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tv   Human Rights Advocates Testify on China Hong Kong  CSPAN  November 5, 2021 5:15am-7:10am EDT

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just got underway a few
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moments ago. >> looking back, once these
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courageous optimism and enthusiasm that could bring about substantive change. at that time, it was extraordinarily hard to get my congressional colleagues on both sides or the white house to see the gathering threat and existential threat to hong kong democracy and human rights post i the secretary of the chinese congress party -- communist party xi jinping. by way of contrast in 2019, that bill that passed the house had 47 bipartisan cosponsors including jim mcgovern. in 2014, far too many people in washington felt that hong kong with its greater freedom and free-trade principles would somehow bring china in a liberating direction.
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such hopes proved illusionary. just as some american 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. there are those who thought if there was a sentient into wto, they would practice rule of law more effectively. i had two hearings in this room that would counter that argument that we have to be careful they don't change the wto not the other way around. in march of 2019, the hong kong government proposed extraditing alleged criminals to china. raising fears that dissidents could be sent to mainland china.
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hong kong's government and the police force begin to closely resemble that of mainland china and its response to legitimate protests, speech, and assembly. powers awakened to the change and our human rights democracy act was put on the docket, was put on the house floor and it passed. it went to the senate and marco rubio got his bill passed and it all became law. that same day, jim mcgovern's bill placing restrictions on teargas exports and crowd control technology to hong kong also passed with me as the lead cosponsor. congress spoke with a unified voice. the trump administration gave a lot teeth declaring that hong kong was no longer sufficiently autonomous such as to warrant been treated --
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the trump administration also sanctioned key officials chinese government. 42 chinese government and police officials have been sanctioned pursuant to trump's executive order. more importantly, in many ways carrie lam was a figurehead, the trump administration sanctioned to individuals who are xi jinping's hatchet man. the secretary for security and the former secretary of security and current chief secretary. both of these men need to be better known throughout the world for the purposes of being held accountable. they more than anyone else except for xi jinping himself
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responsible for the demise of human rights in hong kong. beyond the names of those who should be called to task are those we must remember for their valiant defense of freedom. we are to remember the brave founder of apple daily. that beacon of free speech shut down in june of this year, assets frozen, and computers confiscated by the police. jimmy is now in jail brought to court in shackles while the court has yet to set a hearing date. jimmy is a man of deep faith, a fellow catholic, who could easily have fled to safety like the roughly 90,000 citizens who have left hong kong between june of 2020 and june 2021 because he was a rich man. he stayed in hong kong to stand with those who spoke for freedom. he has been stripped of his liberty, his home, traded for a
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jail cell. he stands unbroken. a testament to defiance in the face of tyranny. one of our distinguished witnesses today, a naturalized american citizen for nearly 25 years, has been accused of violating the national security law. which severely punishes types of activities. allies -- all as carrying a maximum sentence of life in prison. he states in his testimony today that the absence of the people's liberation army of rolling tanks or barbed wires and internment camps does not mean the crackdown has been any less brutal, swift, and complete. there are so many others we need
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to remember. we have seen former representatives while standing trial for practicing democracy. there journalists now in jail for practicing free speech indeed hong kong reportedly has more people in jail per capita than any other place on earth. we should say their names. [listing names] there are all in jail and so many others.
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for those journalists watching today, i urge you to share their names. freedom of the press is such an important right. we should not forget these heroic individuals. i sometimes believe that with the crush of business and global catastrophes and challenges, covid, somehow hong kong can get squeezed out of our focus and that has not changed. we have to give it back to standing in solidarity with the oppressed and not the oppressor. the media, i call on you to lift up your voices. we cannot let the tyranny of xi jinping and the communist party stifled the flame of freedom that is in the hearts of the people of hong kong. i would like to yield to jim mcgovern, cochairman of the
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commission. >> i welcome everyone to this tom lantos human rights commission. 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 have known and we all appreciate his leadership. we approached this hearing in a mood of sadness. we have watched the chinese central government tightened its grip on the free and open spirit of hong kong. we have witnessed authorities who shudder institutions of democracy and free expression. we have seen our friends jailed to silence their voices while others have fled to exile to allow the voices to be heard. it is these voices that preserve hope and remind us that hong
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kong cannot be wiped away by dutch today, we welcome a status report and recommendations for what policy makers in the u.s. and other countries can do to address the erosion of human rights. in the last two years, congress has passed the hong kong autonomy act and the protect hong kong act which are introduced. pursuant to these authorities, hong kong is no longer sufficiently autonomous to warrant differential treatment and imposed sanctions on government officials complicit in undermining economy, democracy, and rights. what more can we do to try to change behavior? can we move to revoke hong kong's distinct wto status as its own customs territory? can we leverage the spotlight of the 2022 beijing winter lepic's? the commission on china which are also cochair asked the ioc
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to postpone and relocate the games if the host chinese government did not let up on the uighurs in hong kong. they refused. we asked the olympic corporate sponsors -- they refused. we owe it to not dignify the stain on the beijing olympics. 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 people of hong kong aspire to and that the people of the chinese government are taking away our universal values. one thing we can do is provide
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humanitarian assistance to those fleeing. we will hold a hearing next tuesday and i welcome any thoughts are witnesses have on these bills. i want to say, we have a rules committee meeting at 2:30 unfortunately. i am eagerly awaiting any recommendations you have on actions that we might take. i thank you and i thanked the chair and i yield back. >> thank you. it is a pleasure and an honor to work side-by-side with you on these important issues. i would like to yield to mr. kim. while we wait, test >> i think mr. kim --
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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 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.
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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 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.
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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 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
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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 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
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this hearing, but i am pleased to participate. >> we can't hear you. >> can you hear me now? >> yes. 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.
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there was vibrancy, freedom -- >> we lost you again. bad connection, perhaps? >> can you hear me now? 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.
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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 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.
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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 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,
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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 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
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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 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.
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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. 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.
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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. 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.
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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.
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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 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
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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. 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
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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 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.
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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. 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
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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. 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.
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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. 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
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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. 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.
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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 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
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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 , 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.
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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. 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.
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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 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
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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 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,
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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 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.
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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. 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
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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 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.
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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 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
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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. 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
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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 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.
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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 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
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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. 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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. 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.
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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 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.
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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 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.
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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 ally -- an unwavering ally to the people of hong kong over the last decade plus. to the commissioners listening, thank you for the opportunity today.
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i want to second all of the words and points that have been made by my esteemed colleagues. i do not want to repeat what they have said, but as they you have noticed, they have referenced a statue that they are both very familiar with. the pillar of shame is a 26 baha'i towering sculpture by danish artist that depict 50 twisting and screaming faces and forms representing those who were cut down by the people's liberation army chinese government in tiananmen in 1989. this culture was first displayed publicly by a in 1997. -- a vigil in 1997. when it was first erected, it served as a public symbol and a canary in the coal mine ahead of
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what came on july 1. with their still be freedom of speech hong kong? will hong kong remain unchanged for 50 years as promised? would beijing really allow the ongoing commemoration of tiananmen after taking over? this statue and sculpture have stood for 24 years on the grounds of the university of hong kong. every single year, actavis would gather to watch -- wash the car -- sculpture. it is the last remaining memorial on chinese soil. last week, the university of hong kong send a letter stating that the sculpture must be removed by yesterday. wednesday, october 13 at 5 p.m. hong kong time, or it would be deemed abandoned and removed. a former legislator and past
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chair of the democratic party, and the last serving chair of the hong kong alliance explained the statue this way in 20. any attempt to move the pillar of shame would symbolize a complete stripping of the university's freedom of speech and expression. the pillar standing here symbolizes not only the fight for freedom and democracy, but even more fundamentally, the freedom of expression. i think no one will dare to doubt this core value. i hope the university understands that free speech, free expression, and free research are most important. if these freedoms are gone, then the university should be closed down. the sculpture is indeed removed, we would not have a chance to see it as an out serving as a
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political prisoner, exercising a freedom of assembly. beijing has done this in hong kong, and it requires not only the believers and an apparatus's security force, but also the consent and collaboration of private and international businesses. in an effort to remove the sculpture, the president of the university of hong kong, professor son ching, an american citizen, hired mayor brown, founded in chicago, to carry out the task. mayor brown said we were merely asked to provide a special service on a real estate matter. this was for a long time client. our legal advice does not intend as commentary on current or historical events. they join a long list of enablers of human rights
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atrocities and histories. they are certainly not the first or less. the hong kong airline made headlines in 2019 when employees voiced their political views and employees were called into interrogations, they were flooded with screenshots of their facebook and social media postings that were sympathetic to the protest and fired on the spot. for the largest accounting firms, including ey, issued a statement denouncing a full-page ad supporting the protest. it was paid for by a group of their own employees. more troubling is when businesses like mayor brown choose to recruit or enforce the law on behalf of the hong kong government. the testimony of the pastor earlier shows us an account
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where they did the same to legislative employees and families who have fled hong kong and live in exile. in may, hong kong employees said they would take down a website link to pro democracy actavis. -- activists. personal and private data from protest. the absence of the people's liberation army and their tanks, like they were in tiananmen square and the barb wire and interment camps like we see do not mean that the crackdown hong kong has been any less brutal and complete. they both are different, but the results have been the same. as professor davis mentioned, a group of human rights activists experts repressed -- expressed
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concerns about the capture of an alliance leader. with charges of being a foreign agent. they warned that terrorism is being improperly used to exercise fundamental rights which are protected under international law, including freedom of expression and opinion, freedom of peaceful assembly, and the right to participate in public affairs. i urge this commission and body as members to respond powerfully and quickly to hold those responsible, as has been mentioned, for depriving human rights and hong kong with sanctions and hong kong with sanctions in public condemnations. i strongly urge the commission and commissioners to adopt and highlight the plights of political prisoners.
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there are many others. that commissioner demand international businesses, like mayor brown, the law firm. operate in the united states to answer for the complicity in the crackdown in hong kong. and the mainland. for your today at this moment, the pillar of shame still stands at hong kong university. in fact, hundreds of journalists have been keeping watch over the statue around-the-clock since the news broke that it was going to be removed. there might not be a more timely symbol of the state of political rights and hong kong than the fate of the pillar of shame. it is created and unveiled in 1997, a touchstone for freedom in hong kong, and its impending removal and destruction might as
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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 them alive. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you so very much mr. chiu. a very eloquent and strong statement. on behalf of those who are suffering in hong kong, including the basic human rights and the incarcerations which are just an abomination. all happening in the light of day. although what is happening behind closed doors is anyone's guess, and we know that this treatment is certainly part of what the chinese police do. i thank you for that. i have a few questions i would like to ask our panelist. you spoke about corporations and you referenced the problem with
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complicity in corporations. i remember when bill clinton returned in may 26, 1994. i along with david bonior, frank wilson, speaker pelosi, who was a member like me, just not in leadership then, she was nine leadership, we all joined together and criticized the delinking in a very powerful way, saying, let's trade. let's have engagement. let's make sure it's with conditions that respect the fundamental freedoms of people all china, we do not think it would become a problem, but it was a great model of what they could evolve into. they delinked completely, and we had a conference, and c-span was with us there as they are today, and that was may 26, 1994. i and others spoke out then, that they have taken out a
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measure, with human rights. we have not gotten them back, ever since. hopefully we will have an opportunity to make that right for our complicity as well. for the corporations, if you could speak further on that. right where the three of you are sitting, in february of 2006, i chaired a hearing with google, microsoft, yahoo!, and cisco, about their surveillance and complicity with the chinese communist party in copying up -- coughing up names and identifiable information. in yahoo!'s, a humans rights activists sent in email to new york about what you could not do, in tiananmen square, remembers rollaround. he got 10 years in prison. they went to yahoo! and yahoo! said sure, what do you want? here is list of names. personally identifiable information.
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when i swore them in, they said they were following orders. chinese law. propagated by the chinese, his party. -- chinese communist party. the ibm and holocaust book is a powerful, heavily footnoted book talking about how we could've stopped with a list of where jewish people were. it was because ibm had aided and abetted those atrocities being committed then, and that is what they are doing now. google and others are aiding and abetting that kind of terrible misdeed. we got a call about a hearing -- while the hearing was going on about complaints we were raising. you show me anywhere in the book where you can test the veracity of it. the complicity of u.s. corporations, and mr. chiu talks about a couple of them.
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mayer brown, a lawyer. we were asked to provide a specific service, on real estate , and talk about it. it was a terrible -- i mean, how does he look himself in the mirror. we talk about accounting firms, and there are so many others that have been callista -- complicit. we had a hearing on the limbic's recently. i chaired one of them. might -- might colleagues -- my colleagues. i talked to coca-cola about why they are not speaking out? wire that try to find a different venue for the lipids? the answers are horrible. that was the bottom line. it is the bottom line. can you talk about that? pastor chen, and may be any of you will speak to it, in december of 2018, i wrote an op-ed that the washington post
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published, saying the world needs to stand against china's war on religion. talk about the dissemination of religion, where, if you are muslim, christian, or buddhist, your belief system needed to comport with xi jinping's civilization plan and everything he wants, with a great deal of surveillance that goes along with it. it has only gotten worse. pastor chen and others in hong kong are experiencing what the uighurs and the genocide has been for so long. there was an op-ed with a woman who said that, a muslim woman, she was being tortured and she asked all it to take her life. -- paula -- all of -- a law --
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allah to take her life. it was said it was because she was muslim. xi jinping himself said, show no mercy. i hope the world, this administration, and musicians all over the world, the free world, relies the mantras -- realize the monstrous acts being committed as we meet. pastor chen might want to speak to it. how do we get into some semblance of religious freedom that is protected? it is the worse it has been since mao zedong. at least according to many of my people who provide information to us. finally, if you could also speak to facebook and twitter. i will never forget when my very modest number of twitter followers exploded from a
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thousand to 26,000 when the hong kong human rights democracy act passed. now i am concerned that many of those people who wrote glowingly of congress passing out legislation, it was my bill that passed in the house, that that becomes part of the trail of evidence that is used against them. what is happening with facebook and twitter, and if you could -- i was president biden sitting here, what would you say to him? we know he has had conversations with xi jinping. we do not know what he has said. we have been told in february that china, hong kong did come up. that is good. but we would love to know the details. what would be your recommendation to him, because it seems to me, honestly, we need much higher visibility. it speaks to being willing to put out for all to see, behind closed doors, xi jinping shakes
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his head and moves on with atrocities. what would you say to the president as to what we should do? we will start right here. >> thank you, mr. smith. there was testimony the other day from a facebook whistleblower that said that interests follows incentives. we can say, behavior follows interest. china, responding to sanctions by passing a law and pushing back, and a lot of our actions have been lateral. we become easy targets. one of our, joanna chu mentioned a united front. they are very effective at targeting one country and rewarding another. how do we create an incentive system that creates interest in our values. we do that with corruption.
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we have rico. we do that with finance. we have various ways we have laws with that. we even do that with the environment. but the core value of the united states is written into the constitution and the blood of our people for centuries. as a professor, i have to tell my students, well, all of these human right treaties do not have a lot of enforcement available, and basically we do naming and shaming. it is important, but i do not diminish the importance of hearings and exposing naming and shaming. but it would be nice in this age where we see that we are facing a chair of a -- on authoritarianism and china as a leader there, versus democracy. we get people writing about how democracy survives or not survived, and if this is our
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core value, we build that into our laws, not just as sanctions which are unilateral acts which will get people pushed back into law, but billed more comprehensively and how human rights should be a part of our policy. not just as a kind of political statement, but how it affects business. companies, the lawyers advise them that you shouldn't do this. you are violating the law. you could be held accountable. you could be held accountable on a lawsuit by someone who was injured or by prosecution if it is a criminal matter. a lot more work has to be done. it incentivizes people to behave. that is how law works. but we have to do is more,
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because i-5 right now, a lot of what we are trying to do with hong kong and tibet, and i have worked on tibet issues as well for many years. it is like shouting into the wind. the beijing regime simply ignores it and mobilizes and wins friends somewhere else to satisfy their business interest. that is why a multilateral aspect has to be in the conversation. when we hold meetings over democracy, 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 descent devise -- descent devise -- d incentivize the universal declaration that we signed on my birthday in 1948. i was not born come but i was born on december 10, and all of my students know that.
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i was meant to be human rights professor. how can we make that real? that is the question we really have to spend a lot of time on. now, we are confronting a serious challenge in this regard. from democracy, it is flawed. some of this work begins at home. this is the fence of where we're at, as we go along. >> if i may, mr. chairman. thank you for the work you do. going back to the 1990's, the issue you mentioned of delinking human rights and trade, obviously in retrospect, that was a mistake. a little bit of friendly advice to president biden, every time u.s. official meets a chinese
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official, human rights has to be central. not just a checklist, but there. the chinese told us how they gave us a list of 15 demands when wendy sherman was in china. we should be giving prisoner lists. we need to raise the cause for the chinese. they want our cooperation on various matters or they will not help us with something. john kerry isa talk to them about human rights. he should be. this is a fundamental, core american value. we are not perfect any means, but this is something the rest of the world looks to us for. we have work to do at home. that should not stop us from doing work abroad. that is the first thing. re-human rights back and make it central. professor davis is right. we need to work multilaterally. we are doing that with the quad
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and other issues, militarily, but let us join with some of the democracies in asia -- japan, south korea, taiwan. there are vibrant societies that have issues with china. let's bring them in. we do have interests and incentives that need to be aligned, and it needs to be in companies interests to do the right thing. we have a foreign corrupt practices act. that is cut down on corruption because company -- countries can say, i am an american company i don't want the department of justice going after me. can we have something similar on human rights. i don't know. we cannot count on companies to take a long-term view on these issues. it is interesting that ibm was unhappy with you, because they did pay a reputational cost for many decades. i think we are actually doing
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companies like hsbc and others that have been alluded to, a favor, by not allowing them to do things that are stupid and things that are moral, and things that of -- violate international law. it is too easy to get along and go along with a local boss who says we have to do this because we want to do business in china, it is a long-standing client, so we want to help them with real estate transaction. the sort of thing. by law, that makes it easier for the company to say sorry, i cannot do that. some companies need to decide, do we want to be in china or do we want to be in america rated god bless them. -- america. god bless them. i don't understand how companies that are going to be under the umbrella of the american legal system and the american constitutional system should also be allowed to prosper by helping enable a techno-fascist surveillance state.
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that is what we are talking about. this are two very eloquently said what is happening in a hong kong using what i would call law fair. you use administrative procedures to accomplish a clinical and. it is not a legal system. it is not a concentration camp, but it gets the message across that you obey and you answer to the emperor else. how do we ensure that our companies are not funnily -- funneling more money into china? we need to look at sanctions, just as we had divestment in south africa. we need to look at the role of index providers in essentially enabling u.s. pension money to go into china. do we want retirement savings a fireman and teachers to be propping up the chinese government. i'm not so sure that we do. i will stop there. but i think there is a lot more
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we can do on the sharp edge to counter the sharp edge of chinese power. we have human rights, we have values, we have great ideals that we file for this country for more than 200 years. but we have to back that up with some sharp power and not just in the tanks and the navy, because this is a different world and we need to look at an asymmetric approach that does look at the financial system. i will stop there. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> i will give some of my observations. it is really important to take a closer look at the financial institutions. one, we supported, and i know you are a supporter of the hong kong act. there were two parts reporting. there were individuals complicit. then there was the second report which financial institutions are to be lifted and reported to the
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treasury department. we have had multiple reports on the hong kong act. no financial institutions ever been listed in that report. that exists and should be used for exactly this purpose. for every hsbc, pastor chen, examples, there are menus that are not reported. you heard about the oversea account for multiple things. many of them operate in the united states. second point that is important is that they know what they are doing. mayor brown, the law firm, i will point to the letter they sent. the attorneys who drafted the letter did best.
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they meet --. they know that this becomes public record. that is part of the bully pulpit. this administration, this congress, this commission, individual members continue to wield in support and holding accountable those who are complicit. to your point about twitter, i recently was reading a story about journalism, nonprofit ngos who left afghanistan which involve tweets and pictures that contained information about folks who helped americans ngos when they were taking power. this is literally what is happening in hong kong. while we might not be able to change overnight, the way which
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the company operates, 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 are not able to explore mass destruction and other forms of technology, why are we able to explore making money off of other technologies in violations of human rights elsewhere? finally, i want to touch on your point about religion. what we are seeing and what we will continue to see is that the beijing merging -- regime have a strong and proven tactic of equating any religious freedom is terrorism. that is what we are seeing. now in hong kong, pastors churches which are deemed sympathetic, and even just showing up and having prayer vigils, publicly, are deemed as
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a threat to the state. that is how we need to call it out. that is what we need to label it. that is what we need to do to confront it. thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you better -- very much. would you like to comment? >> i would rather not comment on policy recommendations, just to -- but i would recommend as much information as possible because the risk of any action being seen as foreign illusion or foreign interest, i recommend that the commission get the latest views on hong kong from the hong kong free press which is the best language to stores at the moment. a lot of publications in hong kong are under a lot of pressure were being shut down.
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>> thank you. pastor chen. >> yes. i am sorry. my english is bad, but not only are hong kong people and uighurs , yesterday, a company sold a new weapon to hong kong policeman. pepper spray, and again, it is new. i think that we need solid action to stop or condemn human rights. with the ccp, no human rights. no freedom. we should not be trading things in china products.
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when they build with the ccp, the olympic games are making china see its actions for taking bloody bread from the society. this is a sentence for the hong kong people. i think we should take real and solid action now. thank you. >> thank, pastor chen. a couple of final questions, and i will thank you for your leadership over decades for all of our distinguished witnesses and for being here today. it is most helpful, and we will do everything we can to follow up in a bipartisan way, and there is a lot of sincere concern that we have not done enough, particularly, of late. without objection and testimony, written and submitted by hong
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kong watch, make a part of the record, he makes a couple of points, but just asking if you can respond. one of them -- we have not focused on this. the participation of foreign judges. it is increasingly untenable. they will handle massive security cases. their presence offers an increasingly corrupted legal system. there is an air of legitimacy. do you have any comments on that? >> thank you for the question. there is one australian judge that did call out -- there was a professor -- pressure on u.k. judges, and they declined. it is a kind of catch-22. on the one hand, they want to be there for a very good reason they were there. but that arrangement was made, and it was thought that having foreign judges would serve as a deterrent or -- for local judges
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to give in. they have plenty of legal talent. it is really about the deterrent effect. the united states has never been invited into this participation. it is only the commonwealth, even though we have common law. this has been the situation, and i don't think anyone has come to a conclusion, but it seems to me that the second sense is, if there is one, is that if it gets any worse, and we are going to see with these trials, because there is a lot of suspicion with these selections of charges, designated judges under the end -- nsl, and they are no longer cooperative in the accusations against them. they may give into that. i think there is a feeling that there is a line to cross, maybe we are waiting unduly optimistic
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, but judges will hold their ground because so far, it has been almost impossible for them to do so. this is the murky space that this is at right now. i think there is a point. people will start to turn the other way. that has not happened. >> does this applied to police officers as well? >> i think, mr. rogers, makes a good point, but another case to illustrate. you can correct me if i have my facts wrong. one of the local colleges, a magistrate, during the protests around that he was reciting over -- presiding over, he equated protesters, stated the police gave unreliable testimony in court.
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he was blacklisted on the front page of the beijing papers in hong kong, saying that this judge does not have any idea what he is doing. here is a local judge to his well-respected and after that whole event last week, the judge announced that he is taking early retirement. he is moving with his wife and child to the kingdom. immediately. the pattern of the judicial system has been co-opted. it is clear. to your point, there are definitely still many, again, i mentioned, not just police officers who hold, for example, united kingdom passports and citizenship, their institutions, as i mentioned, the president of the university of hong kong right now is an american citizen. i think that it warrants us to
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take a closer examination, and there are definitely much more robust tracks that need to happen in the judicial independence in hong kong. not just when the cases are on the newspaper, but how the courts and personnel and the documents and proceedings are being manipulated and hidden from public view. >> can i add? this last point is very important. to track it, it could be, i think a lot of judges in the past sheriff's -- cherished their independence and value the rule of law. it is important they feel they can guard that and there is some kind of pressure going the other direction from that of complicity with the regime's agenda. so, we are going to see more
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resignations and so on of judges who don't buckle under this kind of pressure. it is good that we find a way to help them. just look at the corporate social responsibility to help companies not to misbehave by creating creat -- correct incentives. >> one final question, and it has been raised. safe haven laws are being hosed, and it is well taken. u.s. congress continues to ignore the plight of hong kong gutters who are in desperate need of asylum. what she would be due? it should be west for welcoming in our law. >> we should also open the door more widely. there is a big debate in this country about immigration, but we are all immigrants at the end of the day, pretty much, except
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for our native brothers and sisters. i think it is important, and as an immigration policy, it favors trying to attract talent. hong kong is a hotbed of talent. get the talent here. one of the things canadians have done, we know already that the president said people have stayed longer who are hong kong studying in america. it is worth doing to open the door to hong kong there's -- hong kong citizens who have a path to living and working in america and gaining citizenship. the first step was taken by the president, but i think there is more on that act. pretty specific things because one of the things, a lot of the suggestions we are making are not going to have an impact, but people right now need immediate help. immigration is a very important path.
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>> thank you. >> i would second professor davis's remarks. 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. do you go? do you stay? i respect whatever an individual decides, but if someone wants to come to america and they have an american degree or, borrowing a leaf out of the canadian book, a point based system or some other occasion, so many people in hong kong have so much to give. if they do not feel they can give it, in their native land, let's welcome them to america and we will be stronger for it. i am sad, because we hate to see a brain drain out of hong kong. we would hate to give it over to the mainlanders, but there is no future, and if you have children who are going to be forced to kowtow to xi jinping and his leadership, why would you want
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your children raised in hong kong? you have little kids goose-stepping. it is outrageous. as professor davis said, we are a nation of immigrants. this is a moment when there is an immediate need, and we should be as welcoming ended's generous -- and as generous as we can possibly be. >> i appreciate the opportunity to address this. i want to applaud the ccp commission for hosting and organizing next year's -- next week's appearance specifically. i get a chance to give some of my thoughts on this. as you know, this is personal to me. my mother helped rescue dissidents in 1989. the united states stepped up and provided a hermione -- humanitarian role with almost 400 dissidents who were rescued because of the operation and cooperation.
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that was started by the hong kong alliance. i was sent away because of the fallout and the fear of retaliation here in the united states. i am an example of what that looks like. if we welcome the activists and protesters in hong kong, i want to say that hong kong is a unique situation. for example, unlike many of the refugees, we see that it is not the case that hong kong there's are not waiting, at least by enlarged in a third country. not a refugee camp. they are still under the jurisdiction and control and monitoring surveillance of hong kong. it is undertaking a long refugee review process, and waiting for that to come. it will be approved. good thing about the refugee status is that it comes with support. but it might not actually help those who are in immediate danger. as the chair and commissioner -- commissioner note, i work with
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the state department to provide humanitarian approval for a number of individuals including those who have fled taiwan, by speedboat last year. we need to be using the existing program which can benefit the program that can allow these individuals to leave as soon as possible. one of those applicants, without going into details, and in fact, we try to transfer out of hong kong directly, they were arrested in their first attempt to cross at customs at the airport. the need is urgent, and i would encourage that we continue to open up new avenues. the administration has already implemented, the third enforcement deportation order already here. it provides a temporary 18 month protection to those who are facing deportation.
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more has to be done. we need to grant longer, more sustainable status to those who are here, just like we did after panama and 89. we should have a similar gps and other form of protection that goes beyond the order. we are still awaiting the department of homeland security to actually announce that the program is two months beyond the announcement of the program, but we have not seen any of the rules that implementation -- need to do that. not just for the commission, but for the chair. it would be helpful. finally, i think that we have to really be careful about the pushback that we often hear, which is that we let people in,
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the ccp will send a spy. i won it very clear that i have done it many -- as i've said many times that the united states is a democratic society. we have a strong vetting process in which refugee asylum and many other processes have to go through. on a different note, i think the ccp has other ways to penetrate the united states than to actually use an asylum refugee program. part of holding up our values to counter is not just about retaliatory primitive sanctions, but to say that we are going to open up our doors. we are not forcing anybody to do anything. if they come, then it shows that people are voting and deciding for their own future and their own families.
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thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. i would just note 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 a larger basis. my first trip was to the soviet union on behalf of jews in 1982. we provided that kind of assistance, and hypothetically, one of my trips to hong kong, i went to a detention camp where there were a number of vietnamese there who are at risk of being repatriated. they were mostly people who fled vietnam after the fall of saigon. they were able to turn around with a decision to send them back as they closed out the comprehensive plan of action. there is a great president for us, and if ever there was a well-founded fear of persecution, it comes with the
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boot of xi jinping. if people want to come here, we should be welcoming them with open arms. >> i should add, people are leaving. that is a very important part of the story. at the schools, we get reports that -- i forget the figure -- primary classes have been canceled because students are leaving and going and being sent abroad. i raised my daughter in hong kong, and she has friends everywhere. they are hong kong citizens who go abroad and now might daughter has finished yale, so there they are. they are in this country now because their parents recognize the risk their children faced. we need to recognize it too. >> may i add something? >> of course. >> i would just like to echo daniel's concern about
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asylum-seekers, but even people of hong kong to sent to live in north america for generations, they tell me that they get their loyalty questioned all of the time. i, myself, because of the way i look and my name, even though i come into contact with human rights often, i am frequently accused of being a stooge for the communist party. meanwhile, structurally, and government, in think tanks, and policy advisory boards, there are many countries where very few people of chinese or macau dissent -- dissent -- de scent. these are families where people grew up. they are culture. we need these voices, and we need to address some of the racism and phobia that these
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people to not speak up because they are having their loyalties question. that is warranting consideration. we should keep that in mind. quick -- >> thank you. would any of our panas like a final comment or recommendation before we close? >> if not, i want to thank you for your extraordinary incisive test know me -- testimony. it helps to have people of your caliber, all five of you, providing input over the long-standing work that you have done in hong kong. it is extraordinary. thank you. this hearing is adjourned. [inaudible]
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