Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04) and Senator Marco Rubio (FL), the Chair and Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), sent a letter today to President Obama asking him to enforce existing U.S. law and implement visa bans against Chinese officials complicit in the brutal enforcement of forced abortions or forced sterilizations.
Smith and Rubio said that “there has been a glaring lack of implementation” of visa ban legislation and requested that the President provide “a roadmap to ensure that [the] law” is faithfully implemented.
“President Obama has not once spoken out against China’s coercive population control policies, though it would have been widely applauded by the Chinese people who deeply hate the policy,” said Smith. “This issue is not one of ‘pro-life’ vs. ‘pro-choice,’ but of violence carried out against women and couples by officials of China’s Family Planning Commission and sanctioned by Chinese government policy. For more than three decades, Chinese officials have carried out massive crimes against humanity, condemning millions of Chinese woman and girls to abortion, infanticide, abandonment, or human trafficking. Not using existing law is a gross failure of the Obama administration.” Click here to read the letter.
Congressman Smith authored the Admiral Nance and Meg Donovan Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 2000 and 2001 (Public Law 106-113) which gave both the Obama and Bush administrations the power to deny U.S. entry visas to Chinese officials complicit in forced abortion, forced sterilization, and extensive intrusions into family life. This authority has rarely been used.
At a CECC hearing held last week, Members of Congress learned that police state population control efforts continued, despite the October 2015 announcements by the Communist Party that married Chinese couples may be allowed to have two children. One witness recounted how her husband’s government job was threatened unless she underwent an abortion, saying such threats remain commonplace in China. She is currently living in hiding until her child is born. Another witness testified to an extensive system of monitoring and control by China’s Family Planning Commission which still coercively enforces birth restrictions.
After the hearing, Smith and Rubio sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry asking for information about the State Department’s implementation of the Girls Count Act, which was passed in Congress with broad bipartisan support and signed into law by President Obama on June 12, 2015. The law would make the protection of children a priority, particularly the regarding the marginalization and exploitation of girls, by assisting China with birth registries and a variety of programs intended to raise the legal and financial status of girls in order to help address the cultural and financial rationale for sex-selective abortions—a massive problem in China, where an estimated 40 million girls are missing from the population because birth restriction policies lead Chinese families to abort the girl child. Click here to read the letter to Secretary Kerry.
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“On Human Rights Day we must remember our responsibility to protect the most vulnerable. There is existing U.S. law that can help protect Chinese woman and children from the violence of China’s draconian population control policies, but the law is not being implemented by the Obama Administration,” said Smith. “Sanctioning Chinese officials who brutally carry out China’s population control policies will send a clear signal that the international community condemns forced abortion and sterilizations and that no one responsible for these horrific practices will ever benefit from access to the United States.”
The bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) chaired by Smith and co-chaired by Senator Rubio recently released its 2015 Annual Report, which shows that Chinese provincial governments continued to coercively enforce birth restrictions and monitor family size in the past year. The report also showed that population control policies created a sex ratio imbalance resulting in the birth of significantly more males, millions of whom will be unable to find wives. The severe imbalance drives regional human trafficking throughout Asia for the purposes of forced marriage and sexual exploitation. The CECC Annual Report can be found at www.cecc.gov.
The CECC consists of nine bi-partisan Senators, eight bi-partisan Members of the House of Representatives, and five senior Administration officials appointed by the President. The Annual Report was approved unanimously by all of the CECC’s members.