|From left to right, Bob Fu stands with Jin
Bianling and Wang Yanfang in front of the
U.S. Capitol Building. (Photo: ChinaAid)
(Washington D.C.—Oct. 12, 2017) Bob Fu, president and founder of ChinaAid, visited with officials in the Trump administration, including Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Chris Smith, to raise the cases of several high profile prisoners of conscience last Thursday.
On Oct. 5, Fu was joined by several relatives of prisoners of conscience, including Chongyu Xia, the son of human rights lawyer Xia Lin; Wang Yanfang, the wife of human rights lawyer Tang Jingling; Jewher Ilham, daughter of Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti, and Jin Bianling, the wife of human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong.
Beginning at 10:30 a.m. with a press conference with the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), the four relatives and Fu were joined by the two co-Chairmen of the CECC, Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Chris Smith, as well as the Chairman of the Congressional Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, Representative Andy Hultgren.
|From left to right, Wang Yanfang, Jin
Bianling, Bob Fu, Chris Smith, Chongyu
Xia, and Jewher Ilham pose at the press
conference. (Photo: ChinaAid)
Rubio and Smith highlighted the four key findings of the CECC in its annual report and their recommendations to President Trump to raise these issues. In particular, the worsening situation of religious freedom and human rights in China.
The young leaders of the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement, Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, and Alex Chou were recently arrested. Their release was raised as a top concern by Rubio. Rubio also announced he and Smith will work with other members of Congress to nominate the three for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The press conference was followed by meetings at the White House with further members of the CECC, including Staff Director Elyse Anderson, the Director of Communications and Policy Scott Flipse, and the Deputy Staff Director Paul Protic.
Finally, the group met with officials at the State Department, including Maggie Dougherty, Senior Policy Advisor for Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.
The focus of the trip was to raise awareness for the cases of prisoners of conscience throughout China, and these four in particular. Matthew Pottinger, the Senior Director for Asia in the U.S. National Security Council, said to the assembled relatives that “freeing your family members is our utmost top priority.”
ChinaAid organizes advocacy initiatives such as this trip to Washington D.C. to raise awareness for the abuses perpetrated by the Chinese government against its citizens and to promote religious freedom and rule of law.