Former New Hampshire governor Meldrim Thomson today denounced as "immoral, disgusting and even treasonous" President Carter's plans to welcome Chinese Vice Premier Teng Hsiao-ping to the United States this week.
Thomson, the chairman of the national Conservative Caucus, accused Carter and U.S. corporations who "put the dollar ahead of patriotism" of abandoning U.S. ties to Taiwan for improved relations with the People's Republic of China.
Thomson spoke to a rally of about 1,500 persons, most of them Chinese-Americans, protesting Teng's U.S. visit, which will include a stopover in Houston this Friday and Saturday.
Other speakers included Ray Barnhart, chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, other Texas GOP leaders, and two of Houston's eight City Council members.
"Only the American business community stands to gain from this greatest of all diplomatic deceits," Thomson said. Trade with China could contribute to building "war machines" that might be "turned against our American youth" in a future war, he said.
He described the State Department as "infested with communist sympathizers," and the Carter administration's foreign policy as one of "appeasement" of communism.
He and other speakers called for increased defensive arms sales to Taiwan, and for maintaining government-to-government relations with Taiwan.
Houston City Councilman Louis Macey said Teng's reception in Houston "will be friendly and dignified. But there will be no hurrah. We don't plan to give him the red-carpet treatment."
Macey's remarks echoed those of Houston Mayor Jim McConn, who two weeks ago said Teng would not receive a key to the city, as is customary with many visiting foreign dignitaries.
McConn, who was originally listed as a speaker at the anti-Teng rally in what his office called a "communications mixup" with the rally's organizers, said the State Department "prevailed upon Houston to accept Teng's visit."
Teng's tentative Houston itinerary includes a visit to the Johnson Space Center, a rodeo and barbeque and a tour of the Hughes Tool Co., which does an estimated $10 million annual trade with the People's Republic of China.
Other Houston oil technology companies, including Baker Oil Tools Co. and Pullman-Kellogg Inc., also have had considerable trade with mainland China for several years.
And the president of China's state-owned petroleum company is expected to lead a delegation to confer with the city's major oil exploration and refining companies within the next six weeks.