Forced Abortion and China’s “Lost Girls” Highlighted in Congressional Olympic Resolution
With just two weeks to go to the Olympics, the House Foreign Affairs Committee has unanimously approved legislation calling on the Chinese government to immediately “end abuses of human rights of its citizens” in order to ensure that the Olympic games take place “in an atmosphere that honors the Olympic traditions of freedom and openness.”With just two weeks to go to the Olympics, the House Foreign Affairs Committee has unanimously approved legislation calling on the Chinese government to immediately “end abuses of human rights of its citizens” in order to ensure that the Olympic games take place “in an atmosphere that honors the Olympic traditions of freedom and openness.”
Rep. Chris Smith, the lead Republican cosponsor of the bill (HRes 1370), urged his colleagues to support the resolution and added two amendments: one which calls on the Chinese government to abandon its coercive population control policy that includes forced abortion and a second amendment which urges the release of at least 734 political prisoners.
“China’s coercive population control program has imposed unspeakable violence, pain and humiliation on hundreds of millions of Chinese women, many of whom suffer lifelong depression as a consequence. Massively violated by the state, it is no wonder more women commit suicide in China than anywhere else in the world,” said Smith who held more than 25 hearings on human rights abuses in China as chairman of House human rights committees.
“As a direct result of the government’s one child policy, tens of millions of girls are missing today—dead due to sex selection abortions—creating a huge gender disparity. The lost girls of China is gendercide. With its heavy reliance on forced abortion, involuntary sterilization and ruinous fines for illegal children, the policy, in effect since 1979, constitutes one of the greatest continuous crimes against humanity in human history,” he said.
“My amendment seeks to bring some additional focus on the barbaric, cruel and hideous crime of China’s coercive population control program,” Smith said.
“Human rights are indivisible,” said Smith, a leading human rights advocate in the Congress for 28 years. “We need to emphasize all human rights violations. This resolution is a comprehensive listing of those violations whether it be against the Uighurs, the Tibetans, those seeking religious freedom or political prisoners. It seems to me that when you have the gravest atrocity—and I believe it is the largest violation of women’s rights in the history of human kind—we need to robustly combat it, and impress upon the Chinese government that they must abandon their coercive population control policy.”
Smith also offered an amendment urging the release of political dissidents many whose only crime is advocating religious freedom and democracy.
“A couple of weeks ago Frank Wolf and I presented a list of 734 political prisoners to the Chinese government. The list has been very carefully vetted by the Congressional- Executive Commission on China. With the Olympics coming up, the Executive Branch, and President Bush, in particular, needs to raise the cases of these individuals so that they can find freedom and be let out of the horrific Lao Gai prison system where many have been tortured and beaten.”
Both Smith amendments were adopted and the bill is expected to be on the House floor next week.