Skip to main content

tv   Human Rights Advocates Testify on China Hong Kong  CSPAN  October 18, 2021 8:01am-9:55am EDT

8:01 am
booktv. >> next, a hearing on china's influence on civil and political rights in hong kong. witnesses discuss freedom of the press, religion and opposing political views. they spoke before the bipartisan human rights commission for about two hours. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
8:02 am
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
8:03 am
>> five, four, three, two, this hearing will come to order. we meet to probe the ever-deteriorating state of civil and political rights in hong kong on this, the eve of the house passage of my bipartisan legislation, the hong kong human rights and democracy act of 2019 exactly two years ago tomorrow. we also meet in search of pursuing the most effective ways to mitigate, and end, the egregious crimes committed against hong kongers each and every day by the chinese communist party. and we meet to remind the brave democracy activists that we deeply respect their courage and sacrifice and that they are absolutely not forgotten. seven years ago, i first introduced the hong kong human rights and democracy act of 2014.
8:04 am
it was the time of the umbrella movement, which began in response to a decision by the standing committee of the prc's national people's congress to prescreen candidates for hong kong's chief executive, in other words, the chinese communist party was putting its thumb on the scale with greater force, and people were speaking out. those were heady days, with brave students such as joshua wong and nathan law emerging as the next generation of democracy leaders. when looking back, one sees courageous idealism, optimism and enthusiasm that could bring about substantive political change. at that time, it was extraordinarily hard to get my congressional colleagues or the white house to see the gathering threat, an existential threat, to hong kong democracy and human rights posed by generalis secretary of the chinese communist party xi jinping. our bill only had five
8:05 am
cosponsors that year, including now-speaker nancy pelosi. by way of contrast the 2019 act that passed the house had 47 bipartisan cosponsors including my friend and colleague jim mcgovern. in 2014, far too many people in washington felt that hong kong, with its greater freedom and free trade principles, would somehow tug the people's republic of china in a liberalizing direction. after all, hong kong had the basic law, a mini-constitutionon that could serve as a model for greater respect for rule of law in china one day. such hopes proved illusory, just as some american political and business leaders naively believed that delinking trade with human rights in 1994 would somehow help the chinese communist party matriculate from a brutal dictatorship to a democracy.
8:06 am
i had two hearings in this room in which we countered that argument that we have to be careful they don't change the wto, not the w other way around. in march of 2019, the hong kong government proposed extraditing alleged criminals to china, raising fears that political dissidents could be sent to mainland china to face charges over exercising basic freedoms. hong kong's government, and the police force, began to resemble that of mainland china in itseg response to legitimate protest, speech and assembly. congress too awakened to theit changed situation and under the leadership of speaker pelosi, our hong kong human rights and democracy act was put on the docket, put on the house floor and it. passed. marco rubio led the bill over
8:07 am
there and all became law. indeed, that same day, jim's bill placing restrictions on tear gas exports and crowd control technology to hong kong also passed, with me as the lead republican congress spoke with a unified voice, and when the hong kong human rights and democracy act was enacted into law, the trump administration gave it teeth, declaring that hong kong was no longer quote sufficiently autonomous such as to warrant being treated as independent of china for trade and technology export the trump administration also sanctioned key individuals in the hong kong government, including carrie lam, the hong kong chief executive. 42 prc and hong kong government and police officials have been sanctioned pursuant to trump's
8:08 am
executive order 13936. more importantly, however, for in many ways carrie lam is just a figurehead and mouthpiece for beijing, the trump administration sanctioned two individuals who are xi jinping's hatchet men: chris tang, the secretary for security and former head of the increasingly-repressive hong kong police force, and john lee, the former secretary of security and current chief secretary. both these men, chris tang and john lee, need to be better known for the purposes of being held morally and legally accountable.ou they, more than anyone except xi jinping himself, are responsible for the current demise of human rights in hong kong, for they have been the willing executioners for the chinese communist party. but beyond the names of those who should be called to task, are those we must remember for their valiant defense of freedom. we should remember jimmy lai, the brave founder of apple daily, that beacon of free speech shut down by the government in june of this year, its assets frozen and its computers confiscated by the police. jimmy is now in jail,
8:09 am
periodically brought to court in shackles, while the court has yet to set a hearing date. people may not know this, but jimmy is a man of faith, a fellow catholic, who easily could have fled to safety like the roughly 90,000 citizens who have left hong kong between june 2020 to june 2021 because he is, or was, a rich man. yet jimmy stayed in hong kong to stand with those who spoke for freedom. he has been stripped of his liberty, his home traded for a jail cell, yet he stands unbroken, a testament to moralra principle and defiance in the face of tyranny. one of our distinguished witnesses samuel chu, a naturalized american citizen for nearly 25 years, has been accused of violating the national security law which severely punishes four types of activities, secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces,
8:10 am
all carrying a maximum sentence of life in prison. mr. chu states in his testimony today that the absence of the people's liberation army and rolling tanks like tiananmen or barbwires and internment camps like those in xinjiang does not mean that the crackdown has been any less brutal, swift and complete. there are others who we must remember, less famous than jimmy perhaps but also heroic. over 150 have been arrested under the national security law, implemented last year, and countless others have been chilled from expressing their opinion. we have seen former legislators, like claudia mo, whom our witness joanna chiu has highlighted in her testimony, denied bail while standing trial
8:11 am
for practicing democracy. there are journalists who now are in jail for practicing free speech. indeed, hong kong reportedly has more journalists in jail per capita than any other place on earth. we cannot forget them either, and we should say their names: edmund wan yiusing, ryan law, cheung kim hung, chan pui-man, lam man chung, fung wai kong, yeung ching-kee, and gweyneth ho are all in jail, while others have been released on bail, awaiting trial. for those journalists watching today's hearing or in attendance, i ask you to share their names, for freedom of the press is such an important right undergirding so many of our freedoms. we cannot forget these people, we cannot forget these heroic individuals we cannot forget hong kong. i sometimes bleed and i've been in congress now 41 years with the crush of business and global catastrophes and challenges,
8:12 am
covid, somehow hong kong can get squeezed out of herer focus, and that today has to change. we have to pivot back to standing in solidarity with the oppressed and not with the oppressor.e the media in particular, i call upon you to lift up their voices. we cannot let the tyranny of xi jinping and the chinese communist party stifle the flame of freedom that resides in the hearts of the people of hong kong. i would like to now yield, believe these are life, my good friend and colleague, jim mcgovern, cochairman of the lantos commission. >> thank you and good afternoon, everyone. i join co-chair smith in joining this commission and want to thank my calling for his leadership on this issue. he has been committed to human rights in hong kong for a long time.
8:13 am
and ite think we all appreciate his leadership. look, we approach this hearing in a mood of sadness. we have watched the chinese central government tighten itsts grip on the free and open spirit of hong kong. we have witnessed authorities shutter institutions of democracy and free expression. we have seen our friends jailed to silence their voices, while others have fled into exile to allow their voices to be heard. and it is these voices that preserve hope and remind us that the distinctiveness of hong kong cannot be wiped away by fiat. today we welcome not just a status report, but recommendations for what policy-makers in the united states, and in other countries, can do to address the erosion of human rights. in the last two years, congress has passed the hong kong humann rights and democracy act, the hong kong autonomy act, and the protect hong kong act, which i introduced. pursuant to these authorities, the executive branch determined
8:14 am
that hong kong is no longer sufficiently autonomous to warrant differential treatment, and imposed sanctions on government officials complicit in undermining autonomy, democracy and rights. what more can we do to try to change behavior? can we move to revoke hong kong's distinct w.t.o. status as its own customs territory? can we leverage the spotlight of the 2022 beijing winter o olympics? the congressional executive commission on china, which i also co-chair and congressman smith is also a member of, asked the international olympic committee to postpone and relocate the games if the host chinese government did not let up on the uyghurs and hong kong. they refused. we asked the olympic corporate sponsors to use their leverage to demand improvements in respect for human rights. they refused. we owe it to hong kongers and uyghurs not to dignify the corrupt stain that is the beijing olympics.
8:15 am
i urge the biden administration not to send u.s. officials, and american sponsors not to send their ceos. in december the white house will convene the summit for democracy. i urge the biden administrationm to use this event to shine ay. light on hong kong. the democratic freedoms that the people of hong kong aspire to, and that the chinese government is taking away, are universalle values. one practical thing we can do it provide humanitarian pathways for those fleeing the chinese government's repression. the cecc will hold a hearing next tuesday on proposedri legislation, including the hong kong safe passage act and the hong kong people's freedom and choice act. i welcome any thoughts our witnesses have on these bills. i eagerly awaiting any recommendations that you have on
8:16 am
actions that we might take, but i thank you and i think the chair, and i yelled back. >> i thank you very much for your comments and it's really a pleasure and an honor to work side-by-sidewo with you on these important issues. i would like to now yield to young kim, a member of the foreign affairs committee and also the commission. while we wat >> i think mr. kim -- represented of kim needs to unmute. >> i wanted to thank both of our cochairs for hosting this important hearing to discuss the challenges facing civil and political rights in hong kong. since the imposition of the
8:17 am
national security law by the people's republic of china in may 2020, protections for individual rights, the free press, and democratic institutions in hong kong have deteriorated very rapidly. this law and its vacant undefined language targeting subversion, terrorism, and inclusion with foreign entities has brought with it a sense of fear and self-censorship to the people and institutions of hong kong. hong kong police arrested 10 people on the first day after implementation alone and charged six political activists with inciting secession and colluding with forces including samuel to who is with us today. since then, over 150 people have been arrested and dozens of
8:18 am
leaders to prison terms of six to 18 months for peacefully protesting. the press has also been silenced. the new york times moving its entire digital operation from hong kong. even long-standing institutions in hong kong including the education system, the judiciary, and organized religions have not been exempt from intimidation. while the extent of the authorities remain vague, the intent is clear. the chinese communist party has moved to violate binding agreements and norms to submit its control over hong kong and silence anyone chinese or foreign who speaks up in opposition. the u.s. hong kong policy act of
8:19 am
1992 is specific in its commitment to treating hong kong as a separate entity from mainland china as long as it remains sufficiently autonomous. the prc has violated hong kong and its institutions by every conceivable measure and the trump administration rightfully ended its agreements in 2020. as a government and country, we cannot turn a blind eye to what is happening to the people of hong kong. i am proud to be a cosponsor of legislation that will strengthen our government's approach to the hong kong peoples's freedom and choice act and provide refugee to those through the harbor act. we must be more proactive as congress in enacting forward-looking legislation to ensure the situation in hong kong does not deteriorate further and provide tools for a government that allows us to
8:20 am
build significant deterrence beyond sanctions that will force the prc to think twice before violating hong kong status further or threatening our own citizens. i look forward to hearing testimony from our witnesses on how we can improve our posture on hong kong and the role of congress in making this possible. thank you so much for having me. >> thank you. i yield to mr. cohen at this point. >> i am saddened we have to have this hearing, but i am pleased to participate. >> we can't hear you. >> can you hear me now? >> yes.
8:21 am
we can see you as well. please proceed. >> thank you for having this hearing. and your work all over the globe. tom lantos was such a hero. it is appropriate that we are standing up for the freedom and rights of the people of hong kong that has been taken away. i visited hong kong in the late 80's. it was a delightful trip. there was vibrancy, freedom -- >> we lost you again. bad connection, perhaps? >> can you hear me now?
8:22 am
the bottom line is, you have said the things i feel. i mourn the loss is a freedom in hong kong and i see the people have stood up as heroes. i admire them and we need to do all we can to help open up our country to the people who want to leave hong kong and find freedom here and we need to stand up to china for the repression of the uighurs and the hong kong citizenry. the loss of freedom is horrific. it's oppression and we need to protect it. >> thank so much. we have both worked for years together. it is great to have you here today joining in this effort. i would like to welcome our distinguished panel. three are here in person and to -- two have a personal connection. again, i thank them. these are five people who are
8:23 am
truly expert and have lead on these issues. it is an honor to have you here. we look forward to your insight and your counsel. professor michael davis is a global fellow in washington dc. a senior research scholar at the east asia institute at colombia and professor of law and international affairs. a public intellectual and hong kong, he was professor in the law facility at the university of hong kong until late 2016. his scholarship and issues related to law and constitutionalism in emerging states with publications in foreign affairs and the journal of democracy as well as media commentary. the sec awarded him a press award for his commentary in the south china morning post in 2014
8:24 am
on the umbrella movement. we will there -- then hear from mark clifford. he is the author of a forthcoming book, what china's crackdown reveals about freedom everywhere. he has been editor-in-chief of the morning post. editor-in-chief of the standard and regional editor for businessweek. he co-authored the wti director general -- wto director general, published at the time of china's entry into the wto. as executive director of the hong kong-based asia council, he co-authored through the eyes of tiger cubs. his other books have examined korea's economic development in
8:25 am
the 1997, 1998 financial crisis. we will then hear from joanna ch u, a senior journalist and the author of china unbound, a new world disorder. reported and fiercely argued according to publishers weekly, the book details china's rapid international rise and the ways western nations have contributed to a state of disorder. she has previously served as bureau chief of the star vancouver. as a global recognized authority on china, the author of china unbound is a commentator for international broadcast media and was previously based for seven years in aging and in hong kong as a foreign correspondent specializing in the coverage of chinese politics, legal affairs for one of the world's biggest news operations. we will then hear from pastor
8:26 am
roy. he was formerly the pastor of a church in london. he was formerly the pastor of a church and hong kong. he launched up protect our children hong kong to protect children against police and protesters during the extradition protest. in december of 2020, hsbc froze the accounts belonging to him and the church and his wife at the request of the hong kong police. then we will hear from samuel chu. he was very helpful as we were drafting the human rights and democracy act and i thank him for that and the insights he provided in terms of content. hong kong authorities issued arrest warrants against him in july 2020. he became the first foreign citizen to be targeted under the national security law.
8:27 am
in 2021, sanctions were announced making the first authority targeted. he is the son of a cofounder of occupy central. he is also a friend of this commission and the subcommittee on foreign affairs human rights committee which i have chaired. he has served recently on our hearing of beijing genocide. thank you for your leadership. i would like to recognize professor michael davis. please proceed as you would like. prof. davis: i appreciate the opportunity to be here.
8:28 am
it's very important to pay attention to what is going on in hong kong. it is my custom when talking about the subject to make the comment you can't make this up. all the things that they have been doing in hong kong, i could n't write it in a novel. this may represent a prc template for overcoming liberal constitutional systems anywhere when they try to exercise influence and governance. there are three key points worth making about the prc's approach. one is that chinese leaders are profoundly distrustful of liberal constitutional order. they have even made rules the professors can't teach it. a second thing is that the ccp concept of national security is a whole society concept. national security risk in their
8:29 am
view exists in almost any kind of behavior. finally, the china is importing this concept to hong kong. it is trying by doing so to replace the liberal constitutional order. i heard it yesterday and one of the speakers mentioned that the basic law is done. the national security law has become the basic law of hong kong. this is really important. i think it's important to remember that the basic law itself is a liberal constitutional document. there is no way of interpreting it otherwise. china says you misunderstood it, but you can't read it any other way. it promises a high degree of autonomy, maintenance of the common law, human rights and basic freedoms will be maintained that the courts are independent and final and these last two things are really important. that may land laws would not apply in hong kong except a
8:30 am
limited number outside the scope of autonomy that might be introduced to annex three of the basic law. that may land officials would not interfere in local operations. two major weaknesses. one that beijing has absolute control over its interpretation and it has use that to introduce a lot to hong kong. the second is beijing's foot dragging over democratic reform. these things are important to note. if we look at the and sl, we can see that what has happened is that all of these commitment have been abandoned. the national security law was jammed down the throats of hong kong. it overrides local laws, it overrides the basic law. it gives the national people's congress the ultimate power of interpretation again. it selects the judges that can hear national security cases and doesn't hesitate to badger those
8:31 am
who don't do what beijing wants. selected judges can be removed if they make any statement that violates national security. they speak in court. if you rule against this, they can be removed. a committee for safeguarding national security is created with mainland chinese advisors. this already violates one of those guarantees. this committee is not subject to judicial review. it can make and implement rules not subject to challenge. it is under the supervision of the central people's government. they can remove cases, as they threatened to do, if the court did not keep him in jail and
8:32 am
keep them without bail. there is heavy pressure on judges. the crimes themselves are vague and can be interpreted any way you want and it implies worldwide. that is a quick summary. some of the arrests have been mentioned this morning. in the first trial, this youngster who ran his motorcycle into police, they did not mention human rights. even though they are charging him with incitement. law school 101. if you have incitement international security case, there are human rights implications. even though the law said human rights -- the court did not even mention this. you have to remember it is not just criminal prosecutions. the national security law -- by lined this in my written testimony -- provides for the
8:33 am
schools to be regulated, the media to be regulated, the bar and law society have been put under enormous pressures. this was not enough. let's make it hard for any opposition to speak. let's make sure that you not take up electoral office. they amended the basic law so that now there is a 1500 member election committee that has more power than anything else in hong kong. this is really important. the way they have stacked the deck, there is no way anyone else can get in there other than a pro beijing figure. everyone else declined to run because you would be vetted. they set up a committee to vet all candidates. they instruct the police to investigate every candidate. recently, everyone had to declare their candidacy for the election coming up.
8:34 am
nobody from the democratic camp signed up. you are going to be investigated by the police and by this small committee made up of beijing stalwarts. you will not clear this committee. when they had oath taking, they weaponized oath taking. everyone who sits takes an oath, but you do not expected to be used against you to deny you office because of something you might have said that they do not like. it has been weaponized. this is really important. when it comes to solutions, time is limited, individual sanctions have not worked well so far. i really think what the u.s. needs is we should not have international business practice by companies that operate in america outside the rule of
8:35 am
international human rights. we should have comprehensive approaches that incorporate human rights in what businesses have to do. this is much more difficult to push back against because that is american law. china has its laws. it regulates what its companies can do and defends it passionately. we can regulate that our companies are inherent to human rights practices. are adherent to human rights practices. this all should be looked at very carefully. they condemned the idea that local organizations who are now disbanding under intense pressure, they cannot have any foreign funding. human rights is often subject to foreign funding. i want to close with a personal comment. i am a professor from hong kong.
8:36 am
i spent 30 years teaching students in hong kong. i have students in all sectors of society. my colleague worked for -- i worked at two universities. the chinese university of hong kong, and eventually the university of hong kong. these universities are ordering statues be removed the commemorate human rights violations of the past. this saddens me deeply. what saddens me more as a professor that teaches human rights and constitutionalism, i knew over the years most of the people you mentioned that are in jail today. the thing that is striking about them are these are the best kinds of citizens in the country could want. these are good people. they are not defending hong kong's rights because they make money off of it, they are defending them on principle.
8:37 am
many students i have had that are in jail stood up for human rights, stood up for basic economic welfare of a society and spent all these years doing that because of principles. i can say to anyone in beijing and hong kong, when you are looking up the best and brightest in your society, you have to look in the mirror. it is not them that is wrong, it is you. i believe that that. thank you. >> thank you, professor davis. it is not just -- i know some of the people. i cannot say i am friends the way you are. i have respect for them. you are speaking on behalf of your friends and that is powerful. the floor is yours. >> thank you very much. thank you, chairman smith for your extraordinary leadership on world human rights, especially in hong kong.
8:38 am
where you and the chairman have demonstrated leadership for so many years, deep and profound concern. i joined many people in hong kong for thanking you for your efforts. it is particularly important now , as you alluded to before, the world does move on. yet, people are still in jail in hong kong. my friends, people i worked with, people professor davis worked with. as you alluded to, i was a nonexecutive director at next digital, the publisher of apple daily, the now shuttered pro-democracy newspaper. i second all of professor davi'' remarks. i would like to talk more personally in a micro way, professor davis has sketched out the big picture from 30,000 feet i want to describe what it felt like to be at the sharp end of the stick as the chinese government pummeled, destroyed apple daily.
8:39 am
shortly after the national security law came into effect last year on july 1, police came to jimmy's house one morning in august a month after the lock him into effect. they put him in handcuffs and took him to the headquarters of apple daily. they marched him through the newsroom and took him off to the police station. they scooped up a couple other people. they charged them on very vague national security law charges. they were released on bail, although jimmy lai was put back in jail. other than a brief hiatus with his family when he was under house arrest, he has been in jail. for what? exercising freedoms that are promised. this is the basic law professor
8:40 am
davis talked about. it has the seal of the people's republic of china on it but it is not worth the paper it is printed on. it guarantees freedoms. a very liberal constitutional document. what we have seen his promises the chinese government solemnly made cannot be trusted. let me talk more about what happened to jimmy and the people at "apple daily." there was a bit of a hiatus. in june, we had 500 armed police coming to the newsroom and question journalists, take documents and computers. in the end, the ended up at a much stripping the shelves bare. the question journalist about 100 articles -- who wrote it? who edited it? if that wasn't not enough to create a climate of fear -- it was pretty effective, as you can imagine -- they took away for good the chief executive officer
8:41 am
, editor-in-chief at that time, and several other people. we have seven people from the company -- we have seven people from the company in jail, awaiting trial. they are not allowed out on bail. about 100 or more people are also in jail for exercising their constitutional rights. they were promised in this document by the people's republic of china. it is an unbelievable situation, which they piled onto by then freezing our bank accounts. it was not enough because the journalists kept coming back to work and kept putting out the newspapers. three of our bank accounts were frozen. that meant we could literally not keep the lights on. we could not pay the electricity bill.
8:42 am
we could not pay our journalists. we still owe 600 or so staff their june salaries. we could not pay them because the bank accounts were frozen. we had close to 600,000 subscribers, around the highest digital penetration in the world, 600,000 people paying us every month in the city of 7.5 million people. not bad. we could not take their payments. we were essentially frozen out of business. the company was taken to labor tribunal for not paying the salaries. as professor davis said, you cannot make this stuff up. . it is quite insane. we now have four different investigations going against the company, and against directors, personally, trying to blame us for the fact the company is out of business when they have put us out of business by freezing
8:43 am
assets and essentially throwing the senior leadership in jail. meanwhile, jimmy lai, who you alluded to, one of the bravest people we have ever met, i do not think he is languishing in jail, i think he is quite serene . he is certainly not happy to be there, but he understands because he believes in freedom and is a man of deep faith. he had his assets frozen, as well. he owns 71% of a company that used to be worth $100 million until the government seized it. the government froze three overseas bank accounts, told the bankers, including bankers at citibank, if anyone touched those accounts, they would be subject to seven years in prison. this is heavy duty stuff. i do not think anyone really wants to mess around with the
8:44 am
chinese government given the fact that essentially, as professor davis indicated, anyone who engages in any criticism is effectively fair game as being locked up by the chinese authorities. they succeeded in creating a climate of fear but eventually drove our top management away, even after we closed the newspaper, which we did in late june. i should say, we went out proudly. the journalists can be proud. we printed a million copies, with thousands of people outside the company admitted that with the press is rolling. people throughout hong kong snapping up the issues at 3:00, 4:00 in the morning, the issue was sold out. it does not change the fact that "apple daily" is now dead. this newspaper existed for 26 years. it reflected the aspirations of
8:45 am
the six in 10 people in hong kong that always vote for pro-democracy candidates. ever since there have been elections in 1991, six out of 10 people support the pro-democracy camp. after all the protests, after beijing said there was a silent majority that supported the police, six out of 10 people voted for the pro-democracy candidates. beijing cannot tolerate that. they cannot tolerate the expression of freedom. i will close by talking about recommendations. you asked about what we can do. i spent most of my life working for engagement between china and the rest of the world. i think china and the world are better off when we were together. we have seen hundreds of millions of people come out of poverty in china. one of the greatest uplifts in human economic history. yet, engagement is not working.
8:46 am
it has not worked the way we thought. i think we now have to think about this engaging. we have to think hard about -- we have to think hard about disengaging. i would argue they could cut deeper. people are protected by the chinese state. people at private companies. the special instructor is with a large international accounting firm. he is working under the veneer of a respected accounting firm. professor davis mentioned the statue under threat. it is commemorating the killings at my alma mater, the university of hong kong. there is a u.s. law firm working with the university to try to remove that statue. there is u.s. investment in hong kong and china and it is very important, not just for the
8:47 am
amount of money, but the expertise and the know-how. i noticed wall street firms, the chinese are playing wall street like a fiddle, or perhaps a fine violin, because they know wall street has access to the powers in washington. we cannot expect business will make long-term strategic interests. in the 1930's, thomas watson and ibm were happy to do the census for the german spirit we saw ford motors and general motors be happy with the expanding german economy in the 1930's. to any of us want to look back later on in our lives and say we did not do what we could to stop this? we let companies pursue short-term profit when we could have stopped it as a government. we cannot expect companies to act in any way other than in their short-term interest. we should look at the actions of the hong kong government here in the united states. hong kong, by virtue of its
8:48 am
special semi autonomous status, has trade offices that function as semi consulates. are those appropriate to be set up as they were before? should they be monitored in a different way? i don't know. these are much tougher issues that cut much closer to the bone that we should all be looking at moving forward. thank you very much for the opportunity to testify. >> thank you for the very insightful and historical context that you gave, and jimmy lai could not have a better friend than you and others. i would like to yield to joanna chiu for her testimony. >> hello. thank you co-chairs and commissioners for this opportunity to speak with you. i am here as a journalist. i am not in a position to offer policy recommendations for the commission to consider. i was born in hong kong.
8:49 am
working in greater china a decade ago. i decided to renounce my hong kong citizenship. back then, i was worried about my safety because i knew chinese authorities would not recognize my canadian citizenship if i was detained. the sweeping national security law -- not only journalists, but virtually all professionals in hong kong operate in a cloud of fear and uncertainty. psychologists, including high school counselors, are afraid to approach political topics, even during private counseling sessions. international engagement, including foreign governments, is criminalized as collusion with foreign forces. people of chinese dissent have always been the most vulnerable
8:50 am
to chinese state persecution. the national security law applies to anyone in the world. hong kong police have issued arrest warrants or have arrested american citizens. this makes it impossible for anyone to be certain of how to support civil society in hong kong without further endangering other people, or even themselves. chinese officials appeared to be most concerned about support from americans, hong kong co. democracy. many experts noted that past and present american politicians bear some responsibility -- irresponsibly and nonfactual rhetoric on china. the research in my book shows how ordinary people, like scientists and students, usually suffer the most when u.s.-china
8:51 am
nations downgrade. it can even discredit legitimate facts and findings about beijing's human rights abuses. today, i would like to focus on the question whether any democracy could survive in hong kong. i have spent countless hours as a reporter navigating trials of over a million protesters, calling for voting rights. i have listened to the hopes and dreams from so many. now, it is unclear if large protests will ever happen in hong kong again. most of the city's well-known pro-democracy leaders, including the old guard and youth, are in jail. last month on september 8, four more members of the hong kong alliance were arrested. this was a group that had organizer rally and memory of a massacre.
8:52 am
in january of this year, hong kong police also arrested dozens of democrats, mostly politicians, for participating in an unofficial primary election. now they are accused of taking part in a conspiracy to commit subversion. it was a democratic exercise. in july 2020, hundreds of thousands of hong kong residents voted to narrow the field of potential pro-democracy candidates. this was meant to increase the chance of having pro-democratic lawmakers in office. hong kong security chief said the police operation was needed because the election organizers were seeking to paralyze the hong kong government by winning the majority in the legislature. so far, only 14 of the 47 defendants are released on bail awaiting trial. a former journalist for
8:53 am
international media, a student in canada who has been a pro-democracy member since 2012. hong kong's high court cited communication with foreign journalists on whatsapp as a reason to deny her bail. a coordinator said the court decision marked another insult on basic freedom of expression in hong kong. the idea a person's text and interviews for mainstream outlets like the bbc, wall street journal is an active subversion is absurd. it will create severe obstacles for journalist in hong kong. my research examined -- it is part of a wider picture. state agencies such as united department and the ministry of
8:54 am
state security responsible for putting pressure on civil society groups and political entities in hong kong. it has a similar mission, including in canada and the u.s. , where we have seen a lot of pressure on people to stop criticizing china, even when they are foreign citizens. in a conversation i had several years ago, she said to get a sense of what might be in store for other countries where china wants to suppress freedom of expression, observers should pay close attention to what happened in hong kong. subtle pressure and economic inducement did not work to win the hearts and minds of hong kongers. meanwhile, they have not been totally free. recent roles will keep
8:55 am
unpatriotic persons from gaining positions of power, a new vetting community that is convoluted, and additional layer of vetting, will make it easy to bar any candidate critical of beijing. the remaining opposition of hong kong who are not in jail face a real lose-lose situation. should they boycott upcoming elections to avoid legitimacy for the system, or should they run in the election anyway and hang onto any ability to have two represent the majority of hongkongers who support democracy. everyone i spoke to in hong kong is feeling a sense of hopelessness. they worry authorities are using complex legal methods to dismantle civil society piece by piece, the world. understanding and stop caring
8:56 am
about what is going on. i think the commission is doing the right thing by hearing a range of expert views on the state of civil rights in hong kong. thank you again for this opportunity to testify. >> thank you so very much for your testimony and joining us. i hope you can stay with us as we go into the questioning phase. i would like to recognize the pastor from the u.k. >> hello. thank you for all of your invitations. i am the former pastor of a church in hong kong. during the social movement that began in june, 2019, our church was committed to helping young people in need, such as setting up to protect a volunteer team to provide humanitarian support.
8:57 am
providing support, psychological counseling to the needy. this was based on bible teachings. on december 6, 2020, my church charity account and the personal account of me and my wife were frozen. the next day, the hong kong police arrested the church accounting staff and issued a general order to me and my spouse. my church disbanded in may of
8:58 am
this year. in danger of being blamed by the nsl. my wife and my family have been seriously affected by then. the hong kong government has acted similarly to the ccp, using economic crimes to suppress the antigovernment people. we have to stay in the u.k. we have the good neighbor church in england, to help speak up for the groups and places that are suffering under the oppression of the ccp. today, the religion freedom in hong kong is being suppressed
8:59 am
severely. quite a number of pastors who support human rights and freedoms are moving to the u.k. from hong kong due to the nsl. the former pastor has given speeches about the political situation in hong kong for a few years. after the implementation of nsl, he was notified but after one gathering, he would be reported. he has been threatened a few times at his home. he decided to move to the u.k. in february of this year to
9:00 am
protect his family. a group of hong kong pastors have published the hong kong 2020 gospel declaration, supporting the fight for justice. after nsl has come into effect, this declaration has been accused by the state-owned media. it is against the nsl. the hong kong pastor network has been disbanded in september of this year. not only my former church, but another church, which has been
9:01 am
very active in fighting for human rights and freedoms, was also >> under the effect of nfl. when it comes to an sl, the church an individual have a great threat for the criminal liability and difficulty in getting results -- resources allocated. the ns health -- nfl. that is the end of my sharing. thank you a lot. >> thank you so much pastor chan. i am so sorry for you and your
9:02 am
congregation. the injury and suffering you have endured. thank you for bearing witness. i like to recognize you for your comments testimony. >> thank you for having been and on ray bring >> me personally, but also to the people of hong kong over the past decade plus. and chairman and commissioners listening, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. i want to second the words ap the points that have been made by my esteemed colleagues on this panel, i don't want to repeat what they've said. but you notice professor davis and mr. cutbert referenced a statute they're familiar with. the pillar of shame is a 26-foot high sculpture by a
9:03 am
danish artist and depicts 50 screaming and anguished faces in form representing those cut down by the people liberation army and the chinese government in tienman square. it was publicly displayed during a vigil organized in 1997, just before the handover. when it was first erected, the sculpture served not only as a public symbol, but also, as a canary in the coal mine ahead of the handover on july 1st. would there still be freedom of speech in hong kong. would hong kong remain unchanged for 50 years as promised? and would beijing really allow the ongoing public commemoration of tienman after taking over. so, for the past 24 years on the ground of university of
9:04 am
hong kong, every single year activists would gather to wash the sculpture by hand, in a solemn ritual of remembrance. it is the last remaining public tieneman. the sculpture must be removed by yesterday, october 13 at 5 p.m. hong kong time or it will be deemed abandoned and removed. albert ho, past chair of the party and last chair of the hong kong alliance and explained in 2018. any attempt to remove would strip of the university's freedom expression. it's not only the fight for freedom and democracy, but a
9:05 am
more fundamental thing, the freedom of expression. so i don't think that anyone would challenge the core value. i hope that the university understands that free thought, free expression, free research are most important. if even these freedoms are gone, then the university should be closed down. if the sculpture is, indeed, removed in the coming days, albert ho would not see it himself, he's now serving as a political prisoner for exercising his freedom of assembly. and what beijing has done in hong kong requires not only the police force and their apparatus and security forces, but also, the consent and collaboration from private and international businesses. in the effort to remove the sculpture, as mr. clifford referred to, the president of the university of hong kong, an
9:06 am
american citizen, hired mayor brown an american law firm founded in chicago, to carry out the task. they look for in a statement we were merely asked to provide a special service on a real estate matter for a long time client. our legal advice is not intended as commentary on current or historical events. they joined a long list of enablers of human rights atrocities in history, but they're certainly not the first nor the last. to be specific hong kong airlines made headlines in 2019 when fired employees for voicing their political views and they were called to inh inhair-- interrogation and they were confronted with their facebook
9:07 am
posts and fired immediately on the spot. four of the largest accounting pwc, deloitte, and others, issued a statement announcing a full page ad denouncing the protests paid for by a group of their own employees. more troubling is when businesses like mayor brown that choose to are recruited and choose to enforcing the law on behalf hong kong government. and you heard the pastor testify. they do the same to ted hoy and his family who left hong kong and is now living in exile. in may, they ordered a web service to take down a website linked to pro democracy activists and thousands of requests have been made by the authorities, u.s. tech companies, for personal and private data on the protesters:
9:08 am
the absence of the people's liberation army and the tanks, like they were at tianammen square, does not mean that the crockdown in hong kong has been any less brutal and complete. the tools are different, but the results have been the same. as professor davis and human rights experts had concerns about another leader on charges of incitement and diversion and quote, unquote, being a foreign agent. they warned, experts did, terrorism and sedition charges are used to stifle the fundamental rights and protected international law and included freedom of expression and opinion and freedom of peaceful assembly and the right
9:09 am
to participate in public affairs. i urge the u.s. and this commissioner, this body and the members to respond quickly. to hold those responsible, like john lee was mentioned for depriving the civil rights of hong kong and ongoing public condemnation, i strongly urge the commission and commissioners to adopt and highlight the plights of political prisoners. and that the commissioner demand u.s. and international businesses, like mayor brown, the law firm, who operates in the u.s. to answer for the complicity in the crackdown in hong kong and the mainland. so as we sit here today at this moment, the pillar of shame still stands at hong kong
9:10 am
university. in fact, hundreds of hong kongers and journalists have been keeping watch over the statue around the clock since the news had broken that it was going to be removed. there might not be a more timely or apt metaphor for the state of civil and political rights in hong kong than the fate of the pillar of shame. its creation and unveiling in 1997 was the touchstone for freedom in hong kong. it's impending removal and destruction might as well be a tombstone for freedom in hong kong. i urge this body and its allies to stand with us and the people of hong kong and to continue to work to keep freedom alive. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you so very much, mr. chu, for that eloquent and strong statement on behalf of
9:11 am
those suffering in hong kong, including their basic human rights, the incarcerations that are just abomination, all happening in the plain light of day, although what happens hyped closed doors is anyone's guess and we know that this treatment is certainly part of what the chinese police do. so, i thank you for that. i have a few questions i'd like to ask our distinguished panelists. mr. clifford, you spoke about the problem of complicity with corporations. i do remember when bill clinton delinked human rights from trade may 26th, 1994. i, along with some-- david bonior, a democrat, frank wolf, a republican, speaker pelosi who was a member like me, just not in leadership yet. she wasn't in leadership. and we all joined together and criticized that delinking in a very powerful way, saying,
9:12 am
let's trade. let's have engagement, but let's make sure that it is with conditions that respect the fundamental freedoms of people in all of china. we didn't think hong kong was the problem that it's become. but hong kong could have been a great model of what they've evolved into. and they delinked them completely. on friday afternoon when no one was here. i did a press conference, c-span, and i and others who spoke out then, they've taken the measure of the united states and profits trumps human rights and we have not gotten them back since. hopefully we'll have an opportunity to make that right for our complicity as well. but the corporations, if you could speak on that. right where the three of you gentlemen are sitting in february of 2006, i chaired a hearing with google, microsoft, yahoo! and cisco about their
9:13 am
surveillance state, their complicity again with the chinese communist party, in coughing up names, identifiable information and in yahoo!'s case, a human rights activist sent a cable or e-mail i should say, to new york what you couldn't do as tiananmen square rolled out. yahoo! said what do you want, here is a list of name and identifiable information and after i swore them in, i said why? they said chinese law promulgated by the chinese party. and before that hearing, two weeks before i read a book, ibm and the holocaust, a powerful heavily footnoted book talking about how was it that the gestapo always had very
9:14 am
well-written lists where jewish people were? it was because ibm had aided and abetted those atrocities committed them and that's what they're doing now when google and others aid and abet that kind of terrible misdeeds. we've got a call while the hearing was going on from ibm complaining that i was raising it. i said you show me anywhere in that book where you can contest the veracity of that. the point is the complicity of u.s. corporations and you, mr. chu, talked about a couple, meijer myer brown, the law firm, we were asked to provide a specific service on real estate matters. talk about a euphemism and a terrible, terrible-- how does he look himself in the mirror and talk about the biggest accounting firms and deloitte and others and so many others that have been complicit. we had a hearings on the olympics recently and i chaired one and my friends and
9:15 am
colleagues because i'm ranking member on the china commission as well. two great hearings. i kept asked coca-cola about, you know, why aren't they speaking out? why aren't they trying to get a different venue for the olympics? and the answers were horrible. you know, because they didn't want to lose market share. that's the bottom line. that is bottom line. could you talk about that? and pastor chen and anyone of you could speak about it. i wrote an op-ed that "the washington post" published and called it the world needs to stand up against china's war on religion. and talking about religion, whether you're muslim, christian, or buddhist, or name your belief system, you needed to comport with xi jinping citizenization plan everything is where he wants it with a great deal of surveillance that
9:16 am
goes with it and now others,s pastor and mainlands what the uyghurs, with the genocide experienced so long. i started off in the op-ed, a woman was tortured and asked allah to take her life and why are you doing this to me and the torturer said because you're muslim and you're an uyghur. and just, who ordered that? we all know from the new york times and the investigative journalist report that it's xi jinping himself, says show no mercy. i hope this administration and the administrations all over the world in the free world realize the monstrous acts and deeds committed each and every day by xi jinping, genocide as we meet. but again, on this religious freedom and pastor chan might
9:17 am
want to speak to it or any of you. how do we get to at least some semblance of religious freedom is protected. right now, it's the worst it's been since mao tse tung, at least according to many of my best people who provide information to us. and finally, if you could also speak to facebook and twitter. i'll never forget when my very modest number of twitter followers exploded from a thousand or so to 26,000 when the hong kong human rights democracy act passed and now i'm concerned that many of those people who wrote glowingly of congress passing that legislation, and it was my bill that passed in the house, that that becomes part of the trail of evidence that's used against them. what is happening with facebook and twitter? and if you could -- if i was
9:18 am
president biden sitting here, what would you say to him? we know he's had conversations with xi jinping, we don't know what he's said. we've been told in his february meeting that china, hong kong i should say did come up and that's good, but we'd love to know the details. what would be your recommendation to him? because it seems to me, honestly, we need much higher visibility. you prioritize by what you really speak to and are willing to put out for all to see, it's all done behind closed doors. xi jinping shakes his head and moves on and continues his atrocities. so what would you say to the president as to what we should do? maybe i'll start here with the professor. thank you, thank you, mr. smith. you know, there was testimony the other day from a facebook whistleblower that basically said interest follows incentives and we can say behavior follows interest.
9:19 am
and so china has been responding to sanctions bypassing an anti-sanctions, and pushing back and a lot of our actions have been unilateral so we become easy targets. and they mentioned the united front and effective at targeting one country and rewarding another. so how do we create an incentive system that creates interest. and we do that with finance and we have laws on that and we do that with the environment, but the core value of the united states written into our constitution, in the blood of our people for centuries. we sit, as a professor i have to say to my students, well, all of these human rights treaties don't have a lot of enforcement available. basically we do naming and
9:20 am
shaming. so i think it is important and i do not diminish naming and shaming. it's nice when we see we're facing a future of a kind, it's written a lot about now, authoritarianism, china being sort of a leader there, versus democracy and give people like larry dimon how democracies are surviving and not surviving and the wars between them. if this is our core value can we build that into our laws not just as a sanctions tool, a unilateral act which will get equal pushback, you know, newton's law, but look for comprehensively how human rights should be a part of our forward policy, not just as a kind of political statement, but how it affects business. so the companies, their lawyers, advise them, you
9:21 am
shouldn't do this because you're violating the law and you could be held accountable. you could be held accountable by lawsuit, by someone who is injured or by prosecution if it's a criminal matter. so i think a lot more work has to be done that makes the system of incentives, puts it in place and ideally, it incent sizes people to behave and when they don't, there should be some cost and that's how laws work. we have to do more of because i find right now, a lot of what we're trying to do with hong kong and i've worked on the tibet issue for many years, it's like shouting into the wind and the beijing regime simply ignores it and then mobilizes and wins friends somewhere else to satisfy their business interests. so, that's why the multilateral aspect has to be in the
9:22 am
conversation. when president biden has his meetings over democracy, i think it should be more than, you know, three cheers for democracy, but it should be looking carefully at what are the environmental conditions that incentivize the maintenance of democracy and defend it. and defend people who call for democracy. how can our-- we make those human rights treaties and the universal declaration that we signed on my birthday in 1948. i wasn't born yet, but i'm born on december 10th. all of my students know that, it's sort of meant to be a human rights professor. how can we make that real, i think is a question we really haven't spent a lot of time on and i think now we're confronting a serious challenge in this regard. and our own democracy right now is flawed. so, some of this work begins at home. so this is kind of my sense of where we're at and we can get into the weeds as we can go
9:23 am
along. >> if i may, mr. chairman. well, thank you again for the work that you've done going back to the 1990's. i think the issue you mentioned of delinking human rights and trade was obviously in retrospect a mistake. and i think if you were to provide a little bit of friendly advice to president biden, it might be that every time a u.s. official beats a chinese counterpart, it's the human rights has to be front and center, not just a box checking, a list, but there. the chinese proudly told us how they gave us a list of 15 demands when wendy was in shen shen. we should give them prisoner lists. they're not going help with
9:24 am
climate, is secretary -- is john kerry talking to them about human rights? he should be. this is a fundamental core american value. we're not perfect by any means, but this is something the rest of the world looks to us for. we have work to do at home, yes. but that shouldn't stop us from doing work abroad. that's the first thing, i think, is to bring human rights back and make it a central part of u.s. foreign policy. >> i agree with professor davis, of course, we need to work more multilaterally and we're doing that with the quad and with other issues militarily. let's join with the democracy in japan, asia, taiwan, there are a lot of vibrant societies that also have issues with china. so let's try to bring them in. i do think, of course, that interest and incentives need to be aligned, and it needs to be
9:25 am
in company's interest to do the right thing. we have the foreign corrupt practices act. that's cut down on corruption because companies can say, hey, i can't do that, i'm an american company. i don't want the u.s. department of justice going after me. can we have something similar on human rights? i don't know. but we cannot count on companies to take a long-term view on these issues. it's very interesting that ibm was unhappy with you, because they did pay a reputational cost for many, many decades. i think we're actually doing companies like a sbc and others alluded to a favor by not allowing them to do things that are stupid and things that are wrong and things immoral and violate international law. it's too easy to get along and go along with the local-- the local boss who says, oh, we have to do this because we want to do business in china. oh, it's a longstanding client and we want to help with real estate transaction and this
9:26 am
sort of thing. if it's backed up by law, then it's easier for the companies at that say, sorry, can't do that. maybe some companies need to decide, do we want to be in china or do we want to be in america? well, god bless them and let them decide where they want to be and maybe some of them will decide in china, i'm sure there are a lot of opportunities there, but i don't understand how companies that are going under the umbrella of the american legal system, the american constitutional system should also be allowed to prosper by helping enable, you know, a techno fascist surveillance state. that's what we're talking about. like mr. chu eloquently laid out what's happened in hong kong, using what i think we could call law fair. we use legal and administrative procedures to accomplish a political end. it's not a legal system, sure, it's not tanks, it's not concentration camp concentration camps, but it's
9:27 am
you kneel to the emperor or else. and how are we sure they're not funneling more into china. we need to look at sanctions just like we had divestment in south africa. we need to look at the role of index providers, enabling u.s. pension money to go into china. do we want the retirement savings of firemen and teachers to be essentially funding and propping up the chinese government? i'm not so sure that we do. so i guess i'll stop there, but i mean, i think there is a lot more we can do on the short stop edge to counter the sharp edge of chinese power. i think we have soft power and we have human rights, we have values, we have the great ideals we fought for in this country for more than 200 years. we have to back that up with sharp power and not just sending in the tanks and the navy because we're into a different world now and i think we need to look at asymmetric
9:28 am
approach that looks at financial systems. thank you. >> thank you very much. i'll take a stab at some of my observations. i think it's really important to take a closer look at the financial institutions when we support and i know you were a supporter of the hong kong economy act and two parts of the reporting. there were individuals who were complicit in the suppression of human rights and then the second report for which financial institutions are to be listed and reported by the state and treasury department where now have had multiple reports on the hong kong act and no financial institution has ever been listed in that report. and i think that that working exists and should be used for exactly this purpose. for every hsbc, and ted hoy's example, there are many others that are not reported.
9:29 am
you've heard from mr. clifford today about the overseas accounts from multiple banks, and many of them, almost all them operate here in the u.s. the second point i think is important, is that they know what they're doing. mayer brown, the law firm, i will point to the letter that they sent. none of the attorneys who drafted the letter put their name on that letter. meaning that they know that if they put their name on it, that it becomes in the public record. and that part, i think of the bully pulpit, that this administration, this congress, this commission and individual members can continue to wield in support and in holding accountable those who are complicit, to your point about facebook and twitter, i recently was reading a story
9:30 am
about journal, nonprofit ngo's those who left afghanistan and frantically trying to delete past posts and tweets and pictures, and others who contain information of folks who have helped americans ngo's and human rights groups. and this is literally happening in hong kong. while we might not be able to change overnight the way the tech companies operate. these are many of us view them as companies, they are american companies and if we are able to say to american companies that they're not to export what had been a mass destruction and other form of technology, why is it that they can explore it and share and make money off their technology in violation of human rights elsewhere? and finally, to touch on your
9:31 am
point about religion, i think that what we've seen and what we will continue to see is that the beijing regime had a very proven tactic of equating any religious freedom as terrorism and that's what you're seeing not just there, but in hong kong, where pastors and churches that are deemed sympathetic and even just showing up and having prayer vigils publicly are deemed as a threat to the state and that's how we need to call it out. and that's what we need to label it and that's what we need to do to confront it. thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you so very much. would joanna chu, would you like to comment? >> i'd rather not comment on policy recommendations just
9:32 am
to-- for safety reasons, but i would just recommend getting as much information from hong kong as possible because of the risk of any actions being foreign collusion or foreign interference. i'd recommend that the commission get the latest news on hong kong from the hong kong free press, which is, i think, the best language news source at the moment because a lot of publications are under pressure, or being shut down. >> okay. pastor chen. >> yeah, i'm sorry, my english is bad, and i maybe that not only that hong kong people and uighurs, also suffer from ccp. and yesterday one swiss company
9:33 am
the new weapons to the hong kong policemen, kind of pepper spray, that is new. i think we need solid action to stop ccp to attack or condemn the human rights. when ccp no human rights, no religion freedom, we should no trading, no olympics games, no in china -- when trading with ccp, they will play olympic games, still buy some things and making china, these actions were -- from oppressed by ccp. it's famous sentence with the
9:34 am
hong kong people. so i think we should take real and solid action now. thank you. >> thank you, pastor chan. and just a couple of final questions and again, i want to thank you for your leadership over decades. all of our distinguished witnesses for being here today. it's most helpful and we will do everything we can to follow up in a bipartisan way and i think there's a lot of sincere concern that we have not done enough, particularly of late. without objection, the testimony written and submitted by hong kong watch, ben rogers and that objection is made a part of the record. he makes a couple of points in his testimony and i would just ask you if you could respond. and one we haven't focussed on. the participation of foreign judges increasingly untenable, none of them likely to handle the security cases and presence offers increasingly corrupted
9:35 am
legal system near legitimacy. professor, do you have any comments on that? >> there's-- thank you for the question. there's one australian judge that did pull out. there was pressure on uk judges to do so and they declined. it's a kind of catch 22 that on one hand they want to be there because of the very reason they were there. and that arrangement was made was that it was thought that having foreign judges would serve as a deterrent for local judges to give into the pressure. because there's legal talent and there's plenty of that. it's really about this deterrent effect. so, i think there's-- the u.s. has never been invited into this participation. it's only commonwealth, even though we have common-law. so this has been the situation and i don't think that anyone has come to a conclusion, but
9:36 am
it seems to me that the second sentence if there is one, if this gets any worse and we're going to see with these trials because right now, the verdict is still out. there's a lot of suspicion with these selection of judges, designated judges under the nsl. that those judges may be, you know, co opted and those allegations maybe they give into that and i think a feeling that there's a line to cross, maybe we're waiting, you know, being unduly optimistic. the judges will hold their ground because so far, it's been almost impossible for them to do so. and this is kind of the murky space that this is at right now. yeah, there should be a point where i think people will start turning the other way. so far that has not happened. >> does this also apply to police officers as well? and samuel, i think you want to comment, too.
9:37 am
>> yeah, i think i wanted to add, i think mr. rogers i think brings up a good point and just another case just to illustrate. not only are foreign judges. and mr. davis can correct me if i got the facts wrong, that one of the local judges, magistrates. during some of the trials he presided over, actually acquitted a number of protesters, citing that the police were giving unreliable testimony in court. and he was blasted on the front page of the pro beijing in hong kong, this judge doesn't have any idea what he's doing and here is a local judge, well-respected and after that, a whole event last week, the judge announced that he's taking early retirement, that he's moving with his wife and his child to the u.k.
9:38 am
immediately. and i think that the pattern of which that judicial system has been co-opted has been cleared, to the point there are definitely still many, again, i mentioned not just police officers who holds, for example, with the u.k. passports and citizenships, there are institutions, as i mentioned, the president of the university of hong kong right now is an american citizen. and i think that it warns us to take a closer examination and review and last point on the-- i think there are definitely a much more robust tracking needs to happen through the judicial independence in hong kong, not when the cases are just in the front pages. of the newspaper, not just
9:39 am
manipulated and hidden from public view. >> can i add, i think this last point is very important, to track it because it could be, i think, a lot of judges in the past cherish their independence and value the rule of law in hong kong, and it's important that they feel that they can guard that and that there's some kind of pressure going the other direction from that of complicity with the regime's agenda. so i think that's very important because i think we'll see more resignation is and so on of judges who doesn't buckle under this kind of pressure, but it's good that we find a way to help them, just like with corporate social responsibility. to help companies not to misbehave by creating correct incentives. >> i do have one final question and again, it's been raised by ben rogers, safe harbor or safe
9:40 am
haven laws, and i think his point is well taken, it cannot be right that the u.s. congress continues to ignore the polite of on kongers in desperate need of asylum. what should we be doing on that issue? should we be much more welcoming in our law for them? >> i think so. i think we should also open the door more widely. you know, there's always a big debate in this country about immigration, we're all immigrants at the end of the day, pretty much, except for our native brothers and sisters. so i think it's important and as a, you know, our immigration law, the policy is generally favored trying to attract talent. so hong kong is a hot bed of talent. so getting talent here. one of the things that canadians have done, i thought, is quite instructive, we know already that the president has said that people can stay longer who are hong kong
9:41 am
studying in america. i think it would be worth doing is to open the door to hong kongers who have american degrees period, can have a path to living in and working in america, and gaining citizenship. so i think the first step was taken by the president, but i think there's more on that path. very specific things. so that-- because one of the things, a lot of the suggestions we're making are not going to have an immediate impact, but people right now need immediate help. so the immigration path is a very important one. >> yes, thank you. >> i would second professor dave's remarks. i think we should be as welcoming as we can be. there are many talented people in hong kong who would like to stay. this is the big debate right now, do you go or do you stay? and i respect whatever an individual decides, but if someone wants to come to america and particularly if they have an american degree, or, again, borrowing a leaf out
9:42 am
of the canadian book, more of a points-based system, so many people in hong kong have so much to give and if they choose to, they don't feel they can give it in their native land, then let's welcome them into america and we'll be stronger for it. well, i'm sad because we hate to see this brain drain out of hong kong and we sort of hate to give the place over to the mainlanders, but if there's no future and you have children who are going to be forced to kowtow to xi jinping and his leadership, why would you want your children raised in hong kong and you've got little kids goose-stepping. and as the professor said we're a nation of immigrants. sometimes we're more welcoming and sometimes less, this is a moment where there's an immediate need and we should be as welcoming and generous as we could possibly be. >> i appreciate the opportunity
9:43 am
to address this. i note, i want to applaud ccc commission for hosting and organizing next week's hearing specifically on this subject and i'm glad that i get a chance to at least give some of my thoughts on this. as you know, chair, that it's personal to me. my father helped rescue the tiananmen square people in 1989 and paroled 1989 and almost 400 were rescued because of the operation started by the hong kong alliance which is now disbanned. i was sent away because of the fallout and the fear of retaliation to the u.s. so i am an example of what that looks like if we welcome and when we welcome the activists and protesters in hong kong. i also want to say that hong kong is a unique situation. for example, unlike many of the refugee situation crisis we
9:44 am
see, it is not the case that hong kongers are not waiting, at least by and large at a third country at a refugee camp. they are still under the jurisdictions and the control and monitoring surveillance of hong kong. if they were to be undertaking a long refugee review process and then wait for that to come and be approved, the good thing about the refugee status, obviously, they come to support, but it might not actually help those who are in immediate danger. as the chair and the commission, i think knows, that i also worked the state department to provide humanitarian paroles for a number of individuals including those who fled to taiwan via a speed boat last year. we need to be using existing programs, like the significant public benefit the parole benefit program that allows them to leave as soon as possible. one of those applicants, without going into the details, in fact when we try to transfer
9:45 am
out directly was arrested at the first attempt and trying to cost the customs at the airport. and so, the need is urgent. i would also encourage that we continue to open up new avenues. the administration has already implemented or announced at least the third and fourth deportation order for hong kongers who are already here in the u.s. that provides a temporary 18-month protection for those who are facing deportation removal proceedings. more has to be done. we need to grant longer, more sustainable status to those who are here, just like we did after tiananmen in 1989. we should have a similar to tps and other form of protection that goes beyond the ded order. and we are still awaiting the
9:46 am
department of homeland security to actually announce the details of the ded program. we're now two months, actually, beyond announcement of the program, but we have not seen any of the roles and the implementation, we need to do that and a nudge from the commission and from the chair to department of homeland security would be helpful and finally, i think that we have to really be careful about this pushback that we often hear, which is that if we let people in the ccp is going to send their spies. i want to make it very clear as i've done many times, that the united states is an open democratic society. and that we have a strong vetting process in which refugee asylum or vetting or visa process has to go through. and on a different note, i think that the ccp has found
9:47 am
other ways to probably penetrate the u.s. than to actually use an asylum refugee program, but part of olding up, and not just the retaliatory use of sanctions, but to say that we're going to open up our doors. we're not forcing anyone to do anything. if they come, then it shows that people are voting and deciding and determining for their own future and for their own families. so, thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you. i would just note parenthetically that we have on numerous occasions as a country opened our doors to those who had a well-founded fear of persecution, not just on an individual basis, but on a larger basis, the boat people come to mind. my first trip, human rights trip was to the soviet union on behalf of soviet jews back in 1982 where we were providing that kind of assistance and
9:48 am
parenthetically as well, one of my trips to hong kong, i went to high island, detention camp, where there were a number of vietnamese there at risk of being forcibly repatriated back, fled vietnam after the fall of saigon and we were able to turn around a decision to send them back that was, as they closed out c.p.a., comprehensive plan of action. so there's great precedent for us if ever there was a well-founded fear of persecution, it comes with the boot of xi jinping. so, if people want to come here, we should be welcoming them with open arms. yes. >> yeah, i should add that in hong kong, people are leaving. >> yes. >> that's a very important part of the story, and the schools that we get reports now that some, i don't know, 80 or -- i forget the figure, but of these primary classes have been canceled because the students are leaving and going --
9:49 am
they're sending their children abroad. i raised my daughter in hong kong and she's got friends everywhere that are hong kongers who go abroad and now they've gone-- my daughter just finished yale so there they are, they're in this country now because their parents recognized the risks their children faced and we need to recognize it, too. >> may i add something? >> of course. >> mr. chair. i would just like to echo samuel's concerns about expression toward refugees and asylum seekers. and even people of chinese or hong kong descent who have lived in north america for generations get their loyalties questioned all the tile. my looks, my name and i cover human rights so often, people have accused me of being a stooge for the chinese
9:50 am
communist party. structurely in government, in think tanks, like in policy apologizery boards, there are often in many western countries, very few people of chinese or hong kong or macao descent. and these are how we grow up and our culture and elevating the voices and addressing some of the racism and xenophobia, and people not choosing to speak up, having their loyalty questioned is a key part of consideration that the commission should keep in mind. thank you. >> thank you. would any of our panelists want to make any final comment or recommendations before we close? >> if not, i want to thank you for your extraordinary
9:51 am
insightful testimony, your leadership. it really does help the congress to have people of your caliber all five of you, providing the inputs of some of the longstanding work you have done in hong kong. it's just extraordinary. so thank you. this hearing of the lantos commission is adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
9:52 am
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
9:53 am
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> download c-span's mobile app and stay up-to-date with
9:54 am
live video coverage, live streams from the house and senate floor and key congressional hearings and white house events and supreme court oral arguments and our live interactive morning program washington journal where we hear your voices every day. c-span now has your covered. download the app for free today. >> today the atlantic council hosted a discussion on u.s. military power, we're covering it live at 2 p.m. eastern on c-span2., or our video app, c-span now. >> next, a look at the impact a cashless economy can have on low income and disadvantaged communities. members of the house subcommittee heard from a panel of experts on equal access to banking, fraud protection and the use of cryptocurrency. >> without objection, the chair is


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on