|For Immediate Release
November 2, 2011
Contact: Jessica Baker, 202-225-3951
Statement of Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith
Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement
Legislative Hearing: H.R. 2121, the “China Democracy Promotion Act of 2011”
Chairman Smith: Human rights abuses in the People's Republic of China (PRC) remain common and widespread. As the Chinese government continues to suppress dissenting opinions and maintains political control over the legal system, the will of the people and individual rights are consistently undermined. The end result is arbitrary and abusive treatment of the Chinese people.
The bill we will discuss today—which has been introduced by my colleague, Congressman Chris Smith—assists in combating human rights abuses in China. While I support the bill, some of the language should be clarified so the sanction on senior leaders in the Chinese government is tied directly to the human rights abuses defined in the bill.
Human rights abuses, including arbitrary detention, torture, and severe restrictions on freedom of expression and association are rampant in China.
And violations specific to women and abuses related to the national family planning policy are also rampant.
As to the Family Planning Policy, the Chinese Government requires couples to practice family planning. The cornerstone of this policy is the offensive one child per couple policy.
To enforce this law, local authorities use the carrot of subsidized medical care, education and housing. But they also employ a harsh stick -- punishments including fines, confiscation of property, salary cuts and even dismissal from work.
Some of the most disturbing methods used to enforce the family planning laws have included the forced use of contraceptives and forced abortions for pregnant women who already have one child.
The one-child policy, with the traditional preference for male children, has led to practices such as female infanticide—the practice of killing female babies—concealing female births and abandoning female infants.
The one-child policy has also contributed to the practice of prenatal sex identification resulting in the abortion of female fetuses. Although the government has outlawed the use of ultrasound machines for this purpose, the practice continues.
By denying visas to certain Chinese nationals in the government who promote human rights abuses, we might as well assist Chinese patriots who work to end the lack of accountability for government officials who are part of the Chinese Communist Party. This legislation will send a message that abuses by these officials that go unchecked within China will not be ignored by the international community.