A resolution calling on China's government to end human rights abuses,
cut links with brutal governments, and end media restrictions has moved
ahead in the U.S. Congress. VOA's Dan Robinson reports, action by the
House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee is designed to put
pressure on China ahead of the 2008 Olympics.
calls on China to immediately end abuses of the human rights of its
citizens, including what it calls repression of Tibetan and Uighur
people in China.
Although it is non-binding and will not carry
the force of law when it passes the full House next week as expected,
it also takes Beijing to task for its support of two widely-criticized
governments in Burma and Sudan.
Lawmakers expressed discomfort with President Bush's decision to attend the Olympics, including the opening ceremony.
situation in Tibet and the support for the PRC for those regimes in
Myanmar [Burma] and of course its horrendous policy in Sudan, that it
is a shame that our president has decided to attend the opening
ceremonies of the Olympics. I think it was an opportunity, by saying
you can get by without boycotting the Olympics but just don't attend
the opening ceremonies. President Bush felt that it was important,
said he didn't want to anger the Chinese, so he is going," said New
Jersey Democrat Donald Payne.
President Bush, the resolution
says, should make a strong public statement on China's human rights
situation before leaving for Beijing, and similar statement while in
China, and should meet families of jailed prisoners of conscience.
Brad Sherman asserted that U.S. business interests in China are a main
reason behind the president's decision to attend. "Why is the president
making this statement? Because he finds it important to kow-tow to the
Chinese regime. He finds it important to ignore their currency
manipulation, and trade practices, their human rights abuses. Why?
Because there is big money in imports, and big power in big money," he
Two provisions call on China to abandon its coercive
population control policy, including forced abortion, and urge the
release of political prisoners.
Republican Chris Smith spoke
during a separate House hearing this week focusing on conditions in
China on the eve of the Olympics. "Anyone who watches the Olympics
should keep in mind that every Chinese young person dancing and waving
flags in the opening ceremonies pageantry, and virtually every athlete
we will watch from China, is a survivor of the brutal one child per
couple policy which has made brothers and sisters illegal through
harsh, coercive methods including forced abortion to achieve its quotas
and goals. That is the nature of the government," he said.
measure calls on China to end what is called detention, harassment, and
intimidation of foreign and domestic reporters, and to guarantee
freedom of movement for journalists, participants and visitors
including permission to visit Tibet, Xinjiang and other areas.
also urges China to guarantee access to information, including domestic
and foreign broadcasts, print media and websites that have been blocked
or censored in the past.
Lawmakers demand that China end
political, economic and military support for Burma's military
government until it restores democracy, ends human rights abuses and
frees democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and political prisoners.
similar provision calls for China to end support for the Khartoum
government, until violent attacks in Darfur end and the Khartoum
government allows for full deployment of the United Nations-African
Union Mission peacekeeping force in Darfur.