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Friday, January 28, 2000, updated at 19:44(GMT+8)
Business Clinton Urges Congress to Support Sino-US Agreement

US President Bill Clinton Thursday urged Congress to give China Permanent Normal Trade Relations (NTR) this year to win access to the largest developing country's market in the world.

In his State of the Union address, the president said: "Congress should support the agreement we negotiated to bring China into the WTO, by passing Permanent Normal Trade relations as soon as possible this year," said Clinton.

"This agreement will open China's markets to us, and it will also advance the cause in Asia," he added.

The United States reached an agreement with China last November, giving American enterprises more opportunities to enter the Chinese market, which would produce more jobs and yield more profits for the United States.

Clinton said that the approval of China's permanent NTR would "promote the cause of change in China," and make it a "constructive member of the global community."

Clinton also outlined several challenges facing the United States in the new century in an attempt to keep the United States in the leading place in the world.

The most important challenge, he said, was to "pass a national security budget that keeps our military the best trained and best equipped in the world, with heightened readiness and 21st century weapons."

The United States is the largest arms producer in the world and is planning to build National Missile Defense system and Theater Missile Defense systems, which have already made the world uneasy over a US expansion of arms race in the post-Cold War era. (Xinhua)

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