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Public Statements

Urging Introduction of Resolution Calling on China to End Its Human Rights Violations

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


URGING INTRODUCTION OF RESOLUTION CALLING ON CHINA TO END ITS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS -- (House of Representatives - March 02, 2004)

Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the resolution (H. Res. 530) urging the appropriate representative of the United States to the 60th session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to introduce a resolution calling upon the Government of the People's Republic of China to end its human rights violations in China, and for other purposes, as amended.

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Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of this resolution that outlines the deplorable record of China's authoritarian regime, a regime which continues to systematically violate the most basic human rights of all of its people and the civil and political liberties of all of its citizens. State security personnel are responsible for extensive abuses such as political and extrajudicial killings, lengthy incommunicado detentions, and the use of torture. Police target certain dissidents for incarceration in psychiatric facilities, subjecting them to unspeakable punishment. National, racial, and ethnic minorities remain subject to intense persecution and discrimination. Thugs employed by the regime frequently launch campaigns to crack down on opposition and pro-democracy groups. Freedom of movement, speech, assembly, and association are severely restricted. The controls on religious worship have intensified. Church leaders and other faithful are harassed and repressed with fines, detentions, physical abuse and, yes, torture. Many houses of worship have been destroyed. Catholic and Protestant leaders and believers have been imprisoned or subjected to house arrest.

This cowardly, dictatorial regime has harassed, imprisoned, and tortured members of the Falun Gong group, sending women, children and men to torture camps for doing nothing but exercising their most basic, fundamental rights of freedom of conscience and belief. This deplorable action by the Chinese authorities has included the brutal torture of followers, particularly women, who have been arrested, gang-raped, and brutally beaten. They have been demoted or dismissed from their employment. They have been held in prison. They have been sent to labor camps and psychiatric hospitals, all because they chose to live by the strength of their convictions and refused to renounce their beliefs.

Additionally, trafficking in persons, mainly women and children, for forced prostitution or illegal forced labor continues, placing this segment of the population in constant risk of slavery. The gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Chinese regime and the deteriorating situation in China are highlighted in the Department of State's Human Rights Report released last week. The China report says: "The government continued to commit numerous and serious abuses. There was backsliding on key human rights issues during the year."

The People's Republic of China must be held accountable for its deplorable actions. Constant pressure from the U.S. and the international community is vital if any improvements are to take place in China.

Madam Speaker, we must support the Chinese people in their efforts and send a clear message to their oppressors that the U.S. is committed to the defense of democratic principles and human rights. This resolution before us is an important part of that strategy. As the U.S. delegation works to ensure debate on human rights conditions in China and to secure the votes for a resolution at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights calling on China to end its terrible human rights practices, let us show them our full support by voting in favor of the resolution in front of us, House Resolution 530.

I thank the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Smith) as well as the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Wolf) for their steadfast support for the Chinese people to live free one day soon.

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