Statement by CECC Chairs Representative Chris Smith and Senator Marco Rubio on President Xi's 'Increasingly Bold Disregard for Basic Human Rights'

Congressional-Executive Commission on China
CECC Contact:  202-226-3777

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

(Washington, DC)—With the recent detentions and interrogations of scores of human rights lawyers and the death in detention of Tibetan Buddhist religious leader Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche, the Chairs of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) issued the following statement.   

“We are deeply alarmed by the recent round-up of scores of human rights lawyers and activists in China and believe this wave of repression constitutes an undeniable setback in U.S.-China relations.  These unjustified detentions and interrogations, part of a coordinated nationwide crackdown reaching far beyond Beijing, are just the latest example of President Xi Jinping’s intolerance for dissent and mockery of the rule of law.  President Xi promised a China governed by the rule of law, but is instead using the law, particularly an onerous and vague National Security Law, as a tool of oppression and control.  The detentions come on the heels of a joint statement of solidarity released by 100 lawyers last Friday protesting the disappearance of prominent human rights lawyer Wang Yu, who worked at the Fengrui Law Firm, which police have labelled a ‘major criminal organization’ for daring to take on dozens of sensitive cases.  The detentions coincided with the sad and unnecessary death of a prominent 65-year old Tibetan religious leader, Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche, who had served thirteen years of a life term based on politically motivated charges.  He had been repeatedly denied medical parole for his heart condition.”

“President Xi wants a ‘new type’ of relationship with the U.S, but continues to pursue repressive policies rooted in China’s past.  Sadly, China seems to be closing its doors to new ideas and ways of thinking that are essential for the type of economic innovation, political transparency, and diplomatic cooperation needed to shape the future of U.S.-China relations.  These issues and President Xi’s increasingly bold disregard for basic human rights must necessarily serve as the backdrop for the planned September summit.  We are compelled to ask whether such treatment of one’s own citizens is deserving of a red carpet welcome in Washington.”