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Advancing a peaceful transition to democracy in China through truth, understanding, citizen power, & cooperative action

CECC hosts Human Rights Hearing In advance of Human Rights Day

Congressional Executive Commission on China hosts 
Human Rights Hearing 
In advance of Human Rights Day
On Wednesday December 7, 2016, the Congressional Executive Commission on China (CECC) hosted hearing: Dissidents Who Have Suffered for Human Rights in China: A Look Back and A Look Forward. The hearing was led by CECC Chairman Representative Christ Smith and Cochairman Senator Marco Rubio, Representative Randy Hultgren and Representative Timothy Walz.
Witness to the hearing are Ms. Kadeer Rebiya (President of World Uyghur Congress), Mr. Penpa Tsering (Representative of H.H. the Dalai Lama), Dr. Yang Jianli (President of Initiatives for China), Mr. Chen Guangcheng (the famous “barefoot blind lawyer” from China),  Mr. Wei Jingsheng (Chairman of Wei Jingsheng Foundation), Rev. Bob Fu (President of ChinaAid), and Ms. Wang Xiaodan (the daughter of former prisoner of conscience, Wang Zhiwen).
The Congressional-Executive Commission on China, currently led by its Chairman, Representative Chris Smith and Cochairman Senator Marco Rubio, was created by Congress in October 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.
During the hearing, each witness presented cases of human rights abuses in their community as well as solutions and support the United States could work on. For full coverage of the hearing, please visit the hearing website of CECC: https://www.cecc.gov/events/hearings/dissidents-who-have-suffered-for-human-rights-in-china-a-look-back-and-a-look
Below is the opening statement for Dr. Yang Jianli, president of Initiatives for China.
New Approach to Take Back American Jobs while Advancing American Values
Opening Remarks by Dr. YANG Jianli at CECC’s December 7, 2016 Hearing Entitled “Dissidents Who Have Suffered for Human Rights in China: A Look Back and A Look Forward.”
Mr. Chairman Rep. Smith and Mr. Co-Chairman Senator Rubio,
    I want to first pay the warmest possible tribute to you both for your leadership and for your moral courage and strategic vision in speaking out on human rights issues so consistently and persistently even when it is not always easy or convenient to do so.
    By any standard, America’s China policy has been
a failure for the past three decades. The primary cause of the failure has been a fundamental misunderstanding of China’s strategic objective along with an inability on US part to respond to it with strategic and moral clarity. Regime security is the number one concern for China’s Communist Party: it wants to maintain the permanent rule in China, replace Western capitalism with “socialism with Chinese characteristics”, and substitute its civilization for democracy.
     The Trump Administration must take a different approach in dealing with the Chinese regime by returning to an American-values focused foreign policy and by striking directly at the vulnerable spots of the regime to enable a democratic transition. A democratic China will avoid the inevitable conflicts with the U.S., and ensure a lasting peace in the region and the world.
I recommend the following specific actions:
  1. 1.   Use the US market as leverage: threaten to
withdraw China’s permanent trade status unless serious improvements are made in the areas of human rights, political reform, and de-militarization of the South and East China Seas, and link continued progress on all three to all future relations, including trade; deny foreign tax credits to companies that invest in the localities with gross human rights violations, and ban product imports from those localities; impose more restrictive export controls on dual use as well as surveillance technology, and other similar measures to address the unfairness of one-way free trade that is resulting in China’s huge trade surplus of $3 trillion with the resulting loss of millions of American jobs, all of which will not only bring back jobs from China but allow the US to take the moral high ground.
2. Use Taiwan and Hong Kong as leverage: modify the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances to reflect a full democratic country status and affirm its legitimacy by allowing Taiwan to be a normal member of the international community; support HK’s struggle for universal suffrage by making it a major bilateral issue with China.
3. Use Japan as leverage: encourage Japan to take the lead in promoting democracy in the Asia-Pacific and return it to the normal status of a great power.
4. Use the Chinese regime’s lack of legitimacy and moral standing as leverage: engage with China’s democratic forces at a new level by passing the China Democracy Act to ensure all US government agencies are resolute and consistent in advancing a democracy agenda when engaging China, and by passing a China Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act,  China-specific Magnitsky-like legislation that would ban travel and freeze the assets of Chinese human rights abusers, and pass the Act to rename the plaza in front of the Chinese embassy after imprisoned Nobel laureate Dr. Liu Xiaobo.
5. Use the UN human rights mechanisms as leverage: because both the Chinese government and its people regard the UN as a legitimate world governing authority, and the Chinese government has taken the UN as the stage on which it seeks to compete with the US to build a bi-polar world order in its own way, the Trump Administration must strengthen the US leadership role in forming an alliance of democracies to confront China on human rights collectively, and formulate a stronger human rights policy toward China that is cogent, consistent and effective.
Thank you.
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