Because there is an historical link between the economic power possessed by any group of people and the political rights enjoyed by that group, this Article argues that the best way for the United States to promote human rights in China is to assist China's economic development. This argument is supported by logic (e.g., demonstration of cause and effect) as well as by example (e.g., the recent histories of Korea and Taiwan). Part II of this Article takes a detailed look at what MFN status really means and looks at the history of U.S. grants of MFN status to China. Part II also analyzes the 1993 executive order conditionally renewing MFN status for China and explores some of the grounds for opposing MFN status renewal. Part III explains the causal connection between economic development and the resulting development of human rights. Part III also examines the Chinese economy and suggests that the U.S. policy of using MFN status as a reward or punishment is misguided. Part IV lends further support to the relationship of economic development and human rights by reviewing the past and present shift of economic and political power from central governments to citizens. Finally, Part V warns of the effects of the perceived hypocrisy in U.S. foreign and domestic policy.
Randall Green, Human Rights and Most-Favored-Nation Tariff Rates for Products from the People's Republic of China, 17 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 611 (1994).