Views From Abroad on United States Vote

A survey of world reaction to the election of Bill Clinton reveals cautious optimism, amid concerns about trade protectionism and disruptions in US foreign policy in the Middle East and China

Chinese leaders foresee cooler trade ties, human rights focus

AS results of the US presidential vote rolled into Beijing, hundreds of Chinese packed an auditorium where the US embassy provided on-the-spot election coverage. Around town, newspapers and government offices rented satellite dishes to provide first-hand coverage.

China is now anxiously awaiting the first moves from a leader known for his fierce attacks on Beijing's human rights record and his pledges to attach conditions to renewal of China's most-favored-nation trade status. Chinese officials had hoped for a rebound by Bush, whose vetoing of MFN sanctions kept him in good standing despite anger over the recent sale of F-16 fighter aircraft to Taiwan.

A senior journalist close to Communist Party leaders said China woories that US preoccupation with its economic distress will cause "American protectionism to come down hard on the third world."

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