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China: Detention Without Trial, Ill-Treatment of Detainees and Policy Shoot-
ing of Civilians in Tibet, (by Amnesty International).
Campaign for Tibet)....
Torture in China, (by Asia Watch)
Hoc Study Group on Human Rights in China)....
SINO-AMERICAN RELATIONS: ONE YEAR AFTER
THE MASSACRE AT TIANANMEN SQUARE
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6, 1990
Washington, DC. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:35 p.m. in room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Alan Cranston (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Senators Cranston, Biden, Sarbanes, and Simon,
Today the Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs is investigating the current state of Sino-American relations one year after the Tiananmen Square massacre. Foremost among the range of issues being considered today is the fundamental issue of human rights. Clearly, the record of the People's Republic of China on human rights remains abominable. Even the President refers to steps taken by the Chinese as “modest” and states that they are “far from adequate”.
Lifting marshal law in Beijing and in Tibet appear to be only pro forma measures with extensive police and military controls remaining in place. The Chinese continue to support the genocidal Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, even increasing their military supplies according to the administration.
Additionally, reports continue of the sale of missiles and other sensitive technologies to the Middle East.
Ironically, it is at this low point in our relations that President Bush has decided to renew most favored nation status to China, but in so doing the President acknowledges that he is basing his decision not “on the steps the Chinese have taken so far.” The President hopes the continued favored trade will lead to more reforms. Surely, the intent of the Chinese leaders in their days of rage last June was to snuff out political reform while using the fruits of the people's labor to maintain their control.
I oppose the granting of most favored nation status to China. We
I must use the same set of standards for China that we do for any other country. The right to emigrate is a legal requirement for granting most favored nation status. We have made human rights a cornerstone of our foreign policy, restricting business and benefits to totalitarian regimes.
The President declares he will not finalize a trade package with the Soviets until a more liberal emigration law is passed, although they are now letting people live there in large and growing numbers.
What about the free emigration of Chinese citizens? What about the subjugation of Tibet and the massacre of Chinese citizens in Tiananmen Square?
The United States restricts investment in South Africa while that country's government oppresses its people.
What about the billion Chinese citizens longing for more freedom and democracy?
The world is a very different place now from a year ago. Perestroika and glasnost are developing in the Soviet Union. Democracies are emerging in Eastern Europe. Negotiations have led to peaceful settlements from Namibia to Nicaragua. Communism is a failed philosophy. Dictatorship is out of date. The Chinese leadership must see the writing on the democracy wall. American policies must be directed at aiding the forces of freedom in China, not toward shoring up totalitarians.
In today's hearing we will be taking testimony first from Richard Solomon, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and a noted Sinologist.
Following Dr. Solomon, we will hear from a public panel, including Ms. Michele Bohana, Director of the International Campaign for Tibet; Ms. Holly Burkhalter, Washington Director, Human Rights Watch; and Dr. Steven Mosher, Director of the Asian Studies Center of The Clairmont Institute.
At the conclusion of their testimony or at 4 p.m. in any case we will either adjourn or recess to hear informally from the leader of the student democracy movement, Ms. Chai Ling, recently escaped from China, as a witness. We will do this so that interested Members of the committee and others can hear firsthand of the situation. We will conduct that right here.
Before beginning, I would like to ask unanimous consent that this hearing be published and that the record remain open for such documents that Members might wish to submit.
I also ask unanimous consent that we seek to take a recording, if that is possible, of the testimony in the informal session and publish that as part of the record.
Senator HELMS. I agree.
Senator CRANSTON. I am delighted that Jesse Helms agrees. So, that will be the order.
Jesse, do you have an opening statement?
I join you in welcoming Secretary Solomon and this exceedingly distinguished panel of public witnesses. As Senator Cranston has indicated, our topic is China and Tibet 1 year after the Beijing massacre. I believe it was on May 24 that the President sent his waiver of the restrictions on most favored nation trade status to China, and he made this waiver without any condition. Within days, the Communists had answered his gesture with a new round of executions in China and Tibet and a new round of arrests and disappearances of human rights activists.
In the 40 years of its existence, the Chinese Communist Regime has committed countless crimes against its own citizens and its own neighbors, especially Tibet. There are many evil regimes
around this world today but none more deserves to be overthrown by its people than the one in Beijing.
The witnesses today will discuss a particularly terrible violation of human rights, and that is the Chinese Communist slave labor system. After the Chinese Communists seized power in 1949, they established a system of slave labor camps modeled on the Soviet gulag. According to a study by the Senate Judiciary Committee, 25 million people had died in these camps by 1971 and undoubtedly many more since then.
Some of the witnesses will testify that the prisoners in these camps are forced to work for next to nothing in terms of pay to produce the hard currency Communist China needs for development. These prisoners make textiles and garments and grow grapes for wine and mine salt and coal, and they produce steel and glassware. We will hear testimony today that the workshops where these products are manufactured are not ventilated. They are poorly lit. Assembly lines for electronics production have open vats of solder. The prisons do subcontract work for regular factories. The prisoners are paid by the factories, but the prisoners are not paid for their work.
Karl Marx accused capitalists of exploiting the workers. What an irony. Nothing the capitalists have done can match the atrocities of the Chinese Communists.
The witnesses will also tell us that the American Government knew about this exploitation but did nothing about it even though the importation of such products produced under such conditions obviously is illegal under American law.
We will also learn that while the administration wants to extend MFN trading status for another year to the Chinese Communists, the Chinese have, in essence, cut off MFN for the United States. A free market system like ours uses tariffs to regulate imports, but tariffs are meaningless in a Communist country because inasmuch as the state owns everything and controls everything, what comes out of one pocket goes into another pocket.
A Communist country allows its officials to take direct action to control imports, so the effect of raising tariffs or direct action is all the same: imports go down. This is what has happened to our trade in the year since the Beijing massacre.
Mr. Chairman, I look forward, as I know you do, to hearing the testimony of this distinguished panel, and I thank you for yielding to me.
Senator CRANSTON. Thank you very much, Jesse. Senator Simon.
Senator SIMON. Thank you very much. Mr. Chairman, I thank you first of all for holding the hearing.
If there is one thing the United States should stand for clearly, firmly, and without compromise, it is freedom and liberty and human rights. Frankly, our message in the case of China has been anemic. We have sent a very weak message.
I confess a little personal interest here. My parents were missionaries to China. They were in the United States one month when I was born. I grew up with Chinese visitors and Chinese art around the home. I guess I am the only Member of the U.S. Senate who grew up playing Mah Jong. I have come to have great appreciation for the people of China.