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Workers' Rights and Jobs

In 1994, the Clinton administration officially delinked the issue of China's human rights record from U.S.-China trade relations. No longer would Most Favored Nation (MFN) trade benefits be conditioned upon Beijing's progress in respecting and protecting human rights of Chinese citizens and those of its neighbors (like Tibet). Proponents of this delinkage ­ termed "constructive engagement" after the Reagan administration's tolerant policy toward the apartheid regime in South Africa in the 1980s ­ claim that free market policies alone will translate into political, religious and social freedoms.  However, the U.S. State Department, Amnesty International and others reveal that Beijing's human rights abuses continue to mount ­ and have in fact gotten worse since the Tienamen Square massacre of 1989 and since the constructive engagement policy went into effect in 1995.

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