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tv   Human Rights Advocates Testify on China Hong Kong  CSPAN  November 4, 2021 5:07pm-7:03pm EDT

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trends as well as the latest nonfiction systems. and 2020 presidential candidate and 2021 new york mayoral candidate andrew yang talks about his book. he argues america's current economic and political systems are outdated and need transformation in order to address 21st century challenges. he's interviewed by california's democratic congressman eric swalwell. watch book tv every sunday on c-span 2. or watch online any time at booktv.org. 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.
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>> on this the eve of house
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passage of my bipartisan legislation, the hong kong human rights 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 in hong congress each and every day by the chinese communist party. and we need to remind the brave democracy activist we deeply respect their courage and their sacrifice and that they are absolutely not forgotten. seven years ago i introduced the hong kong human rights and democracy act of 2014. it was time of the umbrella movement which began in response to a decision of the committee's prcs national peoples congress to prescreen candidates for hong kong chief executives. in other words, the chinese communist party was putting its thumb on the scale with greater force and people were speaking
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out. those were heavy days with brave students like joshua wong and nathan long. looking back once these courageous idealism and optimism that could bring about substantive political change. at that time it was extraordinarily hard to get my congressional colleagues on both sides of the aisle or the white house to see the gathering threat, an existential threat to hong kong democracy and human rights posed by general secretary and chinese communist party xi jinping. our bill only has five cosponsors despite herculean efforts to get people to sign-up that now included speaker nancy pelosi. in contrast in 2019 that passed the house had 47 bipartisan sponsors including my friend and colleague jim mcgovern.
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in 2014 far too many people in washington felt that hong kong with its greater freedom and free trade principles would somehow tug the peoples republic of china in a liberating direction. after all, hong kong had the basic law, and many could serve as a model with respect for the rule of law one day. such hope proved illusionary that the business leaders believed linking trade with human rights in 1994 would somehow help the communist chinese party matriculate from a brutal dictatorship to a democracy. and there were those who thought they would practice the rule of law more effectively. i had two hearings in this room in which we countered that argument that we got to be careful they don't change the w.t.o. not the other way around. in march of 2019 as we all know
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the hong kong government proposed extraditing alleged criminals to china raising fears political dissidents could be sent to mainland china to face charges over exercising their basic freedoms. hong kong's government and the police force began to closely resemble that of mainland china in its response to legitimate protest speech and assembly. congress, too, awakened to the 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 passed. over to the senate and it became law. indeed that same day placed restrictions on exports and crowd control technology to hong kong. congress spoke with a common
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voice declaring hong wung was no longer, quote, sufficiently autonomous for trade and technological export purposesch the trump administration also sanctioned key individuals in the hong kong government including terry lamb, the hong kong's chief executive. 42 government and police officials have been sanctioned to trum's executive order 13996. more important carrie lamb is just a figure head and mouthpiece. the trump administration sanctioned two individuals, the secretary for security and former head of the increasingly repressive hong kong police force and the former secretary and chief security secretary.
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both these men need to be better known throughout the world for the purpose of being morally and legally held accountable. they more than anyone else accept xi jinping himself responsible for the current human rights in hong kong but they have been some willing excusers of the chinese communist parties draconian policy. those who must remember for their valiant attempt at freedom. we should remember the brave founder of apple daily, free speech shutdown by government in june this year, his assets frozen and his computers confiscated by the police. jimmy is now in jail, brought to court in shackles while the court is yet to set a hearing date. people may not know this but jimmy a man of deep faith, a fellow catholic who easily could have fled to safely like the roughly 90,000 citizens who have left hong kong between june of
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2020 and june of 2021 because he was is or was a rich man. yet jimmy stayed in hong kong to stand with those who spoke with freedom. he has been strip of his liberty where, traded for a jail cell, yet he stands unbroken, a testament to moral principle and defiance in the face of tyranny. one of our distinguished witnesses today samuel chu has been accused of violating the national security law, the draconian national security law which severely punishes four types of activity, subversion, terrorism and collusion with terrorist forces all carrying a maximum sentence of life in prison. mr. chu states in his testimony today that, quote, the absence of the peoples liberation army
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and rolling tanks with barb wires and internments camps does not mean the crack down has been any less brutal, swift and complete, end quote. of course there are so many others we need to remember where they are week wale heroic. over 150 have been arrested under the national security law and maybe more implemented last year and countless more have been killed for expressing their opinions. we have seen former legislators who chu has highlighted in her testimony for standing trial while practicing democracy. there are journalists now in jail for practicing free speech. hong kong now has more journalists in jail per capita than any other place on earth. we should say their names.
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they're all in jail and so many others for those journalists watching today hear 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 other freedoms. we cannot forget these people. we cannot forget these heroic individuals. we cannot forget hong kong. i've been in congress now for 41 years. i believe with the crush of business and catastrophes, challenges, covid, somehow hong kong can get squeezed out of our focus. and today that has to change. we have to pivot back in standing in solidarity with the oppressed and not the oppressor. media in particular, i call on you to lift up your voices. we cannot let the tyranny of xi
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jinping and the chinese communist party stifle the flame of freedoms that reside in the hearts of the people of hong kong. i'd like to now lead to my good friend and colleague chair mcgovern. >> i join cochair smith in welcoming everyone to this human rights commission hearing and i want to thank my colleague for his leadership on this issue. he has been committed to human rights in hong kong for as long as i've known and i think we all appreciate his leadership. look, we approach this hearing in a mood of sadness. we have watched the chinese central government tighten its grip on the free and open spirit of hong kong. we have seen our friends jailed to silence their voices while
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others have fled into exile to allow their voices to be heard. and it is these voices that preserve hope and remind us that -- 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 other countries can do to address the erosion of human rights. in the last two years congress has passed the hong kong human rights democracy act, the hong kung and impose sanctions on government officials complicit in undermining atonomy, democracy and human rights. can we move to revoke hong kong's distinct w.t.o. status as
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its own customs territory? can we leverage the spotlight of the 2022 beijing winter olympics? the congressional executive commissioner on china which i also cochair and congressman smith also is a member of asked the committee topostpone and relocate the games if the host chinese government did not let up on the uyghurs in hong kong. they refused. we asked the olympic corporate sponsors to use their leverage to demand improvements and respect for human right. they refused. we owe it to hong kongers and uyghurs not to dignify the corrupt stain that is in the beijing olympic. 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 administration to use this event to shine a light on hong kong. the democratic freedoms that the
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people of hong kong aspire to and that the chinese government is taking away our universal values. one practical thing we can do is provide humanitarian pathways for those fleeing the chinese government's repression. the cec will hold a hearing next tuesday on proposed legislation and i welcome any thoughts our witnesses have of these bills. i wanted to say to the witnesses i'll be in and out. we have a rules committee meeting at 2:30, unfortunately. but i am eagerly awaiting any remations you have on actions we might take, but i thank you and thank the chair and i yield back. >> i thank you very much, jim, for your comments. it's really a pleasure and an honor to work side by side with you on the important issues. i'd like now to yield to young
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kim. while we wait i would yield to steve for any comments he might have. >> i think representative kim just needed to unmute. >> can you hear me? >> yes. >> sorry about that. i wanted to thank both of our cochairs for hosting this important hearing today to discuss the challenges facing civil and political rights in hong kong. protections for individual rights, free press and democratic ipsitutions in hong kong have deteriorated very rapidly. this law in its big has brought
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with a shared sense of fear and censorship to the people and institutions of hong kong. hong kong police arrested ten people on the first day after implementation alone and charged six political activists by the end of the first month including samuel chu who's with us today. since then over 150 people have been arrested and sentenced dozens of pro democracy leaders of prison terms 6 to 8 muntsz for piecefully protesting. and new york city moving its entire digital operation from
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hong kong to seoul. even long-standing institutions in hong kong have not been exempt from prc intimidation. while the extent of the authorities granted remain vague, the intent is abundantly clear. the iwhich these communist party has moved to violate international agreements and norms to cement its political control over hong kong and silence anyone, chinese or foreign who speak up in opposition. the united states hong kong policy act of 1992 is specific in its commitment to treating hong kong from a separate entity from mainland china as long as it remains autonomous. the prc violated the autonomous standard of hong kong and its institutions by every considerable measure, and the trump administration rightly ended its separate trade
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agreement in july 2020. as a government and country we cannot continue to turn a blind eye to what is happening to the people of hong kong and provide refugee for those and we must be more proactive in congress and provide tools to our government that allows us to build significance deterrence that will force the prc to think twice before violating hong kong 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. and thank you so much for having
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me and i yield back. >> thank you so much, ms. kim. i'd like to yield to steve cohen. >> thank you for having this hearing. it's appropriate the commission
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should be discussing hong kong. i visited haupg hong kong once it was a delightful trip. >> steve, we lost you again. bad connection perhaps. >> can you hear me now? >> now, we can. >> i see the people who stood up as heroes. i admire them. 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 their repression of the uyghurs and the hong kong citizenry.
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it's bad to see what's been going on, and the loss of freedom is horrific. it's oppressive and we need to protect it. i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you very much. as you know we both have worked for years on the collaboration mission in europe. i've chaired it, and you've chaired, so it's great to have you today in this effort. i'd like to introduce our distinguished panel. three are here in person. two will be hooking up with a virtual connection. in order of their presentations, and again, i thank them. these are five people who are truly expert and have led so long on these issues. we look forward to your insight and council how we should proceed going forward. a senior research scholar at the weather head institute atika loanial university and professor
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at law in india. long a public intellectual in hong kong he was a professor at the facility at the university of hong kong until late 2016. his scholarship engages in a range of issues related to human rights, rule of law and constitutionalism in the united states with frequent publications in journs of foreign affairs, amnesty international. and the hong kong fcc awarded him the 2014 human rights press award for his commentary in the south china post in 2014 on the umbrella movement. we'll then hear from mark clifford who's president of the committee for freedom of hong kong and author of tomorrow the world, what china reveals about its plans to end freedom
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everywhere. publisher and editor-in-chief of the standard and the asia regional editor. published at the time of china's entry into the w.t.o. as executive director of the hong kong based asian business council he coauthored views of the asian next generation. mr. cliffards books on asia have examined korea's economic developments in the 1997, 1998 financial crisis. we'll then hear from joanna chu, a senior journalist from the toronto star and author of "china unbound a new world disorder" doggedly reported and fiercely argued according to publishers weekly, the book
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details china's rop udinternational raise in the way western nations have contributed to a state of global disorder. ms. chu has previously served as 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 beijing and a foreign correspondent specializing in coverage of chinese politics, economy and legal affairs for one of the world's biggest news operations. we'll then hear from the pastor, currently the pastor of england's good neighbor church in the u.k. he was previously the pastor of good neighbor north district church in hong cot. 2013 the pastor and his church launched the protect our children campaign.
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subsequently in december 2020 they froze the bank account belonging to the church and that of chen and his wife at the request of the hong kong police. then we'll hear from samuel chu who's the founder and managing director of hong kong democracy council and was very helpful in drafting the hong kong human rights and democracy act, and i thank him for that and the many insights he provided in terms of content. hong kong administration issued aresch warrants against samuel in july 2020 making him the first foreign citizen to be targeted under the national security law. they announced sanctions against hk d.c. making its the first foreign entity. co-founder of occupy central that led the umbrella movement
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in 2014, also a well-known friend of this commission and the china commission and the subcommittee on foreign affairs on human rights committee which i've chaired and now the ranking member of. and he served as a witness most recently. samuel, thank you as well for your leadership. i'd like to now recognize professor michael davis, and please proceed as you'd like. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the opportunity to be here. i think it's very important to pay attention to what's going on in hong kong. it's important when talking about this subject to make this comment you can't make this up. all the things they've been doing in hong kong, i couldn't write it in a novel. i don't know if i'm clever
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enough. i think one of the things important here is the prc. this may represent a prc template for overcoming liberal constitution systems anywhere when they try to exercise influence and governance. i think three key points worth making about the approach. one is chinese leaders are profoundly distrustful of liberal constitutional order. they've even made rules that professors can't teach it. and second thing is that the ccp concept of security is a whole society concept. national security risk in their view exists in almost any kind of behavior. and finally that china is importing this concept to hong kong, and it is trying by doing so to replace the liberal constitutional order. one of the speakers mentioned that basically the basic law is done and the national security
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law has become the basic law of hong kong. so this is really important. and i think it's important to remember that the basic law itself is a liberal constitutional document. there's no way of interpreting it otherwise. now china wants to say no, no, no, you guys all misunderstood it. but you can't read it any other way. promises a high degree of autonomy, that the courts are independent and final. and these last two things are reelo important, that mainland laws would not apply in hong kong. and two, mainland officials would not interfere in local operation. two major weaknesses in the basic law. one was that beijing has absolute control over its
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interpretation, and it's used that to introduce a lot to hong kong. and the second is beijing's foot dragging over democratic reform. so these things i think are important to know. if we look at the nsl what we can see in fact all these commitments 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 peoples congress standing committee the ultimate power of interpretation again. it selects the judges that can hear national security cases and doesn't hesitate to badger. the officials don't hesitate to badger those who don't do what beijing wants. the selected judges can be removed if they make any statement that violates national security. where do judges speak? they speak in court. in other words, if you rule against them, they can be removed. a committee for safeguarding
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national security is created with mainland chinese advisers, so this already violates one of those guarantees. and this committee is not subject to judicial review and can make and implement rules not subject to challenge. it's under the supervision of the central peoples government, okay? and then there's an office for safeguarding national security made up entirely of mainland public security officials. and they can remove cases as they threatened to do in the jimmy li case if the court didn't keep him in jail and deny him bail, they threatened to move the case to the mainland and try him there. and you could imagine how many rights would be protected. so that's a quick summary of it. we know all the arrests, of them have already been mentioned this morning. and in the first trial of this
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youngster who ran his motorcycle into a police cordon, they did not mention human rights. they're charging him with incitement. you know, it's law school 101. i'm a law professor, that if you have incitement in a national security case there's human rights implications. and even though the national security law and article 4 says human rights still apply and iccp apply, the court did not even mention this. we have to remember it's not just criminal prosecution. the national security law, and i outline this in my written testimony, provides for theal schools to be regulated, the bar and the law society have been put under enormous pressures and press freedoms are under attack. and this was not enough. let's make it hard for any opposition to speak. well, let's make sure they don't take up electoral office. so they amended the basic law so
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that now there's a 1,500 member election committee that has more power than anything else in hong kong. this is really important. the way they've stacked the deck is there's no way anybody else could get in there, and in fact, everyone else declined to run because you were going to be vetted. they setup a vetting committee to vet all candidates, and they instruct the police to investigate every candidate. in fact, just recently everybody had to declare the candidacy for the rej legislative council election and nobody from the democratic camp signed up. because you're going to be investigated by the police and then by this small committee that's made up of beijing and you're not going to clear it.
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they've weaponed oath taking. everyone in congress takes an oath but you don't expect to be used as a weapon against you to silence or to deny you office because of some something you may have said that they don't like. it's been weaponized. so this is really important. i think when it comes to solutions and the time is limited so i'll quickly run through them. i think individual sanctions have not worked so well so far. and i really think, and it's harder, but i think what the u.s. needs is we should not have international business practice by companies that operate in america outside the rule of international human rights, there are companies we should have comprehensive approaches that incorporate human rights in what businesses have to do. and this is much more difficult to push back against that because that's american law. china has its laws. it regulates what its companies can do and defends it passionately. but we can regulate that our
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companies are adhering to human rights practices. i think we need to be more multilateral on it. a group of u.n. experts said the other day there should be a u.n. review and this all should be looked at carefully. and they condemn the idea local organizations who are all now disbanding under intense pressure, that they cannot have any foreign funding. human rights is often subject to foreign funding. i'm going to a close with a personal comment. i'm a professor from hong kong. i spent over 30 years teaching students in hong kong. i have students in all sectors of the society there across the media. they're even an announcement in the daily that my colleague here worked for, and i worked at two universities, the chinese university of hong kong first and then eventually the university of hong kong. even this week these universities are ordering the
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statues be removed that commemorate human rights violations of the past. this saddens me deeply. but what saddens me more as a professor who teaches human rights and constitutionalism, i knew all these years most of the people you mentioned today, i know them personally. and the thing striking about them is these are the best kind of citizens any country could want. these are good people. they're people not defending hong kong's rights because they make money out of it. they're defending it on principles. and many of the students i have had who are now in jail stood up for human rights, stood up for basic economic welfare of the society and spent all these years doing that because of principle. and i can say to anybody in beijing and hong kong when you're looking up the best and
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brightest in your society, then you have to look in the mirror. it's not them that's wrong. it's you. and i'll leave it at that, thank you. >> thank you so very much, professor davidson. i can't say i'm friends the way you are. i certainly have absolute respect for them. but you're speaking on behalf of your friends, and that's very, very powerful. thank you so much for your testimony. thank you chairman smith and i want to thank cochair mcgovern. i think it's particularly important now as you alluded to before the world does move on and yet people are still in jail in hong kong, my friends, people
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i worked with, obviously people professor davis worked with. i was as you alluded to a nonexecutive director at next digital which is publisher at apple daily a now shuttered pro-democracy newspaper. and i second all of professor davis' remarks. and i'd like to talk a little more personally, a little more in a kind of microway. 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. shortly after the national security law came into effect last year, july 1st, police came to jimmy's house early one morning in august after the law came in effect, put him in handcuffs and took him to the headquarters of apple daily,
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marched him through the newsroom and took him off to the police station. they scoop up a cup of other people, some of which you mentioned, the ceo, the chief operating officer and charged them on these very vague national security law charges. they were released on bail although jimmy li was put back in jail december 3rd. and other than a brief house arrest in august he's been in jail ever since. for what? for exercising the freedoms promised in this. this is the basic law the professor was talking about. and yet it's not even really worth the paper it's printed on. it guarantees all these wonderful freedom as professor davis said, a very liberal constitutional document. and yet what we've seen is that these promises the chinese government solemnly made cannot be trusted.
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let me talk more about what happened to jimmy and the people at apple daily. there was a bit of a hiatus and then in june we have 500 armed police come into the newsroom, question journalists, take documents, computers. in the end they ended up pretty much stripping the shelves bare. they question journalists about more than 100 different articles written. who wrote it, who was involved in it. if that wasn't enough to create a climate of fear, they took away for good it seems mr. jung kim hung, the chief executive officer, the current at that time editor-in-chief ryan law, and several other people. so we have several people from the company now in jail awaiting trial on national security law charges. these trials are in many cases or some cases a year or two off. they're just presumed guilty. they're not allowed out on bail.
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and as you've alluded to, chairman, about 100 or more people are also in jail for exercising their constitutional rights, rights that were promised in this document by the peoples republic of china. and it's an unbelievable situation which they piled onto by then freezing our bank accounts. it wasn't enough because the journalists kept coming back to work, kept putting out the newspapers. so three bank accounts of our three core companies were frozen. that meant we literally couldn't keep the lights on. worse, we couldn't pay our journalists. we still owe 600 or so staff their june salaries. couldn't pay it because their bank accounts are frozen. we had close to 600,000 subscribers for our digital service, probably around the highest digital penetration in the world in a city of
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7.5 million people, not bad. couldn't take their payments. so we were essentially frozen out of business. to add insult to injury the company was then taken to labor trial by the government for not paying their salaries. as the professor said, you really can't make this stuff up. it's quite insane. so we now have four different investigations going against the company and against directors personally. again, trying to blame us for the fact the company is out of business when they've put us out of business by freezing assets and essentially throwing the senior leadership in jail. meanwhile jimmy languishes -- i don't think he's languishing in jail. i think he's quite serene if --
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certainly not happy to be there but he understands why he's there. because he believes in freedom and a man of deep faith. he had his assets frozen as well. he had 71% of a company that used to until the government essentially seized it, prohibited him from using his shares, froze three overseas bank accounts, told the bankers, including bankers at city bank that if anybody touched those accounts, the bankers and anybody that did the touching would be subject to seven years in prison. this is pretty heavy duty stuff so i don't think that anybody really wants to mess around with the chinese government given the fact that essentially as professor davis indicated, anyone who engaged in any criticism is effectively fair game as far as being locked up by the chinese authority. so they've succeeded in creating a climate of fear that eventually drove our top management away, even after we had closed the newspaper, which
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we did in late june. i should state we went i think very proudly that journalists can all be proud. we printed a million copies, ten times our normal press run. we had thousands of people outside the headquarters at midnight as the presses were rolling. thousands of people in calhoun, throughout hong kong, snapping up the issues at 3:00, 4:00 in the morning, the issue was sold out. but that doesn't change the fact that apple daily is now dead. here is a newspaper that existed for 26 years, that i think reflected, given its popularity. it's evident popularity. it reflected the aspirations of the six of ten hong kong people who always vote for pro democracy candidates. ever since there have been elections in 1991, roughly six out of ten people support the pro democracy camp, and they did it again in late 2019, after all the protests, after beijing said there was a silent majority that was supporting law and order in the police, six out of ten people voted for the pro
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democracy candidate. beijing can't tolerate that. they can't tolerate the expression of freedom. i'll just close by talking a little bit 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 work together. we've seen hundreds of millions of people come out of poverty in china. we've seen, you know, one of the greatest uplifts in human economic history, i think, and yet engagement isn't working. it hasn't worked the way that we thought, and i think we now have to think about disengaging, and we have to think hard about what that policy would mean, the sanctions that you and others would put in place, i think have certainly gotten people's attention. i would argue they could cut deeper. people like kari lam and jon lee are protected by the chinese
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state. people at private companies, for example, the special inspector investigating next digital is with a large accounting firm, he's working under the veneer of the hong kong government, under a respected accounting firm. professor davis mentioned the statute under threat, commemorating the tiananmen killings at my alma mater, the university of hong kong. there's a u.s. law firm that's working with the university to try to remove that statute. the u.s. investment in hong kong and china is very important, not just for the amount of money it brings in but also for the expertise and the know how. i noticed that wall street firms are, the chinese are playing wall street like a fiddle or perhaps even a fine violin because they know that wall street has access to the quarters of power here in washington, but we can't -- we can't expect that business is going to make long-term strategic interests.
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i mean, we saw in the 1930s, thomas watson and ibm were happy to do the census for germans. we saw ford motor and general motors happy to be with the expanding german economy in the 1930s, do any of us want to look back later on in our lives, and say we didn't do what we could to stop this. we let companies pursue short-term profits when we could have stopped it as a government. we can't expect anything other than the short-term interests. i also think that we should look at the actions and activities of the hong kong government here in the united states. hong kong, by virtue of its semiautonomous status has tradeoff, and function add semi-consulates, are those appropriate to be set up as they were before, should they be registered and monitored in different ways. these are much tougher issues that cut closer to the bone that we should all be looking at as
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we move forward. thank you so much for the opportunity to testify. >> thank you so very much for the very insightful and historical context that you also gave it, and jimmy lie, couldn't have a better friend than you and others. i would like to now yield to joanna chiu for her testimony, virtually. >> hello, thank you cochairs and commissioners for this opportunity to speak with you today. u am here as a journalist to provide information, and unfortunately i'm not in a position to offer policy recommendations for a commission to consider. i was born in hong kong. when i started working in greater china a decade ago, i decided to renounce my hong kong citizenship. even back then i was worried about my safety because i knew chinese authorities wouldn't recognize my canadian citizenship if i were detained. it should be a hong kong based journalist speaking to you today
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instead of me from vancouver but the sweeping national security law has sent a chill through the city i used to call home. not only journalists but virtually all professionals in hong kong operate in a cloud of fear and uncertainty. colleges including high school counselors are afraid to approach political topics, even during private counseling sessions. international engagement including the united nations or foreign governments as the commission knows is criminalized as collusion with foreign forces. and while people of chinese descent have always been the most vulnerable 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 and hong
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kong without further endangering other people and themselves. appear to be most concerned about support from americans for hong kong's pro democracy movement. many experts have noticed that past and present american politicians bear some responsibility for unnecessarily stoking tensions for irresponsibly nonfaction rhetoric on china. the research on my book shows how ordinary people like scientists and students usually suffer the most when u.s./china relations degenerate. needless anti-communist rhetoric only distracts from and can even discredit legitimate facts and findings about beijing's human rights abuses. but today, i would like to focus on a question of whether any democracy could survive in hong kong. i have spent countless hours as a reporter navigating massive crowds of over a million
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protesters at times, calling for voting rights. i have listened to the hopes and dreams of hong kongers from so many ages and backgrounds. now, it's unclear if large protests have anything to gain. most of the city's well known pro democracy leaders, including the old guard, as well as youth like joshua wong are in jail. last month on september 8th, the national security department arrested four more members of the hong kong alliance. this was a group that had organized the annual june 4th rally in memory of the tiananmen square massacre for decades. 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 kongers voted
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to narrow the field of potential pro democracy candidates who were speaking in the city's legislature, which is semidemocratic. this was meant to increase the chance of having pro democratic lawmakers in office. but hong kong security chief said the police operation was needed because the election organizers were seeking to paralyze the hong kong government by winning a majority in the legislature. so far, only four teams up to 47 defendants are released on bail awaiting trial. those who remain in jail, include claudia mo, a former journalist for international media. a student in canada who has been a pro democracy member since 2012. hong kong's high court cited communications with foreign journalists on whatsapp as a reason to deny her bail. steven butler, the committee to protect journalists asia program coordinator said this court
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decision marks yet another assault on basic freedoms of expression in hong kong. the idea that a person's texts and interviews with mainstream international press outlets like the bbc, "wall street journal," is evidence of subversion is absurd, and this will create severe opticals for journalists in hong kong who are just reporting the news, he said. my research examined how beijing's bid for control over hong kong is part of a wider picture. the same set of party and state agencies, such as the united front department, and ministry of state security responsible for putting pressure on civil society groups and political entities in hong kong for decades has a similar mission all around the world. including in canada and the u.s. where we've seen a lot of pressure on people to self-sensor and self-criticize china even when they're foreign citizens. in a conversation i had with a
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claudia mo several years ago, she said to get a sense of what's in store for other countries where china wants to suppress freedom of expression. the national observer should pay close attention to what should happen in hong kong. when economic inducements didn't work to win the hearts and minds of hong kongers, this gave way to widespread persecution and the use of new laws. meanwhile, hong kong elections have never been fully free, even though the right to universal suffrage is enshrined in the basic laws. recently electora rules will keep, and a new vetting committee which is convoluted, an additional layer of betting on top of what is previously, will make it easy to bar any candidate being as critical of beijing. the remaining opposition politicians in hong kong who
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aren't in jail, face a real real lose lose situation. should they boycott the upcoming december elections, in order to avoid legitimacy to the system or should they run in the election anyways, to hang to any ability they have to represent the views of the majority of hong kongers who support democracy. everyone i've spoken to in hong kong is feeling a sense of hopelessness. they worry that the increasely complex legal methods to dismantle civil society piece by piece, one arrest after another, the world will stop understanding and stop caring about what is going on. i think the commission is doing the right thing by hearing a range of expert and insider views on the state of civil and political rights in hong kong. thank you, again, for this opportunity to testify. >> thank you so very much for your testimony and for joining us, and i hope you can stay with us as we go into the questioning
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phrase. i would like to now recognize pastor chan from the u.k. >> hello, yes, thank you for all of your invitations. my name is roy chan, the former pastor of good neighbor church in hong kong. during the social movement that began in 2019, our church were committed to helping young people in need such as setting up for children, volunteers to provide humanitarian support at the demonstration sites. and support food and psychological cancelling. this is stated under bible teachings. on december of 6, 2020, my
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church charity accounts as well as the personal account of me and my wife were holden, on the next day, the hong kong police prosecuted us for money laundering. they arrested the church accounting staff, and reassigned directors and also general order to me and my spouse. my church disbanded in may of this year. there's no money. in danger of being blamed by nsl, and my wife and my family have been seriously affected since then. it is a city that the hong kong government had answered similarly to the ccp.
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economic crimes to suppress the distance. anti-government people. now we have to stay in the u.k. and as we're doing a church name, good neighbor church england. we help to speak up for places that are suffering and under oppression of the ccp. and today, the religious freedom in hong kong is being suppressed. quite a number of pastors who support human rights and freedoms are moving to the u.k. from hong kong to the nsl. one of the stories the former
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pastors, church pastor, has given speeches about the political situation in hong kong for a few years. after the implementation of nsl, after one gathering that he would be reported, nsl. he has also been a few times with people restricting his home. he has therefore decided to move to the u.k. in february this year to protest. besides the hong kong pastors network has published their hong kong 2020 declaration supporting the fight for justice.
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after nsl has come into effect this declaration has been accused by the state's own media. that's nsl. then hong kong pastors network has been disbanded in september this year. not only my former church, good neighbor church but another church, hong kong, which has been activity -- fighting for human rights, and freedoms what also disbanded in june this career. it is the disbanded church and other effects of nsl.
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when it comes to nsl, church and individuals would have a great threat for the criminal liability and difficulty in getting resources allocated. this is what nsl, the hong kong religions and christians. that is the end of my sharing. thanks a lot. >> thank you so very much, pastor chan, and i'm so sorry for you and your congregation for the injury and suffering you have endured but thank you for bearing witness to that truth here today. i would like to recognize samuel chu for his comments. >> thank you, mr. smith, and thank you for having been an unwavering ally and friend to me personally but also to the people of hong kong over the
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past decade plus. and in your whole career, chairman mcgovern and other commissioners listening, thank you for the opportunity to testify told. i want to second all the words and points that have been made by my esteemed cleanings in this panel. i don't want to repeat what they said, but as you might have noticed, both professor david and mr. clifford referenced a statue that they are both familiar with. the pillar of shame is a 26 foot high towering sculpture. it depicts twisting and screaming anguish phrases and forms representing those who were cut down by the people's liberation army and the chinese government in tiananmen square in 1929. the sculpture was first displayed during the annual june 4th vigil organized in 1977,
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just before the handover. when it was first erected, the sculpture served not only as a public symbol but the canary in the coal mine. would there still be freedom of speech in hong kong? >> will hong kong remain unchanged for 50 years as promised, and would beijing really allow the ongoing public commemoration and tiananmen. and so is the statue, the sculpture for the past 24 years on the grounds of the university of 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 tiananmen memorial on chinese soil. last week, the university of hong kong sent a letter to the hong kong alliance stating that
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the sculpture must be be removed by yesterday, wednesday, october 13th at 5:00 p.m. hong kong time or he'll be deemed abandoned and removed. albert ho who is a former legislature, past chair of the democratic party and a long serving chair of the hong kong alliance explained about the statues in this way in 2018. any attempt to remove the pillar of shame would symbolize a complete stripping of the university's freedom of speech and expression. the pillars standing here symbolizes not only the fight for freedom and democracy but an even more fundamental thing, the freedom of expression. so i think no one will dare count the core values. free speech, free expression, and free research are most important. if even these freedoms are gone, then the university should be
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closed down. if the sculpture is indeed removed in the coming days, albert ho would not have a chance to see it himself. he's now serving as a political prisoner, for exercising his freedom of assembly. what beijing has done in hong kong requires not only the police force, and their apparatus, their security force but often the consent and collaboration of private and international business. in the effort to remove the sculpture as mr. clifford referred, the president of the university of hong kong, an american citizen, hired mayor brown, an american law firm founded in chicago to carry out the task. mayor brown looked instead in a statement that we were merely asked to provide a special service on a real estate matter or a long time client.
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our legal advice is not intended as commentary on current or historical events. they join a long list of enablers of human rights atrocities in history but they're certainly not the first or the last. ton pacific, the hong kong airlines made headlines in 2019 when it fired employees for voicing their political views. employees were called to interrogation where they were confronted with screen shot of their facebook and twitter and social media postings that were deemed to be sympathetic to the protests and fired immediately on the spot. four of the world's largest accounting firms, pwc, deloitte, kpmg and ey issued a statement denouncing a full page ad supporting the protests that were paid for by a group of their own employees. more troubling is when businesses like mayor choose to
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or recruiting force into the law of the hong kong government. you heard the testimony of roy, his account of his wife and church. hsbc did the same to ted hoy and his family who fled hong kong. in may, wigs.com web service to take down a web site linked to pro democracy activists, and thousands of requests have been made by the authorities of tech companies, u.s. tech companies for personal and private data on protesters. the absence of the people's liberation army and the tank like tiananmen square or the bash wires, does not mean that the crack down in hong kong has been any less brutal.
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the tools are different: but the results have been the same. as professor davis, experted expressed concerns about another leader, on charges of incitement on subversion and a quote unquote foreign agent. they warned, the expert did, terrorism sedition charges are being improperly used to stifle the exercises of fundamental rights, protected under the international law, including freedom of education presentation and opinion. freedom of peaceful assembly and the right to participate in public affairs. i urge the u.s. and this commission, and this body and the members to respond powerfully and quickly. to hold those responsible like chris sang and john lee, the civil rights in hong kong for
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targeted sanctions, and ongoing public condemnation, i strongly urge the commission and commissioners to adopt and highlight the plights of political imprisonment, of jimmy lie, gweneth ho and many others. and that commissioner demands u.s. and international businesses like mayor brown, the law firm, who operates in the u.s. to answer for their complicity in the crack down in hong kong and the mainland. so as we sit here today at this moment, the pillar of shame still stands at hong kong 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 and apt metaphor to the current state of civil and political rights in hong kong than the
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face of the pillar of shame. its creation and unveiling in 1977 was a touch stone for freedom in hong kong. its impending remove 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 much mr. chu for that eloquent and strong statement on behalf of those who are suffering in hong kong, including their basic human rights, the incarcerations that are just an abomination, all happening in the plain light of day, although what happens behind closed doors is anyone's guess, and we know this treatment is certainly part of
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what the chinese police do. so i thank you for that. i do have a few questions i would like to ask the distinguished panelists. mr. clifford you spoke about corporations. you all kind of referenced the problem of complicity with corporations. i do remember when bill clinton delinked human rights from trade on may 26th, 1994. i along with david bonyer, speaker pelosi, a member like me, just not in leadership yet. we joined together and criticized that delinking in a very powerful way saying let's trade. let's have engagement, but let's make sure that it is within conditions that respect the fundamental freedoms of people in all of china. we didn't think hong kong was the problem that it has been but hong kong could have been a great model what they could
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evolve them into. he linked them on friday afternoon. i did a press conference. c-span carried that press conference, may 26th, 1994 and i and others who spoke out there take the measure of the united states, and profits trump's human rights. we have not gotten them back ever since. so hopefully we'll have an opportunity to make that right for our complicity as well. but the corporations, if you could speak further on that, you know, right where the three of you gentlemen are sitting in february of 2016, i chaired a hearing with google, microsoft, yahoo and cisco, about their surveillance states. their complicity with the chinese party. coughing up names, identifiable information. a human rights activist, e-mail to new york about what you
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couldn't do. as tiananmen square remembrance rolled around. he got ten years in prison. he went to yahoo, what do you want, here's the list of names, all the personally identifiable information. after i swore them in, why, we were just following orders, chinese law, promulgated by the chinese communist party, and mr. clifford, you mentioned ibm and the nazis, before that hearing, that two weeks before, i read a book called ibm and the holocaust, which was a holiday footnoted book, how was it that the gestapo had well written lists of where jewish people were, it was because ibm had aided and abetted those atrocities being committed there, and that's what they're doing now when google and others aid and abet those kinds of terrible misdeeds. we got a call while the hearing
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was going on complaining that i was raising it. you show me anywhere in the book that you can contest the voracity of that. mr. chu talked about a couple of -- meijer brown, a lawyer with a law firm. we were asked to provide a specific services on real estate matters. terrible, how does he look himself on the mirror, and you talk about the big accounting firms, deloitte, and others, and so many others that have been complicit. we had a hearing on the olympics. i chaired one, and my friends and colleagues. i kept asking coca-cola about why aren't they speaking out. why aren't they trying to get a different venue for the olympics, and that's the bottom line. so could you talk about that.
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secondly, pastor chan, and any of you might want to speak to it. in december of 2018, i wrote an op-ed that the "washington post" published and i called it the world needs to stand against china's war on religion, and talked about religion where everything, whether you're muslim, christian or buddhist, name your belief system needed to comport with xi jinping's plan where everything is he wants it, a great deal of surveillance. it's gotten worse. pastor chan are experiencing what the mainland and the uyghurs with the genocide have experienced so long. i started the op-ed with a woman who told how in xinjiang she was
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being tortured and asked allah to take her life. she asked why are you doing this to me, and the torturer said because you're muslim and you're a uyghur. and who ordered that? we all know from the "new york times" and investigative journalist report, it's xi jinping, show no mercy. administrations all over the world and the free world realize the monstrous acts and deeds being committed each and every day by xi jinping, genocide as we meet. again on the religious freedom and pastor chan might want to speak to you. how do we get it so that a semblance of religious freedom is protected. right now, it's the worst it has been since mao, at least anybody
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ha provides information to us and if you could speak to facebook and twitter, i'll never forget when my very modest number of twitter exploded from a thousand or so to 26,000 when hong kong human rights and democracy passed and i'm concerned many of people who wrote glowingly, it was my bill, that that becomes part of the trail of evidence that is used against him. what is happening with facebook and twitter and if you could -- if i was president biden sitting here, what would you say to him? we know he's had conversations with xi jinping. we done know what he has said. we have been told in his february meeting that china, or hong kong, i should say, did come up. that's good. we would love to know the details. what would be your recommendation to him?
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seems to me, a much higher visibility. you know, you prioritize what you really speak to and are willing to put out for all to see. all done behind closed doors, xi jinping shakes his head, moves on and continues his atrocities. what would you say to the president as to what we should do, and maybe i'll start right here with the professor. >> thank you, mr. smith. you know, there was testimony the other day from a facebook whistleblower that essentially said that interest follows incentives, and we can say behavior follows interest. and so china has been responding to sanctions by passing an anti-sanctions law. and pushing back. and a lot of our actions have been unilateral, so we become easy targets. joanna chiu mentioned the united front, and they're very effective at targeting one
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country and rewarding another. so how do we create an incentive system that creates interest in our values. you know, it's interesting. we do that with corruption. we have rico. we do that with finance in various ways. we have laws on that. we even do it with the environment. but the core value of the united states, written into our constitution in the blood of our people for centuries, as professor, i have to say to my students, well, all of these human rights treaties don't really have a lot of enforcement available. basically, we do naming and shaming. so i think it is important, and i do not diminish the importance of having hearings supposedly naming and shaming, but it would be nice in this age when we see that we're facing a future of and it's written a lot about now, authoritarianism, china being a sort of leader there,
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versus the democracy. and give people like larry diamond writing about how, you know, democracies are surviving or not surviving and the sort of war between them. if this is our core value, can we build that into our laws, not just as a sanction tool, unilaterally, which will get equal push back, but build, look more comprehensively at how human rights should be a part of our foreign policy. not just as a kind of political statement but how it affects business. so the companies, their lawyers advise them that you shouldn't do this. because you're violating the law, and you can be held accountable, can be held accountable either by lawsuit or someone who's injured or by prosecution, if it's the criminal matter. so i think a lot more work has to be done that makes this system of incentives, puts it in
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place. ideally, it incentivizes people to behave, but when they done, there should be some cost involved. that's how law works, right. i think this is what we have to do more of. i find right now a lot of what we're trying to do with hong kong, i've worked on tibet issue as well for many years is like shouting into the wind, and the beijing regime just simply ignores it and then mobilizes and wins friends somewhere else to satisfy their business interest. so that's why the multilateral aspect has to be in the conversation. when president biden has his meetings over democracy, i think it should be more than three cheers for democracy. 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 we make those human
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rights treaties and the universal declaration that we signed on my birthday in 1948. i wasn't born yet. i'm born on december 10th. all 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. this is kind of my sense of where we're at, and we can get into the weaves as we go along. >> if i may, mr. chairman. thank you, again, for the work that you've done going back to the 1990s. i think the issue you mention of delinking human rights and trade was obviously in retrospect, a mistake, and i think if you were to provide a little bit of
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friendly advice to president biden, it might be that every time a u.s. official meets a chinese counter part, the issue of human rights is in the center. not just a box ticking kind of thing. the chinese proudly told us they gave us a list of 15 demands when wendy sherman was, we should be giving them prisoner lists. we need to raise the cost for the chinese. they want our cooperation on variety matters or they're not going to help us with let's say climate for example. secretary john kerry talking to them about human rights? he should be because this is a fundamental core american value. we are 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,
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is to rebring human rights back and make it a central part of u.s. foreign policy. i do agree with professor davis, of course we need to work more multilaterally. we're doing that of course with the quad and other issues militarily. let's join some of the democracies in asia, japan, south korea, taiwan. there are a lot of vibrant society that is also have issues with china. so let's try to bring them in. i do think, of course, that interests and incentives need to be aligned. and it needs to be in company's interests to do the right thing. we have the foreign corrupt practices act. that's cut down on corruption because companies can say 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
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to take a long-term view on these issues. ibm did pay a reputational cost for decades. i think we're doing companies like hsbc, and some of the other ones that have been alluded to a favor by not allowing them to do things that are stupid and things that are wrong and things that are immoral, and things that violate international law. it's too easy to get along and go along with the local boss who says we have to do this because we want to do business in china. it's a long standing client, so we want to help them with their real estate transaction. if it's backed up by law, it's easier for the companies to say, sorry, can't do that. maybe some companies need to decide. do we want to be in china or do we want to to be in america. god bless themment maybe some of them will decide in china. i'm sure there are a lot of opportunities there, but i don't
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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 a, you know a tech know fascist surveillance at a time -- state. that's what we're talking about. mr. chu, laid out what's happening in hong kong, you use a kind of veneer, and legal and administratetive procedures to accomplish a political end. it's not tanks, it's not concentration camps but gets the message across that you obey, you kneel to the emperor or else. how do we ensure our companies aren't funneling more money, more know how into china. we have to look into sanctions, like we did investments in china. and u.s. pension money to go into china. do we want the retirement savings of firemen, and teachers
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to be essentially funding and profiting out the chinese government. i'm sure that we do. so i guess i'll stop there. i think there is a lots more we can do on the sharp edge to counter the sharp edge of chinese power. we have soft power. we have human rights. we have values. we have the great ideals that we fought for in this country for more than 200 years, but we have to back that up with some 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 an asymmetric approach that does look at financial systems. i'll stop there. thank you. >> thank you so very much. >> i'll take a stab, and 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
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kong economy act. there were two parts to the reporting. there were individuals listed and human rights, and then there is the second report for which financial institutions are to be listed and reported by the state and treasury department. we now have had multiple reports on the hong kong economy act, no financial institutions have ever been list instead that report, and i think that authority exists and should be used for exactly this purpose. for every hsbc, pastor chan, and ted hoy's examples. there are many others. you heard from mr. clifford today about jimmy's overseas account in multiple states. almost all of them operate here in the u.s. the second point that i think is important is they know what they're doing. mayor brown, the law firm, i
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will point to the letter that they send. none of the attorneys who drafted the letter put their name on that letter. meaning they know that if we put their name on it, that it becomes history in the public record. and the bad part of i think the bully pulpit that the administration, the congress, the 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 about a journalist and nonprofit ngos, folks who left afghanistan who were frantically trying to delete pass codes and tweets, and pictures and others who contain information of folks who have helped americans, ngos international human rights
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groups in afghanistan, this is literally what is also happening in hong kong. and while we might not be able to change overnight the way in which these tech companies operate, these are many of them u.s. backed companies. they are american companies, and if we are able to say to american companies that they're not to export weapons of mass destruction or other forms of technology, why is it that they can export and share and make money off the technology in violations of human rights elsewhere. and then finally, to touch on your point about religion, i think what we have seen and what we will continue to see is that the beijing regime have a very strong proven tactic of equating any religious freedom as terrorism, and that's what you are seeing, now in hong kong.
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where pastors and churches that are deemed sympathetic, that 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. 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 much. would you like to comment? >> i would rather not comment on policy recommendations. 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 seen as foreign collusion or foreign interference. i recommend that the commission
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get the latest news from hong kong from the hong kong free press which is the best english language news source at this moment because a lot of publications in hong kong are under a lot of pressure to self-censure or they're being shut down. >> pastor chan? >> i'm sorry my english is bad, but maybe how to present is that not only is hong kong people, and also wee uyghurs tibet. yesterday, one company selling new weapons to the hong kong policemen. some kinds of pepper pray can that is new. i think we need a solid to stop tcp, to condemn their human
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rights when know human rights, no religion, freedom, no trading, no olympics, china products. when we're still trading, they will play olympic games, they will buy something making china these actions were eating the bloody bread. this is a very famous sentence in the hong kong people, so i think that we should pick real actions now. thank you. >> thank you, pastor chan. just a few final questions, and 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
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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, testimony written and submitted by hong kong watch ben rogers, that objection is made part of the record. he makes a couple of points in his testimony. i would just ask you if you can respond. one of them that we haven't focused on, and that's the participation of foreign judges that he says is increasingly untenable, while none of them are likely to be called on to handle massive security cases, their presence offers an increasingly corrupted legal system with the veneer of legitimacy. professor, do you have any comments on that? >> thank you for the question. there's one australian judge that did pull out. there was pressure on u.k. judges to do, so and they declined. it's a kind of catch 22, on the
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one hand they want to be there because of the very reason they were there, and that arrangement was made is that it was thought that having foreign judges would serve as a deterrent for local judges to give in to the pressure. because hong kong doesn't need more legal talent. it has plenty of that it's really about this deterrent effect. i think the u.s. has never been invited into this participation. it's only commonwealth, even though we have common law. this has been the situation, and i don't think any conclusion, but it seems to me that the second census, if there is one f this gets any worse, and we're going to see with these trials. right now, the verdict is still out. there's a lot of suspicion with these selection of judges, that
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the judges may be coopted, and no longer independent, and the accusations made against them may be as such, that they give into that, and there's a line to cross maybe we're waiting, you know being unduly optimistic, judges will hold their ground. so far it's been almost impabl -- impossible to do. 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 wanted to comment too? >> i think i wanted to ask that i think mr. rogers i think brings up a good point. another case to illustrate not only our foreign judges and mr. davis can correct me if i got the facts wrong that one of the local judges, some gentleman who
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during some of the protest trials that he was presiding over had actually acquit add number of protesters citing that the police were giving unreliable testimony in court, and he was blasted on the front page of pro beijing papers in hong kong saying this judge doesn't have any idea what he's doing. and he's a local judge, well respected, and after that whole event. just announced that he's taking early retirement, that he's moving with his wife and child to the u.k. i think that the pattern of which the judicial system has been coopted, i think is clear. to your point about there are definitely still many, again, i mentioned not just police officers who hold, for example,
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u.k. passports and citizenships, there are institutions, the president of the university of hong kong is an american citizen, and i think that it warrants us to take a closer examination and review, and i think that there are definitely a much more robust tracking needs to happen through the judicial independence and hong kong, not just when the cases are on the front page of the newspapers, but how the course, the personnel, the documents and proceedings are being manipulated and hidden from public view. >> can i add, i think this last point is very important. to track it, could be, they're independent and valued 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
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going the other direction with complicity and the regime's agenda. i think that's very important because i think we're going to see more resignations in tow of judges who don'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. >> i do have one final question, and it's been raised by ben rogers. safe harbor or safe haven laws, he goes and i think his point is well taken, it cannot be right that the u.s. congress continues to ignore the plight of hong kongers in desperate need of asylum, what should we be doing on that issue? should we be being much more welcoming in our law for them? >> i think so.
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i think we should also open the door more wideliment you know, there's always a big debate in this country about immigration, but we're all immigrants at the end of the day, pretty much, except for our native brothers and sisters: i think it's important. the policy generally has favored trying to attract talent to 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 that we know already that the president has said that people can stay longer who are hong kong, 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 palt.
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very specific thing. 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. >> thank you. i think we should be as welcoming as we can be. there are many talented people in hong kong who would like to stay. i mean, 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 if they have an american degree and borrowing a leaf out of the canadian book, perhaps more of a points based system or some other qualifications, just so many people in hong kong have so much to give, and if they choose they don't feel that they can give it in their native land, then let's welcome them into america, and we'll be stronger for it. i'm sad because we hate to see
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the brain drain, hate to give over to the mainlanders, if there's no future, and you have children that are going to be forced to kowtow to xi jinping and his leadership, why would you want your kids raised in hong kong. you have little kids goose stepping, and it's outrageous. we're a nation of immigrants, sometimes we're more welcoming, sometimes less, but this is a moment when there is an immediate need and we should be as welcoming and generous as we can possibly be. >>. i appreciate the opportunity to address this. i want to applaud the ccc commission for hosting and organizing next week's hearing 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 this is personal to me. my father helped rescue the
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tiananmen square dissidents, stepped up and provided humanitarian paroles in '89 and 1990, almost 400 were rescued because of the operation yellow bird that was started by the hong kong alliance which is now disbanded. i was sent away, actually, because of the fallout and the fear of retaliation here to the u.s. so i am an example of what that looks like if we welcome and when we welcome the activists and protester in hong kong. hong kong is a unique situation. unlike the refugee crisis we 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 jurisdiction and the control and the monitoring surveillance of hong kong. if they were to be under taking a long refugee review process, and then wait for that to come
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and be approved. the good thing about the retch gee status obviously is that -- as the chair and commission i think knows that i also worked at the state department to provide humanitarian parole for a number of individuals, including those who fled to tie taiwan via a speedboat last year. we need to be using programs, the parole program that allows individuals to leave as soon as possible. one of those applicants and without going into the details, in fact when we tried to transfer out of hong kong directly was arrested at his first attempt in trying to cross 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
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implemented or announced at least order for hong kongers 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 '89. we should have a similar pps and other form of protection that goes beyond the order, and we are still awaiting the department of homeland security to actually announce the details of the d.e.d. program. we're now two months actually beyond the announcement of the program but we have not seen any of the rules and the implementation. we need to do that, and a nudge from the commission and from the chair to the department of homeland security would be
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helpful, and finally, i think that we have to really be careful about this pushback that we often here, which is that if we let people in, the ccp is going to send their spy. i want to make it very clear again as i have done many times that the united states is an open, democratic society, and we have a strong vetting process in which refugee, asylum or any other visa process have to go through. and on a different note, i think that the ccp has found other ways to penetrate the u.s. than to actually use an asylum refugee program. i think part of holding up our values and countering is not just about the retaliatory primitive move of sanctions but to say that we're going to open
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up outdoors, we're not forcing any 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 we have on numerous occasions in the country opened our doors to those who have a well founded persecution, not just on an individual basis, but a larger basis, the boat people come to mind. my first human rights trip was to the soviet union in 1982 where we were providing that kind of assistance and parenthetically as well. one of my trips to hong kong, i went to detention center, a number of vietnamese at risk of being repatriated back, mostly people who fled vietnam after the fall of saigon, and we were able to turn around a decision to send them back that was as
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they closed out the cpa, the 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 shy jinping. if people want to come here, we should be welcoming them with open arms. >> i should add that in hong kong people are leaving. that's a very important part of this story and the schools that we got reports now that some, i don't know, i forget the figure, of these primary classes have been cancelled because students are leaving and going. they're sending children abroad. i raised my daughter in hong kong, and she's just got friends everywhere that are hong kongers, and they are abroad. my daughter just finished yale. here they are, they're in this country now because their parents recognized the risks their children faced and we need
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to recognize it too. >> may i add something. >> oh, of course. >> i would just like to echo samuel's concerns about the tours of refugees and asylum seekers, but to add on to that, even people of chinese or hong kong descent who have lived in north america for generations, they tell me they get their loyalty questioned all the time, myself, because of the way i look, and my name, even though i cover human rights so often, people have frequently accused me of being a stooj for the chinese communist party. meanwhile, structurally in government, think tanks, policy advisory boards, in many western countries, very few people of chinese or hong kong or macau descent. and i think policy will be very improved by listening to people's voices because these
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are our lived experiences. these are our families and places we grew up. our culture. so i think elevating these voices and addressing some of the racism, and xenophobia that leads to people choosing to not speak up because they're worried about having their loyalties questioned, i think that's a key part and consideration that the commission should keep in mind. thank you. >> thank you. would any of our panelists want to make any final comment or recommendation before we close? if not, i want to thank you for your extraordinary incisive testimony, your leadership, it really does help the congress to have people of your caliber, all five of you, providing the inputs of particularly some of the long standing work that you have done in hong kong. it's just extraordinary, so thank you. this hearing of the lantos
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commission is adjourned. [no aud]
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