tv U.S. House of Representatives Debate on China Human Rights Bills CSPAN December 9, 2021 2:09am-2:51am EST
for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? mr. meeks: mr. speaker, i ask that the house suspend the rules and pass h.res. 837, that the expressing the sense of the house of representatives that the international olympic committee failed to adhere to its own human rights commitments, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 837, resolution expressing the sense of the house of representatives that the international olympic committee failed to adhere to its own human rights commitments. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from new york, mr. meeks, and the gentleman from texas, mr. mccaul, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. meeks: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.res. 837, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. meeks: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. meeks: i rise today in
support of h.res. 837, as amended, expressing the sense of the house of representatives that beijing should immediately guarantee the safety, the freedom of peng shuai. former wimbledon doubles champion peng shuai accused the vice premier of state council of the people's republic of china zhang gaoli of sexual assault. the first sexual assault to implement a high-ranking chinese official, peng seemingly vanished into thin air.
deleting the original post, censoring any mention of peng, of peng's name or discussion or her or discussion or her allegations online. we know that here in america, sexual assault and gender-based violence are serious problems, and it took a movement of brave women and our ally to start changing the conversation around our workplace, around our homes, in our schools and communities. and due to the actions of journalists, the tennis community, activists, and social media users across the globe, who started to ask about peng's whereabouts, there has been tremendous attention given to her case. however, i like many of my colleagues, remain deeply
concerned about peng's whereabouts and well-being. it is vital that we get assurances that peng safe in her ability to -- and her ability to speak out is not constrained. this important bipartisan resolution calls for the independent and verifiable proof that she is safe and free to make decisions and take actions of her own free will. the accusations of sexual abuse by a former senior official are very serious and this resolution calls for the government of the people's republic of china to immediately conduct a formal, transparent, and independent investigation. at a time when we are preparing to send hundreds of american athletes to compete in beijing's winter olympics, this resolution calls on the international
olympic committee to do more to ensure athlete safety and hold the p.r.c. government accountable for its actions against peng. this is timely and it's also an urgent resolution. and i support it and i urge my colleagues to do the same. and with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. mccaul: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield as much time as he may consume to the gentleman from florida, mr. waltz, a member of the committee on armed services and ranking member of the science subcommittee on research and technology and also the republican co-author of this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. walths: -- mr. waltz: thank you, mr. speaker. as my colleague, mr. meeks, eloquently mentioned, it's worth repeating again that peng shuai
on november 2 posted on her media account a detailed allegation of sexual abuse against a former vice premier of the people's republic of china, a very senior official. in her post she said, quote, i cannot describe how disgusted i was and how many times i asked myself, am i still human? i feel like a walking corpse, unquote. shouldn't surprise anybody that the c.c.p., the chinese communist party, censored her post and any mention of these allegations and basically wiped it off the face of the earth and she has since been absent and unresponsive to friends except for a clearly fabricated video and a clearly coerced session, shamefully, with international olympic committee officials. i mean, this would be like if a u.s. tennis star made an accusation, a credible one of
sexual abuse against the vice president of the united states and she disappeared. that's essentially what happened. on november 21, the i.o.c. said in a statement that its president had a 30-minute video call but wouldn't release the video afterwards. look, the i.o.c.'s participation in this charade is a disgrace and after the call, they said it's the i.o.c.'s unanimous conclusion by officials that peng is fine. this is the definition of perpetuating c.c.p. propaganda. and it is exactly the opposite of what we should commend in the world -- the women's tennis association, who has demanded accountability, demanded that her whereabouts be disclosed, demanded she be able to talk to colleagues and friends and that her sexual assault allegation is taken seriously and fully investigated. and importantly, unlike the national basketball association, unlike the olympics and so many
others, the wta said they'll forgo any future tournaments in china, which is a significant significant portion of their revenue. in short, they're putting their money where their mouth is. they are walking the walk, not just talking the talk. this is exactly why we cannot send our athletes to the beijing athletes. we cannot guarantee their safety. we cannot turned a blind eye to the ongoing genocide. we cannot allow american companies who want to preach social justice here in the united states because it helps their balance sheet to then ignore basic human rights when it comes to china to also pad their balance sheet. and i would ask any of my colleagues, did they agree when it comes to the winter olympics, did they agree with the i.o.c. stepping into politics when it comes to apartheid? the i.o.c. not only banned the
olympics from happening in south africa under apartheid. they banned the south african olympic committee -- they banned the south african olympic committee from participating in the olympics for 30 years when it came to apartheid. yet, when it comes to china, when itdoms to the abuse -- when it comes to the abuses of the chinese communist party, we have a whole heck of a lot of silence. if we won't take a stand now, what will we take a stand for? i support my colleague, mr. mccaul, mr. meeks, ms. wexton in this important effort. i yield to mr. mccaul. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from texas is recognized. the gentleman reserves. mr. mccaul: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. meeks: yes, mr. speaker, i proudly yield as much time as she shall consume, the sponsor of this bill, along with the co-sponsor, mr. waltz, as much time as she may consume.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from virginia is recognized. ms. wexton: thank you, chairman meeks, for bringing this bill to the floor and to speaker pelosi for her steadfast commitment for holding the p.r.c. accountable for the human rights abuses. thank you to my co-lead on this resolution, representative waltz. it's been a pleasure to work with you in such a bipartisan way. mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of my resolution, calling on the people's republic of china to immediately guarantee the safety and freedom of peng shuai and condemning the i.o.c. kwok for its -- international olympic committee for its shameful handling of the situation. over one month has passed since tennis superstar and three-time olympian peng shuai was censored after alleging her rape by a member of the chinese communist party. within houfrs of posting the -- hours of posting the post, it disappeared. and all mentions of peng on social media did, too. since then, peng has not been
seen or heard from in public, and has only been seen in videos released by the chinese state media, raising serious questions about her safety and freedom and leaving the world to ask, where is peng shuai. the #whereispengshuai has trended globally on tennis. steve simon called for a full and transparent investigation into peng's allegation and eventually suspended all wta tournaments in chinese, citing concerns about the risks players could face at the hands of the p.r.c. the wta's actions and peng's bravery coming forward stand in stark contrast to the i.o.c. which is undermining efforts by working hand in hand with beijing to cover up her allegations and disappearance. instead of politicizing the safety of an olympian who may be
in danger, the yook is once -- the i.o.c. is once again butting the bottom line over athletes' safety and allowing itself to be a used as a tool by the world's human rights -- world's worst human rights abuser. the i.o.c.'s complicity in this cover upraises concerns about their willingness to protect our athletes. today, we are calling on the p.r.c. to provide independent and verifiable proof of peng's whereabouts and she's safe and allow peng to directly communicate with the wta and the united nations. they must undertake these actions immediately, stop legitimizing beijing's cover-up and protect the safety and speech of olympian athletes. the world is watching. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from virginia yields back. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. meeks: reserves. the speaker pro tempore: reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. mccaul: thank you, mr. speaker.
when international institutions become unaccountable to the democratic world and are co-opted by dictators, they undermine american interests and values. that has become even clearer over the last few years. when the covid-19 outbreak began in wuhan, the world health organization's complicity in the cover-up could have turned what would be an outbreak into a global pandemic. we're still feeling the effects of the w.h.o.'s repeating lies. with them covering xi and origins of the virus. the international olympic committee has a similar track record toward the c.c.p.'s human rights abuses. no human rights conditions were ever imposed by the i.o.c. as a condition for china to host the
2008 summer olympics. and the c.c.p. used it as propaganda to white-wash their brutal oppression. they allowed beijing to host the 2022 winter olympics, once again turning a blind eye to the gross human rights violations and genocide currently being committed. but over the last several weeks, we've seen the i.o.c. change from passively validating the c.c.p.'s abuses to actively enabling them. the most troubling example is the ongoing abuse of chinese olympian peng shuai. she disappeared by the c.c.p. after coming forward with serious sexual abuse allegations against a senior party member, and after the world began speaking up for her, peng, the c.c.p. propaganda machine, published false statements in her name. rather than standing up for her, the i.o.c. immediately issued public statements to validate
this obvious disinformation and propaganda. even more shocking, i.o.c. president thomas bach participated in and publicized a staged conversation with peng that was a -- that was supervised by a senior c.c.p. member. mr. speaker, it's clear that peng is neither free nor safe. and since the 2008 games, the chinese communist party has become more repressive at home, more aggressive abroad and has begun a genocide against china's most vulnerable minorities. when olympians around the world travel to beijing in february, they're trusting the i.o.c. to keep them safe. but the i.o.c.'s recent actions have shown that they are not worthy of this trust. i commend this resolution for holding them accountable. and so in closing, i want to offer a heart-felt thanks to the women's tennis association and
its chairman steve simon. mr. simon and the wta have fought for peng bravely and in an inns pierg display of -- inspiring display of democratic values. unfortunately, this is all too rare among those with financial ties to the c.c.p. so mr. speaker, i support this member -- this measure, and with that, i yield back the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. meeks: thank you, mr. speaker. h.res. 837 expressing the sense of the house of representatives that beijing should immediately guarantee the safety and freedom of tennis shar, penning shuai is a timely and urgent resolution. peng's whereabouts and safety in china have been in question now for several weeks. and in just over eight weeks the beijing olympic games are set to
begin. there will be athletes all over the world in attendance. so this body owes it not to just peng but to all the athletes participating in the olympic games to demonstrate that we do not take their safety and freedom for granted. the p.r.c. must understand that its diplomatic and economic heft will not allow it to get away scot-free when it silences and erases individuals. while this resolution is about a single athlete, it is really about the innate dignity and freedom of every sexual assault survivor. human rights activist. environmental advocate, artist, journalist, and entrepreneur that has ever been beaten and
broken by the chinese communist party. we owe them our voice and our support. let me again thank congresswoman wexton and walsh for their work on this bill. i hope all of my colleagues will join us in supporting this bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yield. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 837, as amended. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative -- >> mr. speaker, i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to section 3-s of house resolution 8, the yeas and nays
are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings are postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? mr. meeks: mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to h.res. 317. condemning the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity being committed against uighurs and members of other religious and ethnic minority groups by the people's republic of china, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 317, resolution condemning the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity being committed against uighurs and members of other religious ethnic minority groups by the people's republic of china. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from new york, mr. meeks, and the gentleman from texas, mr. mccaul, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. meeks: i ask unanimous
consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.res. 317, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. meeks: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. meeks: i rise today in support of h.res. 317 as amended, condemning the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity being committed against uighurs and members of other religious and ethnic minority groups by the people's republic of china. and i was proud to introduce this resolution alongside my good friend, the ranking member mccaul and working collectively with him. i have said previously and i'll say this again, as a african-american who has faced the brunt end of injustice for no reason other than the color of my skin and watched my
parents suffer, i am very sensitive to the deep wounds of intolerance and oppression that many minority populations endure across the globe. again, as dr. martin luther king jr. famously said, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. and i refuse to be silent. another statement of dr. king because silence can be complicit. complicity. dr. king called us all to be champions of human rights, not just here in the united states, but wherever human rights are under threat. and we have seen grave human rights abuses in china. the uighur people and other
ethnic religious minority groups are subjected to systemic human rights violations that amounts to a genocide and crimes against humanity as the -- defined by the geneva convention. the crimes taking place against uighurs and other muslim minorities in xinjiang are horrific in their scope and severity. we know of these atrocities because many survivors began speaking out. at great risk to their personal safety and that of their families. they provide -- provided firsthand accounts confirming china's targeted campaign of repression. meanwhile, journalists, scholars, and activists who tried to uncover what is happening have been targeted and expelled. the house foreign affairs committee has heard who are rowing accounts from survivors
of mass internment, forced labor, torture, political indoctrination, suppression of religious practices, family separation, sexual abuse, and other inhumane practices. during a hearing on may 6 of this year, survivors ended the testimony by imploring the members of the house foreign affairs committee and congress to act. and we are here today to do just that. this resolution unequivocally declares that a genocide is taking place in the uighur region. and i agree that the declaration and so many others around the world. this resolution is a clarion call not just to every nation in the world, but to every person on this planet that the united
states congress will not remain silent no matter how powerful --we must continue to call oute government of the people's republic of china for those -- for these atrocities and others all over the world and have them take all possible actions to bring this genocide and these crimes against humanity to an end. human rights is on the front burner in the united states house of representatives and clearly on the committee for foreign relations. this is an important resolution. i close by saying i rise in
supporter and am glad to work with the ranking member, mr. mccaul. i support it. i urge my colleagues to do the same. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. mccaul: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mccaul: let me thank the chairman for bringing this measure with me here today. i also want to thank him for his passion on this issue. as we talk about human rights whether it was the african-americans who were enslaved in this nation to the native american indians who were mistreated by this nation, to the victims of the holocaust trkts geneva convention came out with the prevention and punishment of the crime of the genocide and defined what
genocide is after the atrocities of the concentration camps that were perpetrated by the nazis. a war that my father fought and bombed nazi germany and i'm proud for his service and the entire greatest generation. it's clear, the language, targeting members of an ethnic or religious minority group for death or serious bodily or mental harm or taking steps designed to destroy such a group constitutes genocide. that's precisely what the chinese communist party has been doing. since 2017 they have interned more than one million uighurs and women's of other ethnic and religious minority groups in an effort to wipe out their culture. to wipe out their ability to carry down to other generations by sterilizing them. during their unjustified
detainment, uighurs and ethnic kazakhs and kurds and members of religious minority groups are forced to work in horrific conditions. they are deprived of food and they are beaten. their religious practices are suppressed. there are reports of families being separated and sexual abuse of forced sterilization, forced abortions, and even reports of killing. to quite simply wipe them off the face of the earth. it is horrific to imagine this is happening at this day and time. this time that we speak in this age. mr. speaker, it is clearly a genocide under the geneva convention. these crimes are the moral test of our time, in our generation. and the world and certainly the chinese communist party is watching.
and that's why it's vital that we speak in a united voice with a current and -- united voice with the current and prior administrations by calling these ongoing atrocities what they are, and that is genocide. genocide is not to be taken lightly. it is a term we reserve for history's most serious crimes against humanity. it is essential we get our response right, not as republicans or democrats, but as americans. as freedom loving americans who stand up for human rights and against genocide. because we face this test before. and we have not always passed. our response to the uighur genocide should be an example of our character in this congress rather than a stain on our history. this humanitarian crisis is about more than just u.s. foreign policy toward the people's republic of china. it is about the legitimacy of
the post-world war system designed to stop these atrocities whenever and wherever they are being committed. it's about how we stop the c.c.p. from contaminating consumer supply chains with slave labor. it's about how we stop using cotton sourced by the uighur homeland picked by those without a voice. it's about stopping shipments of hair. it's about how we convince our private sector to act morally consist tenly -- consistently with our american values. let me just say, i want to again thank the chairman. this is probably one of the most important bills to come out of the committee this year. i'm proud to have introduced it. so proud to have the chairman's support. and i want to thank him for co-sponsoring this resolution.
and all of our colleagues on the committee who support our efforts to condemn these apros its. i urge the entire house of representatives on this vote because china is watching and the uighur muslims are watching to join us as we speak in a united voice and condemn this genocide by supporting this measure. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. meeks: i'm ready to close. reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. mccaul: i yield five minutes to the gentleman from ohio, mr. chabot, ranking member of the foreign affairs subcommittee on asia and the pacific. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. chabot: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i rise in support of h.res. 317, legislation which condemns china's genocide against the uighurs.
. i strongly support this legislation, and i want to thank the chairman of the committee, mr. meeks, and the ranking member, mr. mccaul, for their leadership on this particular issue. they have been stressing this. they have been pushing this. they've been speaking out on this for quite some time now, and i'm very pleased to see this come before the floor today. and it's far beyond the time that action needs to be taken on this. the consistent undermining of human rights, perhaps the chinese communist party's most fundamental challenge to the free world. china's totalitarian government, they have no use for human rights. their bloody history demonstrates that. relative to political freedom in
china, one sees abuses from tiananmen square to hong kong, free speech, the great firewall shuts that down. freedom of religion, the c.c.p. persecutes christians. they per executety -- the persecute tibeten buddhists and want to dictate who the next dalai lama will be. and they have taken it to a new level where the uighurs are subject to forced labor, to torture, to sexual abuse, to religious persecution, and to onerous restrictions in every facet of their lives. over a million people, the vast majority of them uighurs, are in concentration camps today currently while we're here, they're in concentration camps in china. the hallmark of genocide is the
intent to destroy, to eliminat an entire people. and that intent is clear here. the chinese communist party is snatching uighur children from their parents, imposing severe birth quotas on uighurs. they're conducting forced abortions. they're stair liesing -- sterilizing a sizeable percentage of the population against their will. and up to 80% in some areas of xinjiang, forced sterilization is occurring. one out of four in 2019 alone. this is genocide. and it's high time that the world got serious with the p.r.c., the people's republic of china, about what they're doing to the uighurs.
they've been doing it to a whole range of groups for a long time but it's particularly brutal when it comes to the uighurs. and american businesses have to make sure they're not profiting by this essentially slave labor. whatever businesses those are. so there are things that we can do here in the united states. but ultimately, it's up to the p.r.c., and it's up to the world to shine a light on this because this is happening right now. a million people or so are in these gulags right now. so i again want to thank our leadership. it's bipartisan leadership. democrats and republicans working together on this. it's good to see that happen. thank you, mr. meeks. thank you, mr. mccaul, for doing this. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. meeks: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. mccaul: thank you, mr. speaker.
i'm prepared to close. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mccaul: let me say in closing, i want to, again, thank chairman meeks, my friend, who has been in strong support of this legislation. we pride our committee in doing what's right by the country. we try to take the politics out of it as much as we can. and as eliot engel often said, it stops at the water's edge. this is no exception. this is a historic day. congress has rarely invoked or declared genocide on another people. but it's very appropriate today, mr. speaker, to do so. and the international community is watching. and china is watching this. right now. they are watching this on c-span. and the world knows that the united states stands for a
higher moral values and we stand for human rights. and that is why this bill was introduced and the lives of over a million people depend on it. think about that. a million people being in internment camps, concentration camps, being exterminated, depend on this legislation. we pass a lot of things in this congress. it's very rare you can pass something like this that condemns this kind of moral atrocity and call it to the world -- to the en -- so the entire world can see it for themselves what is in fact happening. when congress speaks, the world does listen. and when we speak as americans in this chamber, not as partisan politicians, they listen. i know they are listening today. and mr. chairman, thank you, once again, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. meeks: thank you,
mr. speaker. and i, too, want to thank mr. mccaul for his leadership. it's my pleasure to work with him on his bill to get this to the floor and to pass it on this floor, the people's house, in a bipartisan way, sending a strong message together. that's what this does. so i thank you for your friendship and i thank you for standing up, as you always do, and working together in a bipartisan way. h.res. 317, condemning the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity being committed against the uighurs and members of other religious and ethnic minority groups by the people's republic of china is critical for demonstrating to those suffering in xinjiang that they haven't been forsaken. and to the government in beijing that we will speak out when it tramples the universal rights that every human being deserves. it gives me hope that we are not
the first parliamentary body that has deemed the p.r.c.'s actions in xinjiang a genocide. the parliaments of the u.k., of canada, of lithuania, among others, have already taken the right stand. we must support them. we must work with them in multilateral groups. we must encourage other nations and other people to speak out. but i'm proud we are speaking out here today in the united states congress, in the people's house. we will not be silent. so i hope that all my colleagues will join me in supporting this resolution, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the question is will the house
suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 317, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative -- >> mr. speaker, i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to section 3-s of house resolution 8, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clau