CECC Says U.S. Should Adopt a “Whole of Government” Approach in Dealing with China’s Human Rights Violations

On October 4, Vice President Pence delivered a comprehensive policy speech on China at the Hudson Institute. He said, “Beijing is employing a whole-of-government approach, using political, economic, and military tools, as well as propaganda, to advance its influence and benefit its interests in the United States.”

On October 10, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) released its 2018 annual report. US Senator Marco Rubio and US Representative Chris Smith, Chair and Co-chair of CECC urged the United States to adopt a “whole of government” approach in dealing with human rights in China.

The report highlights the worsening human rights conditions in China.

  • An unprecedented repression of ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region;
  • A dramatic increase in Party control over the government, society, and business; and
  • An increasing use of technology as a tool of repression.

The Commission noted reports of continued repression of Falun Gong practitioners, by means of harassment, arbitrary detention, and prosecution. International organizations continued to express concern over reports that organs of detained prisoners have been used in numerous organ transplant operations in China, including those of Falun Gong practitioners. Medical professionals and international advocacy organizations disputed Chinese health officials’ claims that organ procurement systems have been reformed in compliance with international standards, citing ethical concerns about organ sourcing raised by short wait times for organ transplants and discrepancies in data on organ transplants.

Specifically, in terms of the alleged transplant reform in China, the Commission “did not observe any rule making efforts to ban harvesting organs from executed prisoners.” The report urges the Chinese government to pass national legislation explicitly banning  the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners.

The report also calls for the U.S. Congress and Trump administration officials to stress to the Chinese government that the right to freedom of religion includes the rights of Buddhists, Taoists, Christians, Falun Gong practitioners, and Muslims to freely practice their beliefs.

Smith said that the United States should include human rights in trade negotiations with China and in every aspect of U.S. policy.