At today’s House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) told Secretary of State Antony Blinken that he was “deeply concerned” over Biden’s response to egregious and ongoing human rights abuses in China. The following are excerpts of Smith’s questions to Secretary Blinken. To watch the exchange, click here or video clip below.
Welcome Mr. Secretary.
For the past 40 years as a member of Congress, I have been deeply concerned about the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) pervasive human rights abuse.
In addition to several fact-finding trips to China—including to a concentration camp—I’ve chaired over 75 congressional hearings focused exclusively on CCP human rights violations including pervasive religious persecution, torture, gulag labor, forced abortion, organ harvesting, democracy suppression, media censorship, the jailing of journalists and bloggers and genocide.
Your predecessor, Secretary Pompeo, concluded that the persecution of Uyghurs Muslims by Xi Jingping constituted genocide.
Last month at a Town Hall meeting Anderson Cooper asked President Biden about China’s treatment of the Uyghurs. President Biden gave a troubling response and said “Culturally there are different norms that each country are expected to follow,” an answer that was eerily reminiscent of President Obama’s cultural norms defense of Chinese President Hu Jintao which was roundly criticized by human rights defenders everywhere including a January, 19th 2011 editorial by the Washington Post entitled President Obama makes Hu Jintao look good on rights.
You said at your Senate confirmation hearing that you believe China “was” committing genocide and Ned Price at State was asked whether the genocide was “ongoing” and whether the Biden administration would “impose a cost on China.”
Is the genocide ongoing and will you impose a serious cost on Beijing?
Will you retain and expand the entity list of companies involved in human rights abuses?
As the author of the House-passed Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act will you impose a serious cost on Xi Jinping and others for destroying Hong Kong’s democracy, jailing great leaders like Joshua Wong and conducting farcical show trials against some of the greatest human rights defenders on earth like Martin Lee?
In 1984, Mr. Secretary, I offered the first of several amendments over the decades to condition population control funds away from any organization that supports or comanages a coercive population control program.
Now, as you know, the President has signed an executive order designed to resume foreign aid to organizations like the UN Population Fund that has been found repeatedly to be in violation of Kemp-Kasten’s non-coercion policy.
I am especially concerned that as Senator, President Biden voted against a resolution on September 13, 2000 criticizing China’s barbaric one child per couple policy and as Vice President told students in China in 2011 that he was empathic and that he “fully understood “ and wouldn’t be “second guessing” that cruel policy that crushes women and makes brothers and sisters illegal and is heavily reliant on draconian fines, coercion and forced abortion and involuntary sterilization.
Because of China’s child limitation policy, tens of millions of girls are missing—dead—because of sex-selection abortion.
And as you know, under the two-child policy, coercion against women continues to be pervasive.
We should absolutely be standing with the oppressed—not the oppressor.