The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a resolution calling on China to end human rights abuses to ensure that the Olympic Games take place “in an atmosphere that honors the Olympic traditions of freedom and openness.”
The legislation includes two amendments asking China to release at least 734 political prisoners and to end its coercive population control policy that includes forced abortions and has helped produced a gender imbalance caused by what one lawmaker called “gendercide.”
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) , who sponsored the two amendments, said in a statement that dissidents in China are suffering “not in spite of, but precisely because of the Olympic Games.”
“In recent months, the Chinese Government has been filling its jails, watching, intimidating, house arresting and warning all known dissidents,” he claimed. “Tragically, but predictably, the Olympics have been the occasion of a massive crackdown designed to silence and put beyond reach all those Chinese whose views differ from the government line.”
Smith related that a trip he made to China in July was affected by the government crackdown when several human rights lawyers were detained by the Chinese police when they attempted to meet with him and Rep. Frank Wolf.
The New Jersey lawmaker argued that China’s coercive population control policy has imposed “unspeakable violence, pain and humiliation on hundreds of millions of Chinese women.” He noted China’s suicide rate among women is the highest in the world.
Smith said that tens of millions of girls are missing in a disparity caused by sex-selective abortions.
“The lost girls of China is gendercide,” he said, asserting that the Chinese government’s population policy constitutes “one of the greatest continuous crimes against humanity in human history.”
Emphasizing that “human rights are indivisible,” Smith noted that he and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) had presented a list of 734 political prisoners to the Chinese government and asked for their freedom.
The resolution, with both of Smith’s amendments, was passed by the House by a vote of 419 to 1.
According to the Guardian, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said the U.S. government should curtail what he called "the disgusting actions of this small group of anti-Chinese lawmakers.” He argued that the lawmakers were attempting to politicize, interrupt, and sabotage the Beijing Olympics.