Nine Groups Urge United States to Raise Human Rights at Dialogue with China

Washington

Freedom House joined Amnesty International, ChinaAid, Human Rights in China, Human Rights Watch, the International Campaign for Tibet, Project 2049, Reporters Without Borders, and the Uighur Human Rights Project, to send a letter calling on the Obama Administration to include human rights in the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) beginning in Washington on June 22.

"Human rights in China are inextricably linked with the strategic and economic interests of the United States," said Mark P. Lagon, president of Freedom House. “Human rights violations in China can harm American companies, increase the risk of major instability, and harm American interests in the areas of the environment, food safety, cyberattacks, and media and academic freedom. Repression has worsened under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, and discussion of such abuses should be fully incorporated into each session of the S&ED.” 

The letter urges Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew to: 

  • Explain that failure by the Chinese to rewrite or withdraw draft laws on counterterrorism, national security, and foreign nongovernmental organizations presents significant obstacles to bilateral cooperation;
  • Publicly call for the release of political reform advocate and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, prominent Uighur economist Ilham Tohti, Tibetan Buddhist leader Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, veteran journalist Gao Yu, human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, and house church Pastor Yang Rongli, and other individuals imprisoned for doing nothing more than peacefully exercising their rights;
  • Publicly express concerns about ongoing and multiplying threats to freedom of expression in China;
  • Demonstrate commitment to the “Stand With Civil Society” initiative by hosting prominent human rights defenders from China at the White House ahead of the dialogue and in advance of President Xi’s September visit to the U.S.;
  • Report publicly after the Dialogue about which human rights issues were raised

China is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2015, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2015, and Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2014. Read more about China in the Freedom House special report The Politiburo's Predicament: Confronting the Limitations of Chinese Communist Party Repression. 

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter (freedomhousedc). Stay up to date with Freedom House’s latest news and events by signing up for our newsletter and our blog.