A hearing was convened yesterday by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China entitled Religion With “Chinese Characteristics”: Persecution and Control in Xi Jinping’s China. The witnesses were:
Losang Gyatso: Service Chief, the Tibetan Service, Voice of America
Rebiya Kadeer: President, the World Uyghur Congress
Bob Fu: President and Founder, ChinaAid
Anastasia Lin: Actress, Human Rights Advocate, and Miss World Canada 2015
Ms. Lin in particular contributed a unique voice largely due to her role as the officially selected representative of Canada to the annual Miss World competition to be held this December in China. Despite her calm, soft-spoken demeanor, the beauty queen and actress-turned human rights activist provided harrowing testimony on the Chinese government’s atrocities against practitioners of a spiritual movement known as “Falun Gong” in China.
Although CECC cochairman and 2016 presidential candidate Marco Rubio (R-FL) offered sympathy for the witnesses and condemned the Chinese government’s human rights violations, his remarks were outshadowed by Representative Chris Smith’s (R-NJ) harsh rebuke of China’s population control policy, which he referred to as the “gendercide issue”:
We know that as part of population control that came right out of Washington–Planned Parenthood and other organizations in the 60s– the idea of destroying the baby girl, the girl-child, in utero is an effective means of reducing the population because not only do you kill the baby in the womb, if it happens to be a girl, you also kill the chances of that girl being a mother when she’s 20, 25, and 30.
Planned Parenthood was embroiled in a recent controversy in which a notorious anti-abortion group distributed an edited video with the group’s undercover members discussing the preservation of fetal tissue for medical research. Comparing this to China’s reproductive policy and claiming the history of female infanticide in the country came from Washington or groups like Planned Parenthood, however, is patently false (the practice of female infanticide in China, in fact, dates back to the 19th century Qing dynasty).
Representative Smith is known for his strong opposition to abortion rights and has recently come under fire from civil rights groups for sponsoring a discriminatory bill that would allow groups and individuals to deny gay couples service on religious grounds in the wake of the Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage across the country.
Along with family planning policies, the case of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s death and persecution of Muslims in China, among many other key issues, were touched upon. In regard to the issue of Tibetan self-determination, Mr. Gyatso closed by emphasizing the imperative US role in urging China to reach a “solution within this Dalai Lama’s lifetime.”