Statement of CECC Chairman Christopher Smith and Cochairman Sherrod Brown on the Release of the 2011 Annual Report
  • Thu, 10/13/2011 - 12:00


CECC
October 13, 2011

The bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China released its 2011 Annual Report on human rights and rule of law developments in China this week.

"In the areas of human rights and rule of law this year, China's leaders have grown more aggressive in their violation of rights, disregarding the very laws and international standards that they claim to uphold," said Congressman Chris Smith (NJ–04), Chairman of the Commission, and Senator Sherrod Brown (OH), Cochairman of the Commission.

The report found that Chinese officials ignored the law or used the law as a tool to repress human rights, stifle dissent, and unfairly subsidize Chinese industry.

"This year saw one of the harshest crackdowns on dissidents in recent memory. Chinese officials simply ignored their own laws and international standards to round up, disappear, and detain numerous human rights activists, artists, and lawyers," said Smith. "Chinese officials also continued to implement its reprehensible population control policy through the use of violence, forced abortion, and sterilization in flagrant disregard for human rights and the rule of law. China's implementation of their one-child-per-couple policy remains one of the most brutal and barbaric attacks against women and children—ever," Smith added.

"As this report shows, China continued to engage in egregious trading practices that place our workers at an unfair disadvantage and which violate China's commitments to the World Trade Organization," Brown said. "These practices include industrial policies and subsidies to protect Chinese companies and exports. We must demand a level playing field where China abides by the rule of law and its international commitments."

The report notes that the Chinese government continued to deny Chinese citizens basic freedoms guaranteed under both Chinese law and international human rights standards, including freedom of expression. The report cited the jailing of Chinese citizens who criticized the government and heavy censorship of the Internet and press.

"It is fitting that this report comes out on the one year anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo. Liu is languishing in a jail in China, serving an 11-year sentence for peacefully exercising his right to free expression by writing about and advocating for democratic reforms," Brown said.

"Liu’s case, and the cases of numerous other political prisoners cited in the report, including missing activist Gao Zhisheng, illustrate in stark terms what happens to Chinese citizens who dare to speak out against injustice and corruption," Smith added.

The report found that Chinese officials also continued to deny citizens the freedoms of religion and association.

"Chinese authorities continue to persecute religious people who practiced their faith outside of state control, including Protestant house church members, underground Catholics, and Falun Gong members," Smith said.

"The Chinese government continues to deny workers their right to organize independent unions and to demand a fair wage and better working conditions," Brown said.

The report notes that China's ethnic minorities, including Uyghurs and Tibetans, remain under threat as Chinese authorities imposed harsh curbs on their cultures, languages, and religions.

The CECC's 2011 Annual Report is the Commission's 10th annual report since it was created by Congress in 2000 as part of the debate over granting China permanent, normal trade relations.

The Commission consists of nine Senators, nine Members of the House of Representatives, and five senior Administration officials appointed by the President. In addition to its annual reports, the Commission maintains an extensive database of political prisoners in China, many of whom are cited in its reports. Political prisoners cited in the 2011 report include Catholic bishop Su Zhimin, labor activist Zhao Dongmin, democracy activist Liu Xianbin, Uyghur journalist Memetjan Abdulla, former Tibetan monk Jigme Gyatso, and Mongol activist Hada.

All of the Commission's reporting and its Political Prisoner Database are available to the public online via the Commission's Web site, www.cecc.gov

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