|From left: Bob Fu, Jin Bianling, the wife of human rights
lawyer Jiang Tianyong, Marco Rubio, Wang Yanfang, the
wife of China 18 member Tang Jingling, and translator David
Chen. (Photo: China Aid)
(Washington, D.C.—Feb. 13, 2017) In the midst of China’s skyrocketing human rights abuses, a delegation hosted by China Aid traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to raise awareness about ongoing persecution and celebrate the courage of those who champion human rights at their own peril.
On Jan. 29, activities began with a worship service at The Falls Church Anglican, where Reverend John Yates introduced China Aid president Bob Fu and prayed over the delegation, which included prominent Chinese human rights defenders. Afterward, the committee held a luncheon at the Peking Gourmet Inn.
The next morning, the delegation met with Eskinder Negash, the Senior Vice President for Global Engagement of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, followed by a 1:30 p.m. appointment with Thomas Farr, president of the Religious Freedom Institute, director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center on Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University, and the executive director of the Religious Freedom Institute.
Tuesday began at 9:30 a.m. with a meeting with Senator Ted Cruz, after which China Aid hosted a forum celebrating its 15th anniversary, entitled, “Worsening Religious Freedom and Rule of Law in China: What Does That Mean to the United States and Free World?” Held at the Library of Congress and featuring speakers such as Senator Marco Rubio and Congressman Chris Smith, the event addressed China’s human rights and religious freedom abuses and recognized seven lawyers who have routinely sacrificed their own safety to defend targeted individuals with the 2016 Courage Award.
After the forum, the delegation met with Senator John Cornyn.
On Wednesday, Reva Price, Senior Aide to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, met with the delegation just prior to their trip to the Heritage Foundation. Afterward, they attended the International Lunch for the National Prayer Breakfast, and, in the evening, the National Prayer Breakfast’s Congressional Opening Dinner, which was also attended by Vice President Mike Pence.
The National Prayer Breakfast commenced at 7 a.m. on Feb. 2 and was attended by both Pence and President Donald Trump. Later that day, the delegation met with Ambassador Mike Kozak and Deputy Assistant Secretary Scott Busby of the State Department. Representative Randy Hultgren convened with them at 4:30 p.m.
Freedom House hosted the delegation at 9 a.m. on Friday, and, at 11 a.m., they visited USCIRF, followed by a trip to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
China Aid hosts delegations and meets with government officials in order to raise awareness of China’s religious freedom and human rights abuses.