tv Senate Foreign Relations Hearing on Human Rights in China CSPAN December 8, 2018 2:42pm-3:59pm EST
this subcommittee has held the most hearings out of any subcommittee in the 115th congress. that is quite an achievement for the american people, who sent us to conduct vigorous oversight over our nation's foreign-policy. i think senator markey for the work we have done together. in conjunction with this hearing, we are discussing aria, which will does or our adversaries in indo pacific for ages to come.
we are examining the rule of law and challenges in the indo pacific. may 15, 2015on with the state department and department of defense officials. secretary pompeo and secretary mattis formally endorsed aria in a letter to this committee. aria passed this committee unanimously on such over 26, 2018, and i am hope will it will be signed into law by the end of the year. in this subcommittee, we also held to could -- two hearings on north korea on our strategy of maximum pressure and engagement policy. clearly much more work needs to be done to complete verifiable -- irreversible deification denuclearization of the north korean regime is wired by u.s. law. we also held an important meeting on cyber security policy , which is a national security for the united states that needs to be seriously and immediately
addressed. this will be the final hearing a three-part series of hearings titled "the china challenge, that examines how the united dates should respond to the challenge of a china that seeks to up and dance when the u.s. liberal world order. our first two hearings focused on security and economic aspects. today will focus on democracy, ofan rights, and the rule law, values fundamental to the conduct of u.s. foreign-policy for generations. china,e values relate to the trump administration has been clear on the scope of the problem and the gravity of the situation before us. for decades, u.s. policy was rooted in the believe that support for china's rise and its integration into the postwar international order would liberalize china. contrary to our hopes, china expanded its power at the expense of the sovereignty of others. according to the national defense strategy. the central challenge to u.s. prosperity and security is the emergence of long-term strategic
competition by what national security strategies class i asked revisionist powers. it is increasingly clear that china and russia want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model, beginning veto authority over other nations and their economic and security decisions. this has resulted in an intensifying crackdown on civil society, ethnic boundaries, -- ethnic minorities, and religious freedom in china. this has shocked the conscience and necessitates a serious response from the united states and international community. in the tibets autonomous region is intensifying. while beijing continues to review negotiations. human rights defenders are jailed, tortured, and otherwise deprived of liberty. the genuine freedom of speech and assembly are nonexistent. corruption and abuse of power are rampant. the judicial system is a tool of the state and the party and not
an impartial arbiter of legal disputes. today, we have three distinguished administration witnesses to shed light on how the united states should approach democracy and the rule of law as how they relate to strategic opposition with the rule of china and how the united hates should advance these values on chinese soil. you, mr. chairman, and thank you for this incredible set of hearings which we have had in this subcommittee over the past two years -- absolutely fantastic and i want to comment you for that. this hearing is just a continuation of that, but looking at chinese policies and influences, these challenges are not insurmountable, but they do require our thoughtful study and close attention. world, all countries, including the united states, inly on rules-based
international order to provide a level playing field, to provide the maximum opportunity for the greatest number of people and to defend and protect certain fundamental rights. utmosts of the importance that we do everything in our power to ensure that this system remains. hearing focused on economic policies of the chinese government effort that ran counter to the tenants. the subsequent hearing explored china's military modernization and expansion, and its publications for the security interests of america and our allies and the fundamental reason ability of the indo pacific. today's hearing seeks to capture development in chinese domestic policy that could have broad implications for the way people are treated around the world. after all, what has made american foreign-policy strong and effective is not just our economic and military strength, but our commitment to certain values.
the world has looked up to the united states. it watched as our democratic experiments developed, ones that prioritize the development of basic freedoms and liberties, but we want to make clear this was not just an experiment. that american democracy isn't obsolete and u.s. leadership on human rights isn't temporary. while american democracy has been messy at times, it's been the envy of the international community. it is what has allowed us to a -- to be a moral leader in the eyes of the world. as china rises, it gross ever -- it grows ever more influential around the world and elements of china's policy 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 political openings. the promotion of freedom of
expression, and greater commitment to human rights. unfortunately, we're seeing just the opposite trend. we are seeing the chinese government's authoritarian attitude influence 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 for greater market access for american companies. second, it is employing extra -- judicial tactics to intimidate citizens, including those from the united states. along with senators cardin, rubio, senator gardner. we're concerned that this raisingration is not
these issues with the chinese government. its use of exit ban 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 continued ethnic and religious repression of minority communities in china. the chinese government's tactics to repress tibetan buddhists are shin xian.cated in reports that as many as one million muslim weekers have been take part in "reeducation camps" where they must renounce their relickous and ethnic identity. this policy is an abomination and defies all forms of basic human rights principles. this sadly falls into a pattern 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. in one case, a chinese -- in one case, chinese authorities have threatened the family members of radio free asia, news 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 assault on the rohingya. it is weakening international efforts to pressure the hunsen regime in cambodia from giving -- by giving financial loans. it is getting credit to venezuela as the world is trying maduro, and
it is noticeably silent on president duterte's drug war in the philippines as it strengthens the economic and security partnership with manila. such policies undeine -- undermine established human rights standards individually and they challenge individual freedoms and liberties, the majority that the world holds dear. we must engage with our chinese counterparts had out -- counterparts head-on about our concerns and work to establish a collective front against this maligned behavior. beha\vior. -- maligned behavior. and we have to do it at the highest levels, starting with the president. because we request not defend human rights without the backing of the office of the president. and there are many unanswered questions about how this administration is dealing with china's authoritarian behavior. how effective are we at calling out chinese behavior?
especially when we pull out of institutions like the human rights counsel, how are we raising our concerns with the chinese government? and what is our president saying to president xi about human rights? did this come up at the g20? 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 of authoritarian challenges to democracy, human rights and the rule of law. we must insure our diplomatic efforts are effective. our moral leadership of the plan depends on that. i thank you, mr. chairman, and i think this distinguished panel for being here today. i yield back. >> i'm going to introduce all three witnesses, we'll begin with you, mr. busbee. our first witness, scott busbee serves as deputy assistant secretary of state. previously, he served as director of human rights on the security council in the white house from 2009-2011. he managed a wide range of human
rights and refugee issues. welcome to the committee and thank you for your service. our second witness is laura -- who serves as acting deputy assistant secretary of state at the bureau of east asian an pacific affairs. previously she served as the director of the office of chinese and mongolian affairs, and also was an economic counselor in hanoi, vietnam. our third witness, gloria stael, acting assistant ambassado at the a career member of the u.s. it senior executive service, she was usaid mission director for the philippines and the pacific islands, prior to her appointment. i look forward to your testimony. secretary busbee, please begin. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and ranking member markie, and members of the subcommittee. we very much appreciate your attention to the human rights situation in 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 war and policy. governments that respect human rights remain the best vehicle for promoting prosperity, happiness, and peace. vice president pence aptly summed up the current human rights administration in china in his recent speech at the hudson did you become 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. fully described that situation in your own remarks this morning. someth of you mentioned, of the most widespread and worse human rights abuses are taking place in china right now, occurring in the shin xian region. since april 2017, chinese authorities have indefinitely
several members of muslim minorities in internment camps. the report suggests that most of those detained are not being charged with crimes and their families have little to no information about their whereabouts. at first, china denied the existence of such camps. haves public reports emerged, chinese authorities now assert that they are "vocational this lossesnters." over the fact that many intellectuals and retired professionals are also detained in these camps. former detainees who have reached a deep have spoken of relentless indoctrination and parse conditions, for example, praying in other -- and other religious practices are forbidden. this is to force detainees to announce islam -- renounce islam and embrace the chinese communist party.
is aecent testimony chilling at heart wrenching account of just how badly the chinese government is mistreating many of the people who have been detained in the shin xi'an region. life outsidethe -- the internment camps are not much better. families have been forced to accept chinese officials in their homes for extended homestays. thousands of mosques have been shuttered or destroyed. some have even been converted into communist propaganda centers. however, fleeing china is not enough to escape the long arm of the chinese government. china has routinely pressured other companies to return eaders, ethnic kazakhs, and other minority groups.
ir priorities do not and in shin xi'an. these priorities have spread homelands of miles away to other muslims communities. indeed, the tibet autonomous region was a testing ground for many techniques now used in shin xi'an. chinese authorities also continue to restrict the freedom of religion of christian communities and others. protestant churches are being shut down and even officially registered in september, the holy see and china signed an agreement on the selection of bishops in china, which raises additional religious freedom concerns. ofbers of the church almighty god also continue to face detention, forced labor and torture. the government also continues to
abuse lawyers, human rights defenders and other activist. three concerned about cases, 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, including the efforts of women's, lgbt, labor groups brought the risk of intimidation and harassment. journalists continue to have their practices restricted and rights abused. repression is of exacerbated by technological sophistication. useee a concerted effort to new technology and old-fashioned repression to control all aspects of chinese society. despite these developments, the
united states continues to advocate for human rights in china. bureau is implementing $10 million of economic support funds to support human rights in china, as we have done for .everal years nevertheless, such programs are challenged by the operating climate in china, including the highly restrictive foreign ngo management law. we are working with allies to encourage china to improving human rights -- to improve human rights. we, along with the u.s. agency for global media, continue to push against china's closed internet by funding programs that promote anti-censorship and digital safety. light thatthe spot shines on human rights in china
and will work with the subcommittee to support those in china seeking to stand up for their rights. i truly appreciate -- i truly appreciate the opportunity to testify. the u.s. wants a relationship with china grounded in reciprocity and respect. china is doubling down on repressive domestic controls, in therast universal values united states championed for many decades. we have witnessed a regression in terms of china's respect for human rights, including religious freedom, the rule of law and civil society.
today i will share with you some acts the state department is taking to reinforce support for human rights and freedoms in china in the face of these challenges. we are concerned about china's detention of muslims and other minority groups and camps. to reversee china counterproductive views. i have received reports that u.s. lawful permanent residents, family members of u.s. citizens and members who have participated in state department exchange programs have been detained in camp's. thensist china provide locations and medical conditions of those detained, and immediately release them. secretary pompeo with secretary
mattis highlighted these issues last month. the vice president spoke about this issue in early october, and u.n. ambassador nikki haley did the same, speaking about the security challenges the chinese campaign poses. the state department is leading the u.s.o improve government strategy to address the campaign for repression. elements of the strategy could include utilizing tools to promote accountability for chinese officials and human strengthening and diplomacy efforts throughout the world to attract like-minded partners. department officials continue to members of the weigers to reduce harassment.
to draw attention to the risk of their exposure to chinese abuses u.s. embassies around the world are providing assistance to the survivors of the chinese camp's. we have engaged dozens of governments. if we are to fundamentally 's behavior, the international community must act together. department of state officials regularly attend the trials and of chinese human rights lawyers and activists, and have met with family members of those detained. we press for the release of all political prisoners, and many of their names appear in my written testimony. although we were unsuccessful in our efforts to secure one release, persistent advocacy secured the release of his weed out in july of this year.
the ambassador has been active in engaging china in cases such as these. speak up in concert with allies around the world that are similarly concerned. but speaking out publicly is just one tool. a chinese official was the first chinese public official sanctioned under an executive death for his role in the of an activist in government custody. america's critical role in protecting and promoting human rights and freedoms in china is in many ways more important today, as china attempts to take a global leadership role. there is more the united states can do. we look forward to working closely with the subcommittee to support the efforts of chinese people to support their human rights and seek accountability for those who seek to abuse those human rights and freedoms.
thank you for the invitation to testify today. chairman gardner: thank you very much for your testimony. steele: thank you very much for this opportunity to talk about democracy, human rights .nd the rule of law in china the u.s. agency for international development leads international development and disaster assistance. our workouts countries become more self-reliant and stronger partners to america. id's workghlight usa with the tibetans, and the rule of law in asia. thanks to bipartisan support in partners haved supported tibetans in preserving their threatened way of life.
usaid has supported the preservation of nearly 7 million tibetan cultural heritage items. support,o conservation tibetan communities are managing their natural resources. we help tibetan communities strengthen self-reliance and resilience. this includes strengthening their health and education systems. our work and training teachers and modern methods benefited more than 21,000 students at 75 tibetan students in india and nepal. helping them while sustaining their unique identity and culture. we have bolstered public service leadership with more than 330 central tibetan administration staff. usaid has launched a pilot program to help government
vendors sustainer grow their businesses through small, low interest loans. in 2017 the program benefited boasted enterprises and a 100% on-time repayment rate. i will highlight our work in asia. over the last five years, democratic institutions across asia have been tested. foreign influences have co-opted political leaders and exploited institutional weaknesses. this has given rise to increased corruption, big commercial deals and subversions of national sovereignties. we are seeing models that will lead to unsustainable debt. underminedopments the long-term stability of our partner countries. the u.s. government offers an alternative development approach that fosters strategic self-reliance,
not long-term dependence. democratic,es thaten-centered governance is infused with democratic principles of our p -- of participation, inclusion and accountability. we promote adherence to international rules and thedards and human rights, protection of which is a cornerstone of strong democratic governance. progress,hieved however we have a long way to go andrew must -- way to go and must remain steadfast in our engagement. upon which resources many of our partners depend for long-term growth are increasingly threatened by predatory extraction. that is why usaid prioritizes
improving natural resource thatement across asia foster adherence to internationally accepted standards, including environmental safeguards that help limit the entry of predatory players. we are launching a new three-year programs that will promote responsible infrastructure development. -- isis extremely increasingly exerting its influence across the region. this could threaten countries' sovereignty. usaid provides a clear development choice, one that invests in sustainable prosperity and helps countries make informed decisions about their own future. thank you. chairman gardner: thank you for your testimony. the testimony from the three of you has presented one of the views of china's
rise. 'swant to go back to mr. busby statement. we are talking about mass the kosacks,f uighurs, cosa detaining journalists' family members who remain in china to harass those abroad, encouraging muslim minority groups to return from overseas. reports suggest most people detained are not charged with crimes. -- their families lack information about their whereabouts. some are merely detained because they traveled abroad 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 desperation --
food deprivation, according to your testimony. reports of torture or inhumane treatment including sexual abuse. goal seems to be forcing detainees to embrace the communist party. one report says there is constant surveillance of detainees to make sure they do not pray, even in their own beds in the middle of the night, forced to drink milk and alcohol, reportedly being forced to medicate with unknown substances. civil society groups say most uighurs face disappearance, torture or summary execution. one case you cite in your , authorities used dynamite to demolish a house church. they require the removal of crosses and in some cases the
hanging of pictures of xi jinping inside the church, and the installation of surveillance equipment inside the church. limitingf officials access to religious materials, allegations chinese authorities have burned bibles and korans.bles and we are talking about one of the -- trading partners around the world. what you have described are damming evidence of horrendous human rights violations. could you explain some steps the administration has taken to hold people accountable for these what we are doing at the united nations and other places to provide inspectors,
access and pressure from these kind of activities, to prevent these kind of activities? : we have been trying to raise public awareness about the situation. ever religious secretaryeting pompeo, he called attention to abuses and we circulated a statement on human rights abuses in china that talked about the abuses in one province. everson's than we have been trying to continue to spread the word about what is going on in the province. and the united nations we recently participated in the universal periodic review, which is something every country has to go through. our statement had to be brief because of the number of folks
who wanted to speak at this event. we called attention to the human , and oneuses in china province in particular, and called for them to cease. mentioned, there is a robust interagency process underway led by the national security council, to look at tocific steps we can take respond to the horrific things happening and try to bring them to a stop. chairman gardner: have any sanctions been leveled against any chinese officials involved in these suspected or confirmed events? has any passport been suspended? as any official action been levied against the chinese government? stone: i share at a personal level our concerns about what is going on.
i don't think anybody who is working on these issues could have any other position. the tools congress has given us, we really do appreciate them. they are the kinds of things we can use. frustrating, the process sometimes is not as fast as we would like. that is actually a good feature of our system. chairman gardner: has any action been taken? stone: we are working theugh a process to get appropriate actions using the tools you have given us, and the process is moving along. we hope to move on those issues and take action. chairman gardner: i hope those processes move quickly. i know treasury is involved in but idecisions as well,
encourage action to be taken quickly. : i want to raise the issue of missing chinese-based relatives of uigher -- reporters. it undermines the credibility of the whole mission and creates a chilling effect, in terms of our ability to deliver an honest message about what we see happening in that region. what are we doing to protect these relatives? mr. busby: we raised the cases with the chinese government to no avail. our spokesperson, heather nauert, met with the journalists
here to hear about the situation with their relatives, and at that meeting called out the chinese government for taking these actions against the relatives. it is a continue -- it is an issue we continue to track and press. chairman gardner: are you seeing any change in policy? , to myby: so far knowledge, we don't have any relatives that have been released as a result of these efforts. senator markey: what else can we do? >> there is a lot we can do. many of them are tools that have been provided by congress. i referred to some actions we are considering. i can't prejudge the process. we are a country ruled by law, so we are going to that process. want to make sure the sections
can stand up under legislative andtiny, judicial scrutiny, we will continue to move forward on those actions. the real point on this is, even if we don't have an immediate impact on what we are doing, it is important we take these actions. senator markey: i agree with you. don't want to move on to online censorship. google, apple, facebook have been reported to have aided chinese censorship. it -- google disables domain capacity and is working on a censored search engine to launch in china. apple has removed more than 400 virtual private networks, while handing over there china i have -- but they're china icloud user data to the chinese state owned
mobile operator. as the state department engaged the administration to monitor these things that go against the fundamental by you of expression ? mr. busby: yes, we have. met with senior officials at google about the dragonfly application, and expressed strong concerns that any collaboration by them with the chinese government to develop a censored version of their search tool would be very problematic. senator markey: that must continue to escalate, in terms of the pressure we are applying. we just can't separate ourselves and our corporations from the goals which we have in china and other countries. ms. stone, mr. busby, there are some calls for uighurs to begin been protected status to make
sure they are not sent back to china to face repression. other governments have halted extraditions of uighurs. do you support that? mr. busby: that is one of many options being considered. senator markey: do you support that move? we are not extraditing people back to the country which is oppressing them? mr. busby: we are generally opposed to the return of any uighurs back to china. many options are being considered. markey: we can't as a country be sending people back to what we know is repression. what is our diplomatic strategy to engage muslim majority countries to condemn chinese behavior? there should be more of an outcry from the muslim world. we haven't heard them. these are muslims who are being oppressed inside china. 'hat is the united states
strategy to get more cooperation from muslim countries to speak up for their co-religionists? i was in malaysia and raised this issue with the government. with othern raising muslim majority countries with the goal of establishing a like-minded -- senator markey: have we raised it in saudi arabia? mr. busby: i don't know. we would be happy to give you a list of the countries we have raised it with. it is majority muslim countries. senator: we don't see it at work here. i don't think china will respond unless they know that the muslim world, we should be telling saudi arabia and other countries that we expect that as their policy. rubio: this whole topic of china is more than just the balance of trade. views himself as a
historic, transformational figure. and one of the goals is to make the global order more advantageous to them, and many things being talked about today are part of that. documented,,e well long-standing attacks on religious practitioners. we know the stress christianity has praised. on the field of democracy, we have seen the erosion of it in threeong, the jailing of pro-democracy student leaders. and you see the global reaction, and 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 china is using geopolitical half and --nomic power -- h
geopolitical heft and economic power to push in that direction. hundreds of thousands of muslims, security forces at the uighurjected and ethnic representing a nongovernment organization. and greece blocked the european union from issuing a statement or a position at the human rights council, for the first time i believe ever, a definitive statement. and we can surmise why. they own of report and greece. they have incredible economic leverage on greece. every part in greece. they have incredible economic leverage on greece. commissionn economic
publicly expressed concerns about human rights in china but did not call for the release of political prisoners, including citizens of the eu, or even the repeal of abusive laws. this is all from a report i believe from human rights watch. police detained and later released the same ngoic uighur representative invited to speak at the italian senate, and they briefly detained him even though he had been invited to be there. it is not clear whether the chinese requested that. issue afterr -- on issue, we can see nations that have long been committed to democracy and human rights, when it comes to china they are being quiet, looking the other way, or are economically leveraged so that they are not speaking out. do want to, you are concerned we don't join them.
earlier this month there were 15 western ambassadors in beijing, spearheaded by canada, they reportedly sent a letter to the communist party chief seeking a meeting and expressing concern regarding crackdowns. no one thought the meeting was going to happen per se, but i'm curious, why didn't the u.s. sign on to that letter? ms. stone: 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. the specific letter, sometimes the countries involved are like-minded partners, and we may or may not join any particular measure coming out of the
embassies in beijing. to assure you we are working consistently with those like-minded partners to do real action. we have many more tools and a lot more spying, -- a lot more spine to take action. when theybio: actually do something, we can't even sign up on to a letter? i don't know if this was made here in washington dc or by the ambassador, but it was a big mistake. you mentioned chinese security services are harassing uighurs abroad. can you tell us of the department is working with other agencies on this issue, protecting u.s. citizens and legal permanent residents? and what sort of outreach is anyone doing to these communities? i feel like the long arm of china is reaching them here in the united states. ms. stone --
mr. stone: yes, we are. we're working with the fbi. we would work with you to pass that along. in terms of making sure the message gets out, whenever we meet with the communities, we do everything we can. we are constantly updating travel guidance to make sure people are aware of the situation. senator rubio: these people are inside the united states. i agree with the travel part. you indicated the department conducted outreach to u.s. and chinese companies to drop attention to their risk of exposure to these abuses. to theiraw attention risk of exposure to these abuses. there is mandatory data banking
of the entire population. at the bicameral commission on china there was testimony they are forcing people to get a passport. a scientific american company is selling them dna sequencers. is that when the company's the department of state reached out to and expressed concerns about how their technology could be used by the chinese to do these horrifying things? stone: i can't speak to that particular company but i can tie you that is the kind of company we are speaking with. senators gardner, markey, rubio, danes and i wrote a letter to secretary pompeo about radio free asia journalists' families on the 26th of july. we have not received a reply. it asks secretary pompeo to
brief us on this case is -- to brief us on the cases and what is being done to help family members who are being detained. the six journalists are residents of virginia. i would like to enter the record into -- enter the letter into the record. secretary pompeo is busy, we are dropxpecting him to everything to respond, but somebody needs to respond to this letter. it is more than four months old. i would hope he would take back to the committee that when we, take back to the state department that we would like an answer. thesecretary pompeo raised issue of the imprisoned journalists' families directly with his counterpart? stone: he has raised shin , whether he has raised that
particular case, could i get back to you? senator kaine: i would also like to know whether ambassador branstad has raised the issue with his counterpart, and would whether president trump has directly raised this issue with the chinese. we would appreciate a response to this letter which is now more than four months old. i am nervous about this issue in these journalists' families. last week the secretary of state wrote an editorial in "the wall street journal" with respect to hashoggi, whomal k was murdered by the saudi's. this is a quote from his editorial. "the october murder of saudi hashoggi hasal k heightened the capitol hill caterwauling and media pile on.
we are not raising this issue about journalists and their families being targeted just to score political points. it is not about caterwauling and media pile on. we put it in the first amendment for a reason in this country. t it in the first amendment for a reason. and when people living in virginia, living in this country lawfully, are being murdered or their families are being targeted, and we are silent, we it not taking ample steps, raises question about whether we are being faithful to a value that we proclaim. i will give secretary pompeo credit. the first paragraph of that editorial suggests our raising of the khashoggi murder was caterwauling, and in the 11th paragraph he says the murder of murder journalist -- the
of a journalist is against american values. i don't want to be accused of engaging in caterwauling or media pile on. i don't think my colleagues appreciated. you have a good estimate of the number of uighurs currently detained in china in detention camps? busby: this is derived from what our intelligence. have as estimated -- our intelligence bureau has estimated, that there are at least 800000 and possibly up to a couple of million folks in these detention facilities. it is hard to get it right because we don't have full access to that region. but that is our current. kaine: that is staggering. i have seen reports that it is a million. it is hard to get a fix on the exact number but that is a staggering number. press reports also indicate a million hon chinese have been
recruited to occupy the homes of uighurs. so those not in detention camps in theirg hon chinese home so people will be studied to make sure there is not a car koran visible, that they are not praying during the day. we have a law against the quartering of government troops in people's homes, it is never been used because no government has ever been stupid enough to do it. but when million -- about one one million hon chinese been deployed in uighurs' homes. what exactly is the chinese government rationale for imprisoning fallon gong members?
is there a chinese governmental gongve that fallon ideology is counter to the state? busby: 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 viewed as a threat by the communist party. that is the primary source of their suspicion of the fallon gong. noator kaine: so there is allegation they are participating in terrorist activity? busby: not as far as we know. i want to go back to inspectors, u.n. observation ambassadorial visits to the region. you talked about the
universal declaration of human rights. official u.n. envoy or inspectors visited the region. mr. busby: not to my knowledge recently. there are people mandated by the human rights council to look into issues like freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom from torture. my understanding is virtually all of them have asked for access to china but none have been granted access. no u.n. knowledge, official charged with looking into human rights issues has been allowed action -- been allowed entrance into china. gardner:: as the u.n. attempted to build a coalition? mr. busby: we have regularly raised that issue, urging them to accept such special visitors.
sen. gardner:: has our ambassador asked to visit the region? have not asked recently. our concern is that we need an independent body like from the united nations to go in and do a proper investigation. : i wouldardner encourage the ambassador to it andt such a vis encourage the united nations to get inspections in there immediately. this is someone we are doing millions and millions of dollars of trade with each day, and some of the most heinous human rights violations are occurring before our eyes. mr. busby: unfortunately, such access depends on the ascent of the chinese government.
cal -- senator gardner: we are in trade negotiations. has human rights been raised in the trade meetings? laura: the discussions i have been in work on a technical level. but whenever we do preparations for any visit, iowa's raise these issues. always raise these issues. the u.s. government has a real role in making sure china knows that to the extent they want to play a greater role in the world, this is essential. these are international norms they have to abide by. stillr: is china receiving laborers from north korea? to getone: i would have back to you with the latest information on that.
gardner: when concern i have is china's willingness to and basicallys violations by north korea of human rights. are you familiar with actions china has taken regarding laborers? in the past china has 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. one of the things we worked with like-minded partners in the un security council resolutions on was to ensure that new laborers going in has to be tapered off. but where the situation is at the moment, i have to get back to you. gardner: when it comes
to tibet, conversations regarding the dalai lama, and the catholic church decision to agree with the government on catholic churches in china, how does that affect the dalai lama and future actions taken in tibet? -- stone have beene: we working with tibet for more than 20 years helping them with economic development and conservation. we have stayed around the areas they have indicated are of interest to them, and will continue to. senator gardner: miss stone, would you like to comment? miss stone: in terms of the recent agreement with the catholic church in chinese, it
is something we are watching very closely. the u.s. government has not taken a position on the agreement. but we are very aware of the fact the chinese government in the past has taken a very aggressive event a press of role toward religion. we want to track this very closely. the unitedkey: nations, the security council, china blocking condemnation of the burmese government over their treatment of the rohingya in burma and in bangladesh. what is the strategy the united states has to put pressure on allies inng our other order to ensure there is maximum pressure imposed upon the chinese government so that they don't continue to block official statements about global
condemnation about the burmese policy? busby: ambassador haley in new york has raised burma on multiple occasions in the security council. one hour report on abuses was finalized, she was the one who raised the conclusions in that report in the security council. we continue to raise our concerns about what has happened in the security council, we continue to discuss with our to raise the situation of burma in the u.n. chinally, but as long as has a veto, it is very difficult to overcome that in any way. there have been discussions with
the chinese about this pre-china has an interest in stability in the region but they have not indicated a willingness for a concrete, security council action when it comes to burma. markey: did president trump raise these human rights issues with president xi, at the g20 in argentina? what was the conversation that took place, if any, on human rights in burma and other countries around the world where china is helping governments engage in repressive behavior? stone: i was not in the room, so i don't know the discussion that went on during the meeting between president trump and president xi, but on the margins we certainly raised these issues. and we certainly raised the exit bans as well. we acknowledge the state department's most important role
as the protection of american citizens, and we raised that as well. senator markey: you used to the right phrase, on the margins. there is no evidence the president raised the issue himself, because that is the only level ultimately at which it works, especially president trump -- especially if president trump is meeting with president xi, that is the point where american values are stated very strongly, and that xi understands the united states is ouring to pay a price for maintenance of our leadership on human rights issues around the planet. that clearly has not taken place. tibet, andd
what we are saying to the chinese government about the dalai lama, about protection of religious liberty in tibet, can you give us a summary of what our statement or policy is that we are sending to the chinese government? ms. stone: the united states is concerned about the lack of autonomy for the chinese people. we have pressed for the release throughout activists the country, but more importantly on the tibetan plateau and historical tibet. we are pushing for reciprocity of access. we want to work with congress on that shared goal, and we continue to have serious concerns about the ability of to have thepeople
ability to express their unique culture, language and religious practices. senator markey: it is clear there is a systematic effort by the chinese government , in china and around the world, to back policies which are most which compromise human rights. it could be facebook, it could be google, it could be the uighurs, the rohingya, venezuela, any place they are putting their footprints is a place where they are willing to blind eye toward repression by the government. expectation high
for you, but higher expectations for donald trump as well to express those views clearly, concisely, publicly, insistently, persistently, with the chinese leadership. we haven't seen evidence of that thus far. kaine: will you endeavor to get us a response to the letter we sent the secretary in july? mr. busby: i'm sorry there has not been a response. we will take it back and get a response. gardner: i want to follow up on tibet and the catholic church policy. china has said they will pick the next dalai lama. the tibetan policy mandates american officials should visit to bet on a regular basis. if china tries to impose a dalai
lama, what would the u.s. response be? stone: that's a very important question. asking that are question is an important signal itself to the chinese government, the issues we are watching very closely at senior levels. verynited states has a clear position that religious decisions should be made within religious organizations, that this is not the role of the state. i would whatnot -- i would not want to prejudge how a future scenario would rollout, but i would like to lay a marker that that is the position of the united states government, and i think widely supported within american society, that those are decisions that should be made by religious communities on their own.
sen. gardner: this congress would not recognize the chinese imposition. to bet and policy act mandated american officials should visit to bet on a regular basis. very few diplomatic officials have been able to visit tibet because of issues with the chinese government refusing to grant access. the level of access to to bet your agency has received over the past three years. ms. stone: i don't have the exact number of visitors at my fingertips. i would have to get back to you on that. we do want to continue to work mostly with congress and your staff to, with the goal of seeing that americans have access to tibet.
important to it is know what access we have had by our diplomatic corps. chinese officials that represent to bet have been allowed to freely come to the united states. i don't know that number. i think we need to consider reciprocal access as part of our andoach to tibet and china, what is being done to address this and promote our access to tibet. du share the goals of our reciprocal act? share the goals of our reciprocal act? ms. stone: we certainly do share the goals of the reciprocal act. markey: on the human rights council, we are trying to push china on the human rights abuses, and human rights council is one aspect of our ability to
coordinate with allies to put pressure on those who are violating human rights. of thenow pulling out human rights council. how does that hurt our ability to rally other nations to put together a plan to target china, and do so in a comprehensive way , using that human rights council as a mechanism to accomplish that goal? busby: our concerns had to do with the membership on the council, which included china. china has been a member of the council for a lot of the council's years, as well as the process by which members are elected to the council.
and our second concern was the fact the council pays disproportionate attention to israel. after years of trying to fix both of those problems, we were not succeeding and that prompted the decision to withdraw. the fact we withdraw from the council does not mean we have withdrawn from advocacy around human rights in china. in multiple occasions at the you when we have raised concerns about china. we have raised it in multiple statements publicly. in the case senator rubio sought in which sigh china to preclude a uighur representative from attending a meeting, our efforts succeeded in pushing back and getting that person access to the u.n. in new york. so we look at any and all venues with which we can push back on china's own efforts and efforts to influence the u.n..
senator markey: i don't think any and all is accurate. we don't have any evidence the president is using his leverage to communicatexi our values at the highest level. that short list of considerations for the chinese government as they try to decide what their relationship with our country is. and i disagree. i think being in the human rights council does help, because it is the organizing principle. we might not be happy with all aspects of it, but on this china issue i think it is an additional point of significant pressure which we should be using as an organizing principle to send a very strong message on human rights. down the line, there are many tools that are just not being used, from the oval office right down to the human rights council , and as a result we are not
really seeing any response from the chinese on these issues. just think a change in direction is absolutely necessary. thank you. you for your thank incredible leadership on this committee, and we think the witnesses as well. chairman gardner: you talked about dollars used toward democracy training, teaching young leaders about the values of human rights. the bill senator markey and i have introduced will greatly increase dollars for human rights, democracy, the rule of training, andng, i hope you will work with us on implementation of those dollars. steele: it is a major component of the administrations
indo pacific strategy, the strengthening of democratic institutions. we realize there is a need to counterbalance in the development assistance manner, and that is how we will play a role in counterbalancing the fact china is weakening countries through its adversarial methods. verify it is a very of thent component administration's indo pacific strategy. gardner: thank you all for your time and testimony today. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] the hearing is now adjourned.
>> earlier today, on his way to the army-navy football game, president trump told reporters that chief of staff john kelly would be leaving by the end of the year, and that a replacement would be announced soon. he was also asked about the russia investigation. nowmp: i'm going to the army-navy game. i think we are going to flip a coin. and i know both teams are going to do great. was justark milley appointed