Central News Agency March 3 report: The House of Representatives today passed a resolution authored by vice-chairman Chris Smith (R-Hamilton) of the International Relations Committee, urging the Administration to put forth a resolution before the United Nations Human Rights Commission to condemn China for its widespread human rights abuses. The resolution passed the House 402-2.
The 60th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights will commence in Geneva on March 15 and end on April 23. The resolution of House of Representatives pointed out that the Chinese government signed a pact with the U.S. government, promising to improve human rights conditions. The U.S. government had reasons to believe Beijing was sincere in wanting to improve human rights, therefore the U.S. government didn't propose a resolution for the first time to condemn China at the earlier UN meeting. However, in the past year human rights conditions in China did not improve, they regressed. It is therefore necessary to condemn China with a resolution and to ask China to make solid changes.
The resolution contains 81 charges accusing China of human rights violations. The House of Representatives asked President Bush to condemn China at the Human Rights Commission this year and sought alliance and support, in order to prevent the Chinese government from using third-world country allies to veto the resolution as it did in the past.
The most important among the 81 charges include the Chinese government's unwillingness to follow the internationally acknowledged right of freedom of speech, freedom of belief and freedom of organization; it continued to suppress the Catholic Church, which is faithful to Vatican; it continued to heighten control over Tibetan Buddhists and activists; it persecutes human rights activists and Falun Gong practitioners; law executioners still use torture to extort confessions; they sell organs of prisoners on death row; mandate forced abortion which has led to imbalance of the two sexes; and 14 years after the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre, some people who protested in 1989 are still being incarcerated and there is no independent party to investigate the massacre.
The resolution also charged China with refusing to let the International Red Cross visit Chinese jails, denying visits by members from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, and preventing visits from the delegation of U.S. religious journalists.
At the Human Rights Commission meeting in Geneva last year, the U.S. government didn't propose a resolution condemning the human rights situation in China for the first time in more than ten years, which attracted criticism from many human rights organizations. Afterwards, the U.S. Congress explained that the Chinese government signed a pact agreeing to improve human rights, and the U.S. government was willing to give Beijing a chance. However, Human Rights Watch with headquarters in New York accused the Bush Administration of abandoning principles in exchange for Chinese support on anti-terrorism and issues regarding North Korea, which was the reason for not delivering a resolution condemning the Chinese government.
The U.S. also failed to propose a resolution the year before, but that was due to third-world countries joining forces and expelling U.S. from the UN Human Rights Commission.
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