Chairs Ask President Biden to Discuss Political Prisoners and Transnational Repression with Xi Jinping

(Washington)—The Chairs of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), Representative Christoper Smith (R-NJ) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), today released a letter asking President Biden to submit a list of Chinese political prisoners and unjustly detained American citizens to Communist Party General Secretary and Chinese President Xi Jinping and to “demand an immediate end” to transnational repression efforts targeting American citizens and legal residents. The President is scheduled to meet with Xi Jinping at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in San Francisco next week. 

The letter raises the specific cases of Gulshan Abbas, David Lin, Ekpar Asat, Mark Swidan, Wang Yi, Jimmy Lai, Ding Jiaxi, Xu Zhiyong, Lu Siwei, Gao Zhisheng, and Peng Lifa. The Chairs nominated Peng Lifa and Jimmy Lai for the Nobel Peace Prize. A complete list of political prisoners sent to the President can be found here

The Chairs also asked the President to be the “voice” of Uyghurs living in the United States who fear speaking out publicly for relatives disappeared or detained in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) because the PRC police and security forces use “intimidation and other tactics to coerce” their silence.  The Chairs introduced the Transnational Repression Policy Act (S. 831 / H.R. 3654) to hold foreign governments and individuals accountable when they stalk, intimidate, or assault people across borders, including in the United States.

The CECC maintains a searchable Political Prisoner Database (PPD) which contains case information about political prisoners in the PRC detained for exercising rights guaranteed to them by China's Constitution and law, or by international law, or both. Additional information on the political prisoners whose names were submitted to the President can be found by searching the PPD.  

A signed copy of the letter can be found here