Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) Statement: "On President Xi's ‘Increasingly Bold Disregard for Basic Human Rights'"

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China was created by the U.S. Congress in 2000 "with the legislative mandate to monitor human rights and the development of the rule of law in China, and to submit an annual report to the President and the Congress. The Commission consists of nine Senators, nine Members of the House of Representatives, and five senior Administration officials appointed by the President." (CECC About). It tends to serve as an excellent barometer of the thinking of political and academic elite sin the United States about issues touching on China and the official American line developed in connection with those issues. As such it is an important source of information about the way official and academic sectors think about China. The CECC FAQs provide useful information about the CECC. See CECC Frequently Asked Questions. They have developed positions on a number of issues: Access to Justice; Civil Society;Commercial Rule of Law; Criminal Justice; Developments in Hong Kong and Macau ; The Environment ; Ethnic Minority Rights;Freedom of Expression; Freedom of Religion ; Freedom of Residence and Movement ; Human Trafficking ; Institutions of Democratic Governance ; North Korean Refugees in China; Population Planning ; Public Health ; Status of Women ; Tibet ; Worker Rights ; and Xinjiang. As one can imagine many of the positions of the CECC are critical of current Chnese policies and institutions.

CECC has recently focused on recent police and other actions in China, especially the detention of certain high profile lawyers.   It's leaders, including Marco Rubio, an individual seeking nomination to stand as the representative of the Republican Party for President, have issued a statement  "ON PRESIDENT XI’S ‘INCREASINGLY BOLD DISREGARD FOR BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS'".  Whatever one thinks of the statement, it represents an important position of the United States with respect to these issues and is likely to figure in U.S. China relations going forward. The statement follows.

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Contact: Scott Flipse



(Washington, DC)—With the recent detentions and interrogations of scores of human rights lawyers and the death in detention of Tibetan Buddhist religious leader Tenzen Deleg Rinpoche, the Chairs of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) issued the following statement.

“We are deeply alarmed by the recent round-up of scores of human rights lawyers and activists in China and believe this wave of repression constitutes an undeniable setback in U.S.-China relations. These unjustified detentions and interrogations, part of a coordinated nationwide crackdown reaching far beyond Beijing, are just the latest example of President Xi Jinping’s intolerance for dissent and mockery of the rule of law. President Xi promised a China governed by the rule of law, but is instead using the law, particularly an onerous and vague National Security Law, as a tool of oppression and control. The detentions come on the heels of a joint statement of solidarity released by 100 lawyer last Friday protesting the disappearance of prominent human rights lawyers Wang Yu, who worked at the Fengrui Law Firm, which police have labelled a ‘major criminal organization’ for daring to take on dozens of sensitive cases. The arrests coincided with the sad and unnecessary death of a prominent 65-year old Tibetan religious leader, Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche, who had served thirteen years of a 20 year sentence based on politically motivated charges. He had been repeatedly denied medical parole for his heart condition.”

“President Xi wants a ‘new type’ of relationship with the U.S, but continues to pursue repressive policies rooted in China’s past. Sadly, China seems to be closing its doors to new ideas and ways of thinking that are essential for the type of economic innovation, political transparency, and diplomatic cooperation needed to shape the future of U.S.-China relations. These issues and President Xi’s increasingly bold disregard for basic human rights must necessarily serve as the backdrop for the planned September summit. We are compelled to ask whether such treatment of one’s own citizens is deserving of a red carpet welcome in Washington.”

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