(Washington, D.C.)—The Congressional-Executive Commission on China released its 2009 Annual Report on human rights and the rule of law in China on October 16, along with a PDF containing case records of 1,279 political prisoners currently detained or imprisoned in China.
“We are deeply concerned about continued human rights abuses and stalled rule of law reform documented in the Commission's 2009 Annual Report. Many Chinese government policies designed to address social unrest and bolster the Communist Party's authority are resulting in a period of declining human rights for Chinese citizens,” said Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Chairman of the Commission in a joint statement with Representative Sander Levin, Co-Chairman of the Commission.
“The Chinese Government has made economic development a priority, and has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. But, Chinese government policies and practices continue to violate the rights of Chinese citizens and fall far short of meeting international standards,” said Dorgan and Levin in a joint statement.
"The Report documents the challenges and opportunities that exist for China to create a more open society with greater respect for human rights, including workers rights, and the rule of law. Holding the Chinese government accountable to its international commitments, including trade, fundamental rights, and the rule of law is an essential element for securing progress.
"A stable China firmly committed to the rule of law and fundamental rights is in the national interest of the United States. Those rights include the right to speak freely, the right to organize into independent unions, and to practice the religion of one's choosing. To ensure a positive U.S.-China relationship, it is vital that China’s leaders demonstrate genuine commitment, not just in words but in deeds, to prioritizing fundamental rights in no lesser measure than they have prioritized economic development," added Dorgan and Levin.
The Commission consists of nine members of the House of Representatives, nine Senators and five senior Administration officials appointed by the President. The Commission’s Annual Report is among the most comprehensive, public examinations of the state of human rights and the rule of law in China produced by the US government.