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tv   Senate Foreign Relations Hearing on Human Rights in China  CSPAN  December 5, 2018 8:00pm-9:19pm EST

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c-span where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service, by america's cable television companies. and today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress. the white house. the supreme court. and public-policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. tonight, a senate hearing on human rights abuses in china. a discussion about turkeys influence in the middle east and later a house hearing on the war in syria and the searing refugee crisis. state department and usaid officials testified at a senate hearing on human rights in china, expressing concern about the detention of religious and ethnic minorities and restrictions on press freedoms and civil rights.
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senator cory gardner chairs this hour and 15 minute foreign relations subcommittee hearing. >> the hearing will come to order, let me thank you all, this is to 11th and final hearing for the senate foreign relations subcommittee on each asia -- east asia in the 115 congress. i want to thank senator markey for being an incredible partner on this subcommittee. i couldn't have has -- have asked for anyone better. it is quite an achievement for the american people who have sent us here to contact -- conduct, excuse me. vigorous oversight over the in the form policy and i want to thank the senator for what we have done together throughout the the pacific region. in conjunction we authorize the asia reassurance initiative, the landmark legislation that will strengthen alliances and deter adversaries in the indo pacific generations to come.
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to inform the legislation we conducted five hearings, examining a range of national security economic rule of law and challenges. we concluded with the hearing on may 15, 2018 between state department and department of defense officials. on june 21, secretary pompeo and secretary matus formally endorsed a letter to the committee. they passed the committee unanimously on september 26, 2018 and i'm hopeful it will be signed into law before the end of the year. in the subcommittee we have held two hearings on north korea examining the shift from strategic patients from the last administration of maximum pressure and engagement policy of this one. we have a great much more work needs to be done to achieve complete verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the north korean regime as required by u.s. law. we held an important hearing on cyber security, examining state- sponsored threats is a vital
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national security's concern that needs to be seriously and immediately addressed. 's hearing today will be the final hearing in a three-part series of hearings titled the china challenge. examines how the united states should respond to the challenge that seeks to upend and supplant the us-led liberal world order. the first two hearings focus on security and economic aspects of china's authoritarian rice. the hearing will focus on democracy, human rights and the rule of law, values that have been fundamental to the conduct of u.s. foreign policy for generations. as the values relate to china the trump administration has been clear on the scope of the problem and gravity of the challenge before us. according to the national security strategy, for decades u.s. policy was rooted in the belief that support for the rise into the post war order would liberate china. contrary to it, china expanded its power at the expense of the sovereignty of others. according to the national defense strategy, the central
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challenge to u.s. prosperity and security is the reemergence of long-term strategic competition by what national security strategy classifies as revision powers, it is clear that china and russia want to shape about contract -- consistent with their model beginning with veto authority over economic, diplomatic and security decisions. the so-called authoritarian closing under the president has resulted in an unprecedented intensifying crackdown on civil society, ethnic minorities and religious freedom in china. the news of mass concentration camps for muslims in the province has shocked the conscience and necessitates a serious response from the united states and international community. crackdowns in the region is intensifying while they continue to refuse negotiations with the central tibetan administration. human rights defenders are jailed, tortured and otherwise deprived of liberty. freedom of speech and assembly
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are nonexistent. corruption and abuse of power are rampant. the judicial system is a tool the state and party and not impartial arbiter of legal disputes. today, we have three distinguished administration witnesses to shed light on how the u.s. should approach democracy, human rights and the rule of law as they relate to strategic competition with china and how they should advance the values on chinese soil. with that, i will turn it over to senator markey for his comments. >> thank you very much and thank you for this incredible set of hearings which we have had in this subcommittee over the last two years, just absolutely fantastic and i want to compliment you for that. this hearing is a continuation of that, looking at chinese policy, influences, these challenges are not insurmountable but they require our thoughtful study and close attention. around the world, all countries including the united states
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rely on the rule-based international order to underpin security and prosperity. to help provide a level playing field, to provide the maximum opportunity for the greatest number of people and defend and protect certain fundamental rights. so it is of the utmost importance that we do everything in our power to ensure this system remains. the first hearing focus on economic policies of the chinese government effort that ran counter to these tenants. the subsequent hearing explored the military modernization and expansion in its implications for the security interests of america and our allies and the fundamental peace and stability of the indo pacific. today's hearing, six to capture developments and chinese domestic policy that could have brought up locations for the way people are treated around the world. after all, what has made american foreign-policy strong
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and effective is not just economic and military strength but our commitment to certain values. the world has looked up to the united states, it watched as our democratic experiment developed the one that prioritize the promotion of basic individual freedoms and liberties but we must make clear that this was not just an experiment. the american democracy isn't obsolete and u.s. leadership on human rights isn't temporary. while american democracy has been messy, it has also been the envy of the international community. it is what has allowed us to be a moral leader in the eyes of the world. as china rises and grows influential around the world and elements of china's policies have challenged long- established concepts of rights and freedoms. i like many others at one point believed that china's entry into the international community would lead to increased
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political openings, the promotion of freedom of expression and greater commitment to human rights. unfortunately, we are seeing just the opposite trend. we are seeing the chinese government authoritarian attitudes, influenced in five key areas. first, it seeks to politically curb dissent through censorship of all types of freedom of expression including online. this approach is drawing american companies such as google, into this way of thinking and along the way, compromising data privacy provisions on their online platforms to exchange or greater market access for american companies. second, it is in plain extrajudicial tactics to intimidate citizens including those from the united states along with senators, we are
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concerned that this administration is not raising these issues with the chinese government, its use of exit band policies to prevent innocent americans from leaving china which violate international conventions and bilateral agreements. we have to do more. third, we are seeing the continuous ethnic and religious repression of minority communities in china. the chinese government's tactics to repressed tibetan buddhists is being replicated, there are reports that as many as 1 million muslim leaders have been forced to take part in reeducation camps, where they must renounce the religious and ethnic identity. this policy is an abomination and defies all forms of basic, human rights, principles. this sadly falls into a pattern
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of state behavior as the government's policies to target christians and members of other faiths is well known. fourth, the chinese government is now exhibiting the bold behavior of targeting activists and dissidents overseas and in one case chinese authorities have threatened the family members of new service journalists, should they continue to report on the activities. inside of china. and finally, china's government has protected other governments accused of significant human rights violations. china is working through the united nations security council to protect the government in burma from international condemnation for its brutal assault on the road and go, it is weakening the international efforts to pressure the regime in cambodia by offering financial loans and giving lucrative lines of credit to venezuela as the world tries to
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isolate the president and it is noticeably silent on the president drug war in the philippines as it strengthens economic and security partnership with manila. such policies undermine, establish human rights standards internationally and they challenge individual freedoms and liberties the majority of the world holds dear. it is imperative that we confront this challenge. they must engage with our chinese counterparts head on about our concerns and work with allies and partners to establish a collective front against this malign behavior. we have to do it at the highest level starting with the president because we cannot credibly defend human rights without the backing of the office of the president. and there are many unanswered questions about how the administration is doing with china's authoritarian behavior. how effective are we in calling out chinese behavior especially when we pull out of
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institutions like the human rights council which can serve as an effective venue to apply pressure. are we raising concerns with the chinese government and what is our president saying to the president about human rights, did this come up at the g 20 and if so how did the conversation go? if not, why not? we don't know. we need to shed light on these questions if we want to help stem the tide towards authoritarian challenges to democracy human rights and the rule of law. we must ensure our diplomatic efforts are comprehensive and effective. our moral leadership of the planet depends upon it. i think you mr. chairman, once again and i think this panel for being here today. >> thank you, i will introduce all three witnesses, our first is scott busby who serves as the deputy assistant director of state.
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previously served as the director for human rights on the national security council in the white house from 2009- 2011 where he managed a wide range of humanoid and refugee if you just. welcome to the kennedy and thank you for your service. and laura stones who serves as the deputy assistant secretary of state, she served as the director of the office of chinese and mongolian affairs, director of economic policy office and economic counselor in vietnam. thank you for being here. our third witness is gloria still who acts as the administrator of the united states agency for international development, a career member of the u.s. -- mission director for the philippines in the pacific islands prior to her appointment. look forward to your testimony. please begin. >> thank you mr. chairman and ranking members and members of the subcommittee. we appreciate your attention to the human rights situation in
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china, and the invitation to appear before you today. defending universal rights and fundamental freedoms has been and will continue to be an essential element of american foreign policy. governments that respect human rights remain the best vehicle for promoting prosperity, happiness and peace. president donald trump summed up the situation in china in his recent speech at the hudson institute where he said, for a time beijing inched towards greater liberty and respect for human rights but in recent years, china has taken a sharp u-turn towards control and oppression of its own people. i think you both fully described the situation in your own remarks this morning. as both of you mentioned some of the most widespread and worst human rights abuses taking place in china right now are occurring in the chin jon region. the u.s. government assesses that since april 2000 17th
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chinese authorities have detained at least 800,000 and possibly more than 2 million. reports suggest that most of those detained are not being charged with crimes and their families have little to no information about their whereabouts. at first they denied the existence of such camps. but as public reports have emerged, chinese authorities now assert they are vocational education centers which crosses over the fact that many renowned intellectuals and retired professionals are also detained in these camps. former detainees who have reached safety has spoken of relentless indoctrination and hers conditions for example praying and other practices are forbidden. the apparent goal is to force detainees to renounce islam and embrace the chinese communist
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party. the recent testimony is a chilling and heart-wrenching account of just how badly the chinese government is mistreating many of the people who have been detained in the region. life outside the internment camps is not much better. neighborhoods have entry and exit checkpoints manned by armed police, families forced to accept chinese officials into their homes for extended homestays, thousands have been shuttered or destroyed, some have converted to communist propaganda centers. unfortunately, fleeing is not enough to escape the long arm of the chinese government. china has routinely pressured other countries to return members of other minority groups which is often proven successful. even one such individuals reach safety, china's content to
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continue to harass. this does not and here. its policies have spread hundreds of miles away, for instance to muslim communities. to buttons face continued repression and pervasive surveillance, indeed it to but not thomas region was the testing ground for many of the techniques now used. chinese authorities also continue to restrict the freedom of religion of christian communities and others. protestant house churches are being shut down and even officially registered churches are under increased government scrutiny. in september, the holy see in china signed a two year provisional agreement on the selection of bishops which raises additional religious freedom concerns. members of the church of almighty god also reportedly continue to face detention, forced labor and torture.
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as both of you noted the government also continues to abuse lawyers, human rights defenders, other activists. we are particularly concerned about the cases of --, -- and -- who have been imprisoned and abused for their efforts to fight for the rights of others and document abuses. any organizing to raise collective concerns or advocate for social change it seems, including the efforts of women's, lgbt i, labor and migrants rights groups runs the risk of intimidation and harassment. journalists continue to have their practices restricted and rates abused. as members of this committee have previously noted, the system of repression is exacerbated by the government's increasing technological sophistication. and in some we see a concerted effort to use both new advanced technology and old-fashioned repression to control all aspects of chinese society.
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despite these developments the united states continues to advocate for human rights in china, we will speak to how we seek to advance human rights in the bilateral relationship, the bureau is implementing $10 million of fy 2018 economic support funds to support human rights in china just as we have done for the last several years. nevertheless such programs are increasingly challenged by the difficult operating environment in china including the new and highly restrictive foreign ngo management laws. we are working with allies and using all trilateral forum to encourage china to improve its humans rates situations as demonstrated through the recent engagement in the universal periodic review and we along with u.s. agency for global media continue to push back against china's closed internet by among other things finding programs that support anti- censorship technologies, promote digital safety, we welcome the spotlight at this
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hearing and will continue to work closely with the subcommittee to support the efforts of those in china who are seeking to stand up for the rights. >> german gardener, distinguished members of the subcommittee, i truly appreciate the invitation to appear before you today on this important issue. the united states wants a constructive results oriented relationship with china, grounded in the principles of fairness, reciprocity and respect. china's production of human rights and fundamental freedom is essential to our ability to achieve decisions and realize a sustainable u.s. china relationship. today, china is clearly doubling down on repressive domestic controls and in stark contrast to the universal values that the united states and its partners have championed for many decades. in recent years, we have witnessed a regression in terms of the respect for human rights
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and freedoms including religious freedom, the rule of law and civil society. while my colleague can speak to these items in more detail today, and the written statements highlighting, today i will share with you some of the acts of the state department to reinforce support for human rights and fundamental freedom inch -- in china. we are alarmed by reports of massed attention of muslim minority group members. we urge china to reverse counterproductive policies that conflict terrorism with peaceful expression of religious beliefs to political views. i received reports that u.s. lawful permanent residents, family members of u.s. citizens and individuals who participated in the state department exchange programs have been detained. we raise these cases with authorities and insist that they provide information on the locations and conditions of those detained and more importantly immediately release
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them. the secretary of state highlighted these issues last month in washington at the diplomatic and security dial up press event. the vice president spoke about the issues publicly in october and u.n. ambassador haley did the same and speaking about the challenges they posed to the international community. the state department is leading efforts within the administration to review and develop a u.s. whole of government strategy to address the campaign of repression. elements of the strategy could include utilizing tools to promote, accountability, the use of u.s. goods and services to perpetuate egregious activities and strengthen diplomatic and public policy efforts throughout the world to attract like-minded partners. department officials meet with members to coordinate with u.s. law enforcement agencies to prevent the harassment in the
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united states. the department is conducting outreach to u.s. and chinese companies with business to draw attention to the risks of their exposure to chinese abuses and underscore u.s. commitment to avoid complicity. u.s. embassies around the world are providing assistance to survivors of the camps, we have engaged dozens of foreign governments to prevent the reef element to china whose lives or freedoms would be threatened. if we were to fundamentally change, they must act together. department of state attend the trials and sentencings of human rights lawyers and activists and we have met with the wives and family members of those who have been detained. the press for release publicly and privately of all political prisoners. and many names appear in my written testimony. although we were unsuccessful in our efforts to secure the freedom, persistent public and
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private advocacy's secured the long-sought release of his widow in july of this year. ambassador has been especially active and engaging china's leadership on cases such as these. when we speak up we try to do so encounter with allies and partners throughout the world that are similarly concerned. again, speaking up publicly is one tool we have. a security official was among the first ever of sanctions to use the executive order that builds on the global human rights accountability act and his role in the death of an activists held in government custody. america's critical role in protecting and promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms is in many ways more important today as china attempts to take a global leadership role and there is more the united states can do. we look forward to working closely with the subcommittee to support the efforts and chinese people to realize their
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human rights and fundamental freedoms and promote accountability for those who seek to violate or abuse the right and freedoms. inc. you for the invitation to testify on these very important issues and i am happy to answer any questions you may have. >> german, ranking member, thank you very much for the opportunity to talk about democracy, human rights and law in china. in support of america's foreign policy the agency leads the u.s. government international development and disaster assistance. the work saves lives and helps countries to become more self- reliant and stronger partners to america. for the focus of the hearing, i will highlight the work with tibetans and provide a brief overview of support to strengthen democracy and respect for human rights and will highlight the rule of law. thank you to your support with tibetans to help protect and preserve their threatened way of life. within china we support the
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preservation of culture, sustainable livelihood and assistance of environmental coverage -- today they have supported the preservation of nearly 7 million cultural heritage items and impart due to environmental conservation support communities are empowered to lead the management of natural resources. -- strengthen their self- reliance and resilience, this includes strengthening health and education systems. for example, our work in modern methods have benefited 21,000 students and 75 schools in india and nepal. we are helping maintain vitality of communities and sustaining unique identity and culture. have bolstered public service leadership of more than 330 central administrations and in support of sustain -- sustained
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livelihoods, they have provided programs to grow businesses through small, low interest loans. from fiscal year 2017 the program benefited over 800 migrant enterprises and had a 100% on-time repayment rate. next i will highlight human rights work in asia. over the last five years, institutions across asia have been tested. some foreign influences have overtly and covertly co-opted political leaders and exploited weaknesses, this is given to increase corruption, commercial deals and subversions of national sovereignty. we are seeing computing development models that can lead to unsustainable debt or limit freedoms. these developments undermined the long-term visibility and in contrast the u.s. government offers alternative approaches
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that fosters strategic partnership. in support of the strattera energy they promote democratic governance that leads to the rule and interest of the people and is infused with democratic principles of participation, inclusion, transparency and accountability. we promote adherence to international rules and standards and support legal institutional respect for human rights. the production of which is a cornerstone of strong democratic governments. we have a cheesed -- achieved notable progress but we have a long way to go and must remain steadfast in our engagement. for closing i would like to mention our work concerning improving governance. the natural resources department which many countries defend for long-term economic growth are increasingly threatened by responsible extraction, behavior and poor governance. that is why they prioritize
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improving the management of natural resources across asia. we promote transparent government policies, regulations, that foster adherence to internationally accepted standards including environmental safeguards that help to mitigate the entry of predatory players. a particular note is a program that we are launching that will support responsible infrastructure development. there is no doubt that china is increasingly exerting its influence across the region, this poses problems and can threaten countries sovereignty. the partnership we offer provides alternative choices that invest in increasing country self-reliance for prosperity and helps countries to make informed decisions. thank you and i look forward to your counsel and questions. >> i think the testimony from the three of you has presented one of the most damning views
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of china's rise that the committee has heard and i want to go through some of the secretary statement because i think it's important in this context to reiterate what was said. we are talking about mast attention of the ethnic surveillance, harassment of political dissidents not just in china but by chinese on foreign soil. detaining journalists emilie members who remain in china, harassing those abroad, members of the chinese muslim minority groups to return them overseas and reports that suggest most people detained are not charged with crimes and their families lack information about whereabouts, well-being or how long they will be held. some are being detained because they traveled abroad or because they have family abroad, there appears to be no way to contest such detentions. failure to learn the lessons taught in these camps leads to beatings and food deprivation.
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reports of the use of stress positions, cold cells and sleep deprivation in the camps, reports of torture or cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment including sexual abuse. one common goal and the reports seems to be forcing detainees to announce in some and embrace the communist party. reports of constant surveillance of detainees to ensure they do not pray on or even in their own beds in the middle of the night. forced to eat pork and drink alcohol, reportedly being forced to take medications with unknown substances. civil society groups say they return and face arbitrary and president -- imprisonment or execution. one case you cite in your testimony, authorities used dynamite to demolish a house church, requiring the removal
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of crosses and in some cases the hanging of pictures inside the church and the installation of surveillance equipment. inside the church. reports of officials destroying or limiting access to religious war materials like the allegations that chinese authorities have burned the bibles. we are talking about one of the most significant trade partners this country and many countries around the globe have. with over 1 billion people. we are not talking about dictatorship, we are talking about a country that people look to more and more for leadership around the globe, what you have described our damning evidence of horrendous human rights violations. could you please explain some of the steps this administration has taken to hold
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people accountable for these actions and what we are doing at the united nations and other places to perhaps provide inspection and inspectors access and pressure from these kinds of activities? to prevent these kinds of activities? >> thank you for the question. first of all we have been trying to raise public awareness about the situation, at the first ever religious freedom ministry that the secretary hosted in july, both he and the vice president called attention to the abuses and we circulated other statements on human rights abuses in china that talked about the abuses. ever since then we have been trying to continue to spread the word about what is going on in the province. in the united nations we recently participated in the universal periodic review which is something that every country has to go through.
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and in our brief statement had to be brief because of the number of folks who wanted to speak at this event, we called attention to the human rights abuses in china and called for them to cease. at my colleague the accutane -- there is a robust process underway led by the national security council to look at specific, concrete steps we can take to respond to horrific things happening in the province and try to bring them to a stop. >> have any sanctions been leveled against any chinese officials involved in these suspected or confirmed events, actions, has any passport been suspended, has any official action been levied against the chinese government? >> thank you for the question. i obviously shared at a
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personal level our concerns about what is going on, i don't think anyone who is working on these issues could have any other position. the tools that the congress has given us, we do appreciate them. they are the kinds of things that we can use, it is a little frustrating i understand, frustrating for us, the process is sometimes not as fast as we would like. that is actually a good feature of our system. >> i am going to run out of time. quickly, i apologize. >> we are working through process right now, in order to get through to the appropriate actions using the tools they have given us. the process is moving along, we hope to move on those issues and we hope to take action as soon as the process is continued.
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>> i hope those processes move quickly, no treasury is involved in those decisions. i encourage action to be taken quickly. >> i want to raise the issue of the missing chinese relatives of reporters, what is the administration doing about this? how are we raising the issue? it undermines their credibility of the whole mission and it creates a chilling effect in terms of our ability to deliver an honest message about what it is that we see happening in the region. what are we doing to protect these relatives? >> first off we have raised the cases with the chinese government, so far to no avail. our spokesperson met with the
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journalists here to hear about the situation of the relatives and at that meeting she called out the chinese government for undertaking these actions against the relatives so it's an issue that we continue to track and press. >> thus far we have been unsuccessful in receiving any change in policy by the chinese government, is that correct? >> so far to my knowledge, we don't have any relatives who have been released as a consequence of these efforts? >> what else could we do in this area to get the proper response? >> go ahead. >> there is a lot we can do, many of them are tools provided by congress which we are appreciative. i referred to in my testimony the actions we are considering, i can't prejudge the process but we are a country, we are a country ruled by law.
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so we are going through the process and i want to make sure that these are actions that can stand up under legislative scrutiny, judicial scrutiny and we will continue to move forward on those actions, i think the real point on this is even if we don't have an immediate impact on what we are doing, i think it is important that we take these actions. >> i agree with you, more must be done. i want to move on to online censorship, google, apple, facebook. are reported to have aided the censorship efforts as part of their efforts to access the chinese market. google disables domain fronting capacity used to evade centers and is working on a censored version of search engine dragon to launch in china, apple has removed more than 400 virtual private networks, handing over there china i called user data to the
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chinese state owned mobile operator. has the state department engaged the administration to monitor and discourage these corporate haters which go against the fundamental value of freedom of expression? >> thanks for the question. we have. we met with senior officials from google in the wake of the story of the development of dragonfly applications. i expressed strong concerns, by any collaborations to develop a censored version would be problematic. >> i think that must continue to escalate in terms of the pressure that we are applying but we can't separate ourselves and corporations from the goals which we have in china and other countries. there are some calls for them to be given temporary status to
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ensure they are not sent back to china to face repression, other european culture -- governments have halted extradition, do you support the move? >> that is one of many options that is being considered. >> do you support the move? we are not extraditing people back to the country that is repressing them. >> we are generally opposed to return of any back to china and the issue again as one of the many options being considered. >> i think it is the option which should be considered and implemented. we can't as a country be sending people back that we know is repressing. what is our diplomatic strategy to engage muslim majority countries? to condemn chinese behavior. it seems like there should be more of an outcry from the muslim world, we haven't heard them? these are muslims who are being oppressed inside of china, what
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is the united states strategy to get more cooperation from muslim countries to speak up for their coreligionists? >> a very good point, i was recently in malaysia and raised this issue with the government. we have been raising it with other muslim majority countries again with the goal of establishing a like-minded cash >> have we raised it with saudi arabia? >> i can't speak to that. >> do you know, missed on? >> we would love to get you a list of the questions and countries we have raised. i assume so but we have to check. >> there are lot but we don't see it at work. i don't think china will respond unless they know in the muslim world and from government to government we should be telling them we expect that as their policy. thank you. >> this whole topic of china is
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so much more than just a balance of trade and among the president who views himself as a historic and transformational figure and one goal is to remake the global order more invitations to them and many things talked about today are part of it. you look at the record, the abuses that are well documented, stripping them of their identity and religion, the long-standing attacks on practitioners, obviously we know the stress that christianity has faced, i feel the democracy, we have seen the erosion of it in hong kong, the disqualification of pro- democracy lawmakers from the ballot, student leaders, and you see what the global reaction has been there is reason to be concerned that this post-world war ii pro- democracy, pro-human rights global norms are being eroded and reshaped and that china is using their power to push it in
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that direction. look at the senator, silence of the muslim world in the face of the forced internment of hundreds of thousands of muslims in the u.n. for example an april security forces ejected an ethnic representing accredited nongovernmental organization clearly at the request of somebody. accredited and looked to block the european union. from issuing a statement or position at the human rights council for the first time i believe ever a definitive statement delivering a statement we can all surmise why with incredible economic leverage. the list goes on and in 2017 the u.n. security secretary- general introduced the president as an event that was closed to civil society and made no reference of human
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rights violations. the council and commission at a summit in brussels he did not call for the release of political prisoners including their own citizens. or even the repeal of abusive laws. in june, this is all from a report from human rights watch but in june, police briefly detained and later released the same ethnic ngo representative who had been invited to speak at the italian senate and they briefly detained him even though he was invited to be there. it's not clear whether they requested that on issue after issue it appears to us and you can see around the world that even nations that long have been committed to democracy and human rights when it comes to china are quiet, looking the other way or frankly now leveraged to the point where they cannot speak out. so that is why it is so important in the united states to be forceful. no one else can or wants to.
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when others do want to come your concern when we don't join them, as an example, earlier this month there were 15 western ambassadors in beijing spearheaded by canada and reportedly sent a letter to the communist party chief who is seeking a meeting and expressing deep concern regarding the growing crackdown, no one thought that would happen per se. i am curious, why didn't the u.s. sign onto the letter? >> we agree with you completely. thank you very much for the question and the clear statement of support for the u.s. speaking out strongly. on the human rights conditions in china and also the conditions in --. the specific letter, sometimes the countries involved are like- minded partners and we may or
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may not join on any kind of particular measure that is coming out of the embassies in beijing. i want to assure you that we are working consistently with those like-minded partners to do real action and we have many more tools and a lot more spine to be able to able to take real action. >> i want to make the point, if we are complaining about how these are not doing enough, when they do something we can't sign onto a letter, i don't know if that was made here in dc as part of the broader relationship or made by the ambassador that i think it was a big mistake in your written testimony mention the fact that chinese security services are harassing leaders abroad, we have heard firsthand about people who say this is the case can you tell us of the department is working with other agencies on this issue and in particular protecting u.s. citizens and legal permanent residence and what sort of outreach is anyone doing to the communities who feel like the long arm of china
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is reaching them here within the united states. >> yes, we are we are working closely with the fbi to make sure any information that comes our way goes to them and we would be happy if you hear of anything in addition to also work to pass that along. in terms of making sure the message gets out, when we meet with the communities we do everything we can and ensure we are constantly updating our travel guidance to make sure that people are aware of the situation. >> my last question in this case is people inside the united states, i drew with the travel part. in your written testimony indicated department of state conducted outreach to u.s. and chinese companies with business to draw attention to the risk of exposure of these abuses. there is a company that has sold the end -- dna sequences against the human rights violations including mandatory
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data banking of the entire population. i had testimony last week at the commission on china that they are forcing people to turnover blood and get a passport. the american company is using this, can you tell us if this is one of the companies they have reached out to and expressed concerns about how it could be used by the chinese to do these horrifying things. >> i can't speak to the company but i can tell you that is the kind of company. >> thank you for your service and testimony. senators, gardner, markey, warner and i wrote a letter to the secretary about the journalists families on 26 july
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and to my knowledge we have not received a reply to this letter. it was a letter to ask the secretary to brief us on the status of the cases and what is being done to try to help the family members who are detained for the journalists or residents of virginia. i would like to introduce the letter into record and hopefully you do not have objection. secretary pompeo is busy, not expecting him to drop everything but someone needs to respond to this letter that is more than four months old. it may not be in your purview but i would hope you would take back to the committee when we write a letter like this we are not just doing it for health. take back to the state department, we would like an answer. has the secretary raised the issue of the imprisoned journalists families directly with his counterpart? are you aware of if he has or hasn't? >> on that specific issue he obviously has raised it, you
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can see and the dialogue press conference. if he has raised that particular case, can i take that and get back to you? >>
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there are at least 100,000, probably up to a couple of million folks in these facilities, hard for us to get precise data because we don't have full access to that region. but that's our current -->> that's staggering, but i think you're right, it's hard to get a fix on the exact number.
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press reports also indicate that they've been recruited to forcibly occupy the homes of leaders, so those who are not in a detention camps are having that chinese placed in their homes so that they are studied to make sure there's no karen visible, they are not praying during the day, we have the constitution that prohibits government troops in people's homes. it's never been used, because never as a government been stupid enough to do it. but 1 million han chinese being deployed into weaker homes, and you've also indicated other things. checkpoints into weaker neighborhoods. the last thing i'd like to ask, the situation is also an interesting one. what exactly is the chinese government's rationale for
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imprisoning fallon gone members, is it just the general suspicion for any kind of concerted reported activity, or is they a chinese governmental belief that the ideology is somehow countering the state. explain that to me please. >> thanks for the question senator. i think your analysis is right. the mere fact that there is a group of people meeting independently, with views that are independent of the communist party, is used threat the communist party. i think that's the primary source of their suspicion. >> so there's no allegation that they are participating in activity as far as you know. >> not as far as i know. >> i want to go back to one of the comments i made during my first round of questions. i talked about inspectors. un observation, ambassadorial
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visits to the region. in your opening statement you talked about that universal declaration of human rights. has an official un envoy inspector visited the region?>> not to my knowledge recently senator. they were people who are called special repertoires that are mandated by the human rights council to look into freedom of expression, freedom of the rights to assembly, and freedom of torture, and virtually all of them have asked for access to china in recent years but none of them have been granted such access so to my knowledge, no un official charged with looking into human rights issues has been allowed access. >> has that u.s. pushed for such access with china, and attempted to build a coalition, encouraging china to accept a such -- >> we have regularly raised
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that with the chinese government. >> has our ambassador asked to visit the region? >> we haven't asked recently. it's on the list of places that we do want to visit. that united states diplomats do occasionally visit areas that are not close. our concern is that we need independent body to be able to go into a proper investigation. >> and i would encourage the ambassador to encourage such a visit. this is not acceptable. again, this is somebody that we are doing billions upon billions of dollars of trade with each and every day. and so the most heinous human rights violations are occurring before our very eyes. >> mr. chairman, that's a very good point, unfortunately such
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access depends on the ascent of the chinese government. and so far we have not been able -- >> let me ask you this, the tariffs that have been levied, has human rights ever been associated with those tariffs in the trade conversations?>> i actually haven't been in the trade meetings, and in the discussions i've been in, they been at a technical level. but i do want to reassure you that whenever we are doing preparations for any visit, i always raise these issues. i feel very strongly, and they also feel the u.s. government has a real role making sure that china knows, to the extent that they want to play a greater role in the world. this is essential, these are the kind of international norms they have to abide by.>> is china still receiving labors from north korea?>> i'm sorry,
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i have to get back with you on the exact information related to that. >> i guess one of the concerns i've had over the past several years, china's willingness to accept laborers, and basically violations by north korea, are you familiar with any of the actions china has taken regarding the labors? >> i'm familiar with the fact that in the past, china certainly accepted a large number of laborers from north korea. because the north korean laborers do not have the ability to keep their own salaries, and have any kind of freedom, we do consider them to be slave laborers. and one of the things that we worked with, like my partners in the un security council resolutions, make sure the new laborers going into new countries have to be tapered
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off. but in terms of what exact -- the exact situation is at the moment, i'll have to get back to you. >> when it comes to tibet, conversations regarding dalai lama and the catholics church within the catholic church in china, how does that affect dalai lama, and future actions taken to that? >> we have been working with them for over 20 years, and working on development and observation. we stayed in the same areas that they have indicated of interest to them. and we will continue to stay. >> that's probably not the best question for you.>> so in terms of the recent agreement with
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the catholic church and the chinese, obviously it's something that they are watching very closely. the u.s. government has not taken a position on the actual agreement, but we are very aware of the fact that the chinese government in the past has taken a very aggressive and repressive role on a ledge -- religion. >> thank you mr. chairman very much, as far as the chinese locking the u.s. government, so what is the strategy? that the united states has to put pressure on china, using our other allies in order to ensure that there is maximum pressure, which is imposed upon the chinese government, so that
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they don't continue lock official statements about global condemnation about the burmese policy. >> in the context of security council, indeed, when our report in abuse has first finalized, she was the one who raised the conclusions in that report. in the security council. so we continue to raise our concerns about what has happened in the security council. we continue to discuss with our allies, had to raise the situation in the un, generally. so long as china has a veto, it's very difficult to overcome them. in any way.
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i believe there have been discussions about this. but so far they have not indicated a willingness for a concrete security action. >> did president trump raise these human rights issues with the president in his discussions of the g 20? what was the conversation, if any that took place between president trump and the president on the issue of human rights, and other countries around the world where china is actually helping governments to engage in repressive behavior>> unfortunately, i was not in the room. so i do not know the discussion that went on actually during the meeting between the presidents, but i can assure you that on the margins, we certainly raised these issues, and we acknowledge that state
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departments most important role is the protection of citizens. >> there is no evidence because that's the only level ultimately, at which it works. especially if president trump is meeting with president chee. and if they are willing to pay a price for our maintenance around the planet. so that clearly has not taken place. now with regard to the issue in
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tibet,, and what we are saying to the chinese government about that dolly, of, about the protection of religious liberty, can you give us a summary of what our statement of policy is, that we are sending to the chinese government?>> thank you very much for that important question. the united states is deeply concerned about the lack of meaningful timing for the chinese people. we certainly pressed for the release of detained activists, and we've been pushing for access. we do want to work with congress on that shared goal and we do continue to have very serious concerns about the
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ability of the tibetan people to continue to have the ability to express their unique culture, the unique language in their religious practices. >> so there's a pretty clear -- it's pretty clear that there's a systematic effort by the chinese government, not just internally inside china, but around the world, to back those policies, which are most repressive. which allow for a compromise of human race. it can be facebook, or google. it can be other countries, venezuela, anyplace that they are putting their footprints, is a place where they are willing to turn a blind eye, and use economic power, repression by a government of those human rights, the natural aspirations of human beings to express their views to be able
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to be who they were born to be. so we have high expectations for you. but we have higher expectations for donald trump as well. to express those views clearly, concisely, persistently, with the chinese leadership, we haven't seen evidence of that thus far. but we thank you for your service.>> briefly, will you endeavor to get us a response to the letter we sent to the secretary in july? >> i'm sorry there hasn't been a response, i'm sorry we haven't seen the letter. but we will get you a response. >> i asked a question regarding the catholic church policy, and the agreement that they reach with china and the dalai lama, and china has said that they will pick the next dalai lama. the tibetan policy mandates that american officials should
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visit tibet on a regular basis. if china proceeds and tries to impose a dalai lama, what will the u.s. response. -- be? >> thank you very much, that's a very important question is if important signal itself to the chinese government that these are issues we are watching very closely in a very senior levels. the united states has a very clear position that religious decisions should be made within organizations. i wouldn't want to prejudge exactly how this future scenario would relet, but i would like to lay a marker. that is the clear position of the united states government, and i think widely supported, within american society. that those are the kinds of decisions that should be made
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by religious communities on their own.>> thank you, i think it's clear that this congress would not recognize a chinese imposition. the 2002 seven policy act mandated that american officials should visit tibet on a regular basis, we know very few diplomats have been able to visit tibet to date, primarily because of issues with the denny's government refusing to grant access. could you describe perhaps the level of access your agency has received over the last few years? >> i'm sorry sir, i don't have it at my fingertips, the exact number of visitors. so i would ask that we would be able to get back to you on that. but i do want to state very clearly that i do understand that the senate is considering access, we want to continue to work very close with your staff
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to make sure americans have access to tibet. >> i think it's important we know what access we have had to tibet. i don't know if you know the number, but i'd like to know those numbers. i think we need to consider reciprocal access as part of our policy and approach to tibet/china. and what is being done to address this and promote our access to tibet. do you share the goals of our reciprocal act? >> we certainly share the goals, and we do look forward to working with you to figure out how to best achieve those goals. commit and you would work to implement it?>> of course. >> thank you.>> i just have one final question. and that's on the human rights council. we are trying to push china on their human rights abuses, and
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the human rights council is one aspect of our ability to coordinate with allies to put pressure on those who are violating human rights. we are now pulling out of the human rights council. how does that hurt our ability to rally other nations to put together a plan, and do so in encumbrance away, using that human race counsel as a mechanism to accomplish that goal? >> thank you for the question senator. well, as you know from secretary payers and ambassador haley's statement at the time of the decision to withdraw from the council, our concerns had to do with that membership on the council, which as you point out, include china. china has been a member of the council for a lot of the
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council years. as well as the process by which members are elected to the council. and our second concern was the fact that the council pays disproportionate attention to israel. and after years of trying to fix those problems, we were not succeeding, and that's what prompted the decision to withdraw. however the fact that we withdraw from the council does not mean we have withdrawn from advocacy around human rights in china. indeed, in new york, on multiple occasions, we have raised our concerns about china, we have raised it in multiple statements publicly, in the case that senator rubio raised in which china sought to preclude a legal representative from joining a meeting, our mission they are pushed back. and succeeded in getting them present, access to the un in new york. so we continue to look at any and all venues at which we can
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push back on china's own situation and efforts to influence the u.s.>> i don't think any and all is accurate. i don't think we have any evidence that the president is using his leverage with the president of china to communicate. they are trying to decide what their relationship with our country is. and i disagree, i think that being in the human rights council does help, because it's the organizing principle. and we might not be happy with all last etc., but on this china issue, it's an issue of pressure, which we should be using as an organizing principle to send a very strong message on human rights. i think down the line, there are many tools that just are not being used from the oval
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office right down to the human rights council as well. and there is evidence as a result, that we are not really seen any response from the chinese on these issues. so i just think that a change in direction is absolutely necessary. so thank you mr. chairman for your incredible leadership on this committee, and we think the witnesses as well. >> and thank you, you talked about some of the dollars used towards democracy training, i want to point out how important those efforts are, teaching about democracy, teaching young leaders about the values of human rights. and we have a knack that greatly increased dollars for human rights programming and training. we hope you will work with us on the implementation of those dollars to provide a better and a stronger voice for that. i don't know if there's anything you'd like to add administrator. >> it is and -- a major
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component, the strengthening of democratic institutions. it's part of my testimony here. we all realize that there is a need for balance in the development manner, and that's how we will be able to play a role in counterbalancing the effect that china has in weakening countries. so i just wanted to confirm and verify that it is going to be a very important component of the administration with this specific strategy. >> thank you again to all of you for your time and testimony today, providing us with your testimony. the record will remain open until the close of business thursday, and for members to submit questions to the record, i will ask that witnesses respond as promptly as
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possible. thank you again to this committee, the hearing is now adjourned.
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later the house returns to debate and vote on the short- term spending bill to fund the federal government. past friday's midnight deadline, and in the afternoon if 5:15 present wishes remains will be at the presidential library in college station texas. they will also plan to vote on the spending bill to avoid a government shutdown.
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senator james and huff talks with students at the national defense university about his priorities as chairman of the senate armed services committee. and why that president's presence in the arctic is important to national security. and then how the pentagon is modernizing the armed forces. >> c-span's washington journal live everyday. coming up on thursday morning, we will discuss job cuts at general motors and the trump administration's trade and tariff policies with scott paul of the alliance for american manufacturing. then a republican congers man of pennsylvania talks about gop midterm losses in the new congress. and california democratic congressman on the democrats agenda as they prepare to take control of the house in
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january. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal, live at seven eastern thursday morning, join the discussion.>> she spends five coverage for former president george h.w. bush continues thursday morning at 11 am eastern. with the funeral service at st. lawrence episcopal church in houston. at 1:30 p.m. he is rubbed by special train to college station, texas a&m university for burial at the george h.w. bush presidential library at 5:15 p.m. watch full coverage of the state funeral for president george h.w. bush, life thursday on c-span and, or listen on the c-span radio app. >> now a discussion about turkey and its role in the middle east. panelists talk about


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