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
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
Lawmakers expressed discomfort with President Bush's decision to
attend the Olympics, including the opening ceremony.
"The 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.
Democrat 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
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.
The 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
It 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.
A 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.