Chris Smith Joins Campaign to Support China’s Chen Guangcheng

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 9, 2011   |   4:50PM   |   Washington, DC

The leading pro-life member of Congress has donned his shades to join a new human rights campaign to support Chen Guangcheng, the blind attorney who exposed massive campaigns of forced abortions and sterilizations in China.

Congressman Chris Smith has demonstrated his ongoing commitment to free Chen Guangcheng in yet another way: by wearing sunglasses. After the Congressional-Executive Commission on China hearing Tuesday, Smith, a New Jersey Republican, joined Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, to be photographed next to a large image of Chen, in connection with WRWF’s Sunglasses Campaign.

Littlejohn stated, “For the past three decades, Congressman Smith has been the most powerful and persistent voice on Capitol Hill for human rights in China. He has held dozens of hearings, exposing the truth about forced abortion, the persecution of Christians, and other human rights abuses.”

“He has worked tirelessly on behalf of Chen Guangcheng, sponsoring a bill on his behalf, trying to visit him, and now supporting the international Sunglasses Campaign,” she added.

WRWF launched an international Sunglasses Campaign to support a similar campaign within China. People from around the world have donned sunglasses and emailed their portraits to the WRWF website, to support Chen. A Chinese political cartoonist, whose pen name is “Crazy Crab,” created the image of Chen using hundreds of these sunglasses portraits.

In her Congressional testimony Tuesday, Littlejohn quoted a key Chinese activist who said, “I think it’s very helpful for people all over the world to show they care about Chen through the Sunglasses Campaigns. I think it’s very important to show support inside and outside the country — we can work together.”

In answer to Congressman Smith’s question at the hearing about whether a double-standard is applied in Western policy towards China, Littlejohn criticized Vice President Biden for his remark, made in China, that he “fully understands” China’s One Child Policy, and yet is “not second-guessing” it.

She stated, “If it’s not ok in the United States, it’s not ok in China either. That statement really undermined the moral credibility of the United States on the world international scene.”

Littlejohn called upon the Chinese government to grant a visa to Congressman Smith so that he can visit Chen. She also urged U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke to seek access to Chen. Beyond this, she urged supporters of Chen to intensify their efforts to advocate for his freedom.

The CECC hearing was held to commemorate the December 10 anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony for still-imprisoned dissident, Liu Xiaobo.