Human rights violations in China, including political, religious, free press and labor rights abuses are documented in a new comprehensive report released this week by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
At a press conference held at the House Press Gallery, Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04), chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on the People's Republic of China, and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), a commissioner, discussed the abuses contained in the new report.
"China has continued to abuse the fundamental human rights of its citizens while failing to establish a fair and transparent legal system," Smith said. "Indeed, as we meet here today, a Nobel Laureate, Liu Xiaobo, languishes in a Chinese prison for promoting peaceful democratic reforms, but he is just one of 1.3 billion Chinese who live under the Chinese state's repression.
"The 2011 report notes that China's leaders have tightened their grip on Chinese society and grown more aggressive in disregarding the very laws and international standards that they claim to uphold," Smith said. "The government's campaign to "disappear" numerous lawyers and activists following pro-democracy protests elsewhere in the world--one of China's harshest crackdowns in recent memory--is but one example."
The Commission is a congressionally-mandated, bipartisan panel made up of Members of the House and Senate and Presidential appointees serving in the Obama Administration. Smith was appointed to the position by House Speaker John Boehner in August. Smith is a senior Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and chairman of its human rights subcommittee.