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China’s rights record remains a concern
The Epoch Times
10/13/2004



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The annual report released by the U.S. Congressional Executive Commission on China (CECC) finds China’s human rights [and the rule of law] to be an ongoing and severe problem. Regarding the legal reform, limited progress has been made over the past year.
CECC was founded in 2000 by the U.S. Congress with this mission: “To monitor human rights and the development of rule of law in China, and to submit an annual report to the President and the Congress. It consists of nine senators, nine members of the House of Representatives, and five senior Administration officials appointed by the President.”

The chairman of the committee, Rep. James A. Leach, stated that although China has made limited progress on the rule of law, the Chinese government is still increasing its crackdown against Muslims, Christians and Tibetan Buddhists. The suppression against refugees from North Korea is also increasing.

The report stated that under China’s one party system and without democratic accountability, there is serious and widespread corruption of government officials causing people to lose confidence in the government.

The report also pointed out China’s reluctance to let its citizens exercise their rights under the Constitution, as evidence in its recent attempt to steer Hong Kong from the high degree of autonomy as promised by China and delaying its democratic progress.

Over the past year, China’s poor record in addressing poor working conditions and worker rights is unchanged and unaffected. Related laws and rights of labors are far lower than international standards. The conditions of many workplaces in China are unsanitary and unsafe. Child labor exploitation remains a serious issue.

Although there is suggestion that the oppression against Tibetans in some areas of Tibet has lessened, the economy of Tibet has not improved due to low income, inefficient medical care and lack of economic opportunities. The Tibetan culture is also facing challenges of survival owing to the continue increase in the Han population.
With a new leadership in Beijing, there has been a shift away from the policy of developing the economy at any price. Since 2003, the Chinese government has been wrestling public problems such as the AIDS epidemic, public health and poverty. The Chinese authorities have also begun to gradually relax the household registration but without much success because there is still a division between the city and the countryside.

As China has greater influence on the international community, there is more significance on the Sino-U.S. relationship. Since America needs to monitor the performances of China, the mission of the CCEC becomes more important. The annual report will be submitted to the President’s Office, the Senate and the House of Representatives as a reference to impose policies on China.


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