[House Hearing, 108 Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
OPEN FORUM ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND RULE OF LAW IN CHINA
CONGRESSIONAL-EXECUTIVE COMMISSION ON CHINA
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
SEPTEMBER 8, 2003
Printed for the use of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China
Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.cecc.gov
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CONGRESSIONAL-EXECUTIVE COMMISSION ON CHINA
LEGISLATIVE BRANCH COMMISSIONERS
JIM LEACH, Iowa, Chairman CHUCK HAGEL, Nebraska, Co-Chairman
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska CRAIG THOMAS, Wyoming
DAVID DREIER, California SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas
FRANK WOLF, Virginia PAT ROBERTS, Kansas
JOE PITTS, Pennsylvania GORDON SMITH, Oregon
SANDER LEVIN, Michigan MAX BAUCUS, Montana
MARCY KAPTUR, Ohio CARL LEVIN, Michigan
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio DIANNE FEINSTEIN, California
DAVID WU, Oregon BYRON DORGAN, North Dakota
EXECUTIVE BRANCH COMMISSIONERS
PAULA DOBRIANSKY, Department of State*
GRANT ALDONAS, Department of Commerce*
LORNE CRANER, Department of State*
JAMES KELLY, Department of State*
John Foarde, Staff Director
David Dorman, Deputy Staff Director
* Appointed in the 107th Congress; not yet formally appointed in
the 108th Congress.
C O N T E N T S
Seyet, Kaiser, the Uighur American Association, Woodbridge, VA... 2
Marsh, Terri, human rights attorney, Washington, DC.............. 3
Cooper, Timothy, Worldrights, Washington, DC..................... 5
Huang, Ciping, given by Wei Wu, the Wei Jingsheng Foundation,
Washington, DC................................................. 6
Seyet, Kaiser.................................................... 22
Marsh, Terri..................................................... 23
Cooper, Timothy.................................................. 25
Submissions for the Record
Prepared statement of Ciping Huang, executive director, Wei
Jingsheng Foundation and human rights chair, Independent
Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars (IFCSS),
Washington, DC................................................. 28
Prepared statement of Kery Wilkie Nunez, Washington, DC.......... 31
OPEN FORUM ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND RULE OF LAW IN CHINA
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2003
Commission on China,
The roundtable was convened, pursuant to notice, at 2:30
p.m., in room 2200, Rayburn House Office Building, John Foarde
[staff director] presiding.
Mr. Foarde. On this beautiful fall afternoon, we do not
have as many of our staff colleagues as we like. I am sure that
some will come along in the next few minutes to join us.
But on behalf of Congressman Jim Leach of Iowa, the
chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China
[CECC], and our co-chairman, Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska,
as well as the individual Commission members, I would like to
welcome all of you, and particularly our four panelists, to
this issues roundtable of the CECC.
Today's roundtable is conducted in the ``Open Forum''
format. We try to do this once or twice a year to permit people
who have things to say about issues in our mandate on human
rights and on the rule of law in China the opportunity to speak
for about 5 minutes, offer us a written statement for the
record, and then, as we do with our other roundtables, and also
hearings, have a chance for us to ask questions and hear
answers from the individual speakers.
We have four speakers today representing a variety of
points of view and issues. I will introduce them all, and then
individually before they speak. We will let you go for about 4
minutes, then I will tell you that there is 1 minute left. That
is your signal to wrap up your presentation.
Inevitably, it is hard to say everything that you want to
say in 5 minutes, because it is not a very long time. But we
will try to give you the opportunity during the question and
answer period to catch up any of the issues that you wanted to
mention and did not have the opportunity in your main
Our speakers this afternoon are Mr. Kaiser Seyet from the
Uighur American Association, Ms. Terri Marsh, a human rights
attorney, Mr. Timothy Cooper from Worldrights, and our old
friend Huang Ciping from the Wei Jingsheng Foundation, who had
travel problems this afternoon and is probably not going to be
able to join us in person, but a colleague is going to read her
statement for her into the record. We welcome you and thank you
for doing that.
Let us go right to the statements then. We normally work
wall to window, so we will ask Mr. Kaiser Seyet from the Uighur
American Association to begin, please.
STATEMENT OF KAISER SEYET, THE UIGHUR AMERICAN ASSOCIATION,
Mr. Seyet. Thank you very much. Good afternoon, ladies and
gentlemen. Thanks for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the
Uighur community in the United States.
My topic today is ``Escalating Refoulement of Uighur
Refugees.'' The Uighur American Association is deeply concerned
about the rising number of peaceful Uighur dissidents being
returned to the People's Republic of China [PRC] from other
Although media attention has raised concerns about the
deportation of Tibetan refugees from Nepal and caused
governments to act, no such attention has been paid to the
escalating phenomena of peaceful dissidents being returned from
Central Asian states and Pakistan under pressure from the
Before the formation of the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization [SCO] Chinese diplomats would bring accusations of
criminal wrongdoing against Uighur refugees and seek their
deportation. Wanted posters in Chinese and the local language
were posted on the streets in many cities.
The pressure employed against the refugees and their place
of refuge can be summed up with this excerpt from a 1996
internal Chinese Communist Party document.
Limit the activities of outside ethnic separatist
activities from many sides. Bear in mind the fact that Turkey,
Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan are the home bases for the
activities of outside separatist forces. Through diplomacy,
urge these countries to limit and weaken the activities of
separatist forces inside their border. Take full advantage of
political superiority to further develop the bilateral friendly
cooperation with these countries. At the same time, always
maintain pressure on them. Considering the ethnic separatism
activities outside the border, carry out all necessary dialog
and struggle. Strengthen the investigation and study outside of
the border. Collection information on the related development
directions of events, and be especially vigilant against and
prevent, by all means, the outside separatist forces from
making the so-called ``Eastern Turkestan'' problem
The Chinese Communist Party Central Committee Document Central
Committee (1996) No. 7. Record of the Meeting of the Standing
Committee of the Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist
Party concerning the maintenance of Stability in Xinjiang.
When the SCO was formed, official contacts started in the
Central Asian war on terrorism. At that point, the campaign
against ``East Turkestan separatists'' had not been
internationalized, but dissidents quietly continued to be
arrested and returned to face imprisonment, torture, even
death, just for leaving the People's Republic of China.
After the events of September 11, 2001, and the beginning
of the U.S. war on terrorism, Chinese Government officials
began to equate the peaceful expression of thought with
terrorism. In many official Chinese Government statements,
terrorism, and separatism appear side by side as crimes to be
The criminalization of peaceful ideas is not condoned by
the U.S. Constitution, nor any international body or agreement,
yet such a tactic is used to repress dissidents in countries
that neighbor the People's Republic of China. The entire
process should be viewed as an extension of the Chinese
Government police state.
The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment provides that ``no State
Party shall expel, return (``refouler''), or extradite a person
to another state where there are substantial grounds for
believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to
The Uighur American Association recommends that the U.S.
Government, in its official dealings with Central Asian states,
including Pakistan, Nepal, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan,
reinforce the ideal of the rule of law, namely the principle of
non-refoulement with regard to people escaping persecution and
oppression from the People's Republic of China; raise concerns
about the treatment of refugees and their rights as guaranteed
under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; raise the
issue for forced repatriations, the abuse of human and civil
rights before the proper U.N. bodies; and press for meaningful
reform and change within the People's Republic of China such
that so many do not feel compelled to flee their homeland.
Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Seyet appears in the
Mr. Foarde. Thank you very much for your statement.
Next, we would like to hear from Ms. Terri Marsh, a human
rights attorney. I understand you are here representing Falun
Ms. Marsh. Yes.
Mr. Foarde. Please.
STATEMENT OF TERRI MARSH, HUMAN RIGHTS ATTORNEY, WASHINGTON, DC
Ms. Marsh. Thank you. Thank you for having me here.
The talk is entitled, ``The Rule By Law in China Today''
and its impact on Falun Gong.
According to Jerome Cohen in his ``The Plight of the
Criminal Defense Lawyers'' presented to this Commission on July
26, 2002, China's entire criminal process is in need of radical
In his view, ``A radical, long-run political restructuring
would be necessary to bring the PRC's criminal process into
compliance with even minimal international standards.''
A cursory look at Professor Jerome Cohen's piece allows us
to see that there are basically two problems that he
identified. On the one hand, he notes how the practice of
criminal law in China itself violates the body of law, that is,
the Constitution, the penal code, prison law, police law, and
One example would be that interrogation of arrested persons
and torture is, of course, prohibited by both the Constitution
in China and by police law, and nonetheless it is fairly
commonplace in China for persons who have been arrested, and
most notably Falun Gong practitioners, to be tortured.
On the other hand, and in addition to the violation of
Chinese law, the People's Republic of China typically
promulgates administrative orders, notices, regulations,
explanations, and the like which create exceptions to the
already drafted rules of law.
These exceptions put disfavored classes--for example, Falun
Gong--at a disadvantage for securing the rights the state
acknowledges that they have. Again, examples abound. I welcome
you to look at the printed copy of my statement.
Just to mention one, which is supported by a handout that
is outside. Falun Gong practitioners are denied access to legal
counsel by an announcement which was promulgated by the
Judicial Bureau of Beijing City. There are lots more examples,
some of which I will turn to in a few moments.
These two types of defects in China are highlighted,
although not in reference to China per se, by Ronald Dworkin in
his landmark book, ``A Matter of Principle,'' in chapter 2,
where he distinguishes between two conceptions of the rule of
law, both of which are conspicuously absent in China.
The rule-book conception, and I am just going to read you a
quote from Dworkin at this point, insists that
The power of the state not be exercised against individual
citizens except in accordance with rules which are explicitly
set out in a public rule-book, which is, of course, available
The government, as well as ordinary citizens must play by
these rules until they are changed in accordance with further
rules about how they ought to be changed, which is also to be
set forth in the rule-book.
This narrow conception is not concerned with substantive
justice, but rather with rules.
There is a second formulation also highlighted by Ronald
Dworkin in chapter 2 of ``A Matter of Principle.'' The second
formulation permits us to further evaluate state law to see if
consistent with minimal international standards of law, but
more importantly it allows us to distinguish, for example,
between a rule of law, and then the rules promulgated, for
example, by the Nazis during World War II.
This latter formulation additionally illustrates how, in
fact, what is packaged in China as a rule of law is in fact a
rule by law.
I will just give you some examples in China of how this
works. For example, in terms of promulgation of orders,
notices, and whatnot which create exceptions which prevent
people from benefiting from the existing law, we know that by
order of former President Jiang, the police arrested Falun Gong
practitioners in April 1999 without any legal basis.
Then the former president himself defined the crimes
retroactively by trying to persuade the French newspaper,
Figaro, that Falun Gong is, indeed, an evil cult.
Then in October, the legislative branch passed out the
infamous anti-cult law to legitimate the illegal arrests by
outlawing Falun Gong.
Finally, the Supreme People's Court, instead of ruling on
cases, expounds on the nature of Falun Gong by issuing a notice
declaring, at the behest of Jiang, that Falun Gong is indeed an
evil cult. So we can see from this that Falun Gong
practitioners are guilty prior to their trials.
I guess I should apologize a little bit for failure to
utilize my time well.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Marsh appears in the
Mr. Foarde. That is all right. We can come back to other
points that you have during the question and answers.
Next, let us call on Mr. Timothy Cooper from Worldrights.
Perhaps you would tell us a little bit about your organization
as you get started. It is very interesting. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF TIMOTHY COOPER, WORLDRIGHTS, WASHINGTON, DC
Mr. Cooper. I will, indeed. I want to express my
appreciation to the Commission for allowing non-governmental
organizations [NGOs] to come before it to testify on critical
issues of human rights in China.
I am representing here today the family of Dr. Wang
Bingzhang, who was recently sentenced to life imprisonment in
China on charges of espionage and terrorism. They extend their
appreciation to this Commission and wish that, in fact, they
could be here to testify.
Dr. Wang Bingzhang is known as the father of the overseas
democracy movement. He has been associated with it, in fact
pioneered it, some 20 years ago. He was trained as a lung
surgeon. He studied at McGill University, earned his Ph.D.
there in coronary arterial research. He decided not to practice
famously stated that ``medicine can only cure a few patients,
but cannot cure the disease of a nation.''
He ventured into Vietnam in June 2002, to meet with a
number of labor leaders associated with the ever-rising labor
movement inside China. He went there to, in effect, try to make
a marriage, a union if you will, between the pro-democracy
movement and the labor movement inside China, to marry the head
of the democracy movement with the body politic of the labor
movement, a reasonable strategy in light of the need to amplify
the numbers committed to the pro-democracy movement in China.
Once in Vietnam, he did, in fact, meet with a labor leader
in the town of Mongcai, which is on the border of Vietnam and
China. After that meeting was complete, they noticed that they
were being followed.
They went back to their hotel to retrieve their baggage so
that they could depart that area of the country as soon as
possible. They were, at that point, accosted in the hotel lobby
by plainclothes Vietnamese police--or people who posed as
Vietnamese police--and were taken into a van under false
They were told they were being taken to the police station
in Mongcai, but in fact were taken to the outskirts of town, to
the Beilun River, which cuts between China and Vietnam, where a
boat was waiting for them.
They were beaten, particularly Dr. Wang Bingzhang, taken on
board this boat, and taken over to the China side where they
were met by an entirely new group of individuals, about 10 men.
There had been about 10 men in the lobby, most of whom
spoke Vietnamese, 2 of whom spoke Chinese, most interestingly.
They were greeted by this new set of people.
It was noted that one of the original captors had a picture
of Dr. Wang Bingzhang in his possession that he proudly showed
to the others to confirm Dr. Wang Bingzhang's identification,
and they were handed over to this new group.
They were then blindfolded, bound, and taken to a hotel for
about a week where a $10 million ransom was demanded of the
three Chinese dissidents. No stranger idea, I think, could be
put out there than a kidnapper demanding such a high ransom
from Chinese dissidents. If one is associated in any way with
the Chinese democracy movement, one understands clearly that it
is virtually penniless.
Having no money, the dissidents offered the contact
numbers, their cell phone numbers, for their family and
relations back in America, France, and elsewhere. Those
individuals were never
About a week later, the new captors took them to a temple,
bound, still gagged, and left them. Mysteriously, several
minutes later, the Chinese police arrived and said, ``We are
here, we are rescuing you.'' But instead they were immediately
detained. They were never released. In fact, from that point
on, they met a new form of detention.
They were then held incommunicado for about 5\1/2\ months
while the Chinese Government emphatically denied that they had
any information whatsoever about their whereabouts.
Finally, Yue Wu and Zhang Qi were released, but Dr. Wang
Bingzhang was put on trial for espionage and for terrorism.
He has denied his association with any of those activities.
He declared himself wholly innocent. In fact, when the United
Nations' Arbitrary Detention Committee looked at this case,
they came to the same conclusion, that the Chinese Government
had offered no proof whatsoever that Dr. Wang was associated in
any way with either espionage or terrorism.
Indeed, the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
declared that the Chinese Government had arbitrarily detained
these individuals, that the detention was a violation of
international norms, and that Dr. Wang Bingzhang should be
Speaking on behalf of the family, we implore the U.S.
Congress to pass a joint resolution on his behalf. It is high
time that the United States stood behind a man who has
committed most of his adult life, certainly the best years of
his life, to the cause of human rights and democracy in China.
We would simply ask that the Congress look at this issue and
determine its resolve, and pass a resolution on his behalf.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Cooper appears in the
Mr. Foarde. Thank you very much, Mr. Cooper.
Our friend and frequent contributor to our open forums, Ms.
Huang Ciping, cannot be with us because of travel problems, so
her colleague is going to read her statement.
But would you introduce yourself for the record, please?
STATEMENT OF HUANG CIPING, GIVEN BY WEI WU, THE WEI JINGSHENG
FOUNDATION, WASHINGTON, DC
Mr. Wu. Yes. Ladies and gentlemen. I am speaking on a
statement of Huang Ciping on behalf of the Wei Jingsheng
Foundation and the Independent Federation of Chinese Students
The topic of the speech is ``No Press Freedom in China
Early last spring, the Chinese press got unexpected world
attention because of SARS. World opinion had increased hope for
Chinese press freedom. The sad reality is that China has not
gained more press freedom since SARS.
In June 2003, the Chinese Communist Party criticized more
than 10 newspapers and magazines. Afterward, some sensitive
articles had to be killed before publishing. The prohibited
topics included SARS, the North Korean nuclear crisis, the
nuclear submarine explosion, and the Zhou Zhengyi corruption
case in Shanghai.
Also, in the summer the government clearly stated
prohibition to discuss certain issues, such as modifying the
Constitution, political reforms, and the 1989 Tiananmen
China has a long way to go toward real press freedom. The
root of the problem lies in the system, which has been there
for over half a century under the CCP rule. The following facts
are some of our highest concerns.
First, there is no real private press in China and no
independent journalism under the one party system of the CCP.
The registration of a publication is very complicated. The
government, at any time, can easily crush a newspaper if it
violates government regulations, or just displeases some
Second, Internet censorship. In China, many Web sites are
blocked. The government has over 300,000 Internet police,
50,000 of them work directly for the National Security
Liu Di, a Chinese college student, has been detained for
months because of some essays she published in a chat room.
One-third of all foreign mails went through inspections beyond
even targeted mails, and phone tapping is public knowledge in
Third, brave journalists and liberal editors often get in
trouble, and some are put in prison just because they report
the truth or speak from conscience. In fact, Chinese
journalists are the direct victims under the Chinese Communist
rules. Many of them have lost their freedoms, or even lives.
Fourth, to survive, one must speak the Party's tongue. Keep
the same tongue with the Party, is the first rule for all
Fifth, China has been reported to be the second worst
country for freedom of press and speech. The biased,
misleading, even false information serves only the Chinese
Government's agenda. On sensitive issues, only the government
has the right to decide if the news can be made public.
Sixth, the Chinese people do not trust the news if it is
presented by the Chinese Government. Chinese people do not have
faith in the Chinese Government. They know that their
government cheats. Chinese people usually rely on the BBC,
Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, or other overseas media.
Finally, foreign investment and Internet will not bring
free press to China. On one hand, many argue that foreign
investment will bring freedom, including freedom of the press
to China. On the other hand, the Chinese Government pointed out
that the news media is a special enterprise that does not allow
the rule of ``who invests in it owns it.''
The government specifically stated that the news media is a
State enterprise which applies to all newspapers. A similar
applies to the Internet. The Internet and advanced computer
technology has become the tool for government monitoring and
suppression of dissent.
It is a shame that U.S. companies such as Yahoo! cooperate
voluntarily with the Chinese Government. It is more a shame for
Western companies to work closely with the Chinese Government
to create the ``Golden Shield'' which helped make the Chinese
Government policing of the Internet the best in the world.
Here, we urge the freedom- and democracy-loving American
people and the U.S. Congress to examine these issues and to
prevent moneymaking deals when the price is the Chinese
people's human rights and freedom.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Huang Ciping appears in the
Mr. Foarde. Thank you very much, Mr. Wu Wei, on behalf of
Thanks to our other panelists this afternoon. It is very
important for the Commission, and the Commission staff,
particularly, to get to know people who are working on human
rights issues for prominent NGOs and to hear the information
that you have, and the arguments that you have put together.
So, having an open forum like this is particularly useful.
The transcript of it is widely circulated among the
commissioners, and we appreciate your spending the time not
only to come this afternoon, but to prepare.
I am going to give you just a minute to catch your breath
while I mention a couple of administrative matters.
Our next major public event of the full Commission is a
hearing on September 24 entitled, ``Is China Playing By the
Rules: Free Trade, Fair Trade and WTO Compliance.'' This
hearing will look into the commercial rule of law and WTO
compliance part of our mandate.
The hearing will be on Wednesday, the 24th at 10:30 a.m. in
the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 419. Chairman Jim
Leach will preside.
In addition, on Monday, September 22 at 2:30 p.m., we will
have an issues roundtable on ``Internet Freedom and Free Flow
of Electronic Information in China.'' I do not have a room to
tell you yet, but please continue to consult the CECC Web site
at www.cecc.gov. On the Web site, you can sign up for our
mailing list if you want to get e-mails with these
announcements from us.
Also, our statute requires that we file a report on the
activities of the Commission and on human rights and the
development of the rule of law in China every year. The report,
formally, is due on October 9 every year, but for reasons of
scheduling we try to release it a little earlier than that.
Again, this year, we hope to release it at a press
conference on October 2, which I believe is a Wednesday, right?
Yes, a Wednesday. Again, I do not have a room for you yet, but
we are working on that. We will make a public announcement
about the availability of the annual report.
Of course, it will be available in PDF format on our Web
site for you to download freely during the year if you should
need it again.
I would like to go now to the question and answer session
and allow each of our speakers to amplify their thoughts a
little bit, and perhaps answer some questions I have jotted
down here while listening to your testimony.
Perhaps I would start with Mr. Kaiser Seyet, please. Can
you give me an idea for the record of the amount of cross-
border travel that there is between the Xinjiang area where
Uighurs mostly live and the surrounding countries?
For example, some of the ones that you mentioned. Is it a
common thing, in other words, for people legally and normally
to cross borders to trade, or to visit family? Does that
Mr. Seyet. It is not very common. All cross-border visits
are for business, for travel, or to see friends or family. This
is all controlled by the Chinese Government.
Mr. Foarde. So if you were a Uighur and you wanted to
travel across border to one of the neighboring countries to,
say, trade, you would need to get an exit permit, is that what
you are saying, from the Chinese Government?
Mr. Seyet. Yes. You would have to have a passport and exit
Mr. Foarde. So the Chinese Government can restrict the
numbers of passports that are issued, for example, to Chinese
nationals of Uighur nationality, and also control the exit
Mr. Seyet. Yes. Recently, the Chinese Government published
that they made it easier for people to apply for passports and
exit permits, but they have special rules and laws for the
Uighur minority to get passports.
For most people, if you are under 40, it is very hard to
get a passport across borders. Usually, from what I know, to
get a passport usually takes 2 years from application to
During these 2 years, the Chinese Government is going to
check your background, if you have had any political problem or
any other problems against the government, or anything.
Mr. Foarde. Would the same questions be asked of a Chinese
national of the Han nationality who might be living in Xinjiang
Uighur Autonomous Region?
Mr. Seyet. I do not think they have the same problem
because the separatism and terrorism campaign only focuses on
the Uighur nationality. I do not think the Chinese people have
as hard a problem as the Uighurs.
Mr. Foarde. So at least as far as you know, if a Han person
wished to get a passport and an exit permit to visit a
neighboring country for trade, that would also be much easier
than it would be for a Uighur, is that correct?
Mr. Seyet. Yes.
Mr. Foarde. All right.
Do you or your organization have any specific evidence of
specific Uighurs that have been sent back from neighboring
countries after they had gone across the border to ask for
political asylum or shelter, or refuge of any sort?
Mr. Seyet. Yes, sir. We contacted some people who returned
from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Pakistan, and also Amnesty
International reported such things documented on their Web site
that we can provide to you.
Mr. Foarde. So you have names and places? That would be
very useful for us to have that information. If you could
provide it, it would be very, very useful.
Mr. Seyet. I will.
Mr. Foarde. Can you give me an idea, generally, what
happens to people when they are brought back to China after
having been expelled from the country that they have gone to?
Mr. Seyet. Usually they are held in a private, very secret
place. Nobody knows what jail they are in. The Chinese
authorities do not inform their relatives or friends. They
torture them and ask what they did outside China.
Mr. Foarde. But, again, do you have specific reports of
that sort of behavior happening?
Mr. Seyet. Yes.
Mr. Foarde. All right. We would be interested in seeing
that as well.
Mr. Seyet. Also, Amnesty International has a report on the
torture, and some of them are sentenced to death. Some
disappear without any information. We do not know if they are
alive or dead.
Mr. Foarde. And their families have not been in touch with
them. Have they been able to get legal representation, as far
as you know?
Mr. Seyet. I do not think they can get legal
Mr. Foarde. No lawyers, you think.
Mr. Seyet. No.
Mr. Foarde. This is, unfortunately, not an unusual
Let me ask a couple of final questions. Did the people that
you are knowledgeable about who went home after being expelled
forcibly from the third country, did they try to apply formally
for asylum in the third country or did they try to contact the
U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees when they were abroad?
Mr. Seyet. Some of them applied in the third country for
asylum. Some of them applied to the U.N. High Commissioner for
Refugees. During this time, there was intense pressure from
economic and political forces in central Asian countries, those
central Asian governments helped transfer those people who were
So, from 1999, most Uighur people thought they could seek
asylum in Pakistan, India, Kazakhstan, or Kyrgyzstan, but
because of Chinese Government pressure, all of them were handed
over to the Chinese Government and they were brought back to
Uighur refugees do not ask for U.N. help because that takes
a lot of time. In those neighboring countries they do not have
status, they do not have a source of income. So, the Chinese
Government finds it very easy to find them and take them back
to China. Also, those countries are helping the Chinese
Government to send them back to China.
Mr. Foarde. Let me ask a final question. You mentioned in
your statement the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. We are
all very interested in this group and how it may be operating
in practice across a broad array of issues, not just the human
rights issues that we are interested in in the Commission.
But do you have any evidence that there are formal
agreements that have been reached between the Chinese
Government and the governments of the neighboring countries
that are part of the SCO, under that umbrella, to automatically
send back potential asylum seekers to China?
Mr. Seyet. On the SCO, they have contacts. When they formed
the SCO, they say it is to address economic, political, and
other border issues. They especially mentioned whether those
countries were going to stand against terrorism and separatism?
They are required to send over people and give the names to the
Chinese Government, and their country can give them back names
of terrorists. So, there is like a cooperation.
Mr. Foarde. At least there is a statement about
Mr. Seyet. Yes, a statement.
Mr. Foarde. But do I understand you to say that, as far as
you know, there is no formal agreement between the Chinese
Government and any other government on this, no formal treaty
or other bilateral agreement, just the statements that have
been in public, SCO documents?
Mr. Seyet. I think there are statements in SCO documents.
Mr. Foarde. Thank you very much. That is very useful.
Let me turn to Mr. Cooper, if you do not mind. Dr. Wang
Bingzhang's case, of course, has been a case of great concern
to the Commission and to our commissioners. I think when you
see our forthcoming annual report, you will see a serious
discussion of his case.
But I have some questions, just for the record, that will
help us with facts. When did Dr. Wang leave China? Did he
emigrate to Canada directly, or how did that work?
Mr. Cooper. Yes, that is correct. I think he left at the
end of the 1970s and emigrated, as you say, to Canada, and then
went to New York shortly thereafter in 1982, I believe. 1981,
Mr. Foarde. Other than the circumstances of the kidnapping,
detention, and subsequent arrest and trial of Dr. Wang, is
there any hard evidence that the PRC authorities were informed
in advance of the plans of Dr. Wang and his confreres to go to
this place and consult with the labor leaders? Is there any
evidence that somebody leaked that information?
Mr. Cooper. Well, I think there is certainly evidence that
somebody leaked that information by virtue of the fact that he
ended up being accosted in a hotel room and carted across the
border river into China. How that happened, I do not think we
will ever be able to say with a 100 percent degree of
I think it is fair to say, however, that in light of the
unholy terror that an alliance such as the one that I described
between the labor movement and the pro-democracy movement would
have been struck in the minds of Chinese authorities, I think
they would have stopped at virtually nothing to put a stop to
the incipiency of that idea, that endeavor.
Mr. Foarde. You anticipated my third question, which is
basically, why would the PRC go to so much trouble for a small
group of dissidents? I think the answer is that it is
potentially a much larger group. In fact, I think it is correct
to say that one of the things that worried the Party and
government structure in the spring of 1989 was that you had
this potential marriage between intellectuals, students, and
Mr. Cooper. That is right.
Mr. Foarde. The only other part of the equation that makes
the Chinese authorities even more anxious, I guess is the
polite word to use, is when you have religious groups involved
Mr. Cooper. We have had ample witness of it in recent
years, I am afraid to say.
Mr. Foarde. I assume, and we have all assumed, that the
plainclothes men that detained Dr. Wang and his group in
Vietnam and got them across the border were security agents of
some sort. But is there any formal evidence of that? I mean,
anybody declaring themselves or showing an ID card, or anything
Mr. Cooper. Yes. We have looked at that as closely as we
can. All we can say for certain, is that two of the members of
that security force in plainclothes spoke with Chinese accents,
one Mandarin and another provincial accent right across the
border. So, that is as close as we can say that they were
linked to China.
But I think it is sufficient to say that that group then
took them to the Chinese group of captors within 15, 20
minutes, and that the boat was waiting for them, that the van
was outside the hotel, and there was an elaborate planning
process through which this kidnapping occurred.
That took a degree of planning and sophistication that I
required sufficient funds and ample intelligence to suggest, as
the ultimate life imprisonment of Wang Bingzhang rightly
suggests, that there was a commitment on the part of the
Chinese authorities to get this man, to bring him into China,
and then to secure his confinement for here and ever after.
Mr. Foarde. Do you have any sense that the type of meetings
that Dr. Wang was having, or trying to have, along the border
there with PRC-based activists, whether they be labor or other
types of activists, is fairly common? In other words, is that
happening a lot? There would be a group, in other words,
conceivably of security agents paying special attention to the
border area for that reason?
Mr. Cooper. Not to my knowledge. This was, I think, a
rarified example of cutting-edge activism. I do know that there
have been cases of cross-border kidnappings in Korea in the
northern areas, but this was the first time, to my
understanding, that a Chinese dissident had ever been taken
from a third country and carted back into China.
Mr. Foarde. My understanding is that there is a fair amount
of cross-border kidnapping for ransom, but it is a purely
criminal conduct or enterprise, not related to anybody's
Mr. Cooper. Yes. Hence, the idea that there might be
perceived to be some legitimacy in describing those actions as
kidnapping. But the fact remains, no family member was ever
contacted about a ransom demand. That, I think, dispels that
Mr. Foarde. This is the first time that I personally had
ever heard of any activities by overseas-based democracy
activists trying to work through Vietnam to have this sort of
contact with people based in the PRC. So, I agree that there is
not much evidence that it is common.
All that suggests that there was a leak of some sort, and
this was kind of an organized, state security operation to grab
these people, snatch them, and take them across the border into
someplace where they could be put into police custody.
Mr. Cooper. To say it succinctly, I think he was sold out
and set up. I think that's the only explanation for how this
came about in such a calculated and efficient manner.
Mr. Foarde. One thing that I wondered a bit about the U.N.
Special Rapporteur's report, is whether they were privy to any
formal PRC court documents or transcripts in making their
Mr. Cooper. Yes. That is an interesting question. Not to my
knowledge. I have seen the material that the PRC sent to the
Arbitrary Detention Committee, and there was no information
Mr. Foarde. There was just a formal response, not a copy of
a court transcript or anything.
Mr. Cooper. A formal response from the Chinese Embassy, I
think, in Geneva, the Chinese mission in Geneva. It is possible
there is a deeper layer there that I did not see, but I can say
that I have no knowledge of it.
Mr. Foarde. It is probably a good conclusion no matter
what, but it would be interesting to know if they had based
that conclusion on anything else.
Mr. Cooper. Have you seen the rapporteur's report?
Mr. Foarde. Yes. Yes.
Mr. Cooper. All right. You have seen it.
Mr. Foarde. I have not read it personally word for word.
Mr. Cooper. I have copies of it if you need it.
Mr. Foarde. I have skimmed it. We have been studying it
very carefully at the staff level at the Commission.
Mr. Cooper. All right. Very good. Thank you.
Mr. Foarde. This is very useful. We are all looking at what
we might do for Dr. Wang. Just one last question. What is Dr.
Wang's nationality at the moment?
Mr. Cooper. Well, that may be an area of legal contention
and concern. I think it is safe to say that he is a permanent
Mr. Foarde. So he has a green card.
Mr. Cooper. Right.
Mr. Foarde. Meaning his nationality stays as PRC, but he
has permanent residence in the United States.
Mr. Cooper. That is correct.
Mr. Foarde. Well, as you know, as somebody who used to do
this as both a consular officer and a diplomat for the United
States abroad, the legal basis for making representations about
detainees is much stronger when it is your own national and
when both countries are parties to either a bilateral consular
convention or the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
It is more difficult when the detainee is a permanent
resident, but still retains the nationality of another country,
for example, in this case, China. But there is a moral basis on
which to ask for help, and particularly when family members and
relatives are U.S. citizens.
The State Department frequently goes in and says, ``Look,
we recognize that this man is not our national and that we may
not have a legal right to have access to him or to demand
anything under the Vienna Convention. But he is a long-time
permanent resident, he has friends, family, and relatives who
are U.S. citizens.''
There is a relationship, and therefore we feel we have good
cause to ask about his whereabouts and ask for access, and the
other things that you might ask for for a citizen. I think that
has been done in the case of Dr. Wang, unfortunately not
successfully. But, very useful. All right.
Let me go on to Ms. Marsh. First, a comment, then a
question. Your initial presentation talked very eloquently
about the problem of the Chinese authorities violating the PRC
law and Constitution, as well as international human rights
standards and norms.
I just wanted to comment that this theme is something that
you will see woven throughout our forthcoming annual report,
because it is, at a high level of abstraction, one of the chief
problems from a rule of law point of view.
In many cases, the PRC has good laws, sometimes state-of-
the-art laws. But, on the one hand, the ability of individuals
to enforce their rights is very limited, if present at all. At
the other level, the authorities frequently just ignore, look
the other way, or have the exceptions that you talked about
carved out of these things.
I would like to ask a question that you alluded to a little
bit, but it would be useful to have your views on it in a
What, in your mind, accounts for the virulence of the PRC
Government's reaction against Falun Gong since, let us say,
Ms. Marsh. That is actually not an easy question to answer.
I have certainly heard lots of explanations from various people
closer to the situation than I. My sense is that the principles
upon which Falun Gong is based--those are compassion,
truthfulness, and forbearance--I think probably, especially the
compassion, are very much at odds with the need for the PRC to
control the population through the state-run media, the
There are all sorts of ways, some of which were certainly
mentioned in my talk, that China uses to control the people in
China. You cannot control people who prefer compassion,
truthfulness, and tolerance to advancing up the political
You cannot control people who are willing to be arrested
and tortured. My understanding is, from the study I have done
of the Cultural Revolution, of Tiananmen, and then this, is
that if Mao Zedong starts the Cultural Revolution and somebody
did not like it, no matter high up he was--and there are many
examples--they were just arrested and tortured. So, many high-
ranking officials of the Communist Party were tortured. They
are not alive any more. There are so many in house detention.
So, to me, it was just not possible for Jiang Zemin and the
Communist Party to maintain control over China with all these
people liberating themselves with these noble principles.
And it is sad, because these are the principles, to me,
that are really constitutive of our humanity. These are the
best that we can be. So to see those principles trampled upon
because of a need to control people, it is very sad.
Mr. Foarde. Is it not also true that, at least in the early
1990s, there was both formal and tacit government support for
Ms. Marsh. Absolutely. Absolutely.
Mr. Foarde. And a great number of government officials,
members of the People's Liberation Army, and what have you,
were practitioners of Falun Gong at some level?
Ms. Marsh. Yes. It was so popular. I mean, that is what is
so amazing to me, is that members of the Politburo, Jiang
I mean, everybody--this is what I have been told--was
practicing Falun Gong, because it is based on ancient
traditions of China, the gigong practice. It comes from an
ancient cultivation practice and it really resonates in China.
So, everybody was practicing it.
There were awards given to Li Hongzhi, the different
Chinese research societies were constantly acclaiming his
books, they were the most popular books being read in China.
Everybody was out there in the morning doing the exercises.
In fact, for about 2 years--1997 to 1999--Jiang Zemin, who
I think almost single-handedly started this persecution,
although it certainly garnered support from elsewhere, told the
Public Security Bureau to investigate Falun Gong, thinking that
doing so would produce what he wanted. They did an enormous
investigation and they said, ``No, there is nothing wrong. They
are fine. They do not break the law, they do not do this. . .''
So, it was popular. Through the ordinary sort of legal
channels, Jiang could not stop it. That is why I think you had
so many exceptions and all these notices and administrative
orders, and so on and so forth.
Mr. Foarde. So do I understand you to say that, as far as
you know, the investigation into Falun Gong by the senior
Chinese leadership predated the March 1999 demonstration?
Ms. Marsh. Absolutely. Jiang Zemin had 2 years in which he
was trying, through legitimate channels, to stop and stifle
Falun Gong, and it did not work. Then he gave a speech in April
1999 before the Politburo and basically just said, ``This is
what is going to happen. We are going to get rid of Falun Gong,
because they are a threat.'' He connected them to the West and
to the United States, and all this kind of silly language.
People opposed him.
And I do not know these Chinese names, but the Premier [Zhu
Rongji], I think, himself was totally on the other side, and
met with the practitioners and said, ``Do not worry, this is
not going to happen, you are not going to be banned.''
But then Jiang Zemin, I think he had some high-ranking
person in the Chinese Communist Party arrested and tortured
badly. Then all of a sudden the Premier became silent and
everybody became quiet because of memories of the Cultural
Revolution. I mean, there is fear. I wonder myself, how would I
fare under torture?
Mr. Foarde. It is a very difficult question. Certainly if
you look at any of the harrowing, but great books that have
been written about Cultural Revolution experiences, it is very
difficult for me as an individual, and I am sure a great many
people, to understand how you would tolerate such treatment. It
is very difficult.
Let me ask you. If the particular anti-Falun Gong campaign
was associated with Jiang Zemin, is there any reason to believe
that the new leaders that have now arisen and been installed by
the Party would either have less interest in a very aggressive
persecution of Falun Gong, or possibly even would see the
campaign as something that belongs to the old regime and try to
back away from it?
Is there any hope of that?
Ms. Marsh. That is also a very difficult question and I am
hardly an expert on politics in China. But it seems to me that
it is conceivable that, if we could find a face-saving way to
stop the persecution--I mean, the United States would have to
play an active role in this--in which we could somehow approach
the new regime and not force them to retract everything,
because they are probably not prepared to do that, but find
some way to just kind of stop talking about it. Just, let us
stop talking about it and just let the people out, and so on,
and so forth. That is a possibility.
But my worry or my concern is, Jiang Zemin is still
powerful. There is so much inter-political--I mean, I am
reading the ``Tiananmen Papers'' now, and it is just so
complicated as to who is what and who is on which side, and so
on. Jiang still does exert some power.
So, I think there needs to be some waning of his power, and
perhaps that will happen. I know he is not popular with the
Chinese people, but that does not seem to matter.
Mr. Foarde. So it is hard to say whether or not there is
Ms. Marsh. It is hard for me to say. There might be persons
wiser than me who can say. But I know that I was personally
trying to talk to some of the aides in Congress. Again, this
was about 6 months ago. Senator Biden's chief aide, and I think
he was also Senator Kerry's aide.
I was suggesting that we might at least look into a face-
saving way to stop the persecution, because obviously face-
saving is so important in China. To have to say, ``Well, we
made a mistake,'' I think that might be expecting too much.
Mr. Foarde. Or we did it because the Americans forced us to
Ms. Marsh. Right. Something. Very, very sorry. Something to
save face, but to stop it. I did file this lawsuit against
former President Jiang and against quite a few other officials,
so I am very close to the details of the persecution.
It is very hard to know completely with your heart, your
mind, and your soul to know that this is going on every single
day, every single minute of the day, and just go about your
business. It is hard. It is very hard.
Mr. Foarde. Thank you so much. This is very useful.
Ms. Marsh. Thank you.
Mr. Foarde. Let me turn to a question or two to Mr. Wu Wei.
Again, I do not want to put you on the spot because I know you
are standing in for Ms. Huang. So, if you do not feel
comfortable answering a question, by all means tell me and we
will save it for her for the next time, because I am sure we
will be seeing her frequently, as we always do.
But I did want to go back into the themes in the statement
about SARS and about the lack of freedom of the press, and how
that in many ways exacerbated the seriousness of the SARS
crisis last spring.
Some medical experts say that SARS may, in fact, come back
this fall. There is even more concern because, just in the last
couple of weeks, local authorities in several places in
Guangdong have permitted the sale, again, of civets and other
animals that have been associated with new and different types
of retroviruses, including the SARS virus.
So my question really is, given that they have just had
this experience where the government was very embarrassed
because the epidemic spread very rapidly, and it was the lack
of information that made it spread so widely and the
suppression of information that was already available to
journalists, is it more likely or less likely that, if SARS has
a resurgence this fall or this winter, that the same sort of
repressive muzzle will be put on journalists that want to
report the facts about outbreaks and what have you?
Mr. Wu. Yes, sir. Well, let me start to tell you a personal
story. A friend of mine who is an Italian student was in China,
in Beijing, studying Chinese back in the spring of this year.
He and his Chinese friend did not know about SARS until the
day when he received an e-mail from his family in Italy, and
phone calls as well, to question about, what is going on in
Beijing on the SARS issue? So, he certainly woke up.
He went to the Internet and checked, I suppose, English or
Italian language online newspapers and discovered the SARS
crisis. He went back to his Chinese friend and told them about
the SARS crisis in China. None of his Chinese-educated friends,
college students, believed him. So, that is the degree of
censorship and brainwashing in China, in Beijing, among the top
Now, your question is about the future, I guess, what is
going to happen this fall?
Mr. Foarde. Will there be the same type of restriction on
reporting SARS information?
Mr. Wu. There is no crystal ball. We cannot predict that.
But we can say, in fact, the new Chinese leadership is the same
as we saw before. That is, they have tightened, again, the
information circulation. So I suppose and I expect the Chinese
news media to not be reporting on SARS, as they did during the
Mr. Foarde. So it is more likely that we will see more of
the same instead of learning the lesson.
Mr. Wu. I suspect so, sir.
Mr. Foarde. Unfortunate, indeed.
Kaiser Seyet, Terri Marsh, Timothy Cooper, Wu Wei, thank
you for spending your time with us this afternoon.
If you would like, since we have a couple of minutes, I
would invite you to make a final statement to sum up the things
that you would like the people who read the record to remember.
Maybe we would start with Mr. Seyet, if you would like.
Mr. Seyet. You asked me how long it takes Uighur people to
get a passport. Just for example, for my family, I have been
here in the United States for 6\1/2\ years. My parents started
applying for a passport 6 years ago and they have not gotten
anything from the government.
My mother is just a housewife. She does not do anything
political. My dad is an electrical engineer and has nothing to
do with politics. But it is because I am active here
politically, so they have not gotten a passport yet.
The second thing, about SCO, China has been pressing very
hard on Central Asian countries. It is like, in Central Asian
countries, China does not hesitate going to the addresses and
arresting people by themselves. It is like a part of the
Chinese terrorism police can go there. Sometimes they can
arrest people by themselves and take them to China.
The Uighur refugee problem is worse in Europe. People have
been denied seeking asylum and have been returned due to
Chinese Government pressure. We would like the U.S. Senate and
House to pass a resolution to help Uighur refugees.
If they do not give asylum, just do not give them back to
China. China is also a member of the Security Council. They are
not obeying the Convention on Refugees as a signatory. So, we
would like to mention this to the Chinese Government to press
and to not to torture and take them back and execute them.
Thank you very much.
Mr. Foarde. Thank you very much. Very useful.
Ms. Marsh. Well, first, I would like to say that Mike
Jendrzejczyk. I cannot pronounce his name.
Mr. Foarde. Mike Jendrzejczyk. The late Mike Jendrzejczyk,
Ms. Marsh. The Washington director of Human Rights Watch/
Asia said, ``Cloaking the campaign against Falun Gong in
rhetoric about the rule of law does not give any great
legitimacy to China's crackdown on Falun Gong.'' He urges that
the ban and the crackdown be lifted and everybody be released
I would supplement his remarks by urging everyone, not only
the Commission, who knows quite well in this area, but the U.S.
Government and the U.S. Department of State, I would single out
the Administration, the Bush Administration, the U.S.
Department of Justice, that all of us need, together, to do
what we can to stop the persecution in China and to do what we
can to seriously promote a rule of law in China as opposed to a
rule by law.
I think that by permitting China to continue to cloak the
rule by law in a rule of law, we really foster an environment
for the cultural revolution, for the tragedy of Tiananmen
Square and for the latest crackdown against Falun Gong. Thank
Mr. Foarde. Thank you very much. Also very useful.
Mr. Cooper. Again, I want to express my appreciation to the
Commission, and to you in particular, for taking the time to
listen to the dire case of Dr. Wang Bingzhang. I would like to
remind the Commission that, even at this very hour, he sits in
solitary confinement in a 44 cell. He is not going
anywhere. He is facing life in prison for crimes he did not
The Chinese Government offered no evidence whatsoever to
prove their case that he committed any act of espionage, any
act of terrorism. There was simply no evidence provided at all.
The accusation, for instance, that he attempted to organize
the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Thailand was utterly
refuted when an AP reporter called the Terrorism Department of
the Thai Government and asked whether or not they had even
heard of Dr. Wang Bingzhang, and they said, ``Absolutely not.''
We do not know anything about these charges, anything about
these suspicions. These were fabricated, trumped up charges
that have no bearing to reality in any way, shape or form.
The United Nations probed this case. They determined that
Dr. Wang Bingzhang did not have any knowledge of the charges
against him, did not have the right to legal counsel or the
right to review his own arrest and detention, and that after
the date of his original detention, he did not benefit from the
right of the presumption of innocence, the right to adequate
time and facilities for his own defense, the right to a fair
trial by an independent and impartial jury, and on and on it
There is no question that he was run roughshod, that he was
set up by, we assume, the Chinese authorities, since that is
where they would most liked to have seen him, and that he has
been denied all justice under law and under universal
So, again, we implore the U.S. Congress to take to heart
his case, to take to heart the separation from freedom that Dr.
Wang Bingzhang knows, and to support him via a Congressional
resolution to exert all due influence on China to free him at
the earliest possible date. Thank you.
Mr. Foarde. Thank you very much.
Mr. Wei, if you had a word or two on behalf of Huang Ciping
and the organization, please go ahead.
Mr. Wu. Yes, sir. I would like to raise two issues. The
first, is the U.S.-based high-tech companies are transferring
high-tech technology to China, and by doing so are helping the
Chinese Government to increase the degree of information
Second, I would like to remind Members of Congress that
political reform and democratization in China is related to
U.S. national security interests. Thank you.
Mr. Foarde. That will conclude then, for today, our Open
Forum. We will try to do another one of these probably after
the first of the year.
We will have our next activity on Monday the 22nd. As I
said, I do not have a room yet. But as soon as I do, we will
send out an announcement.
Thank you all for coming this afternoon, and to our
speakers for sharing their views and information with us. Good
(Whereupon, at 3:41 p.m. the open forum was concluded.)
A P P E N D I X
Prepared Statement of Kaiser Seyet
september 8, 2003
Escalating Refoulement of Uyghur Refugees
The Uyghur American Association is deeply concerned about the
rising number of peaceful Uyghur dissidents being returned to the
People's Republic of China. Although media attention has raised the
deportation of Tibetan refugees from Nepal and caused governments to
act, no such attention has been paid to the escalating phenomena of
peaceful dissents being returned from Central Asian states and Pakistan
under pressure from the Chinese government.
Before the formation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
(SCO), Chinese diplomats would bring accusations of criminal wrongdoing
against Uyghur refugees and seek their deportation. Wanted posters in
Chinese and the local language have been posted on the streets in many
cities. The pressure employed against the refugees and their place of
refuge can be summed up with this except from a 1996 internal Chinese
Communist Party Document:
``Limit the activities of outside ethnic separatist
activities from many sides. Bear in mind the fact that Turkey,
Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are the home-bases for the activities
of outside separatists forces. Through diplomacy, urge these
countries to limit and weaken the activities of separatist
forces inside their border. Take full advantage of our
political superiority to further develop the bilateral friendly
cooperation with these countries. At the same time, always
maintain pressure on them. Considering the ethnic separatism
activities outside of the border, carry out all necessary
dialog and struggle. Strengthen the investigation and study
outside of the border. Collect the information on related
development directions of events, and be especially vigilant
against and prevent, by all means, the outside separatist
forces from making the so-called ``Eastern Turkistan'' problem
Chinese Communist Party Central Committee Document Central Committee
(1996) No.7 Record of the Meeting of the Standing Committee of the
Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party concerning the
maintenance of Stability in Xinjiang
When the SCO was formed, official contacts started in the Central
Asian war on terrorism. At that point, the campaign against 'East
Turkistan separatists' had not been internationalized, but quietly,
dissidents continued to be arrested and returned to face imprisonment,
torture and even death, just for leaving the peoples Republic of China.
After the events of September 11, 2001 and the beginning of the
U.S. war on terrorism, Chinese government officials began to equate the
peaceful expression of thought with terrorism. In many official Chinese
government statements, terrorism and separatism appear side-by-side as
crimes to be fought.
The criminalization of peaceful ideas is not condoned by the U.S.
Constitution nor any international body or agreement, yet such a tactic
is used to repress dissent in countries that neighbor the PRC. The
entire process should be viewed as an extension of the Chinese
government Police State.
The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment provides that ``no State Party shall
expel, return (`refouler') or extradite a person to another State where
there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger
of being subjected to torture.'' The principle of non-refoulement is a
basic right of all people that flee tyranny and oppression and clearly,
according to the annual U.S. Department of State Human Rights Report,
the People's Republic of China abused the rights of citizens accorded
under their constitution. Abuses included instances of extrajudicial
killings, torture and mistreatment of prisoners, forced confessions,
arbitrary arrest and detention, lengthy incommunicado detention, and
denial of due process. Such compelling evidence from the U.S. State
Department merits attention to safeguard the human rights of people
escaping oppression in the People's Republic of China.
The Uyghur American Association recommends that the U.S.
government, in its official dealings with Central Asian states,
including Pakistan, Nepal, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan,
Reinforce the ideal of the rule of law, namely, the principle
of non-refoulement with regard to people escaping persecution and
oppression from the People's Republic of China;
Raise concerns about the treatment of refugees and their
rights as guaranteed under the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights;
Raise the issue of forced repatriations, the abuse of human
and civil rights before the proper U.N. bodies, and
Press for meaningful reform and change within the People's
Republic of China such that so many do not feel compelled to flee
Prepared Statement of Terri Marsh
september 8, 2003
The Rule by Law in China Today
According to Jeremy Cohen in his ``The Plight of Criminal Defense
Lawyers,'' presented to this commission on July 26, 2002, China's
entire criminal process is in need of radical reform. In his view, a
``radical, long-run political restructuring would be necessary to bring
the PRC's criminal process into compliance with [even] minimal
international standards.'' A cursory look at the problems Professor
Cohen identifies reveals at least two types. On the one hand, the
practice of criminal law in China itself violates the body of Chinese
law, which includes but is not limited to the Constitution, the Penal
Law, Prison Law, and Police Law. For example,
although both the Constitution and Police law prohibit interrogation to
produce (enforced and hence false) confessions, police interrogation
and torture is a fairly common practice in China, as illustrated in
many of the Country Human Rights Reports published by our Department of
State. Specific instances described include torture by electric shock
and the shackling of hands and feet; confinement of practitioners in
mental hospitals; use of excessive force in detaining peaceful
protesters; the death of more than 200 practitioners while in police
custody with many of their bodies bearing signs of severe beatings and
torture.; and the cremation of bodies before relatives examine them.
See, U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights
Practices--China (2000) Available at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/
\1\ Since 1999, the United States Commission on International
Religious Freedom has Designated China as a country of particular
concern. See, e.g., Report Of The United States Commission On
International Religious Freedom, 25 (May 2002).
On the other hand, in addition to Chinese violations of their own
legal codes, the second type of problem identified by Professor Cohen
has to do with the promulgation of rules, in the form of administrative
orders, articles of legislation, notices promulgated by all sorts of
entities and bodies, including even the courts. These create exceptions
to the already drafted rules of law which put some disfavored group or
class at a disadvantage in securing the rights the State acknowledges
they have. In Jerome Cohen's piece, of course the disadvantaged are all
of those accused of crimes, especially those accused of political
crimes, and all of those trained to defend those accused of crimes--the
criminal defense bar. In spite of the so called right to counsel
afforded to all citizens, the People's Republic of China promulgated an
exception for Falun Gong. As indicated in an announcement promulgated
by the Judicial Bureau of Beijing, (see appendix), this notice as a
practical matter denies all Falun Gong practitioners their
constitutional right to legal counsel. Similarly, long after Falun Gong
practitioners had been unlawfully arrested in China, the ``anti cult''
law was passed retroactively by the People's Congress to eradicate the
practice by the label of evil cult. To up the anti even further, a
third rule was promulgated in the form of a notice by the Supreme
Court. It states that all persons who practice Falun Gong practice an
evil cult. By such a notice, the Supreme Court has undermined not only
the independence of the judicial branch of government, it has also
undermined its modus operandi and raison d'etre--to hear cases and
render rulings. Before trial, with or without a trial, if you practice
Falun Gong in China, you are guilty as charged. With or without an
attorney, the deck is stacked.
The two above referenced types of problem identified by Professor
Cohen are referenced in Ronald Dworkin's A Matter of Principle (1985
Harvard University Press). Chapter two, ``Political Judges and the Rule
of Law,'' is especially relevant since it distinguishes between two
definitions of the ``rule of law.''
There is the rule-book conception, which insists that the ``power
of the state not be exercised against individual citizens except in
accordance with rules explicitly set out in a public rule book
available to all The government as well as ordinary citizens must play
by these public rules until they are changed, in accordance with
further rules about how they are to be changed, which are also set out
in the rule book.'' Id at 11. Those who subscribe to this view tend to
care less about substantive justice--are the rules fair, do they
protect individual rights, is it feasible to believe that such rules
will in deed is enforced. As narrow a conception as this is, there is
not question that China has indeed violated the rule-book definition of
the rule of law, not only during the Cultural Revolution, the tragedy
at Tiananmen, but also, and most notably now during the latest
persecution of Falun Gong. Those just stated above as well as those
stated below are examples of this formulation.
There is a second formulation, which permits us to further evaluate
state law to see if it is consistent with even minimal international
standards of law and, thereby permits us to distinguish between a rule
of law, and the rules promulgated by, for example, the Nazis in WWII.
This latter formulation additionally illustrates how in fact what is
packaged in China as a rule of law, is in fact and indeed a rule by
In this second more expanded formulation of a rule of law, Dworkin
observes that ``Citizens have moral rights and duties with respect to
one another and political rights against the State as a whole. This
formulation insists, `That these moral and political rights be
recognized in positive law, so that they may be enforced upon the
demand of individual citizens through courts and other judicial
institutions.' Id, p. 12. This second conception requires more--
including a judicial branch which operates independent of legislative
and executive branches; an array of due process rights such as
oversight of the judicial process itself, right to a fair trial, right
to cross examine one's accusers etc. And of course a right for all to
secure the rights the State acknowledges they have. In this
formulation, the promulgation of new rules to deprive Falun Gong
practitioners of their constitutional and legal rights itself signals
that we are dealing with something other than the rule of law in China
As a China expert noted recently, what appears as a rule of law in
China is in fact a rule by law. Unlike the former, the latter is
characterized by the state's use of the law itself to disfavor groups,
to single out groups for unfair punishment, or, as in China and Nazi
Germany, to oppress, torture, exterminate or eradicate groups or
classes of persons in ways that shock the conscience and cause one to
wonder anew--how can we be so noble and so base, and all be of the same
Actually it's important to note that a rule by law is nothing new
in China. It was used to create and implement the Cultural Revolution.
It was used to stifle the student democracy movement stated at
Tiananmen. It is used to squash labor movements, any and all criticism
of the government. Most notably and most recently it is used to deprive
all persons who subscribe to the principles of Falun Gong of the right
to think for themselves, the right to a moral conscience, the right to
religious freedom, to freedom of speech, to assemble freely and
peacefully, to appeal illegal laws of their legislature and farcical
rulings of their courts. It is used and continues to be used to torture
persons who refuse to relinquish any of the aforementioned rights not
for 1 day, or two days, but endlessly for years on torture devices
which can only bring tears to the eyes of those who truly contemplate
what they are.
But in its latest guise, it is especially troubling and pernicious.
In the very beginning of the persecution of Falun Gong, it appears
visibly and clearly when (1) By order of former President Jiang, the
police arrest Falun Gong practitioners without legal ground, (2) The
former president himself defines the crimes retroactively, by trying to
persuade the French newspaper Figaro, that Falun Gong, a peaceful
meditative form of cultivation, is instead an evil cult, (3) By
executive order, the legislative branch passes the infamous anti cult
law to legitimate the illegal arrests by outlawing whatever range of
meanings are referenced by the over broad and unconstitutionally vague
phrase ``evil cult,'' and (4) When the Supreme Court instead of ruling
on cases, expounds on the nature of Falun Gong by issuing a notice
declaring, at the behest of former President Jiang, that indeed Falun
Gong is an evil cult, and therefore even before or without a trial, all
who espouse its principles are guilty of criminal acts. Not very
different from the Nazis forcing Jews to wear the yellow triangle to
identify themselves as enemies of the state, and hence not deserving of
the rights afforded its genuine members.
Its beginning is replicated in its implementation. In early June
1999, former President Jiang gave a speech to the Politburo of the
Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party wherein he creates the
Office 6/10, a Gestapo organization mandated to usurp proper functions
of all three branches of government, of important sectors of civil
society, as well as private sector businesses and associations.
Officials of this office are stationed in the appeals office where they
are known to beat up FLG practitioners who attempt to file an appeal in
accord with rights afforded to all citizens by the constitution.
Officials of this office are stationed in schools, police stations,
hospitals, mental hospitals, detention centers, labor camps, re-
education centers. They issue the orders to doctors to force feed Falun
Gong practitioners who refuse to admit that their spiritual beliefs are
corrupt. They order the prisons' guards to place Falun Gong
practitioners in cells with the most violent criminals where they are
beaten if not to death then to near death regularly. They are stationed
above the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and instruct Ambassador staff,
and those working abroad how most effectively to expand the persecution
to those who practice Falun Gong here in the United States. Most
pertinent herein, they too promulgate rules and the rules they
promulgate are not only inconsistent with standards of common sense,
decency, and morality, but they are also rules established and
promulgated to systematically, efficiently and effectively persecute
Falun Gong practitioners and eradicate the practice utterly from the
mainland of China, once and for all.
Finally, there are the sham show trials. According to an eyewitness
of one such trial, after the government's only witness admitted he'd
never met or heard of the defendant before the onset of his trial, the
Judge without any evidence whatsoever still found him guilty as
According to Mike Jendrzejczyk, Washington Director of Human Rights
Watch's Asia Division, ``cloaking this campaign in rhetoric about the
`rule of law' doesn't give any greater legitimacy to China's crackdown
on Falun gong . . . The official ban . . . should be lifted; the
government's pronouncement that it is a true cult and that it must be
suppressed must be rescinded. All Falun Gong members in detention,
formally charged, or sentenced to labor camps for peaceful activities
should be released immediately.'' Id.
I would supplement those remarks by suggesting that we do all we
can to promote the rule of law in China. That this Commission continues
to do it can. Because a rule by law is dangerous not only for the harm
it wreaks internally, but because as long as the rule by law is the
norm, such atrocities as the Cultural Revolution, the tragedy at
Tiananmen, and most unfortunately and notably the genocide it now
perpetrates against Falun Gong will continue under the cloak of a rule
Prepared Statement of Timothy Cooper
september 8, 2003
The Kidnapping, Detention, Summary Trial, and Sentencing of
Dr. Wang Bingzhang
Distinguished representatives of the Congressional-Executive
Commission on China: My name is Timothy Cooper, and I am the executive
director of Worldrights, a non-governmental organization dedicated to
human rights advocacy worldwide. I have the honor today to speak to you
about the shocking case of Dr. Wang Bingzhang, who was recently
kidnapped, detained, summarily tried and sentenced to life in prison in
China for crimes he did not commit. Unable to attend these hearings
today, Dr. Wang's family, including his parents, brother, sisters and
children, wish to convey their appreciation to this commission for its
interest in Dr. Wang's dire and deeply troubling circumstances. For at
this very hour, he languishes in solitary confinement in a Chinese
prison cell, facing the prospect of living out the rest of his life in
a 44 foot cell.
In many ways, Dr. Wang's story mirrors that of the thousands of
other well-known and lesser well-known political prisoners, who have
also confronted the brutal ire of the Chinese government for standing
up for universal principles and world rights in the face of severe and
sustained oppression, more frequently than not at the expense of their
own freedoms, their own rights, and yes, even their own lives.
But in other ways, Dr. Wang's case is uniquely situated. The
government's calculated treatment of Dr. Wang appears to mark a new
nadir in the annals of political oppression in China. Indeed, it is Dr.
Wang's family's contention that the deliberate and unconscionable
actions taken against him by the Chinese government crossed an
important moral and political divide that should raise a series of red
flags in the West and around the world about the direction China's
human rights policies may be headed.
It is for this reason that the U.S. government--the world's
champion for the human rights--should not and must not turn a blind eye
to the fate of Dr. Wang. Having himself stood tirelessly, if not
heroically, for the civil and political rights of 1.2 billion of his
own people in China for over 20 years as an exiled Chinese citizen and
a permanent U.S. resident, we believe that it is morally incumbent upon
the United States--and in particular the United States Congress--to
stand with Dr. Wang in his greatest hour of need.
In June 2002, Dr. Wang and his two companions, Yue Wu and Zhang Qi,
flew to Vietnam to meet with mainland Chinese labor leaders in order to
explore possible venues for cooperation between the overseas pro-
democracy movement and the rising labor movement. The strategic concept
was to marry the head of the democracy movement with the body politic
of the fledgling labor movement. Such a powerful marriage of political
convenience would undoubtedly strike unholy terror in the hearts of
Chinese authorities. It is therefore understandable that the Chinese
government would stop at nothing to try to thwart the development of
such a potentially potent strategic alliance.
On June 27, 2002, Dr. Wang, Yue Wu and Zhang Qi were abducted from
their hotel lobby by about ten men, posing as Vietnamese policemen,
only a short time after meeting with a labor leader in the border town
of Mongcai. According to Yue Wu and Zhang Qi, two of the men spoke with
Chinese, not Vietnamese, accents. Told that they were wanted for
questioning at the police station, they were taken to an awaiting van.
Soon they realized they were not being driven into town, but out-of-
They arrived at the Beilun River, where Dr. Wang was forcibly
removed from the van and beaten because he refused to board a boat that
stood waiting for them. Forcibly taken aboard, they were escorted
across the river and into China. Once on shore, the leader of the group
revealed a picture he had with him of Dr. Wang. With satisfaction, he
compared the picture with Dr. Wang's face. He had found his man, all
Later, a new band of men arrived and took charge. This time they
were all Chinese. Dr. Wang and the others were blindfolded and taken by
car to a nearby hotel, where the ``kidnappers'' demanded a ten million
dollar ransom. Naturally, Dr. Wang, Yue Wu and Zhang Qi carried no such
sum. They provided their captors with family contact information,
including all cell phone numbers. But no family members were ever
contacted. No ransom was ever demanded.
After being detained in the hotel with papered windows for about a
week, Dr. Wang and his companions were taken to a Buddhist temple near
Fangchenggang, in remote Guangxi province. There their ``kidnappers''
abandoned them, still bound and without warning. Moments later, the
Chinese police arrived--in the words of the Chinese authorities--``to
But Dr. Wang, Yue Wu, and Zhang Qi found only continued detention.
The three were kept in police custody until the following day when they
were transferred to separate detention centers. There they were held
incommunicado for over 5 months. All the while, the Chinese government
denied any knowledge whatsoever of their whereabouts.
In December, the government finally announced that it was, indeed,
holding Dr. Wang and his two companions. Dr. Wang was charged with
``espionage'' and terrorism.'' The others were set free. Yue Wu
returned to Paris in December and Zhang Qi was placed under house
arrest until her return to the United States in March.
Meanwhile, Dr. Wang was summarily tried in a 2-hour, closed trial.
His lawyer received the case only a week or so before the trial and
stated that he had no experience in such cases. In February, Dr. Wang
was sentenced to life in prison for his alleged crimes of ``espionage''
and ``terrorism,'' though no evidence was ever offered by the Chinese
government to support its outrageous allegations. All the while, Dr.
Wang has maintained his innocence. His appeal was later rejected and
Dr. Wang was taken into solitary confinement, where he has remained
In July 2003, however, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for
Human Rights issued Opinion No 10/2003, regarding the case of Dr. Wang,
Yue Wu and Zhang Qi. In its written opinion, the UN's Working Group on
Arbitrary Detention concluded that, among other things, the detention
of Dr. Wang, Yue Wu and Zhang was arbitrary and a violation of
international law. It noted that during Dr. Wang's first 5 months in
detention, he ``did not have knowledge of the charges, the right to
legal counsel, or the right to judicial review of the arrest and
detention: and that, after that date, he did not benefit from the right
to the presumption of innocence, the right to adequate time and
facilities for defense, the right to a fair trial before an independent
and impartial tribunal, the right to a speedy trial and the right to
cross-examine witnesses.'' Nor did the U.N. find any basis for China
charges of ``espionage'' and ``terrorism.''
It concluded its opinion by calling on China to take ``the
necessary steps to remedy the situation of Wang Bingzhang and bring it
into conformity with the standards and principles set forth in the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights.'' In other words, it called on
China to free him.
Representatives of the Commission, Dr. Wang was trained as a lung
surgeon. He earned his Ph.D at McGill University in coronary-arterial
research. Yet, he chose to devote the best years of his life to
promoting human rights and democracy for the people of China, famously
stating that ``Medicine can only cure a few patients, but cannot cure
the disease of a nation.'' Now--in ill health himself, suffering from
depression, gastritis, varicose veins and Phlebitis, without the
benefits of Western medicine, he faces the prospect of an interminable
prison sentence in a 44 ft. cell for crimes that he did not--
But as much as he requires medical assistance, Dr. Wang also
requires the generous assistance of the U.S. Congress. Dr. Wang's
family respectfully requests that this Congress pass a joint resolution
on his behalf, calling on the Government of the People's Republic of
China to release him on medical grounds at the earliest possible date,
and to abide by the legal opinion rendered by the United Nations in his
arbitrary detention case. We believe such a resolution would reaffirm
America's commitment to human rights in China and honor a man who has
dedicated his life to the freedom and human rights of so many others.
Submissions for the Record
Prepared Statement of Ciping Huang, Executive Director, Wei Jingsheng
Foundation and Human Rights Chair, Independent Federation of Chinese
Students and Scholars (IFCSS)
september 8, 2003
No Press Freedom in China After SARS
My name is Ciping Huang. Today, I am making a statement on behalf
of the Wei Jingsheng Foundation and the Independent Federation of
Chinese Students and Scholars, regarding the current news media and
information channels being controlled by the Chinese government.
Early last spring, the China press got unexpected world attention
because of SARS. The initial cover-up by the government resulted in
terrible consequences including panic and many deaths in China.
However, only after the disease spread overseas and caused an
international outcry, was the Chinese press loosened and allowed to
give out the number of deaths and related health information,
trustworthy or not. As a result, kindhearted people around the world
have an increased hope for Chinese press freedom. As an old saying
said: a loss may turn out to be a gain; the SARS storm might bring a
positive reform to the Chinese press.
Of course, the world should welcome each step of progress toward
democracy and freedom, no matter how small the step might be, if only
it is a sincere step. However, people must be wary of illusions or
wishful thinking. Without a systematic guarantee in China, any step
forward could be easily taken away by the government.
The freedom of the Chinese press has long been a goal that Chinese
people have pursued. During the 1989 Tiananmen democracy movement, many
young people sacrificed their lives for this goal. For a short few
days, the Chinese people thought they gained that freedom, only be
crushed by tanks and the government propaganda machine later on. Now
there are still many people both on the China mainland and abroad
struggling hard to get even one private newspaper or magazine published
in China. So far, has anything changed? The only one real voice to be
heard in China is the voice from government. Non-governmental approved
voices are cut and muted.
The sad reality is: China has not gained more press freedom since
Even during the seeming opened crack of reporting on SARS, very
little attention was given to the Chinese government's decree to
``severely punish the rumor spreaders.'' Several dozen people were
arrested for spreading the news about SARS.
In June 2003, the Chinese Communist Party Central Propaganda
Department criticized more than 10 major well known newspapers and
magazines, such as , ,
etc. The cited issues included SARS and the reporting on
corrupted officials. After this criticizing, some ``sensitive
articles'' had to be ``killed'' before publishing. Especially those
articles reporting on Doctor Jiang (who first appealed to open truth on
SARS) got tight censorship by the government and many articles were
cut. Due to the new regulations, SARS reporting is not a free topic but
has a very clear and disciplined line that the most journalists have no
guts to cross. The forbidden topics also include: the North Korea
nuclear crisis, the nuclear submarine 361 explosion case, and Zhou
ZhengYi, the top corruption case in Shanghai. (See attachment 1.) \1\
\1\ Attachments 1 through 5 appear on the Commission's Web site
(www.cecc.gov) in Chinese.
In recent months, the government has had more meetings to call for
``The Reform of China Press and Publication.'' The proposals included
cutting the number of totally controlled newspapers, clarifying the
``Party's disciplines'' and emphasizing the purpose of propaganda etc.
However, as Cai YongMei, The executive editor of Hong Kong's
magazine (Kai1Fang4) analyzed: ``I think the government doesn't want to
lose the control of media. Light issues and non-sensitive topics might
get loosened, but serious topics, or those they think are principal
issues will be held as tightly as before.'' (See attachment 2.)
Last month, the veil over this ``reform'' was finally lifted. The
Chinese government finally decreed their detailed regulations without a
sign of real reform. These regulations demonstrated further the hard-
line face of the central government that tries to make a successful and
strict control over the news media. In particular, the regulations ask
for strict censorship, and include dismissing and appointing the
leaders. (See attachment 3.)
Also in the summer, the Chinese news media and universities and
academic/research institutes received notices from the government
clearly stating prohibitions to discuss certain issues, in particular
modifying the constitution, political reforms, and the 1989 Tiananmen
We want to emphasize that China has a long way to go toward real
press freedom. The root of the problem lies in the system, which has
been there for over half a century under the Chinese Communists' rule.
The following facts are some of our highest concerns. The problems
still exist after SARS.
1. There is no real private press in China and no independent
journalism under the Chinese Communists' one-party leadership.
So far, except for some pointless papers and local small magazines
(e.g. equivalent to ``how to do make-up''), China doesn't have a single
newspaper or magazine owned by a non-government agent or company. The
registration of a press is a very complicated and strict step. The
government at any time can easily crush a newspaper or magazine agent/
company if it violates the government regulations, or even just
displeases some officials.
2. Internet Censorship is a serious abuse of the basic human right
of ``right to knowledge.''
If you are in China and open ``Google'' or ``Yahoo!,'' you won't be
able to find many web sites that you can see in other countries. Since
August 31 this year, Chinese government shutdown the search machine
``Google'' in China again. Just before every political event, Internet
become one more place for the Chinese Communists to tight their
``strict strike'' control. According to latest report by Central
Agency, the government has 300,000 people policing the Internet,
including 30,000 professional work for the National Security
Department, to monitor and filter news and e-mails, to shutdown web
sites and to give warnings to people who make ``undesirable'' web pages
or posts on the Internet. Unless technically specially handled, E-mails
from dissidents such as me are often rerouted through the police bureau
before reaching the intended recipients, and are often rejected and
even be confiscated without acknowledgement. In some cases, the
recipients are harassed, or interrogated by the secret police. It
surely is amazing that while this government has failed to control
``forbidden pornographic materials'' on the Internet, it is able to put
a pretty good handle on the dissident voices and even just plain news.
The censoring not only applies to the news and articles posted in
foreign web sites, but also to local people who join ``chat rooms.''
Liu Di, a 19 year old college girl, has been detained for months
because of some words and essays she posted in a chat room.
Yet, this type of the censorship is just part of the integral
policing system in China. As the other side of traffic, I was told by a
friend whose sister worked to examine the mails from overseas that one-
third of all mails went through inspection, beyond even ``targeted
mails.'' In addition, phone tapping is common and public knowledge in
China, and is not just applied to the dissidents and activists.
3. Brave journalists and liberal editors often get in trouble, and
some are put in prison just because they report the truth or speak from
While over all, Chinese people are the victims of the Chinese
Communists' propaganda machine; Chinese news media workers are the
direct victims. In the last 5 decades, many of them lost their freedom
or even lives for it. One of my friends, Wu XueCan, who was an editor
for People's Daily, was put in prison and tortured after the 1989
Tiananmen movement for his effort to bring truth to the people.
Many liberal editors and reporters got laid off or even put in
prison for reporting on corrupted officials, on the common people's
suffering, or just expressing (or even just allowing) a different view
from the government. They make a long list. Here, I want to mention a
(a) Gao Qinrong, a journalist who reported about corruption
on the irrigation system flaw in ShanXi Province, received 13
years in prison. (Attachment 4 is an article written by Yu Jie,
an established scholar in China, about Gao.)
(b) Qi YanChen, editor, was prosecuted for ``spreading anti-
government messages via the Internet'' by submitting articles
to places such as the pro-democracy electronic newsletter VIP
reference. He was sentenced 4 years.
(c) Teng ChunYan, an American citizen and a Falun Gong
practitioner, received 3 years in prison for serving as a
source on Falun Gong for news organizations.
(d) An Jun was the founder of the China Corruption Monitor.
His writings were used as evidence of anti-state activities and
he was sentenced 4 years. (Interestingly enough, An's verdict
was not announced until April 19, 2000, the day after the U.N.
high commission on human rights failed to pass a US sponsored
resolution to condemn Chinese human rights abuses.)
(e) Jiang QiSheng, journalist and political dissident, just
finished 4 years jail time in May for his pro-democracy
articles including an essay to honor June 4 victims.
(f) Huang Qi, Internet publisher and web host, is still in
prison for publishing stories about human rights abuses,
governmental corruptions, and June 4 Tiananmen.
(g) Yang ZiLi, etc. (4 youths), was sentenced lately (after
SARS) for academic discussion.
4. To survive one must to speak the Party's tongue.
It is very common for editors to have to cut some ``sensitive
sentences'' when they review articles in newspapers or magazines. The
most sensitive parts are not pornography issues, but those related to
the political issues. There is no evidence for a change in this
From very reliable channels, I know that the editors working in
newspapers and magazines can only have part of their own minds, if they
care about their life or their family's future. They consistently have
meetings to ``listen to the government's opinion,'' that usually
announce some ``important regulations'' of how to report certain
sensitive events. ``Keep the same tone with Party'' is the first rule
for all journalists in China. Some of my editor friends say that they
don't have their own tongue but the Party's tongue.
5. China has been rated ``the second worst country for freedom of
press and speech.'' The bias, misleading, even false news serve for
Chinese government's agenda.
On sensitive issues, only the government will have the right to
decide if the news can be opened to the public, and when and how. For
example, the unemployed workers' unrest in Northeast China will be
suppressed in any newspaper with the ``reason'' of ``not disturbing the
stability of the country.'' Early this year, in my home town, Hefei
City, when thousands students took to the streets to protest the
wrongful deaths of their fellow students, no reports appeared for days
in the official news media even though the city residents knew
something happened because of the paralyzed traffic and angry crowd.
Government events cannot be revealed on time without the Party's
control. Most of them become ``top secrets.'' The Chinese people have
little chance to know what their ``people's government'' does or will
do. Even foreign correspondents based in China cannot get timely news--
they face routine surveillance and need special permission for leaving
their city of residence.
For important world events, even though some city people can watch
the news from foreign satellite broadcasts (not very easily), most will
be influenced by the media controlled to report only the news the
government wants people to believe. For example, the reporting of the
Iraq war was totally biased--Saddam became a ``hero'' in the reports.
Of course, this case is only one of many illustrating how the
controlled news media has been misleading many Chinese people in an
effort to realize the government's own agenda. Dislike and even hate of
America is on the agenda. One of the most noticeable expressions is
that the news media becomes the government's tool to fan up
``nationalism.'' Many more examples can be found that cover almost all
important world events, such as the North Korea Nuclear crisis, Taiwan
across the Strait, and the American pilots being shot down in HaiNan,
6. The Chinese people don't trust the news if it is presented by
the Chinese government.
Chinese people do not have faith in the Chinese government. They
always know that their government cheats. They do not trust the
government and what it says. Yet, for fear of their lives, their
freedom, and their families, most people could not and do not dare to
voice their hope for a free press.
During the beginning period of SARS, Chinese people, especially
those living in the big cities such as Beijing, Nanjing, and Shanghai,
relied on the news sent by their overseas relatives. Some of my friends
who worked in the USA told me that they were very busy looking for SARS
news and were sending it immediately back to China so that their family
members would have a timely updated true picture of the cases.
Those people who don't have overseas relatives usually rely on BBC,
Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, or other overseas media since they
have less confidence on their own government's report. Everybody knows
the phrase ``In China, we only have one voice.''
After SARS, Chinese people still do not have confidence in the
government media, especially on political issues or other important
Attachment 5 is an article on the subject that was by an overseas
Chinese that returned to China.
7. Foreign Investment and Internet will not bring free press to
Many foreigners, especially foreign investors, argue that their
investment will bring freedom including press freedom to China. The
Chinese government has also quietly encouraged such kind of notion,
including making academics and Western politicians believe in it. On
the other hand, Chinese government rightly pointed out that ``the News
Media is a special enterprise that does not follow the rule of `who
invests in it, owns it.' '' The government specifically stated that
``the news media is a State enterprise'' which applies to all the
Similar ideas apply to the Internet. The Internet and advanced
computer technology have become the tools for government monitoring and
suppression of dissidence. It is a shame that a US company like Yahoo!
has voluntarily cooperated with the Chinese government's requirements
and made the guarantee to filter contents disliked by the government.
It is more a shame for Western companies to work closely with the
Chinese government to create the product ``Golden Shield'' which blocks
information transfer and tracks addresses and messages to help make
state policing the best in the world. (For detail about ``Golden
Shield,'' please visit an article on DaJiYun at: http://
www.dajiyuan.com/gb/2/5/6/n188071.htm.) What is the difference between
doing these things and the exporting of high military technology to
China a few years ago?
Here we urge the freedom and democracy loving American people and
the US Congress to examine these issues and to prevent these
moneymaking deals on the price of Chinese people's human rights and
To summarize our statement, there is no press freedom in China,
even after SARS. The support and effort from the outside world will
always be necessary and important. But first, we must know the real
picture and what is really happening in China. Any credence or wishful
belief of press freedom coming soon in China is not only concluding a
wrong judgment, but also might hurt the people who have been and will
be sacrificing their lives for China's press freedom. The Wei Jingsheng
Foundation and IFCSS wish you can carefully evaluate the situation
based on valid facts and continuously push the Chinese government for
Prepared Statement of Kery Wilkie Nunez\1\
september 8, 2003
The Persecution of Falun Gong in China
Thank you for the opportunity to submit a written comment on the
persecution of Falun Gong in China. In particular, I would like to
discuss the detention and torture of American citizen Charles Lee.
\1\ Kery Wilkie Nunez is a Falun Gong practitioner and a
legislative director for a national Latino organization in Washington,
Dr. Charles Lee traveled to China in January of 2003. The moment he
stepped off the plane, he was detained and beaten by Chinese
authorities. He was later rushed through a show trial and ``sentenced''
to 3 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. On a previous
business trip to China, Charles considered tapping into a local cable
to expose the human rights violations against Falun Gong practitioners.
He never considered sabotaging any TV or radio equipment (which is what
he was accused of). Nor did he ever do a broadcast.
From a 95-page letter that Dr. Lee managed to get to the U.S.
Consulate only by means of an 8-day hunger strike, as well as from
information provided by the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai, we understand
that Dr. Lee has endured severe abuse while in prison.
He was forced to wear smelly winter clothes on unbearably hot days;
he was deprived of sleep for 3 days; he was handcuffed in a very
painful position for over 72 hours. Police intentionally tightened the
handcuffs into his flesh to make it more painful, leaving scars on his
wrists. He was also handcuffed for 130 hours while trying to write his
appeal to the Court. At least twice, he was force-fed (a type of
torture that has resulted in the death of many Falun Gong
practitioners). The Chinese authority intentionally left the tube in
his body for 4 hours to torture him. And worst of all, the Chinese
authority put tremendous pressure on Charles' elderly parents (his mom
had leukemia) in an attempt to break Charles' will. Charles didn't want
his parents to witness his suffering, as he was very concerned about
To understand why any Falun Gong practitioner would risk his or her
life to broadcast human rights violations in China, one must first
understand how China controls the media and fabricates lies to deceive
the viewer into accepting the regime's viewpoint. China uses its state-
controlled media--print, radio, propaganda shows, Internet blockade,
etc.--to spread lies about a very peaceful spiritual practice that has
brought millions good health and inner peace. According to an article
of July 23rd in The Washington Post, entitled ``China's Spiritual
Outlaws,'' China makes accusations and uses the word ``cult'' in
describing Falun Gong in order to sow confusion, suspicion, and
indifference among outsiders. The article explains that Falun Gong does
not meet the definition of cult. ``It does not coerce obedience,
brainwash its members, gouge them for money or compel worship of its
founder, Li Hongzhi. It doesn't wear down their egos, then build them
up in the new image of the spiritually transformed.'' Yet, China's
state-controlled media spreads rumors to the contrary, meanwhile the
books are banned from the public.
Meanwhile, the government pressures everyone in society
(professors, companies, schools, neighbors, family members, etc.) to
report on Falun Gong practitioners. Some Chinese people are deceived by
the media and are misled to believe that they should report on their
neighbors if they practice Falun Gong. What they don't know is that
they are reporting on innocent people who may be sent to a torture
camp. Torture of Falun Gong practitioners is well documented in the
free world. Yet, there is no way to educate the Chinese public about
this, as a person may lose his life for distributing a flier.
Recently, we learned that Chinese authorities forced an abortion on
a Falun Gong practitioner in her seventh month of pregnancy simply
because she refused to give up her beliefs. She was restrained while an
abortion-inducing drug was given to her. While abortion is relatively
common in China, most Chinese citizens probably don't know about this
baby, which struggled in its mother's womb for 40 hours before it died.
Afterwards, the mother struggled to deliver the dead baby.
Perhaps a small dosage of truth would affect the views of a
seemingly indifferent populace. In fact, Falun Gong's broadcast's in
China has allowed many Chinese citizens the opportunity to see both
sides of the story and follow their own conscience.
However, no one should have to risk his or her life to tell a
story. It is my hope that, with the guidance of the CECC, the United
States will play a key role in improving information exchange in China.
I also hope that the rescue of Dr. Charles Lee and other Falun Gong
practitioners from China will become a priority for the U.S. How the
U.S. treats human rights issues will send a very important message to
China's new leadership.