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Ex-Envoy Discusses China’s ‘Great Leap Backward’

November 16, 1989

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Winston Lord, a former U.S. ambassador to China, told Congress on Wednesday that China is making ″a great leap backward″ and said the United States should withold full cooperation until a new, more democratic regime is in place in Beijing.

Lord told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that it likely will take several years before China reverses the course it embarked upon when it brutally cracked down on pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing’s Tianamen Square.

Until such a reversal, he said, ″we must both sustain our condemnation of Beijing’s actions and preserve the framework for future cooperation when China’s big chill is lifted.

″For us to resume full cooperation will require a new regime in Beijing,″ he said.

Lord, who was ambassaddor in Beijing from November 1985 to last April, said he had been reluctant to comment on China’s problems until the crackdown in June.

″Such inhibitions have been swept away as Beijing’s leaders proceded from intransigence to massacre to executions to repression, roundups, purges, disappearances, harassment, surveilance, Orwellian groupthink, rollback of reforms and extreme xenophobia - all cloaked in a particularly brazen display of the Big Lie,″ he said.

″Since June the trends have been bleak indeed as China seems to be making a great leap backward to the 1950′s and 1960′s,″ Lord said.

In this period, he said, the loyalty of the United States ″should be to the Chinese people and the Chinese officials - some deposed, many still in office - who deplore such policies and not to the handful responsible for crushing Chinese spirits.″

The United States should do nothing, he said, to break the web of relationships that have been built since the United States normalized relations with China.

″We cannot rip out all of these roots that we have so carefully nutured,″ he said. ″We must preserve the foundations for the time when a more cooperative relationship with China is once again possible.″

Above all, he said, the United States must realize that ″the Chinese are responsible for the current impasse and it is up to them to break it.″

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