China Aid Association
At the Fifth General Meeting of International Parliamentarians’ Coalition for North Korean Refugees and Human Rights (IPCNKR), Seoul, the Republic of Korea.
October 24-26, 2008
Bob Fu’s Remarks on “Current Status of Human Rights in China and its Human Rights Policies”
Delivered on October 25, 2008
Greetings, Mr. Co-Chairman Honorable Hwang Woo-Yea [Member of Korean National Assembly], Co-Chairman Honorable Gundalai Lamjav [member of Mongolian Parliament], Co-Chairman Honorable Masaharu Nakagawa (Member of Japanese Parliament), Co-Chairman Honorable Ed Royce (Member of U.S. House of Representatives), Honorable Members of the Assembly and Members of the Parliaments of Countries from this Honorable Committee, distinguished guests:
My name is Bob Xiqiu Fu, President of ChinaAid. I am from Midland, Texas, and our offices are in Midland, TX, and Washington, DC.
It is a great privilege to be with you today. South Korea stands as a bulwark of freedom to many people, and I join with you to promote freedom.
Since fleeing from China in 1996 as a religious refugee, I have monitored and reported on China’s human rights conditions. I founded ChinaAid in 2002, and through it many reports have been launched online and delivered at leadership counsels in the U.S. and abroad. Because of China Aid’s extensive network within China, these reports provide current and verifiable information.
Many factors contribute to the complex human rights policy of the People’s Republic of China, and our reports in recent months indicate that the human rights issue has been an increasingly significant focus of the central government. The Chinese Constitution guarantees some human rights protections, including religious freedom in article 36.
Management of religious affairs is directed by the Party’s charter. In recent decades, China has taken great strides in its legislative development dealing with rule of law. This is especially notable when it is compared to historical dearth of rule of law legislation in China, and also when compared to brutal countries such as the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, also called North Korea]. We commend China for these developments.
Our reports unfortunately reveal that the Chinese government’s recent focus on human rights policy has not transferred into implementation of its existing laws and Constitutional provisions for the protection of its own people. In addition to implementing existing laws protecting human rights, the following developments are strongly urged:
The Chinese government needs to acknowledge and apply a universal human rights standard. The current response is typified by considering such a standard as relativistic. For example, China has signed but not ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) since 1998, and rights of freedom have not been fully allowed to its citizens.
Throughout all levels of government, the fundamental right of religious freedom must be allowed to Chinese citizens. Such a freedom is necessarily accompanied by freedom from government control. Freedom of religious encompasses the core freedoms of expression, assembly, and speech. While numerous religious groups experience harassment, arbitrary detention and imprisonment, the Falun Gong group continues to endure especially egregious treatment at the hand of governmental officials. Our reports include a sharp increase in the persecution of religious adherents such as independent House Church movement especially in the lead-up to the Olympics.
There is also strong indication of a planned, post-Olympic crackdown on several groups described as “unstable elements”, including human rights lawyers and leaders of unregistered churches. This egregious crackdown, if carried out, would have negative impact on China’s relationship to other countries who want to promote freedom and democratic values.
The groups chosen as the target of the crackdown is ironic. The leaders of the unregistered churches desire to promote a sincerely harmonious society, and they often engage in social work such as caring for orphans and the elderly. The human rights lawyers are risking their personal safety and career to promote rule of law and to protect the rights guaranteed to their clients by the Chinese Constitutional. These lawyers, such as renown rights defenders Li Heping and Li Baiguang who are also members of unregistered churches, are hopeful in their work to promote an independent judiciary, like the South Korean model. Their legal fees are covered in part by support from ChinaAid to enable them to continue promoting rule of law within China’s legal and judiciary system.
The need is great — and the time is ripe for change. South Korea’s voice resonates with great strength to the Chinese audience because of the wonderful model South Korea provides in its own transition to democracy. History reveals that after the Seoul 1984 Olympic Games, this transition accelerated drastically. This notable example and the current leadership of the U.N. by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon are a powerful platform from which South Korean can launch great promotion of democracy in China, especially during this vital season after the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
We propose an international coalition for promotion of freedom in China, in affiliation with this Inter-Parliamentary Coalition mechanism. This coalition, through monitoring, reporting and proposing action to China on behalf of participant members, can produce a powerful synergy for change, to urge China to make human rights a priority in the application of law and realization of fundamental human rights.
Without a fundamental change of China’s disrespect to basic rights to its own citizens, the international community cannot expect the Chinese Communist regime to stop its brutal practice toward refugees from North Korea. Likewise the world most severe human rights violators such as Burma, Sudan, and Zimbabwe will not stop their suppression and genocide if China is allowed to continue its current hostility toward human rights endeavors by its own citizens.
We call upon South Korea to participate actively, to lead with confidence, and thus to be an even greater beacon of the light of freedom.
Thank you very much, and may God bless China and my gracious host country, the Republic of Korea.
China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]