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The Congressional-Executive Commission on China
(CECC), issued the text if a letter that it has delivered to the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights seeking an investigation on forced family separation in Tibet. The subject was an important element in the CECC's 2022 Annual Report on Human Rights in China. The object is both normative--to more robustly apply liberal democratic yardsticks to the measurement of Chinese compliance with international human rights norms, but also to use that effort to solidify the liberal democratic human rights narrative (and one specifically tailored to a US lens)
The text of the Press Release nicely summarizes the effort:
November 30, 2022
(Washington)—Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA), Chair and Cochair respectively, of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) today released a letter to Volker Türk, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, asking for a UN investigation of children being forcibly separated from the families in Tibet.
Citing a report issued by the Tibet Action Institute, the Chairs describe that nearly 80 percent of all Tibetan children are systematically separated from their parents and sent to state-run boarding schools with the intent of “sinicizing” Tibetans through a “highly politicized curriculum.” Conclude the Chairs, “we see this system as resulting in serious human rights violations and cultural and linguistic erasure.”
The full letter can be found here and below. One might recall the US experience with family separation, but that is a subject for a different sort of narrative in a different context (here, and here). In China the separation targets substantial numbers of Chinese citizens to further national education and related policies; in the U.S. the policy targets undocumented migrants and has been used quite controversially to manage migration with some discussion touching on human rights. Nonetheless the development of the distinctive narratives will be significant, as will the control over key institutional amplifiers--like the Office of the High Commissioner for 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). The CECC FAQs provide useful information about the CECC. See CECC Frequently Asked Questions. They have developed positions on a number of issues.
CECC tends to serve as an excellent barometer of the thinking of political and academic elites in 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. As one can imagine many of the positions of the CECC are critical of current Chinese policies and institutions (for some analysis see CECC).