U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today urged the Obama Administration to confront China directly on its ongoing and atrocious human rights violations and demand the immediate release of Gao Zhisheng, the "conscience of China,' and all political prisoners. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"From failing to bring up human rights issues in formal talks to caving to Chinese pressure not to sell new fighter jets to Taiwan, the Administration's China policy has consisted of one dangerous concession after another.
"As the potential next leader of China visits the U.S. this week, I am disappointed about reports that the U.S. turned away Wang Lijun, a high-ranking Chinese official seeking asylum. This decision appears to have been made to avoid "embarrassing' China on the eve of Xi Jinping's visit to the United States. I have requested all available information from the State Department regarding Mr. Wang's request for asylum, as well as the status of his condition and his current whereabouts.
"Also, just yesterday I had the opportunity to meet with the wife of Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who was disappeared by the regime for a second time almost two years ago. Mr. Gao is known for his active involvement in assisting the dissident community, and the Chinese regime admitted that they are holding him in a remote prison. I was honored to meet with Mr. Gao's wife, Geng He, to assure her that her husband and others like him will not be forgotten.
"Responsible nations must be committed to confronting the Chinese regime on its dark human rights record and demand the release of Mr. Gao and all those falsely imprisoned for speaking out. I also urge the Administration not to cave to Chinese demands concerning U.S. strategic alliances and military presence in the region."