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National Archives

Public Papers - 1989

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on United States Sanctions Against the Chinese Government


The President today directed that the U.S. Government suspend participation in all high-level exchanges of government officials with the People's Republic of China, in addition to the suspension of military exchanges previously announced. This action is being taken in response to the wave of violence and reprisals by the Chinese authorities against those who have called for democracy. The United States has supported the legitimate democratic aspirations for freedom of peoples throughout the world. The United States will continue to voice its concern and its support for these aspirations.

The United States hopes that the current tragedy in China [can] be brought to a peaceful end and that dialog will replace the atmosphere of suspicion and reprisal. China is an important state with which we hope to continue productive relations.

In addition to the ban on exchanges, the United States will seek to postpone consideration of new international financial institutions' loans to China. The situation in China is of international concern, as witnessed by the variety of voices that have spoken up on the issue. We urge continued international expressions of concern.

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