This report provides background information and a general overview of the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy. It includes a discussion of some traditional arguments about how international human rights concerns might be integrated with other foreign policy factors. It also includes a discussion of the definition of human rights, of U.S. international obligations to promote human rights, and the apparatus and procedures available to the U.S. Government for implementing human rights policy. Particular attention is paid to congressional actions, not only in debating and holding hearings on human rights issues, but especially in enacting laws to assure that U.S. foreign policy formulation and practice include consideration of the status of human rights in other countries.
In 1979, a time of clear downturn in U.S.-Soviet relations over such sensitive issues as SALT, Soviet troops in Cuba, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Carter Administration moved ahead with a series of measures designed to improve relations with Moscow's major adversary in Asia, the Peoples Republic of China (P.R.C.). The purpose of this report is to provide background for and summarize current developments in U.S. - People’s Republic of China (PRC) relations, including current and pending congressional actions involving the PRC.