Washington D.C., Oct 8, 2016 / 05:01 am
China’s “utterly disgraceful” human rights record is not just bad, it’s getting worse every year, a new Congressional report has warned.
“The Chinese government’s human rights record is utterly disgraceful, continuing a downward trend over the past three years,” Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), chair of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Committee on China, which published the report, stated on Thursday.
“The Chinese government took extraordinary and unprecedented steps last year to decimate the ranks of human rights lawyers, crush independent civil society and religious groups, and expanded controls over the Internet and the press.”
The Congressional-Executive Commission on China released its 15th annual report on China on Thursday. Created in 2000 by the U.S.-China Relations Act, the commission “is mandated to monitor human rights and rule of law developments in China,” the report stated.
“China – now ranking as the world’s second largest economy – has benefited greatly from the international rules-based system in driving its economic transformation and growth,” the report’s executive summary stated.
However, it added, the ruling Chinese Communist Party has not improved its human rights record and respected the rule of law as it has been expected to by the international community. From suppression of religious freedom to detaining dissidents and human rights activists to forced population control, the Chinese state “has run roughshod over human rights” Rep. Smith stated, and it must be held accountable.
“The stakes could not be higher for the Christian pastor unjustly imprisoned and devastated by the loss of his church, the rights lawyer languishing under house arrest and forced to confess to crimes she did not commit, and the Hong Kong student activists fighting for their city’s future,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
“This report is dedicated to these people and their aspirations – it is vital that they know the United States, despite its economic relationship with China, will stand with that country’s reformers and dissidents and press the Chinese Government and Communist Party to respect basic human rights and uphold the rule of law, just as we expect of any responsible country.”