U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the case of Chinese dissident Chen Guangchen. Graham is the ranking member on the State and Foreign Operations subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Graham, along with Senate colleagues, plans to introduce a resolution in support of Mr. Chen next week. He will also lodge objections with the Chinese Embassy in Washington.
"If America does not speak up for Mr. Chen who will? If his cause is not just and worthy of support, whose is?
"The case of Chen Guangcheng is Exhibit A in how the Chinese communist dictatorship runs roughshod over those who dissent from government policy. Their actions in this matter show how little respect they have for personal freedoms and human rights.
"The Obama Administration should not let this moment pass. The Chinese government should be put on notice this case will have an impact on future relations between our two nations. We have leverage to use, but we need the will to do so.
"I want a constructive economic and political relationship with China, but the United States must speak out against the Chinese government which tramples over individual freedom and basic human rights. The case of Mr. Chen is fast becoming a defining moment in US-China relations."