by Steven Ertelt
December 15, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Two members of Congress say that the 2008 Summer Olympics scheduled to be held in Beijing, China should be canceled if the Asian nation doesn’t make significant progress in curbing its human rights abuses. The country came under scrutiny in a Congressional hearing Tuesday for its continued practice of forced abortions and sterilizations.
Representatives Chris Smith and Tom Tancredo want China to end its coercive one-child population control policy that has led to the abuses, which also include forced imprisonment at re-education labor camps and torture.
"One of the few things we have available to us right now is this issue of the Olympics," Tancredo, a Colorado Republican said.
"We could draw a lot of attention, even if we could get the movement started," he explained. "Whether it’s successful or not, if there was actually a real threat to China, perhaps the world might step away from this because of the ugly kind of press and attention it’s getting."
Smith, a Republican from New Jersey, told the conservative newsweekly Human Events that he is planning a resolution when Congress reconvenes in January addressing the China situation.
Tancredo told Human Events that there is little Congress can do to put pressure on China, but linking the population control abuses to the Olympics could help human rights watchers get more publicity for Chinese victims.
"Frankly, there really aren’t that many things, in the practical sense, that we can do," Tancredo said.
"We can express outrage, and we’ve certainly done it and we’ll continue to do it. That will not change the situation in China as we’ve heard. There is no way this kind of pressure will have the desired effect. We have to have something that really matters," Tancredo explained.
The torture and imprisonment of those who resist the coercive population control policy demonstrates that China’s drive to control its population growth at any cost to the Chinese people is as strong and dangerous as ever, Smith said.
According to the State Department, in the early 1990’s, 150,000 persons were in ‘Reeducation Through Labor’ gulags. In the period 2001-2003, the number of prisoners in such concentration camps, or Laogai, doubled to 310,000.
"Coercion is at the very heart of China’s population control policy. Our witnesses here testified to that fact repeatedly," Smith said. "Any organization or entity which actively assists China’s population program needs to understand that they are aiding and abetting the commission of human rights violations on a massive scale.
According to the most recent State Department Human Rights Report, one consequence of “the country’s birth limitation policies” is that 56 percent of the world’s female suicides occur in China, which is five times the world average and approximately 500 suicides by women per day.
Related web sites:
Beijing Olympics – https://www.olympic.org/uk/games/beijing/index_uk.asp