President Bush, in a pair of concessions to China, lifted a ban on the sale of three U.S.-built satellites to Beijing and eased other economic sanctions against the communist nation.
In letters to congressional leaders Tuesday, Bush maintained that the moves, seen as steps toward normalized relations, were in "the national interest of the United States." He received prompt and harsh criticism from Capitol Hill."This is simply another Bush administration favor for the hardliners in Beijing, an inexplicable reward for a bloody crackdown that cost lives and destroyed dreams," charged Sen. Albert Gore, D-Tenn.
Bush's actions came nine days after National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft and Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger made a trip to China in an effort to improve strained Sino-U.S. relations.
It was the second secret mission by the two since Beijing crushed a pro-democracy movement on June 4 with military force that included tanks rolling over demonstrators in Tiananmen Square. Hundreds or perhaps thousands of students were killed.
Bush told Congress he was lifting the ban on export licenses for three U.S.-built satellites that will be launched on Chinese-built rockets. The prohibition was imposed after the brutality by Beijing.