Smith’s China Resolution Passes House
Fri. Hearing Set to Mark 25th Anniversary of Tiananmen Massacre
Congress today passed a resolution marking the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre and urging the U.S. to make support for human rights, democracy and internet freedom higher priorities in bilateral relations with China.
H.Res. 599, which passed 379-1 was introduced by Congressman Smith who said the resolution “honors the extraordinary sacrifice endured by thousands of peaceful Chinese democracy activists. We must continue to remember the Tiananmen Massacre here in Congress until the Chinese people are allowed to openly discuss its significance—without harassment and arrest.”
H. Res. 599 expresses sympathy and support for those jailed, tortured, or killed as a result their participation in the 1989 Tiananmen demonstrations. It also urges the Chinese government to provide a full accounting of the violent suppression of the demonstration and respect the freedoms of assembly, expression, and religion and all other fundamental human rights consistent with China’s obligations to uphold international law and UN treaties. The resolution also urges the U.S. government to make human rights with China a higher priority in bilateral relations by issuing a resolution on China at the U.N. Human Rights Council and taking steps to circumvent Chinese internet censorship and provide information to the Chinese people about the Tiananmen Massacre.
“China’s human rights record remains abysmal, despite China’s stunning economic growth, Beijing’s leaders remain terrified of their own people,” said Smith. “China remains the torture capitol of the world, religious freedom abuses and sex trafficking of women continue with impunity, and hundreds of millions of women have been forced to abort their precious babies due to China’s ‘One-Child Policy.’”
U.S. “moral and strategic interests coincide” when we prioritize human rights and “support the champions of liberty and freedom in China,” said Smith. “A more democratic China, one that respects human rights and governed by the rule of law, is more likely a productive and peaceful partner than a strategic and hostile competitor.”Click here to read Smith’s floor statement.
On Friday, May 3th Congressman Smith will also be holding a hearing on the 25th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre in the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Cong. Smith is Chair of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations.
Witnesses at the hearing will include former student leaders in the Tiananmen demonstrations, including Chen Quinglin, who has lived in China for the past 25 years and will be speaking publicly for the first time about the pressures placed on former Tiananmen leaders and pro-democracy activists in President Xi Jinping’s China.
Smith is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and co-chair of theU.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China. Click here to read Smith’s statement about recent arrests in China related to the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.