WASHINGTON — Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke endorsed U.S. policy toward China during talks Tuesday with President Bush and said it would be counterproductive to impose economic sanctions on the world's most populous nation.
"Our views are identical" on China, Hawke told reporters while posing for pictures with Bush in the Oval Office.
"We completely, unequivocally abhor and condemn the barbarism, the murder, the execution, the suppression of legitimate human aspirations," Hawke said.
Hawke, nearing the end of his four-day visit to Washington, praised Bush for publicly deploring the Chinese government's decision to crush pro-democracy demonstrations with force, while refraining from taking major economic moves to punish Beijing.
'Would Be Counterproductive'
"We also agree that for the same reason that we want to ensure that those interests in China have the opportunity of being advanced, that it would be counterproductive to end the economic relationship," the prime minister said.
Bush has faced mounting pressures from members of Congress who want the United States to take a harsher position on China.