China’s Crackdown on Freedom Continues, Unabated

Here’s a break from U.S. politics: China is still atrocious on respecting human rights. Check out two compelling pieces written in the last week: one by NPR about the daughter of a Hong Kong bookstore owner and activist who was arrested by the Chinese government for dissent, and one about a bipartisan Congressional committee’s new report about how China is cracking down on journalists and others.

The report was issued by Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), a group that also has administration officials on it:

Over the past year, “the Chinese Communist Party and government further restricted the limited space for peaceful expression, religious activity, and assembly with harsh consequences for rights advocates, lawyers, and civil society, and continued to implement the world’s most sophisticated system of Internet control and press censorship, affecting both domestic and foreign journalists,” the comprehensive 340-page report states.

As of May 2016, authorities in China had arrested at least 20 people in under a year as part of a crackdown on lawyers and human rights advocates, according to the commission. Sixteen of the individuals were jailed for allegedly “endangering state security.”

“The government routinely denied medical treatment to imprisoned activists, targeted family members and associates of rights activists, including those overseas, with harassment and retribution, and became more brazen in exerting its extraterritorial reach,” the report states. “The government also continued harsh security measures that disregarded the protection of human rights in ethnic minority regions including Tibetan autonomous areas and the XUAR [Xinxiang Uighur Autonomous Region].”

I don’t normally cover international news, but China pops up on the radar from time to time. Last year, I was able to meet a pregnant pro-life activist from China who told the CECC (and, minutes later, me in my reporting role for LifeSiteNews) that her pregnancy broke the country’s pregnancy laws. And while China’s newer laws allow for some families to have a second child, things are still awful:

“People in the west are sometimes told that people in China are free to have more children if they are willing to pay a fine,” she explained. “What they are not told is that this fine can be ten times a person’s annual salary – or even more. The vast majority of people cannot afford to pay these crushing fines on an emergency basis to maintain a pregnancy.”

“If a couple cannot pay this fine, they may be subject to forced abortion, or they may hide and have their child illegally. Such ‘illegal children’ are not given hukou – household registration. They have no official existence and are not eligible for health care or an education. They become ‘illegal aliens’ in their own land,” Littlejohn said.

“This was the case of the Wang’s children. He could not endure the fact that his children would grow up without an education, so he cut his wrists to call attention to this injustice.”

China’s brutal abortion policies have led to hundreds of millions of murdered babies, especially girls. Suicides among women are high, yet U.S. taxpayers contribute to the nation’s forcible sterilization and other anti-woman, anti-child policies. Famed human rights attorney Chen Guengchang, who kindly granted me a photo with himtold reporters and others at a 2014 Heritage Foundation event that the Communist regime is more dangerous than terrorist groups.

It’s time for the international community to do exactly as the CECC recommended — hold China accountable, not praise its policies (as VP Joe Biden did on the One-Child Policy in 2011), or abandon human rights activists as Guengchang says Hillary Clinton did to him. Of course, China is not alone — our allies in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere regularly abuse women and activists, yet we cozy right up to them because oil is more important than people.

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Dustin Siggins

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