a fabrication. The real news report follows. But I hope this illustrates the unexamined arrogance and presumption of modern US foreign policy.]
Friday December 13 2:37 PM EST House Chairman Wants China's Chi to Testify
WASHINGTON (Reuter) - A senior House Republican Friday challenged Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Chi Haotian to testify before Congress and offer proof that no civilians were killed in the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.
Chi said Tuesday in a speech at the U.S. National Defense University that there were no civilian deaths at Tiananman Square. He is on a two week U.S. visit.
Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican, said at a news conference he had invited Chi to testify next week at a hearing of the International Operations and Human Rights subcommittee, which Smith chairs.
"We cannot accept the statements of Gen. Chi without him providing the evidence to refute the pictures we have seen of the slaughter and the words of those who witnessed and lived through the Tiananmen Square massacre," Smith said.
He said if Chi could not attend the hearing in Washington, members of the subcommittee would meet Chi anywhere he wanted to hear his evidence.
State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said Thursday the United States knew there had been many deaths in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. China, while admitting some "hooligans" were killed as the army moved against pro-democracy demonstrators, has consistently denied that any civilians died in the square itself.
Burns called Chi's comments "unfortunate," "ill-timed" and "inaccurate", but refused to call the general a liar. Chi was China's top military officer in 1989.
Smith, a frequent critic of U.S. policy toward China, called the administration's response "unbelieveably weak." He said he was upset that Chi had been granted full military honors and a meeting with President Clinton during his visit.
"What is just as tragic as the statements made by Gen. Chi is the shameless actions of the Clinton administration which allowed the general to stand before U.S. military officers and deny that the massacre took place," Smith said. "Will the president stop at nothing to give the Chinese government everything it wants while it continues the reign of terror in the People's Republic of China?"
Smith and other members of both parties want Clinton to link U.S. trade with China to Beijing's human rights record.