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Statement of CECC Chairman Christopher Smith and Cochairman Sherrod Brown on the 23rd Anniversary of the Tiananmen Crackdown

Congressional-Executive Commission on China

June 5, 2012

(Washington, DC)¡ªThis week marks the passing of another year since the Chinese government¡¯s brutal crackdown on innocent civilians who demonstrated in Tiananmen Square and across China for democracy and an end to corruption. Powerful reminders of that avoidable tragedy are everywhere in China. A generation of parents still grieves the loss of sons and daughters. Chinese citizens still seek justice that eludes them because of China¡¯s failure to provide an honest and open accounting of its actions. Those who peacefully sought change on the square, including the Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, have been exiled, imprisoned, tortured, and marginalized. And a nation is unable to freely discuss an event that remains censored from its history books.

More broadly, China remains woefully resistant to any meaningful progress on human rights and the rule of law. Events this year prove this point. The Chen Guangcheng case and the abuse of workers at Foxconn factories illustrated the complete impunity towards the rule of law that remains rampant in China. The Bo Xilai scandal has exposed the opacity and inherent instability of China¡¯s political process. And deteriorating conditions for Tibetans and Uyghurs highlight the failure of repressive policies that deny ethnic minorities their cultural and religious rights. Behind gleaming structures and lofty rhetoric is a country that, for all its economic activity, does not respect basic human rights, and where the rule of law is but an empty, unfulfilled promise.

We remain committed to the people of China struggling for freedoms and we urge the Chinese government to learn from the past and embrace the greater openness, democracy, and respect for human rights that its people called for 23 years ago, and continue to call for today. Only by doing so, can China embark on a path toward lasting peace, stability, and prosperity.


Source: -See Summary (2012-06-05 ) | Posted on: 2012-06-05  
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