News / Asia

    Concerns Raised About Human Rights During Chinese VP Visit

    Trade and security issues topped Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping's talks in the United States this week, but a wide range of concerns about human rights were raised during the visit as well.

    It was a visit marked by contrasts.

    Just outside the White House, protesters called for Xi Jinping's attention Inside, China's presumed next leader held talks with President Barack Obama.



    Alim Seytoff with the Uighur American Association explained what the protesters want. "Our hope is that when President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, they would raise human rights issues, specifically the case of Uighur Muslims and Tibetan Buddhists," he said. "In addition to the Chinese dissidents and lawyers who have been locked up and disappeared."

    That same day, the wives of two imprisoned Chinese rights advocates pleaded their husbands' cases before U.S. lawmakers hosted by the Congressional Executive Commission on China.

    Li Jing's husband was a university professor. "My husband Guo Quan is currently in prison serving a 10-year sentence for peacefully expressing his opinions about democracy and human rights," she explained.

    Geng He's husband is an attorney, Gao Zhisheng. She hasn't seen him in nearly two years and doesn't know if he is even alive. "In September 2007, authorities disappeared Zhisheng and held him for over 50 days after he wrote an open letter to the U.S. Congress exposing human rights abuses in China," she stated. "Policemen covered his head with a black mask and took him into a room where they stripped him naked and beat him."

    Human rights advocate Jared Genser says Gao's case is a bellwether for the rights situation in China. "Mr. Gao is not a traditional dissident; he is a lawyer. A vanguard of the 'weiquan' or 'rights defending' movement, Mr. Gao attempted to promote the rights of his clients from working within the system. His case shows the government’s willingness to persecute those that promote the rule of law from within, but he is not alone," he noted.

    In a meeting with Xi Jinping, U.S. lawmakers raised Gao's situation, and their concerns about protests in Tibetan areas of China, marked by a wave of self-immolations.

    International concerns about human rights are a persistent problem for China.

    Gao Wenqian is with Human Rights in China and spoke with VOA via Skype. "Chinese authorities do not even follow their own established laws," he said. "And when they arrest activists or dissidents, China uses the law to hide its shame and its legal framework to justify its actions."

    During his White House visit, Xi defended China's human rights record, saying China is making progress at its own pace.  But that position fell on deaf ears outside.

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora