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50–610 CC








FEBRUARY 3, 1998

Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations

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BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York, Chairman
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
JAY KIM, California
TOM CAMPBELL, California
JON FOX, Pennsylvania
LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
ROY BLUNT, Missouri
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SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
TOM LANTOS, California
PAT DANNER, Missouri
BRAD SHERMAN, California
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
BILL LUTHER, Minnesota
JIM DAVIS, Florida
RICHARD J. GARON, Chief of Staff
MICHAEL H. VAN DUSEN, Democratic Chief of Staff

Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights
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CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey, Chairman
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
LINDSEY O. GRAHAM, South Carolina
TOM LANTOS, California
GROVER JOSEPH REES, Subcommittee Staff Director and Chief Counsel
ROBERT R. KING, Democratic Professional Staff Member


    Hon. John Shattuck, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL)
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    Mr. Wei Jingsheng, Visiting Scholar, Columbia University Center for the Study of Human Rights
    Mr. Stephen Rickard, Director, Washington Office, Amnesty International
    Ms. Elisa Massimino, Acting Director, Washington Office, Lawyers Committee for Human Rights
    Ms. Nina Shea, Director of Religious Programs, Freedom House
    Mr. Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch
Prepared statements:
Hon. Benjamin S. Gilman, a Representative in Congress from New York, and Chairman, Committee on International Relations
Hon. Christopher H. Smith, a Representative in Congress from New Jersey, and Chairman, Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights
Hon. Tom Lantos, a Representative in Congress from California
Hon. John Shattuck
Mr. Wei Jingsheng
Mr. Stephen Rickard
Ms. Elisa Massimino
Ms. Nina Shea, plus attached statement
Mr. Kenneth Roth
Additional material submitted for the record:
January 28, 1998 letter to Mikhail V. Komissar, Deputy Chief of Administration, Russian Federation
January 29, 1998 letter to President William J. Clinton on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from human rights groups
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September 9, 1997 letter to Chairman Gilman on ''Freedom From Religious Persecution Act''
Questions submitted for the record to Assistant Secretary Shattuck:
Child Labor
Human rights abuses against women
Forced labor and slavery
North Korea
Occupied Territories
Northern Ireland
Sterilization in Peru
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House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights,
Committee on International Relations,
Washington, DC.

    The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m. in room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Christopher Smith (chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding.
    Mr. SMITH. The Subcommittee will come to order. I am pleased to convene this hearing of the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights.
    It is fitting that the Subcommittee's first hearing in this session of the Congress is for the purpose of reviewing the ''Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1997.'' It is particularly appropriate that our distinguished witnesses this year include not only Assistant Secretary John Shattuck and the representatives of four leading human rights organizations, but also Wei Jingsheng, whose name is known around the world as a synonym for courage and perseverance in the cause of freedom.
    This year's ''Country Reports,'' released by the State Department last Friday, serve to confirm and document what we knew already, that the last year has not been a good one for the state of human rights in the world. The totalitarian governments of China, Vietnam, and Cuba all continued their persecution of political and religious dissidents, and women in China continued to be subjected to forced abortions and forced sterilization.
    Military dictatorships in Indonesia, Burma, and other countries continue to harass and, in some cases, to persecute their peaceful and legitimate political opponents. The practice of child labor, female genital mutilation, trafficking in women and children for purposes of prostitution and human chattel slavery continued unabated.
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    Perhaps even more alarming were the reports of serious human rights violations by governments with which the United States enjoys a close relationship. Religious persecution in Saudi Arabia and Morocco, mass sterilizations of women without informed consent in Mexico and Peru, death threats against defense attorneys by members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary in Northern Ireland. Unfortunately, on some important issues, the ''Country Reports'' appear to be pulling their punches, minimizing or even ignoring serious and ongoing abuses, particularly by governments with whom our government is trying to improve relations.
    Some of the worst evasions and euphemisms are in the report on Vietnam. First, the report minimizes the extent of religious persecution in that country by noting that people are allowed to attend religious services and then discussing restrictions on religious institutions almost entirely in terms of administrative matters such as the appointment of clergy and permits to build churches. It says nothing at all about government-imposed restrictions on religious teaching such as Catholic opposition to abortion. Similarly, the Vietnam report grossly understates the extent and nature of discrimination, harassment and persecution of asylum seekers who have been forcibly returned under a comprehensive plan of action.
    The report also inexplicably states, and I quote, ''The government made no efforts to limit access to international radio'' even though it is well known within Vietnam and here in the United States that the government systematically jams Radio Free Asia.
    As Wei Jingsheng so eloquently said in his speech to the Council on Foreign Relations yesterday, this year's China report attempts to ''beautify the Chinese Communists.'' As in previous years, the report continues to describe the Beijing regime as authoritarian rather than totalitarian. Although the report appears to be generally accurate, the language is juxtaposed so as to emphasize isolated and microscopic improvements rather than the grim reality of continued systematic oppression.
    I would just note parenthetically, in looking at the report, it states, for example, there were positive steps in human rights although serious problems remained. Then it goes on to say that the government continued to commit widespread and well-documented human rights abuses in violation of internationally accepted norms, and then it goes on to talk about some of those violations. It talks about how average citizens go about their daily lives with more personal freedom than ever and then points out that if a woman seeks to have a child and does so without the permission of the government, not only does she suffer the cruelty of a forced abortion potentially, but the standard fine in Fuijan, for example, has been calculated to be twice a family's gross annual income; and it also points out that in Kiangsu, the standard fine is calculated to be up to 50 percent of 7 years' income for the average resident. Absolutely draconian fines, yet this suggests that they have more personal freedom than ever before. There seems to be something out of sync there.
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    The report on Mauritania understates the gravity of the continuing problem of slavery in that country. By focusing inordinately on legal distinctions, which are of little consequence to the slaves themselves, the report obscures the responsibility of the Mauritanian Government for the forced servitude of many of its citizens. The report boldly states that, and I quote, ''A system of officially sanctioned slavery does not exist'' even though it recognizes later that ''forced and involuntary servitude persists'' and ''many persons still consider themselves to be slaves.'' By focusing on the statutory abolition of slavery and the difficulty of proving the existence of officially enforced slavery, the report tends to legitimate what it admits to be, and I quote, ''the government's weak record of enforcing the ban on slavery.'' The need to maintain moral pressure on that government to combat forced servitude has sadly been reinforced by that government's arrest earlier this month of prominent antislavery activists.
    In Peru, human rights groups have reported a systematic campaign complete with numeric goals and timetables, to sterilize poor women. There are credible and detailed reports that this campaign has resulted in widespread abuses, including the absence of informed consent and the provision of food and other incentives in exchange for sterilization and even in deaths from operations performed in substandard facilities. Yet the State Department's report devotes less than a paragraph to these reports, noting with apparent optimism that the Ministry of Health, the very organization accused of conducting the campaign, is among those investigating the allegations.
    In other cases, the Country Reports make human rights abuses look just as bad as they really are, but raise serious questions about why elimination of these abuses has not been a more central goal of U.S. foreign policy. For instance, the report on Indonesia contains chilling accounts of extrajudicial killings, disappearances, torture and other grave human rights violations in East Timor, Irian Jaya, and elsewhere, yet our Indonesia policy is overwhelmingly tilted toward trade promotion. It is particularly shameful that the recent U.S.-supported economic bailout of the Indonesian Government imposed no conditions with respect to democracy or to human rights.
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    The report on Rwanda repeatedly highlights the fact that Rwandan security forces committed numerous serious human rights abuses. It states that the Rwandan army, and I quote, ''committed thousands of killings of unarmed civilians in the past year, including routine and systematic killings of suspected insurgent collaborators and their families including women and children.''
    Among other problems the report also notes that Rwandan citizens do not have the right to change their government by democratic means and that the Rwandan Government harassed journalists whose reporting was contrary to official views. At the same time the U.S. Government has maintained a close relationship with the Government of Rwanda and State Department officials have stated that this Administration simply will not consider conditioning future aid to Rwanda on improvements in that government's human rights practices.
    The report on the United Kingdom is dominated by abuses specific to Northern Ireland. It correctly reiterates the widespread criticisms of so-called ''emergency laws'' which permit arbitrary arrests and detentions, criminal trials without judges, infringements on the right to counsel and the right against self-incrimination, and reliance on false or coerced confessions.
    The report discusses the tragic cases of Robert Hamill, Pat Finucane, Patrick Kane, the many victims of plastic bullets, intimidation of defense attorneys in the Catholic community, and the shockingly disproportionate rate of unemployment among Catholic men in Northern Ireland. The report notes the widespread criticism of these and other abuses by international and nongovernmental human rights institutions and the promises of reform, mostly unfulfilled, by the Government of the United Kingdom itself. It is therefore difficult to understand why the Administration has been conspicuously absent from this Subcommittee's hearings.
    We have had two hearings on the issue of Northern Ireland on H. Con. Res. 152, which condemns these very human rights abuses and identifies specific ways in which internationally recognized human rights standards can be integrated into the Northern Ireland peace process and why the Administration has been so vague in its support for the resolution itself.
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    To acknowledge abuses, but then hold back on congressional support of those reforms sets us back. I think we would very much like to be a part of this, and I hope the Administration will support that legislation.
    In conclusion, the biggest problem with the Country Reports is not the reporting itself—and I want to commend John Shattuck and his shop for the job they have done—but on the uses to which this human rights reporting may or may not be put. As James O'Dea, head of Amnesty International, said at this Subcommittee's hearing on the 1994 Country Reports, and I quote him, ''Human rights is an island off the mainland of U.S. foreign policy, pretty to look at but too seldom connected to the policy itself.''
    All in all, with the reservations I have noted above, the State Department is to be commended for trying to do a good job in these Reports. This is one of the most important services the Department performs. The cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy should be the promotion of American values and that is the protection and advancements of fundamental human rights of people around the world. For this reason, it is troubling that in this year's State Department budget, as in previous years, the Human Rights bureau is grossly undervalued compared to bureaus charged with advancing other concerns. The bureau is smaller than State Department's Public Affairs office, smaller than the Protocol office and far smaller than the six regional bureaus which have an average of about 1,500 people each. These are the bureaus the Human Rights bureau sometimes has to contend with ensuring that human rights is accorded its rightful priority among competing concerns. They have a combined budget of about $1 billion or about 160 times the budget of the Human Rights bureau.
    If the Department would correct this gross disparity in resource allocation, we would have a better human rights reporting, and I believe a better U.S. foreign policy.
    I would like to ask my good friend, Mr. Payne, if he has any opening comment.
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    Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much. Let me commend you, Mr. Chairman, for that very thorough analysis of the report. It is always good to see Ambassador Shattuck who, in my opinion, is doing an outstanding job, as it has been indicated, in a very understaffed operation.
    I think that human rights is one of the pillar stones of U.S. foreign policy. It should continue to be. I think that we should judge nations that we deal with based on their human rights reports and democracy, the whole question of governance.
    I would also like to see at some point more attention focused on the question of corruption. Corruption is something that has been a virus in the Third World, whether it is Asia, whether it is Latin America, whether it is Africa, Eastern Europe now. There needs to be a real statement made, and, to me, it falls in the area of human rights.
    I think we look the other way on the whole question of corruption. We talk about the Third World leaders who are accepting corruption, but very rarely do we talk about those Western countries in Europe and other developed countries that are doing the corrupting.
    As a matter of fact, in Germany, the whole question of bribes and payoffs are tax deductible if you state them. In other countries, they don't necessarily go that far, but they look the other way. It is simply called a business expense.
    So if we are going to root out corruption so that governance can move forward—because I think that corruption is an obstacle to governance; I think corruption is an obstacle for human rights and freedom—I believe that there has to be more focus put on this question of this epidemic of corruption that we see in many countries.
    I would just like to indicate that I have not gone as thoroughly through your report, and I therefore will listen. I do want to mention, though, that the question of Liberia was raised and the fact that Star Radio has been taken off the air, that was highlighted, whereas I believe that President Taylor has made a number of initiatives, starting a Human Rights Commission, had brought opposition party people into the government—one of the first times, of course, you know, after a 7 1/2-year brutal civil war. So I think that we ought to take a more balanced approach.
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    As a matter of fact, Star Radio was not properly registered nor did it pay any fees that were required by the government. I think that we need to focus on issues, but I think in some instances one issue is highlighted and many of the other very positive programs that had begun are overshadowed by that.
    I also agree with the Chairman that slavery in Mauritania and also in Sudan need to be highlighted more. I think that moving into the new millennium, it is absolutely unconscionable that slavery—regardless of what you call it or how it fits, slavery is slavery. I think that we need to have more focus on this question, because it should not move into the 21st century with countries still practicing some sort of chattel slavery.
    I also believe that the Nigerian report should have been more harsh. I think we have a very brutal dictatorship up there, and I think that our policy must focus on what are we going to do about the corrupt Abacha government—100 million people, the largest country on the continent. Their governance must work, because the rest of Africa will suffer if it does not, if it continues not to be practiced.
    I also would like to say that the Rwandan Government is having a very difficult time. I heard my colleague talk about some abuses on the part of the government, but I certainly would hope that you have seen the recent article in The Washington Post on January 28 that talks about the Hutu rebels' wrath of killing against Tutsis that still goes on, and that there seems to be a cry to continue the genocide that happened in 1993–94, where we looked the other way while this genocide went on.
    I also would like to say that I was very pleased to see that the Government of Great Britain will be looking at the bloody Sunday 1972 situation where many Northern Ireland Catholics were shot down. I visited the site several years ago, and at that time called for the British Government to reopen the case in a sort of a reconciliation process. And so I am very pleased to see that that has happened.
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    I would like to once again commend you for the outstanding work that you do, and your staff. At this time, I will yield back the balance of my time.
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much, Mr. Payne. The Chairman of the Full Committee, Mr. Gilman.
    Mr. GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Mr. Lantos for arranging this review of the Country Reports at this appropriate time. I too want to welcome Assistant Secretary John Shattuck who appears before us. We will welcome his views, as well as the other witnesses you have arranged to bring before us today.
    The release of the annual ''Country Reports on Human Rights Practices'' is certainly a much anticipated event in the human rights community both in our Nation and around the world. Over the years, our State Department has worked to make these Reports a fairly accurate reflection of the human rights situation in every nation throughout the world and are carefully reviewed by those respective governments. As we visit some of the countries abroad, we hear occasionally their comments with regard to the report, whether they are supportive or in opposition to some of the findings we make. It is a way of sensing the nature of our relations with these governments.
    In Asia, as the report rightfully emphasizes, the Government of China continues to commit widespread and well-documented abuses of its citizens' human rights. We are hoping that Mr. Wei will be able to join us a little later this morning. We had an opportunity to hear from Wei Jingsheng last night at the Council of Foreign Relations and he had some very appropriate comments to make about the situation today in China. We would like to hear more from him before our Committee.
    How the State Department report can assert that things are somehow better in China is beyond me. We cannot allow our policy of engaging the Chinese authorities and promoting economic liberalism to overshadow our own Nation's most fundamental interest in seeing the blessings of democracy spread to every nation on the globe. This report should give credit where credit is due, but it is not helpful for it to stray into the world of politics. It should be a strictly factual and objective report.
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    Last April, Beijing for the seventh year successfully lobbied the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in Geneva to pass a ''no action'' motion against the consideration of a resolution on China's human rights violations. Before that vote, some Members of our Committee contacted every swing vote on the Commission urging them to vote against the ''no action'' motion and vote for the resolution condemning China.
    In occupied Tibet, the repression of human and religious rights has reached new highs. Monks must sign a five-point declaration renouncing His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. The deputy head of the Communist Party in Tibet last year called the Dalai Lama, and I quote, ''the scum of the people, the chief criminal of religion,'' and directed greater control of Tibet's monasteries.
    Repression of Christians in China has reached new heights as more and more clergy are sent to prison for the mere practice of their faith.
    In Burma, in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, East Timor, and Vietnam, human rights abuses continue to be pervasive. As we have made well known to the Administration, we believe that it was a mistake to accord the Vietnamese Government full diplomatic recognition while the people of Vietnam continue to languish under its repressive dictatorial sway.
    In addition, I would like to note the troubling incidence of religious intolerance that we see around the world, including many nations with which we enjoy friendly relations. Freedom of conscience and of worship are a sacrosanct aspect of the human condition.
    An area of concern to many of us in the Congress is the continuing problem we are facing in Bosnia. The United States and its allies are engaged in a major undertaking in Bosnia to restore peace to that part of the Balkans which has been so tragically wracked by conflict during the opening years of this decade. Regrettably, some within the Republic of Srbska continue to refuse cooperation with the tribunal and continue to harbor individuals that have been indicted, including the former President, President Karadzic, and the former commander of the Bosnian Serb Army, Mladic. The international community must not tolerate such blatant attempts to thwart the respect for human rights by protecting and rewarding those who have infringed upon the most basic standards of civilization.
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    In Turkey, although it is claimed that there has been some progress in ending the official criminalization of speech, I am concerned that political freedom remains less than perfect, and former members of the Grand National Assembly still remain in legal jeopardy, essentially because of some of the public statements they have made. If Turkey desires to be incorporated into a united Europe—and they have expressed that on a number of occasions—I believe most of the leaders recognize as its best course it must do more to demonstrate a true and unswerving commitment to upholding the human rights of all of its citizens.
    Finally, I am still concerned about governments which ignore parental rights and in some cases actually support the crime of international parental child abduction. I am concerned that too many of our own citizens are victimized by a number of these governments when a foreign spouse abducts or illegally detains children in other countries which do not afford adequate recognition of protection of the custody rights granted under our courts. Enforcing the rights of parents, I believe, is an essential aspect of enforcing the rights of the child. I would like to see adequate reporting on this subject contained in future Country Reports on Human Rights.
    I also would like to note that in Northern Ireland, the report is good and lays out the human rights abuses especially against the Catholic minority. We hope the Administration will support H. Con. Res. 12 pending in the House calendar on Northern Ireland. Timing, we are told, is the issue. As once was said, it is always the right time to do the right thing.
    In closing, I look forward to hearing from our witnesses who are here today. We have a long way to go, but this report helps us set our sights on appropriate goals as we review human rights around the world. Enforcing the rights of all throughout the world is essential. We cannot close our eyes to any of those abuses. We look forward to hearing our witnesses.
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    Again, Mr. Chairman, I thank you for arranging this hearing and for your extensive overview of all of the issues involved in these Country Reports. Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Gilman appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Chairman Gilman.
    Mr. Wexler.
    Mr. Ballenger.
    I would like to introduce our first witness, Assistant Secretary John Shattuck, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor since 1993. Before that, he spent 9 years as vice president of Harvard University, where he taught human rights and civil liberties law. From 1976 to 1984 Mr. Shattuck was executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Washington office.
    Secretary Shattuck, welcome.

    Mr. SHATTUCK. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee. I am very pleased to be here again on this momentous occasion in releasing the Human Rights Reports. And I consider it in many ways a joint exercise between the Congress and the executive branch in pursuit of our long-term, very significant commitment to human rights on a global basis.
    Mr. Chairman, as you know, the Country Reports' role in human rights advocacy and diplomacy is very far-reaching. Their preparation serves to concentrate the minds of U.S. diplomats and their foreign counterparts on our global commitment to the promotion of human rights.
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    Thousands of personnel hours are devoted to preparing these Reports, at our embassies all around the world and here in Washington. They bring our commitment to the promotion of human rights and our personnel into ongoing contact with extraordinary human rights activists in every country whose independent reporting is indispensable to our own. The annual presentation of these Reports to countries around the world is itself a major opportunity for dialog and deepening the issues of human rights in our foreign policy. It affords a regular benchmark for progress and a steady reminder of this government's commitment.
    I might say parenthetically, Mr. Chairman, I am sure you and other Members of the Committee would be interested to know that even now, only 4 days after the Reports have been released, we have received major responses from a half a dozen countries. They are coming in regularly, and our diplomats and ambassadors are engaged in discussing these Reports. I might also say that, not surprisingly, those countries that are engaged in major human rights abuses are objecting to having those abuses characterized publicly in our Reports, which itself demonstrates the value of the process.
    In my Introduction to the ''Reports'' this year, we lay out the themes and highlights in some depth. I want to submit that Introduction, in addition to my prepared statement, which I will also submit for the record and then summarize in some shorter fashion.
    The Reports set out a factual basis for the formation of our human rights policy. It is that policy which is of interest to this Committee and certainly of paramount importance to us, and that is what I want to focus on this morning. Highlighting abuses is an important first step in our approach, because truth is always the most powerful weapon against oppression and injustice. But it is only the first step and all that follows is what we want to discuss here this morning.
    Looking back at 1997, let me review just a few of the major developments outlined in the Reports which are treated at much greater length in my prepared testimony. Let me start with Bosnia, because I think it belongs at the top. I believe that when the dust settles history will record 1997 as a turning point toward greater peace and justice in Bosnia, by no means the end of the road but a significant turn.
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    The number of war criminals taken into custody—through arrests by NATO for the first time, and through pressure by governments that surround the countries in which the war criminals were being harbored—tripled last year from 8 to 24, and multiple trials were begun in the Hague. Through a series of elections—controversial and highly imperfect elections to be sure, pluralism began to take hold in some Serb areas and the Pale war criminals and hardliners were increasingly isolated. They must now be brought to justice, and they will be.
    More refugees began to return to their homes. Joint institutions of justice, such as the International Police Task Force, were strengthened to provide protection for the first time for human rights in their express mission. And, finally and above all, the NATO Stabilization Force was extended indefinitely to provide the international backbone for stepping up implementation of the Dayton Accords, and to symbolize the commitment of the United States to what in many respects is one of the most horrendous human rights situations in the post-cold war world, indeed, since the Second World War.
    Major human rights abuses continued, as our report demonstrates, in Bosnia. There is no question about it. Clearly much more needs to be done. This is why our continued engagement is essential, indeed critical. We look forward to working together with the Congress to assure that commitment to our human rights policy. Bosnia marks the most significant and, I believe, the most difficult human rights progress of 1997.
    I would like to look briefly at the record of 3 different groups of countries: Authoritarian regimes, countries in conflict, and countries in transition. I could go on at length but for the sake of time I will discuss just a few examples. Many more are set out in my prepared statement.
    First, let us consider authoritarian regimes, a prime example of which is China. The Government of China continued to commit widespread and well-documented abuses in all areas covered by our 1996 report. There were positive developments which included the release of a few political prisoners, continued legal reform and a somewhat greater tolerance of dissent. The abuses, which last year worsened in several areas, including Tibet, stem from the government's continued aversion to dissent, fear of unrest, and inadequate legal protection of fundamental internationally recognized freedoms. Large numbers of people remained detained for the peaceful expression of their political and religious views.
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    Another example of authoritarian regimes in which significant human rights problems existed is Burma, which saw continued extrajudicial killings, rape, and repression of Aung San Suu Kyi's democratic opposition. Other authoritarian regimes where there were severe human rights problems included Nigeria, Syria, Cuba, Iraq, Libya, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
    After authoritarian regimes, let us consider countries in conflict. Ethnic and religious conflict, as we know, remains among the most intractable and dangerous problems in the world today. Cynical leaders can fan the flames of religious or ethnic differences to create cycles of repression, retribution or abuse.
    In Algeria last year, alarming brutality, including massacres and systematic rape, continued. In light of the differing accounts about the origin of these abuses, the United States is making very clear in its diplomacy the need for a credible international factfinding mission to get to the bottom of the crisis in Algeria.
    The Great Lakes countries of Africa, where killings and other abuses continued with impunity, provide another major example of the crisis of countries in conflict and human rights abuses. Other countries where conflict has caused major human rights abuses in 1997 included Sudan—where, as Chairman Gilman and others noted, problems of slavery, remarkably at the end of the 20th century, continued—Afghanistan and Colombia.
    Finally, my prepared statement reviews the record of countries in transition. Many of these countries present a mixed picture, with competing trends toward progress and regression.
    In Albania, the international community, led by the OSCE, coordinated an effective response to the threat of chaos and helped to put the country back on a democratic track. A very clear example of backsliding, on the other hand, is Cambodia, where the democratic process begun under U.N. auspices through the 1993 elections was totally derailed by violent conflict last July. No one has been held accountable for the extrajudicial killings, and limitations on a free press and the right to a fair trial continue.
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    Other countries in this large group of transition countries which are moving, some positively and some in a negative direction, include Romania, Bulgaria, Liberia, Guatemala, South Africa, Haiti, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Vietnam, Serbia, Turkey, Russia, Belarus, Croatia, Mexico and Pakistan.
    Now, casting the spotlight on abuses, as I said, is only the first step in our human rights policy. Our goal has been and will continue to be to use all the tools at our disposal to advance human rights, democracy and justice in our foreign policy.
    Mr. Chairman, three of the primary objectives of U.S. foreign policy articulated by the President and by the Congress in pursuit of our national security interests in this very complicated post-cold war world are reducing regional conflicts among ethnic, religious and national groups; promoting adherence to international human rights norms, including the rights of women, and worker rights standards; and facilitating the peaceful expansion of new democracies.
    Over the past 5 years we have worked steadily, repeatedly and increasingly to integrate these three overarching objectives into the very mainstream of our foreign policy. These are not issues that are addressed exclusively by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. They are at the center of the foreign policy articulated by the President and by the Secretary of State. Our experience has taught us that much can be accomplished when the United States exercises leadership, but at the same time we can be most successful when we pursue these human rights objectives in close coordination with our allies and those organizations outside government which share our goals.
    Our arsenal for promoting human rights objectives is a broad one and an increasingly broad one. We employ it actively. It includes both traditional diplomacy and a range of new approaches that we continue to expand and develop. I would like to review quickly for the Committee ten different instruments we have used in the past year and increasingly over the last 5 years to advance human rights and democracy.
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    First, of course, is getting out the information, as we have done in the human rights Country Reports delivered to you this week.
    Second, we have publicly and repeatedly expressed U.S. Government positions on human rights. In recent days, for example, we have publicly voiced our concerns about the savage massacres of civilians in Algeria, about killings in the Chiapas state of Mexico, and we have called for respect for fundamental freedoms in Cuba. Speaking out is not a small step. Public diplomacy is an important instrument of our human rights policy.
    Third, we have conducted a wide variety of diplomatic initiatives in support of human rights. I will mention just a few examples from the past year.
    Throughout 1997, the President, the Vice President, the First Lady and the Secretary of State have consistently raised human rights in their meetings with foreign leaders at the United Nations and in regional forums such as ASEAN. Secretary Albright's deep personal commitment to human rights makes her a particularly forceful and effective advocate. She was the first Secretary of State to meet with Mexican NGOs in Mexico. She pressed leaders on human rights in Vietnam, Guatemala, Croatia, the Great Lakes region of central Africa, and South Africa in her visits to those countries in recent months, and she made clear our concerns on the Russian religion law to senior Russian officials.
    I myself have logged hundreds of thousands of miles to over 40 countries to raise human rights issues with foreign leaders. Among other recent initiatives, I have helped implement the successful U.S. strategy to press Croatia to assist in bringing 10 indicted war criminals into custody in the Hague. In June, I led the official U.S. delegation to the successful Albanian elections which pulled that country back from the brink of chaos. In December, I conducted a comprehensive review of democracy and human rights in Hong Kong after the turnover of sovereignty from Britain to China.
    Over the past year, members of my staff have visited Turkey, China, Bosnia, Haiti, Panama, Croatia, Serbia, Mexico and Sudan to press for the evolution of democracy and protection of human rights, and they have participated in the monitoring of elections in Albania. In 1997, we continued newly established, formal human rights diplomatic dialogs with Albania, Colombia, Mexico, Russia and Vietnam to highlight our policies.
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    Secretary Albright has instructed all of our ambassadors around the world to raise human rights issues with their host governments. In particular, in 1997 she instructed embassies to pay special attention to issues of religious persecution and women's issues and their integrating into foreign policy.
    We are also working to ensure that human rights considerations are integrated into our relations with other countries in the area of military and security assistance. My bureau will head up the department's working group to monitor allegations of abuses by security forces that receive U.S. assistance. As a first step, we are asking our diplomatic posts to provide an action plan for implementing section 570 of the Foreign Operations Act.
    The fourth major area of our work has been the building and strengthening of new international and national institutions of justice that will advance human rights and democracy. Most notable of these are the War Crimes Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. The Rwandan Tribunal last year achieved success in gaining custody of indicted war criminals, and began finally to address administrative staffing and morale problems, at our prodding. In 1997, the Yugoslav Tribunal moved into center stage in the Bosnian peace process as a way of isolating the opponents of peace, helping to create breathing room for moderates to emerge, and beginning to answer the demand for justice by victims who would otherwise seek retribution.
    At the national level, in coordination with USAID, we are engaged in regional democracy efforts in programs promoting the rule of law, including administration of justice, training police, prosecutors and judges in human rights, and in the building of democratic independent trade unions. We facilitate human rights training for police through the International Criminal Investigation Training Assistance Program (ICITAP), in Guatemala, Haiti, El Salvador and in Bosnia.
    The United States has also led the creation of new quasi-international human rights institutions. For example, former Senator Bob Dole recently succeeded former Secretary Vance as chairman of the International Commission on Missing Persons in the former Yugoslavia.
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    In addition, we have contributed to and actively supported new institutions of accountability in countries around the world, such as the National Truth Commissions of El Salvador, Haiti, Guatemala and South Africa, and National Human Rights Commissions in India, Indonesia and Mexico.
    In the U.N. context we have supported the creation and strengthening of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. We were pleased in the past year to see the Secretary-General appoint Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, to that office. Secretary-General Annan also acted to raise the profile of the High Commissioner within the U.N. system. The United States is working to strengthen the High Commissioner's office through more efficient management and additional resources.
    The fifth major area of our human rights work last year was the building of multilateral coalitions. At the U.N. Human Rights Commission we led the effort to adopt a resolution on China's human rights practices, and we are now consulting with the commission members about a China resolution in 1998, which we will again support if the human rights situation remains the same. I want to thank Members of the Committee and other Members of Congress who have helped advance U.S. positions at the U.N. Human Rights Commission.
    Last year we encouraged frequent consultations among Friends of Cambodia, a group of donors and other interested parties, to coordinate a united international response to the violent events in Cambodia in July. We also developed a strategy for Bosnia, agreed to by the European Union, that led to a tightening of economic assistance conditionality and the turnover of indicted war criminals.
    Sixth, my bureau has moved ahead with developing and implementing assistance programs in support of human rights and democracy. With Congress's support, we are now taking steps to implement our new Human Rights and Democracy Fund. This fund provides the Secretary of State with the flexibility to respond to human rights crises around the world, for instance through the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, or through field operations in Rwanda or Cambodia or other places where the United Nations, with our assistance, must be active to prevent human rights abuses. We look forward to building and expanding on this $10 million fund in the coming years.
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    In conjunction with the department's regional bureaus, my bureau now also comanages regional democracy and human rights funds for Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific.
    The seventh instrument we use to implement our human rights policies is exchange programs. We are increasingly collaborating with USIA on such programs, including bringing human rights and labor activists to the United States to observe our democratic processes at work, or legal exchanges that send American jurists overseas where they can advise new democracies on legal reform.
    Our eighth area of human rights work is with U.S. multinational corporations and business organizations with whom we promote the Model Business Principles, a voluntary code of conduct released by the President in 1995 for businesses operating abroad. We are also working with the business community to develop new ways of addressing the problem of child labor and slave labor.
    Ninth, our labor specialists and reporting officers around the world are key elements in U.S. Government efforts to track child labor and to do something about it. A particularly striking example of this was in Bangladesh, which last year made significant progress in the effort to remove the scourge or to make progress in the area of child labor in that country. Information the labor officers provide enables us to work closely with the International Labor Organization on its program to eliminate child labor, and also feeds into the congressionally mandated reports on child labor produced by the U.S. Department of Labor.
    Tenth, we have identified a number of key thematic issues, many of them of great interest to the Congress, to which we are giving special attention.
    This year, for example, we have formed a State Department working group on women's issues, ranging from women's participation in political life to female genital mutilation, to trafficking in women and girls. We are pursuing ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
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    We are also giving greater attention to religious freedom around the world. Last year, in response to a congressional request, we presented a report that focused exclusively on U.S. policies to promote religious freedom, with a particular focus on Christians. Just 10 days ago the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad, which I chair, presented its interim report to the Secretary and the President. In receiving the report, the Secretary announced that she would act immediately on the Advisory Committee's first recommendation to the State Department by designating a new senior level coordinator for religious freedom issues in the State Department.
    During my tenure, I have promoted greater communication between the human rights community and our country's armed forces, especially through our ongoing consultations with the Human Rights Office of the U.S. Southern Command. I plan to work with the Department of Defense to establish human rights offices in our other regional commands on this 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We have also increased our efforts to advance the rights of indigenous peoples.
    These 10 areas, Mr. Chairman, the focus of our human rights work, are in fact the product of the Human Rights Reports and the impetus that they give to our policy. They are aimed at assisting people and countries to improve their human rights records.
    In our bilateral human rights diplomacy we also employ a wide range of measures to induce countries to make these improvements. Let me illustrate a few examples of the negative measures we use.
    First, economic sanctions: In Nigeria we maintain a range of sanctions on the Abacha regime, including a ban on the sale and repair of military goods and suspension of consideration for OPIC financing. For Serbia we condition removal of sanctions on cooperation with the War Crimes Tribunal, improvement in human rights in Kosovo, and progress on democratization. Other countries under a variety of sanctions regimes because of their human rights records include Burma, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Sudan.
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    Trade sanctions: Congressionally mandated worker rights conditions in U.S. trade legislation, primarily GSP and OPIC, have also been a useful policy tool over the past year. In the last decade, we have conducted worker rights reviews of more than 50 countries, and in the large majority of cases have been able to achieve improvements in worker rights practices. In those instances where improvements have not occurred, Burma and Sudan, for example, we have suspended the country's eligibility.
    We have imposed visa restrictions on leaders of repressive regimes such as Burma, Colombia, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
    Finally, we apply special scrutiny to arms exports proposed for countries with poor human rights records, an area that I am particularly proud of because it has expanded over the period that I have been Assistant Secretary of State. As you know, the State Department policy is to review prospective sales and license applications for their human rights ramifications. During the past 2 years, we have not approved for export licenses a wide range of munitions or crime control commodities for Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Burma, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, China, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guatemala, Haiti, Indonesia, Iran, Lebanon, Liberia, Mauritania, Peru, Rwanda, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Vietnam, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
    Mr. Chairman, these remarks have offered just a brief overview of some of the human rights policies and activities that we have pursued over the past year. We are proud of these activities and our Nation should be proud of them. This is at the heart of our foreign policy.
    I would like to offer my thanks to the Congress for its strong support of our efforts to promote and protect human rights around the world. The support has been bipartisan. It has come from both houses of the Congress. The enormity of the challenge of advancing human rights in a chaotic and fragmented world is well known to both the Congress and the executive branch. Our commitment to do so together should be doubted by no one, and our willingness to stay the course, however difficult the challenge, is one of our greatest sources of strength as a Nation.
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    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Shattuck appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
    Mr. Gilman.
    Mr. GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I regret I am going to have to attend another hearing and my time is limited, but I want to thank Mr. Shattuck for his overview and for his good works over the years. There are several areas, of course, that we want to raise today, and I am sure my colleagues have questions.
    The new adviser on religious freedom, Mr. Shattuck, what will be the title?
    Mr. SHATTUCK. The title will certainly be at the level of Deputy Assistant Secretary. It will report to the Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Depending on the individual selected, it may well carry the ambassadorial title as well.
    The Secretary of State has made very clear that she wants a senior person whose full-time responsibility will be this field of religious freedom, with the requisite support to be able to do the job. At this point, we are looking to identify the right person. This will be a process that we hope to complete in the near future, but most important is to get the right person.
    Mr. GILMAN. That person won't be folded into your office but will have a separate office?
    Mr. SHATTUCK. The person will report to the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. But it will be a high-level position, comparable, for example, to the kind of thing that we do in the area of war crimes or other issues which we want to particularly highlight in the department.
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    Mr. GILMAN. We are pleased that you are moving ahead and having some special office for religious freedom. We look forward to getting more information from that office and more support for what we are trying to do in the Congress of raising this issue worldwide. We look forward to working with whoever it may be, the new ambassador, Assistant Secretary, whatever you designate. I hope you will keep us apprised of the progress being made in that direction.
    Mr. Secretary, your report notes a long-standing problem of discrimination in the workplace against the Catholic minority in Northern Ireland. Is the Administration urging the British Government to enact the employment of reforms that have been proposed by the Standing Advisory Committee for Human Rights in Northern Ireland?
    Mr. SHATTUCK. We have certainly focused in our diplomacy not only on the peace process, which is so ably headed by former Senator Mitchell, but also on the human rights situation. I have traveled myself to Northern Ireland. We have focused on the issues of justice and individual cases. We have pressed the Royal Ulster Constabulary as well as the party leadership of Northern Ireland political parties on these issues. I am going to give you an additional answer to that question in terms of the specific recommendation that you have cited when we give you an answer in writing, if I could.
    Mr. GILMAN. I hope you would meet with that Standing Advisory Committee up the road.
    Mr. Shattuck, just one or two other requests. The narcoguerrillas in Colombia hold 5 Americans hostage right now. They have killed others. One is a citizen of Alabama. In addition, these narcoguerrillas recently shot several Colombian policemen in the battlefield in the town of Meta. Are these abuses and concerns factors that we should consider in measuring the performance on human rights for places like Colombia?
    Mr. SHATTUCK. Mr. Chairman, as I said in my statement, Colombia has one of the most serious human rights problems certainly in this hemisphere. In the past year, we have noticed a disturbing increase in the number of extrajudicial killings by paramilitaries as well as by guerillas.
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    The cases of these Americans that you cite have been repeatedly raised by us with the Colombian Government, and their welfare is of great concern to us. The situation is one where there are both paramilitaries and, as you say, narcoguerrillas at war, making it very difficult to get access to them.
    But our specific approach toward dealing with U.S. assistance to Colombia is to make very clear, under the Leahy amendment, that no assistance of any security kind should go to any unit of the government, or of the army or the armed forces of the security forces, that have been involved in any human rights abuses. We have not received a report from the Ministry of Defense on the status of accused human rights violators in the army, and therefore assistance will not go to any element of the security forces until that report comes in.
    It is a tragedy in many ways. The terrible scourge of narcotics and the narcoguerrilla movement, as well as the government's, in many cases, abusive response, has caused the kind of human rights crises you are talking about.
    Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate you allowing me to go first so I can go on to my meeting.
    But I note it is an honor to have with us today, as one of your witnesses, Wei Jingsheng. His courage and his commitment to the future of his home nation through his faith in truth and democracy and human rights is a great testimony to the strength of the human spirit, and his presence today will encourage us to continue our work on behalf of the repressed people. And I would hope that when Mr. Shattuck's testimony is completed, and his questions, you would allow Mr. Wei Jingsheng to be the first witness.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your cooperation.
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Chairman Gilman, and we will do that because Wei does have another appointment he must get off to.
    So at the conclusion of this, Secretary Shattuck, we will then go to Wei Jingsheng.
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    Mr. GILMAN. Thank you.
    Mr. SMITH. Let me ask you, Mr. Secretary, a couple questions.
    Many of us noticed there was a softening in the China report. There were continually paragraph lead sentences that would say there were positive steps in human rights; although serious problems remain, the government took several positive actions. And it goes on, in the body of it, to suggest that perhaps problems are not as legion as we would believe them to be.
    Even in The Washington Post, the headline writer and the author of the article on Saturday were savvy enough to say, ''China's human rights record improves in U.S. report,'' not necessarily on the ground in China, but in the U.S. report, kind of like the man who is a legend in his own mind, rather than his own time. Juxtaposing last year's and this one does raise some problems, at least, for those of us who follow this very carefully.
    Last night, as you know, Wei Jingsheng did make a very strong statement to the Council on Foreign Relations, and I would like to begin by asking, how do you respond to this part of his statement: We have already seen that the traps set by the Chinese Communists are working. In order to ease domestic pressure, resulting from this oppression of human rights and the democracy movement by the Chinese Government, the U.S. Government has gone so far as to disregard the facts and beautify the Chinese Communists in this year's State Department Human Rights Report.
    My expulsion from China, he goes on to say, against my will, is now described as, ''allowing me to leave the country for medical treatment.'' Some of my friends inside the Communist Party, who have joined us in our fight for democracy and human rights, have been the target of persecution, but this has been explained as exhibiting ''some limited tolerance,'' and so on.
    More importantly, the U.S. Government seems to say in this report that the results achieved through the pressure of many years are not important. Moreover, it seems to say that all the credit should go to the secret negotiations of the present Administration.
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    Of course, politicians in democratic countries like to claim all the credit, and this is a domestic political necessity. But the danger lies in the fact, it shows the Chinese Communists have learned how to make use of the political weakness of the United States in order to control American politics and have learned how to draw the American Government into their traps. Then it goes on with that similar line of reasoning, beautify their human rights travesties.
    How do you respond to this?
    Mr. SHATTUCK. Let me say, first of all, Mr. Chairman, that I have enormous respect for Mr. Wei Jingsheng and his courage and his commitment. We have had repeated telephone conversations. We have not, unfortunately, since he has come to our country, been able to get together yet. We were going to get together yesterday, but we look forward to doing that tomorrow, and I am delighted he is here this morning to share his perspective on the situation in China. I respect his views on that subject in particular.
    Let me make three points about the human rights report. First, I think the report is extremely clear on the subject of the continued widespread severe abuses of human rights in all areas that have previously been identified, especially religious and political issues. And it also concludes, in the introduction to the report, that those who seek to express dissenting views still are operating in an environment filled with repression.
    We do not see major changes. We have not characterized China as having demonstrated major changes in the period over the course of the last year. It would be remarkable if that were the case.
    Second—and this is true of all of our Reports—we take note in these Reports, factually, of things that occur in countries in the area of human rights. We do not exaggerate them, we state them as facts, and there have been some positive steps taken over the course of the last year. A few prisoners have been released. We are not going to characterize the nature of those releases, nor in any way exaggerate the number. There has been, by all accounts in the press, in some few instances, a somewhat more tolerant situation involving those who do express dissent.
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    A case that Mr. Wei so eloquently told about in his op-ed piece in The Washington Post on Sunday, Mr. Fang Jue, is an example; but there are others as well. I don't want to exaggerate them either. There are a number of academics and individuals who have expressed their views. This is something we want to see more of, we want to encourage. This is an important development.
    Even Mr. Wei himself identified the Fang Jue article as an important one. We are stating it precisely for what it is. We are not exaggerating it. We are not indicating that this so far is a trend. But it is a fact, and it is an important fact, and we will continue to see it that way.
    Third, our Reports over the course of the last period of time, including previous Reports, 1996, 1995, and 1994, had the same theme that is reflected in this year's report. I refer to an underlying issue of the economic improvement in China, in some measure, improving the lives of average Chinese, not necessarily people who are seeking to express dissenting points of view, but their lives have indeed improved. That also is a fact. We certainly hope that continues.
    The future of the Chinese economy is something that I cannot possibly predict here, but certainly it is a fact we want to see continue.
    These three themes are the essence of the 1997 China report. They are similar to themes that we see elsewhere. It is important not to politicize our Reports by trying to limit the inclusion or exclude information that is positive, any more than to exclude information that is negative. And all information that we receive will go into these Reports. They are intended to be a benchmark. They are intended to reflect the state of play as we see it at that point in time.
    I think the article that you mentioned in The Washington Post, frankly, in particular, covered only the third theme and characterized it as new. It wasn't new at all. The third theme being economic growth in China producing a better climate for the average Chinese life.
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    Unfortunately, the Post article did not particularly cover the overwhelming majority of facts that we have in this report relating to the continued widespread and severe abuses of human rights, nor did it indicate the particularly significant but small steps in the positive area. So we stand by this. The process of bringing democracy and human rights to China from within is served by a report of this kind. U.S. policy, as President Clinton made very clear in his public debate with President Jiang Zemin, is not to hesitate to publicly disagree and point out the serious human rights problems in China. Indeed, as President Clinton said, there is a severe danger that if China does not change it will stand on the wrong side of history, and I think that is perhaps one of the most important themes in this whole field.
    Mr. SMITH. Mr. Secretary, you say ''significant but small.'' In reading the chapter on China, I can see how the Post writer and anyone else could glean from this a sense of real rising and buoyancy with respect to human rights, that things are actually improving, especially since many of the paragraphs, not most, start out with a very positive statement, and it is not until you get into the third, fourth, and fifth sentences that, all of a sudden, they are being very heavily conditioned.
    I would like to know, how do you respond? Do you assess his statement to be accurate or inaccurate when he says the U.S. Government has gone so far as to disregard the facts and beautify the Chinese Communists in this year's State Department Human Rights Report? That is from a man, Wei Jingsheng, who has paid an absolutely dear price for his candor, his honesty, and his courage, something I haven't paid, perhaps something you and I have never endured—beatings and incarceration for our beliefs. When he speaks we should all listen and listen carefully, and his take on the report is, it disregards the facts and beautifies the Chinese Government. So how do you respond to that?
    Mr. SHATTUCK. As I said, I have a great respect for Mr. Wei and his perspective, for what he is trying to accomplish, and the courage that he is exhibiting. I don't believe that the report has that characteristic. I think it is a factually accurate presentation. Certainly the specific elements that were modest steps that we point to did not exist in the previous year, and, therefore, our previous report did not indicate that that was occurring.
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    I have no way of assessing them myself, but by other observers within China who themselves have paid a severe price in terms of imprisonment, indicate that they generally agree with the conclusion of Mr. Xu Wei Li. Yesterday, Reuters reported Xu as saying there have been some changes in the attitude toward the treatment of dissidents by the Chinese Government, but Xu is very clear to say that this is not a systemic change, as we have said in our reporting.
    So I am very eager to learn more from Mr. Wei about his specific perspective on what the situation is now.
    Mr. SMITH. In the introduction to this year's Country Reports, a prominent place is appropriately given to an extensive discussion of human rights violations against women. Nowhere, however, in this discussion, is there any mention of forced abortions and forced sterilization in China, nor is there any mention of a similarly coerced two-child-per-couple policy by the Government of Vietnam or the Mexican women who complain they have been forcibly sterilized or mass sterilizations of poor women without informed consent in Peru.
    All of these violations are discussed in their respective Country Reports. Why were they not deemed important enough to be included in a comprehensive discussion of women's rights?
    Mr. SHATTUCK. As you say, Mr. Chairman, they are discussed at length. I just have the China report in front of me. Pages 14 to 16 of the China report are a very lengthy treatment of the issue of coercive family planning issues. The report covers the severe problems that have been encountered by some in China. Our approach toward the issue of women's rights, generally, is to incorporate the issues of women's rights into the mainstream of our human rights reporting and our policies.
    So you will find these issues treated in our China report, and also in the Peru report, and in other countries. We are going to continue to expand our coverage of women's issues in these Reports.
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    Mr. SMITH. My concern is, under the banner of women's rights, certainly forced abortions not only is violence against the baby but it is an extreme violence against the mother as well. And in Nuremberg it was considered, properly so, to be a crime against humanity—at the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal—because Nazis committed those atrocities against Polish women. And yet when we have a category of women's rights, this is glaringly absent from that discussion.
    I have worked on the issue of forced abortion in China since my first term. I am now in my 18th year as a Member of Congress. I have been appalled, for years, first by how many of the women's organizations downplayed, trivialized, and in many cases completely rejected the claims of coercive population control in general, in China, and forced abortion in particular, and it always gets a second-class treatment. And now, in the ''Country Reports,'' even though, as you said, it appears in the China report. And I have read it well. As a matter of fact, I appreciated the extensive coverage with regard to the fines. I have met very often with some of the folks in our Beijing Embassy, and one who appeared some years ago before one of the subcommittees of this Full Committee, who trivialized those findings as if they were nothing. As pointed out here, it could be up to 50 percent of 7 years' worth of wages, which impoverishes a family beyond what we can even imagine, and yet it is not included here.
    Another point: On a recent trip I had to Mexico, when I met with all the human rights organizations, which you and I and others always do when we travel to these countries, I asked them a number of questions about Chiapas and all the other issues, and then I asked them about coercive sterilization in Mexico.
    Well, before my words were translated so that the Mexican human rights leaders could respond, the USAID officer immediately launched into, ''That doesn't happen here in Mexico, there is no coercive sterilization, there is no sterilization of women, particularly poor women,'' which is what we had been hearing, particularly the Indian women. And every one of the human rights organizations there present, and there were several, all had cases and individual situations they talked about, and now the Country Report itself says there are large numbers of those cases.
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    I brought it up at another hearing last year, and it was like, ''Gee whiz, we never heard of that before.''
    My concern is, these violations of women's rights, forced abortion and involuntary sterilization, and other violations such as IUD insertions without their consent, which is rampant in the People's Republic of China, one horrible invasion of women's privacy, and sometimes include the murder of their children very late in the pregnancy. Mr. Gilman has been a leader on Tibet. There, as he and I talked about many times—they very often wait until the child is actually being born before they inject formaldehyde or some other chemical poison into the child's brain. And yet it is not even included in the discussion of women's rights. That is a glaring omission.
    Mr. Shattuck.
    Mr. SHATTUCK. Mr. Chairman, let me get quite specific on the subject of Mexico. This is something that we have focused on a good deal in the recent year. It is an issue where your own concerns are well known, and, indeed, the issue is an important one.
    Last month, the USAID Mission Director in Peru wrote to the Government of Peru about allegations of coercive sterilization. The reply of the government will, in fact, serve as the basis for our determinations of U.S. assistance.
    In Mexico, beginning in mid–1996, we intensified our discussions with the government on the need for better compliance with the requirements for informed consent procedures, in all these areas. The government has reaffirmed its commitment to informed consent, and we are going to continue to focus on that in our dialogs with Mexico on the subject of human rights. This is a very important issue. It is not one that gets backseat treatment, and it is covered in our Human Rights Reports.
    Mr. SMITH. If you can respond to this. We have heard reports—and this is particularly pertinent because of what is in everyday news now—that the IMF has either officially, directly or indirectly, included clauses or admonishments to governments about population control, and there is apparently a link between that and receipt of IMF money. Do you know if that is true?
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    And, again, in Peru, as you were aware of, as just raised by our chief counsel and staff director for the Subcommittee, who recently went to Peru and heard some chilling testimony of the pervasiveness of this involuntary sterilization—if you can respond to that.
    Mr. SHATTUCK. I am not aware of anything in the IMF that would involve that kind of regulation or restriction——
    Mr. SMITH. Even if the word ''voluntary'' is used.
    Mr. SHATTUCK. I would be happy to provide you an answer in writing on that.
    Mr. SMITH. Let me ask you a question with regard to Northern Ireland. As you know, the Subcommittee and Full Committee have reported out H. Con. Res 152. I am the prime sponsor. We have a good cross section of Members of both sides of the aisle, Democrats and Republicans, who would like to go on record with regard to the peace talks that are occurring in Northern Ireland. I recently undertook a fact-finding mission there and met with all the key players on all sides, and this language certainly seems to be very clear, not ambiguous, it is human rights in character.
    What we heard from all the human rights organizations is a concern that human rights have become a P.S. or an addendum, rather than a central part of negotiations. This resolution is pending before the House, the full House. The Administration has so far indicated it does not want it to go forward. I hope that can change, because we certainly want to speak with one voice vis-a-vis the British and Northern Ireland.
    Mr. SHATTUCK. Well, as you know from my answer to Mr. Gilman's question, human rights issues have been very much in our minds in the Northern Ireland, peace process, and my own trips to Northern Ireland and conferences and meetings with the Royal Constabulary and other authorities who are responsible for human rights, justice, or security issues. Individual cases of human rights abuse and issues of justice must be addressed in this peace process. I will be happy to provide you an answer to their resolution after this hearing is over. I don't have a position that I am going to give to you on that right now.
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    Mr. SMITH. Does the U.S. Government support the elimination of the two terroristic laws, the EPA and the PTA, in Northern Ireland?
    Mr. SHATTUCK. I will give you an answer on that in writing, too.
    [The information referred to appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. SMITH. We do plan on having additional hearings, we have had two so far. They included a number of people, including Michael Finucane, who traveled here, to give firsthand knowledge as victims or relatives of victims. We hope that you would come in and testify at our next hearing. We would welcome the Administration's comments.
    Let me ask one final question. Then I will yield to Mr. Payne. Again on China, I am very happy to see the Uighurs were included and a discussion on the Uighurs, because our Subcommittee has heard from witnesses as well and it is a terrible situation as to the mistreatment of the Muslims. You might want to respond to that. And what are we doing to try to secure Panchen Lama's release, and regarding the jamming of Radio Free Asia? What is the current situation on that, and what are we doing in both China and Vietnam to protest that?
    Mr. SHATTUCK. The issue of religious freedom in China is one of the primary focus points of our human rights report and, indeed, of our human rights policy toward China. As you know, Mr. Chairman, I chair the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad. Two Members of that committee, Archbishop McCarrick, who is from Mr. Payne's district, if I am not mistaken, and the Reverend Don Argue, of the National Association of Evangelicals, will be joining Rabbi Schneier, the third member of the group for a 3-week visit to China with religious leaders, organizations, as well as with government officials, on the issue of religious freedom. That visit will take place this month and early into next month.
    Certainly one of the major focal points of their work and their discussions will be the subject of Tibet and the subject of the Uighur. In preparation for their trip, they have met extensively with religious leaders and organizations throughout the United States and abroad, on the major areas of religion in China, including Catholics, Protestants, Tibetan Buddhists, Muslims and Buddhists. These issues are all at the top of their agenda, and I think Archbishop McCarrick, who I am sure Mr. Payne knows very well, as well as Reverend Argue and Rabbi Schneier will want to meet with you when they return to discuss what they have learned and the kinds of exchanges that they have had. This development is an important one insofar as we hope it will open the door for further religious leader extensive trips throughout China, including Tibet. Hopefully their trip is the first of many such visits.
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    On the issue of Tibet, as our report very clearly indicates, the situation in some measure has worsened over the course of the last year. Certainly the difficulties that Tibetan Buddhists face in continuing to practice their culture and religion in a highly repressive environment is serious. And we have said in the report, repressive social and political controls continue to limit the fundamental freedoms of ethnic Tibetans and risk undermining Tibetans' unique cultural, religious and linguistic heritage.
    This is a subject we all take very seriously because of not only the religious but also the cultural implications of it. As you know, Secretary Albright has recently appointed a high level Tibetan coordinator to work to try to bring about more dialog or dialog between the Dalai Lama and the Government of China on the preservation of Tibetans' religious and cultural freedom. And this appointment, I think, signals the significant importance that both the Congress and the Administration place on the subject of religious and cultural freedom in Tibet.
    Mr. SMITH. Mr. Payne.
    Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much. Let me just say I certainly look forward to Archbishop McCarrick and the team going to the People's Republic of China. I had the opportunity to meet with them at a hearing, at a meeting held by Chairman Gilman, and I think that it is a very excellent team. We had some conversation already before with the Archbishop about some of the situations that I am concerned about, and we will be giving him some additional information, as a matter of fact, regarding some religious organizations before the takeover by the Communists, and whether those organizations are being treated properly. For example, the YMCA was very, very active in China; a lot of programs were conducted. The U.S. YMCA had as many as 50 fraternal secretaries. That is as many as who were in China working with an organization. So we are hoping, and we know this will be a top flight team, and when they return, we would be very interested in their report.
    In regard to Northern Ireland, I think the work of Senator Mitchell which preceded certainly much of the current conversation, was very useful. I have legislation introduced also that would ban the making or production of plastic bullets. As you know, they are lethal and I think that they should be banned. We have asked them, in a letter I have submitted to the British Government, that they consider the banning of them in their armed forces.
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    I might just ask, too: Do you know really where the events of terrorism and the emergency provision acts of the PTA and the EPA have accessed—would do a great deal to change the attitudes in the north of Ireland; do you have any indication of whether they will be pushed by the British Government to be abolished?
    Mr. SHATTUCK. I don't have a specific response to you. I can generally say, and would be glad to give you more response, as I will, to the Chairman on this very point of the PTA legislation, et cetera, that the process seems to be moving forward under the new British Government, although there have certainly been plenty of back and forth on this very peace process that has, of course, gone on for so many years. But we are optimistic that the new figure that is being put into it will bear fruit. Let me be very clear as I was to the Chairman, we are also very committed to assuring that the human rights injustice elements of the peace process remain sharply focused. Certainly issues such as weaponry and plastic bullets and things of that nature have come up in my discussions with NGOs and others in Northern Ireland.
    Mr. PAYNE. The RUC continues to be a real obstacle. In any discussion you have heard, have you ever heard of any consideration of the abolishing of RUC in attempting to build a police force—because they are supposed to be policemen—a police force that more reflects the composition of the country? We found here in the United States during the sixties, in urban centers, most of the police departments were all white, the residents were predominantly African American and Hispanic, and we found there was no dialog, there was no sensitivity, there was actually overt police brutality, which manifested itself in the civil disorders in the sixties in the United States. And we of course could see remnants of some of the overt police brutality.
    But just citing that as an example, how can you have a police department that is made up 99 percent of Protestants in Northern Ireland, which is almost an evenly divided country? It just cannot dispense justice fairly. Has there been any conversation about an attempt to reorganize them or abolish them and come up with a new system?
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    Mr. SHATTUCK. These are all issues central to the peace process. They are issues that the United States can focus on in the peace process, and that Senator Mitchell can explore as the process moves forward. You raised obviously one of the major elements of the peace process, providing security in a fair and even-handed way, in a period after the end of the armed struggles that have been going on. But I think I am going to leave that to Senator Mitchell and his good offices.
    Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much. Also, let me just ask—well, I would like to finally comment that I think in addition to Senator Mitchell's work, when breakthroughs came—I suppose when the government allowed Sein Fein's Gerry Adams to visit the United States—I think that also sent a good signal out. And I also wish the Administration would get more support from the McBride Principles. I know they had some problems with them, but I think if they are ever going to attempt to equalize or at least move toward some of the problems of massive unemployment, from Irish youths and some of those problems, that the McBride Principles would certainly be a step in the right direction, as was the Sullivan Principles in South Africa. They are basically the same; where U.S. companies are doing business, that there be equal opportunity for Catholics as well as Protestants. So I would hope that the Administration will also push that. I know you initially had some reluctance.
    Let me ask another quick question; then I will have a final one. You didn't mention anything about the question of Scientology in Germany. As you know, there have been strong allegations and behavior on the part of the German Government, especially persons in the entertainment field, to prevent them from performing in Germany. And if they come in, they have to go through a special registration, and they are told that they would be followed or that their phones may be tapped, and just things that make no sense. Is there any movement on this whole question of the official position of the German Government against Scientologists?
    Mr. SHATTUCK. Well, as you know, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Payne, this subject is in our human rights report on Germany this year. I would just say parenthetically, this is an example of how we try to be very even-handed in dealing with all the countries. I think the United States has a good record, although I know some NGOs—and I think they are right—are urging us to say more about our own human rights record. We have a good record in producing information from the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Human Rights Commission, et cetera. That is all parenthetical. But there is an area where we have some disagreements with our friends from Germany. Our concern is outlined in this report, and regrets freedom of association. Individuals or members of an organization should not be treated in a discriminatory fashion, solely because of their membership.
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    There have been instances in which that has occurred with Scientologists in Germany. We have had good discussions with the German Government on this subject. Secretary Albright has made it very clear that she certainly does not want this issue to become a problem in the relationship between the United States and Germany. We raised this issue most recently in Warsaw at the OSCE meeting where I was head of our delegation. A number of members of the CSCE Commission, including some of the staff of this Committee who were there, are aware of the fact that this issue was raised both in our discussions bilaterally with the German Government and also in the OSCE setting. So I think, frankly, this is another example of the evenhanded way in which we are trying to promote our human rights policies around the world.
    Mr. PAYNE. I sense my time is about expired. Thank you very much. Let me conclude by saying I am certainly very pleased with the attention that the Administration has given to Africa, with the support of the African Growth and Opportunity Act that Mr. Crane and Mr. Rangel are pushing. The recent visit by Secretary Albright set the right tone and was very well received on the Continent. And finally, the proposed visit to Africa by the President sometime perhaps in the spring or early summer, I think sits well.
    There are still a number of outstanding issues that you mentioned similarly, in Sudan and particularly Mauritania. The question of the Great Lakes region—and I think we ought to have an even-handed policy there, too—it appears that many of the human rights groups simply seem to take one side; that it appeared that this whole question just began in 1996 and 1997, but it has, as you know, a long history. Ambassador Koba is doing an outstanding job in Africa, Assistant Secretary Susan Rice is concentrating, but I think that the Great Lakes region needs to be dealt with in a balanced way; that it appeared that many people forget about the genocide of 1993, and start with what is going on at the present time. I think there are certainly atrocities on both sides, and I think that the answer is some attempt to have reconciliation rather than point the finger at Hutu atrocities and Tutsi atrocities, but the fact is there needs to be a real comprehensive Great Lakes position, where the cycle of violence can finally end. Thank you.
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    Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Payne. Mr. Faleomavaega.
    Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, I want to thank you for being here this afternoon. I have been an admirer of you over the years, not only for your outstanding leadership but your championing of human rights, and I think between you and our Chairman, we could not have found better champions as human rights leaders of our country.
    One particular country I am wanting to pursue on a line of questioning concerns Indonesia. Now I know over the months and years there have been a lot of commentaries, both by the media as well as international communities, concerning East Timor, but it is not East Timor I am interested in, particularly. I want to know from you basically the situation in West Papua, New Guinea. I would very much like to know, in terms of the fact that these are about 3 million Melanesians who are not even ethnic Indonesians, if you will. This was the last vestige of a Dutch colony for some 100 years or so before the Dutch finally gave up its colonial rule in that area of the Pacific. But during the Kennedy Administration, rather than placing West Papua, New Guinea under the trust issue of the Council of the United Nations, questions are raised by our own action, where somehow mysteriously it is now an integral part of Indonesia, and realizing that Indonesia, of course, was a former Dutch colony.
    But I would like to request a statement or a position. Example: What the State Department's position is concerning West Papua, New Guinea. They give it the fancy title now of Irian Jaya. What is the official policy toward West Papua, New Guinea, Mr. Secretary? And I rather would appreciate if this should not be taken in terms of passing the buck and saying this is an internal matter of the Republic of Indonesia, and the fact is these people were forced to be subjected to another colonial master. And as far as I am concerned, this is all the principles of humanity as far as this situation with the 3 million Melanesians. I want to know what your comments might be on this issue.
    Mr. SHATTUCK. Well, Mr. Faleomavaega, I think the problems of Indonesia in the human rights field are enormous. Our report is very clear on that. During my most recent visit to Indonesia, last year, I met with a number of NGOs who were active, including those who were from, as you put it, West Papua, New Guinea, Irian Jaya, an area of Indonesia. I heard some very chilling details, many of which are verified and you will find in our report. They don't just put stories in there, they put things we can actually conclude, problems of extrajudicial killings, mass movement of people.
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    This is an area, as you say, like East Timor in a sense, but with less international focus. I found very few ambassadors to Indonesia from other parts of the world, who were familiar with the problems in that very difficult area. I raised these concerns directly with the Foreign Minister, and in our regular meetings on human rights. The issue of the West Papua, New Guinea area and Irian Jaya is a clear focus. We have begun to send our foreign service human rights reporting officers there, to an area of vast distance. You have of course been to East Timor, so you know; this area is about a third as far from Djakarta as East Timor, and even more difficult to reach.
    The scope of Indonesia and the vast number of islands and peoples who are a part of that country is really staggering, but certainly one of the most difficult and troublesome areas of human rights abuse in Indonesia is in that area, and we will continue to focus on it. The Ambassador has now made a couple trips out there as well, so I want to assure you we have this very much in mind.
    Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. I would like to suggest, and I am very happy Secretary Albright is seeing fit that we coordinate, or appoint someone in the State Department to be the Tibet coordinator, because Tibet and East Timor and West New Guinea are on a very similar light. Perhaps it doesn't hurt to include coordinations as well of East Timor as well as New Guinea in this light.
    Mr. Secretary, I am very serious about this, and it is my sincere intention to visit West Papua, New Guinea in the coming months—hopefully with the good grace of our Chairman here, that we will be able to make the visits in the Asian region—but that is particularly the area. And I would like to know basically what our official foreign policy is toward this and that will give me a better sense of what I need to do from there. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you. And, Mr. Secretary, thank you for your extensive testimony. Because of the time, I will submit a number of questions and would appreciate your answering them, particularly the questions with regard to the appalling situation in Vietnam. It is my understanding the Administration is looking into the possibility of extending MFN and waiving the Jackson-Vanik amendment. And there are a number of thorny human rights issues that relate to Vietnam, and I have some specific questions on them.
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    Also, I would make part of the record a letter that is signed by Congressmen Tony Hall, Frank Wolf, Dr. Billington and I, after we undertook a trip to meet with the Russian leadership on the Religious Freedom Act, setting it backwards very substantially, and this lays out our specific reasons why that is flawed.
    And I have a number of questions with regard to Cuba, even Brunei, Mr. Secretary. I noted in reading the report, it says a foreign beauty contest winner brought suit in foreign court against members of the Brunei royal family, alleging she and others were brought to Brunei and subsequently held against their will for purposes of sexual exploitation. It is my understanding the foreign court is a U.S. Federal District Court and that so-called foreign beauty queen or contest winner is a U.S. citizen, Brandy Sherwood. And they say you are talking about somebody in a far off land; this is an American citizen making a serious allegation, and the language in the report seems to address the issue very significantly, I believe.
    Mr. SHATTUCK. I think it is important to understand that one of the virtues of this report is that, unlike my testimony and the exchanges that we have had, it does not focus on the United States. We are very careful not to include reference in the report to the United States, because we don't want to leave the impression that our only concern, or our primary concern is U.S. citizens and others in other countries. We are actually quite proud of including that piece of information on Brunei. I think we probably brought that out, along with some amounts of media focused on it as well, and we are very actively interested in the case. But if we focused on Brunei exclusively, as if we are only interested in the U.S. citizens in Brunei, then I think it would indicate that this report is not as objective as it is, and this is true of other parts of the report as well.
    In our policy work and in our bilateral relations, we certainly are very active in pursuing each of the cases as they affect American citizens, no question about it; we had some exchanges here about it.
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    Mr. SMITH. It just seemed awkward to me; referring to an American citizen as a foreigner seemed to be a stretch. Mr. Secretary, thank you very much.
    I would like to invite our second panelist to come forward, if you would—the human rights organizations and representatives have been kind enough to accommodate Wei Jingsheng's schedule. I would like to introduce him to our Subcommittee.
    Wei Jingsheng was imprisoned by the Government of China from 1979 until 1993, on a charge of bogus propaganda for his peaceful participation in the Democracy Wall movement.
    While in prison, he was subjected to beatings and other harassment and maltreatment. After a brief period, Mr. Wei was rearrested in April 1994, shortly after meeting with Mr. Shattuck, Assistant Secretary of State, and myself and many others who met with him and talked, and were greatly moved by his thought and his moral courage. He was held incommunicado for over a year, without formal charges.
    We held two hearings in our Subcommittee at which time we heard from witnesses, including a family member of his, who made a compassionate plea on his behalf and got legislation passed on the floor of the House, demanding his release.
    On December 13, 1995, the court sentenced Mr. Wei to 14 years in prison, for his peaceful advocacy of democracy and political reforms in China, while the Chinese Government again called this an attempt to overthrow the government.
    Mr. Wei was released and exiled to the United States last year, and he is our witness today.
    Mr. WEI. Distinguished Chairman and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity given me to speak here. In my view, the report put forth by the U.S. Government this year on the question of China's human rights situation is a very discouraging report. It not only distorts facts, but also signifies the intention of the U.S. Government to take a step back from its position of supporting the cause of human rights and democracy in various countries. It is very possible that this would endanger all that has been achieved in the past by the United States and the Western countries in the field of human rights and democracy.
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    The importance of China within the political framework of East Asia and of the world needs no elaboration. Whether China becomes a friend of the United States or it continues to be an enemy of the United States will decide the world political structure for decades to come. However, it is only when China has established a certain type of democratic system, one which respects human rights, that it can become a true friend of the United States.
    Therefore, the question whether or not to support the cause of human rights and democracy in China not only has a bearing on the future of the 1.3 billion Chinese people, but also is closely aligned with the interests of the people of the United States and other countries of the world. However, the U.S. Government has regressed in its position of supporting the cause of human rights and democracy in China. Most of the Federal funds spent on China have gone to the Chinese Communist Party to support and assist the various projects of the Chinese Communist Party, which includes some items for the suppression of people and for deceiving international public opinion.
    On the other hand, the resources used in support of the cause of democracy in China are pitifully small. The political prisoners of China and many other common folks when falsely accused have been deprived of fair treatment and the assistance of legal counsel. On the other hand, the U.S. Government has spent a large sum of money to assist the Chinese Communist Party to train judiciary cadres in order to deal with questions arising from American laws.
    The United States even spent a large sum of money to help the Chinese Communists to stage sham elections in order to deceive public opinion in the United States and Western countries. All of this is to create an illusion as if the one-party dictatorship of the Chinese Communist Party has also been the result of elections. There are too many other instances for me to enumerate here.
    However, in the human rights report, such items of assistance to the Chinese Communist regime and other instances of disregard for human rights have been explained as exhibiting the Chinese Communist authorities' limited equity of tolerance. Even my expulsion from China has been explained as the Chinese authority's allowing me to leave the country to receive medical treatment.
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    The report even concludes that there has been progress in the human rights situation in China. All of this shows that the U.S. Government is assuming an irresponsible attitude in the field of human rights and democracy and is now within the global framework shifting to a position opposite to the American values. This serious situation merits the attention of the American people and the American Congress.
    The government should be urged to adopt a more firm position at this year's Human Rights Commission session in Geneva and other fora and to provide more direct assistance to the cause of democracy and human rights in China. Thank you, sir.
    Also, I wish to take this opportunity to refer briefly to some of the facts and points raised by Secretary Shattuck just now.
    He mentioned, for instance, that Mr. Xu and Mr. Zhung have been tolerated by the Chinese authorities in Beijing.
    But as far as I know in Beijing without any kind of official protection, no one is able to carry out any activities in the field of human rights and democracy there.
    For example, during my brief release in 1993, I have been told by the authorities that as provided by law, people like me who have been deprived of political rights have no right to do things such as holding a press conference. And if I were to do that, I would be arrested immediately.
    For example, shortly after the issuance of that paper by Fang Jue, his movement has been limited. Often his telephone has been cut. And he was told by high level officials that he himself and his friends are now being investigated.
    However, on the other hand, Mr. Xu Win Li and Mr. Zhung have been able to carry out activities openly in Beijing and throughout the country.
    This fact itself shows that they have been approved by the Chinese authorities.
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    In fact, 1 year before I was released from prison, those two have been engaged in smearing and slandering me and some of my friends and other friends in the pro-democracy movement.
    What they have done is to coordinate with the sabotage efforts carried out by the Chinese Communist Party. So their activities can in no way indicate any exhibition of a higher degree of tolerance on the part of the Chinese Communist authorities.
    So in my personal view, as far as I know, 90 percent of the overseas Chinese and the same percentage of Chinese people inside China hold similar views toward those two persons. So they will find no market, so to speak, anywhere.
    I think should the United States base its policies on such misguided assessments, it would be prone to serious mistakes. Thank you, sir.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Wei appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. SMITH. Mr. Wei, thank you very much for that very candid and I would say very disturbing assessment of U.S. foreign policy. You have leveled very, very serious charges against the Administration and by extension the Congress with regard to our China policy.
    You have pointed out that we have acted irresponsibly, a step back, that the facts are distorted, and made several other statements that really go to the heart of what the Administration perceives to be its policy.
    Let me ask you what your feeling is with regard to the Administration's constructive engagement policy. That is how they like to characterize it. How do you evaluate it?
    Mr. WEI. I am not opposed at all to general contact with the Chinese Government.
    In fact, after the establishment of a diplomatic relationship between the two countries, this itself is a form of contact. It is a form of dialog.
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    However, in recent years, led by the United States and followed by some Western countries, the dialogs that you have been engaged in is a form of secret or covert dialog.
    There is a twofold danger to this kind of secret dialog. One is that it will no longer be under the supervision of the American people or the American Congress.
    I think this, in the least, is contrary to the political principle of the United States.
    The second danger lies in the fact that no one would get to know the content of such dialogs, so that the Chinese Communist Party will find it more convenient to go back on any promises.
    So when nobody is aware of the content of such dialogs or get to know who is going back on his words, so after such dialog has been held, probably the U.S. Government officials will find it necessary to explain or defend on behalf of the Chinese authorities.
    If the United States were to find itself in such a scenario, it would be tantamount to have fallen into the traps of the Chinese Communist authorities.
    As a matter of fact, I think many Western politicians have found themselves in such a position; namely, falling into the Chinese trap, and, therefore, for decades now they have been openly defending the Chinese position or even openly spreading lies.
    The Chinese consider this as a very successful tactic for the control of political figures in the United States and Western countries. This is probably why the same people have been going all out for establishing a comprehensive, strategic cooperative partnership with China.
    Mr. SMITH. Mr. Wei, you mentioned sham elections in your criticism of China. The Country Reports highlights or boasts, if you will, that approximately 1 million villages are expected to hold competitive direct elections for village communities. It also suggests that a majority of villages have carried out at least two rounds of elections. Foreign observers who have monitored local elections, including the Carter Center and the International Republican Institute have judged the elections they observed on the whole to be fair. The candidates that stood for these elections, were there real opposition candidates or were you talking about the national election for the People's Congress?
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    Mr. WEI. I think on this question, the report might be a little off. As a matter of fact, it is not only just 1 million, some peasants. Since the 1950's, no less than 1 billion people have been engaged in different forms of the elections. But all these elections are sham and devoid of any substance.
    Moreover, these elections lack the necessary conditions to be meaningful. For example, since there is no freedom of speech, the people have no choice. The results of elections are not guaranteed.
    There have been many instances in the past with regard to elections in China. Whenever people come out with their own candidates, the Communist authorities will do everything possible until their own candidate has been elected.
    What is even more serious, very often all these nonCommunist candidates, those trusted by the people, have been very quickly arrested.
    So on the one hand, the people find the elections quite useless, because there is no guarantee of respecting the results of such. On the other hand, they find it unnecessary to send people that they trust to prison. The only purpose of these elections has been to deceive U.S. and Western public opinion.
    However, if the Carter Center should decide to support such activities, elections with private donations, that is their business. But should the U.S. taxpayers' money be used for that purpose, I think it merits the attention of the Congress.
    Mr. SMITH. Let me ask you, if you could to tell us, what you were interrogated about, upon your rearrest in 1994 after meeting with the Assistant Secretary Shattuck, 2 weeks before that you and I had dinner for about 3 hours. Others, journalists and others I am sure met with you. What did they ask you about those meetings with the ''foreigners,'' especially Secretary Shattuck?
    Mr. WEI. Of course they wanted to know everything, including who set up the meeting and so on and so forth. But I didn't tell them anything.
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    They especially asked about you, sir.
    Mr. SMITH. May I ask what they asked?
    Mr. WEI. They asked me, for example, do you know what Mr. Smith is up to? We understand that he is quite closely linked with the CIA.
    I told them I don't care who he is closely linked to. All I know is that he is a Member of the Congress, and, therefore, he represents the U.S. people, the U.S. electorate. So when I have a talk with him, that is the same as talking to the American people.
    The same thing with Mr. Shattuck. They tried to convince me that he is in no way trying to do anything good for China but to find weaknesses of China to exploit to the advantage of the United States.
    Mr. SMITH. That is especially disheartening because at the very time that both Mr. Shattuck and I were there, the Clinton Administration had suspended revocation of Most Favored Nation status, the thought being, give them another year and somehow the Chinese, if they had substantial progress in human rights, then would be afforded MFN for another year. They had substantial regression; regrettably they got MFN. Let me just say for the record, I am not a member of the CIA.
    Let me just ask regarding torture. The Chinese tell us that there is no torture. We have heard from other witnesses in this Subcommittee, including Harry Wu previously, about the use of torture. Is torture now being used against political and religious dissidents and other prisoners?
    Mr. WEI. Yes, they do use tortures. Very often they use handcuffs, the other way, with the hands in the back. They also use electric rods on the prisoners.
    The use of the same against political prisoners has a direct link with the international situation.
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    Generally speaking, when there is a worsening in the relationship between China and the United States or other Western countries, we tend to get a bit more protection inside the prisons.
    For example, when there is a turn for the better in the Sino-American or relationship with other Western countries, last year specifically when the United States declared its intention to establish this strategic collaborative partnership with China, immediately the prisoners had been beaten and received other abuses.
    They have been relatively nice to me. After the beating I received, I was only down for about a couple of days. But I quickly recovered. But I understand that the other prisoners have received much more cruel treatment, such as getting locked up in a small dark room and getting handcuffed and so on.
    At the same time, the Chinese Communists stepped up its purges generally.
    For example, Secretary Shattuck mentioned that the United States should encourage more tolerance on the part of the Chinese Communist regime for people like Fang Jue and so on. I think this might be mistaken because the Chinese Communists will only tolerate anything as a result of pressure. Once the pressure has lifted, then there is no question of any tolerance.
    Mr. SMITH. Let me ask you with regard to the pressure, because it is counterintuitive that in a spate of good relations, prisoners get more torture and are more abused. But that is only at first blush. I guess if you think it through, it does make sense, and you are testifying to its reality.
    What then would you say to the Clinton Administration and others who would like to extend Most Favored Nation status permanently so that there is not an annual review?
    Mr. WEI. I think this can be considered as a part of the regression I mentioned about the position of the United States.
    I think in the view of the Chinese Communist authorities, the only two areas where the U.S. Government can exert real pressure is, first, in the field of trade. The second is the Human Rights Commission session in Geneva.
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    The Chinese Communist authorities have been engaged in friendly activities in the diplomatic field by its agents, in bribery and so on, all for the purpose of eliminating those two sources of pressure.
    Including, for example, release of political prisoners, the signing of certain international treaties and conventions, all for the purpose of eliminating those two sources for pressure.
    So I think by doing away with the annual review of the MFN status and by eliminating the condemnation of the Chinese Government from Geneva, then the other strategic partnership or whatever would mean nothing in the eyes of the Chinese.
    I think it would be wise for the Clinton Administration to continue and to increase pressure. Otherwise, they will achieve very little, I think.
    Mr. SMITH. Just two final questions. Briefly, if you could tell us your view of what we consider to be the crushing of the unofficial or underground church, evangelicals, the Catholic Church, that is not the Catholic Patriotic Association, and the ongoing misery in Tibet with regard to the Buddhists. And second, if you could speak to the issue of coercion in population control, which now gets some attention, but not the kind of attention some of us believe it ought to get, especially when in the report there is a detailed cataloging of the abuse, but meanwhile there is also the statement that the average citizen goes about their daily lives with more personal freedom than ever before.
    Certainly, the ability to make a family, to have children and have brothers and sisters not deemed to be illegal and therefore subject to destruction is not a personal freedom when that is the law or the policy of China.
    Mr. WEI. I think that the basic policy of the Chinese authorities toward churches is one of gaining total control. They have been actively training so-called religious cadres, which is nothing but, agents active in the religious field.
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    The purpose of total control of the churches is to have the churches serve the Chinese Communist Party.
    As soon as there is any resistance within the churches against the Communist policy, they will use their agents and whatever to immediately carry out suppression.
    It is because of international pressure that they are more hesitant to do much against the more higher profile religious figures or churches.
    They carry out much more ruthless and cruel suppression against those indigenous religious activities which do not receive so much international attention.
    In the final analysis, they do not recognize those churches as religious entities. And so in a way you can say that there is basically no freedom of religion or belief in China.
    Let me give you two examples. Before my rearrest in 1994, about half a month before that, I made a trip to the countryside.
    For example, in the Province of Shandong. I visited two churches. One Taoist, one Buddhist. I found in the temple signs of the party branch of the church.
    In the past, I have heard that the Communist Party has sent cadres out to learn and to study these religions. But after these trips, I found out that, in fact, all the churches were under the tight control of the party branch.
    Again, in the Province of Shandong in Qingdao I visited a very famous Taoist temple called Shan Shing Palace. I met some Taoist priests there.
    I noticed that they were very thinly clad and asked them about it. They told me that this temple, being a very famous tourist spot, has a very high income. However, all of that has been submitted to the Communist Party. All expenditure of the temple has to be approved by the secretary of the party branch.
    So they approve very little money for clothing. That is why when there is a change of season, they were not sufficiently clothed.
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    I asked him generally what is the ratio between their expenses and their income and I was told that 90 to 80 percent of their income were given to the government, and they keep about 10 percent.
    That is part of the realities in the so-called religious freedom propagated by the Chinese Communist authorities.
    Let me refer briefly to the question of coercion in population control and abortion. Basically, the Chinese policy in this field is one of total disregard of human rights and not considering people as people.
    For example, I saw on Chinese television a very tragic incident concerning a household of peasants in the Province of Jiangxi. Because he and his wife were both opposed to the policy of abortion and so on, she had three children, one after another. After that, the government imposed a huge fine and confiscated their house, all their food, their cattle and all their other assets.
    When told by the party branch secretary that before they pay up the fine and so on, they will not be allowed to leave the village and find work elsewhere. So in this total desperate situation, he killed his entire family and then committed suicide.
    In summary, the family planning policy of the Chinese authorities is one of total disregard of human rights and not considering a human as human, but simply a tool to achieve its policy goals.
    It is not just a simple question of murdering the fetus. They murder adults as well.
    Mr. SMITH. Before yielding to Mr. Gilman, just let me comment that, and maybe you would want to comment on this as well, but some of the leading population control organizations, including the UNFPA—U.N. population organization—its executive director, Dr. Nafis Sadik, has said repeatedly that the Chinese program is a ''voluntary program.'' She has said it on CBS Night Watch, she has said it in a number of fora, including a few on Capitol Hill, and she has told me that to my face when I was at the U.N. headquarters as Bush's delegate to the United Nations. She continues to say that. What does that say to you when the United Nations gives them that kind of cover for a program, as you describe it, that totally disregards the human rights of people?
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    Mr. WEI. It is not just myself taking exception to this view you just stated, but in general the Chinese people have a very serious view of all U.N. activities in China in the field of population control.
    Because all the Chinese people can see that the population control policy of the government is totally useless. Instead they have been turned into tools for extortion and so on.
    When the United Nations gave the Chinese Government population control award, the Chinese people were flabbergasted. They were asking, is the United Nations on the side of the Chinese Government?
    And so the Chinese people have a very negative image of the U.N. organizations in this field. As a matter of fact, the U.N. organizations have become the butt of jokes among the Chinese people.
    Of course, it is only quite normal, because if you do not respect the right of the Chinese people, then why should the Chinese people respect you?
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much, Mr. Wei.
    Mr. Gilman.
    Mr. GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Again, Mr. Wei, I want to welcome you to our Committee. You have been an inspiration to those of us who respect human rights throughout the world. Your 18 years in prison in China has not deterred your continual advocacy of human rights. We welcome your taking the time to appear before us today.
    Mr. Wei, I have a few questions. In our meeting last night when we heard you talk to the Council on Foreign Relations, I asked you then to comment about the letter you wrote to Deng Xiaoping in 1992 with regard to your advocacy of trying to make peace with Tibet and to try to negotiate with Tibet.
    At that time in your letter you stated the Chinese Government should eliminate the mentality of the so-called ''great Han empire'' and sit at the negotiating table with the Dalai Lama. Negotiations should start with no preconditions. We are still at an impasse with regard to Tibet and China. What are your recommendations with regard to Tibet?
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    Mr. WEI. Of course, I shall stand on the content and the position as stated in my 1992 letter on that question. After my release, I found out that the Dalai Lama is more than willing to negotiate. As a matter of fact, every year he has been sending representatives to Beijing for that purpose. This has been going on for decades now.
    Every time his representative would have to wait as long as 2 or 3 months in Beijing, even though they have made it amply clear that they seek no independence for Tibet. They are only seeking the human rights and protecting the interests of the Tibetan people. However, the Chinese side has refused to talk.
    On the other hand, in the open propaganda by the Chinese Government, they have been spreading lies concerning the lack of sincerity on the part of the Dalai Lama to negotiate.
    All this shows that the Chinese regime has been persisting in its Tibetan policy formulated since the 1950's by Deng Xiaoping.
    Mr. GILMAN. When we met with President Jiang Zemin in August, we asked what he intended to do about Tibet and what could he do to try to resolve the issue. He said all I want is that the Dalai Lama say that he does not want independence. When we went to visit the Dalai Lama, within a few weeks of that visit with the President and we asked him what his thinking was with regard to independence, he said we don't want independence for Tibet. We would like some autonomy so that we can rule ourselves, but we are not seeking independence.
    So we have a wide divergency, a wide gap between the two of them. I would hope that we can encourage the Chinese Government to eventually sit down, as you urged in 1992, to negotiate without any preconditions and to try to eventually resolve this issue.
    Mr. Wei, last evening when you talked to the Council on Foreign Relations, you voiced concern that the Chinese people were getting the wrong impression about our Nation, about Americans in general. Can you tell us what we can better do to improve our image with the Chinese people? How best can we convey to them the American image of freedom and democracy?
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    Mr. WEI. I feel, first of all, and most importantly the political position of the United States should be clear and firm. This way the Chinese people will be clear what the United States is doing or wants to do.
    For example, at this year's Human Rights Commission session in Geneva, the United States should display a clear and firm position and announce its position at an early date and engage in the promotion and mobilization of other countries for the adoption of a resolution condemning the position of China.
    This way you can count on the fact that the Chinese Communist paper would launch a mean and vicious attack against the U.S. position. The People's Daily, which enjoys the widest circulation in China, will be the best channel for propaganda in this respect, announcing to the Chinese people what the U.S. position is.
    I think a lot of the worries on the part of the U.S. businessman is unnecessary, because it is the Chinese side which wants and needs the U.S. business. So, in fact, in 1994, during my secret negotiations with the Chinese authorities, I was told that the thing that they worry most is to lose the U.S. business.
    It is shortly after those negotiations, the position of the U.S. Government took a step back. That is why the negotiations were stopped and I was re-arrested.
    So you can see from this that any action on the part of the U.S. Government has a direct bearing on China.
    Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Wei, what can we better do than we have done in the past to improve the conditions of political prisoners in China and the imprisonment of political prisoners?
    Mr. WEI. First and foremost, the United States should take a very firm position.
    The other thing is to support organizations such as the International Red Cross Committee, which is not under Chinese control, quite independent, support them in their investigation and supervision.
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    Another thing is to extend support and assistance to human rights organizations within China and genuine labor and peasant unions. This way it will force the Chinese authorities to ease their mistreatment of the political prisoners.
    I think the most effective means will be to extend direct assistance, but only to organizations and individuals who are really engaged in activities for the cause of human rights and democracy in China.
    I think some of the other details perhaps we can talk in private without attracting the notice of the Chinese Communist Party.
    Mr. GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Wei, for being here. Thank you for setting a good example of a crusader for human rights. You have certainly motivated many of us to continue in our battle. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Chairman Gilman. Mr. Faleomavaega.
    Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Wei Jingsheng, if I had my way, you should be the President of the People's Republic of China tomorrow. I certainly would like to echo the compliments and the statements made earlier by our Chairman and Chairman Gilman for the example that you have set.
    I am sure that no one in this room could better appreciate what democracy means than the fact that you have suffered dearly physically, emotionally and in every way possible concerning the way that the Communist regime in China currently handles its citizens. I would like to share with you some of the statements you made in this address that you had given to the Council on Foreign Relations, I believe it was earlier this morning. I just wanted some comments from you.
    I know you did share with us a very dark page, I suppose, in our foreign policy, in your opinion, U.S. foreign policy on human rights has regressed and that the United States has taken an irresponsible attitude toward human rights. I would like to ask you, drawing from the statement that you had given earlier to the Council on Foreign Relations, you said the American people have become carried away by their own greatness. They refuse to draw lessons from their failures. Within the span of a single generation, they forgot the lesson paid in blood. Duped by the lies of a dishonest politician, the American people hailed their President on his visit to Beijing to see Mao Ze-dong, the greatest butcher in this century, and rescued the Chinese Communist regime from the jaws of death.
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    I know we all have our own sense of what history is about. History tends to be very subjective. Was there an awareness by the Chinese people as well as yourself that there was this very super power play among the superpowers, if you will, the fact that two of the most powerful Communist nations then, the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, that we considered the foreign policy as it was enunciated by the late President Nixon was a very positive step, not only creating a balance of power, but it was to drive a wedge and to see that the People's Republic of China would be more endearing to the United States than toward the Soviet Union? You did think that that was a positive step in trying to win the cold war?
    Mr. WEI. Of course you are perfectly correct in saying that everyone has his own view of history. Of course what is important is to see whether this view is in line with the reality.
    In point of fact, the contradictions between the Chinese and the Soviet regime at that time had not escalated because of whatever the United States did.
    In fact, the split between the two parties or, rather, the two governments took place from the beginning of the 1960's. And all the border incidents occurred in 1969, long before Nixon's visit.
    Also, the pro-Soviet faction within the Chinese Communist Party led by Mr. Lin Biao was completely crushed sometime before the 1971 visit by Nixon.
    So, in fact, the conflict between China and the Soviet Union is by no means based on ideology, but based on the conflict of interest and border disputes involving large tracts of territories.
    Nixon's claim of credit of settling this or escalating this conflict between China and the Soviet Union is totally false.
    The Chinese version is that Mao and Zhou Enlai have skillfully made use of the contradictions between the United States and the Soviet Union to the advantage of China.
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    On this point, I believe the Chinese Communists have not lied.
    Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Mr. Wei, you also stated the American people are not familiar with the nature of the Chinese Communists. I might also add that the American people are not familiar with the Chinese people, period. There has been a tremendous lack of understanding just simply of the cultural differences of the Asian-Pacific nations and even with the American people.
    I could not agree with you more on that. Here again, I go back to our sense of history. The Chinese people were subjected to Western colonial powers for well over 100 years. There was a struggle between Mao Ze-dong and Chiang Kai-shek as to who should take up the leadership in the 1940's. Eventually, Chiang Kai-shek was literally chased out of mainland China and settled in Formosa, what is now known as Taiwan. So when the People's Republic of China was founded in 1947, you had a population of about 400 million Chinese, that the Chinese Government had to put up with in terms of providing for their basic needs.
    What would have been your recommendation to Mao Ze-dong with 400 million people that you have to provide for? Regardless of whether the government was Communist or dictator or what, how would it have been possible for any government to provide for the needs of some 400 million Chinese? It took us over 200 years to get where we are. We have a population now of only 264 million people. It took us over 200 years even to talk about civil rights, basic human rights allotted to women in the Black-American community. I am sure you are very aware of that.
    It was only in the last 3 or 4 years that the people of Taiwan elected its first President. So with the sense that you actually have a history of 50 years, whether it is a Communist regime or what, and we have experienced this for now 222 years, can you give us your perspective that perhaps in the evolvement of the process that the People's Republic of China will evolve itself into more democratic institutions or do you suppose that we should go to war with China now and get rid of all the Communists that we have there?
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    Mr. WEI. Of course we don't want wars. We would always opt for peaceful means to settle any problems.
    But there is one point which surprisingly sounds quite similar to the Communist version, which is that the government provided food for the people. I believe it is the people themselves through their labor, get income and feed themselves.
    It is through their labor that the people, by submitting tax, feed the government. So it is the people feeding the government and not the other way around.
    Since the early 1950's, after they came to power, their policy has been one to gain total control of all the economic assets inside the country and promising to feed the people on that basis.
    But the facts show that for some 10 or 20 years, all their efforts have failed, and people remain to live in a state of poverty. That is why Deng Xiaoping came up with the reforms.
    Those economic reforms simply mean opening a little crack in the door, allowing the people to go out on their own to find their livelihood. However, in the political field, everything has remained the same.
    This is how I criticized Deng Xiaoping 19 years ago. I think after some 20 years now, most of the Chinese people have accepted my thesis.
    I think the Chinese people all concede now that without a change in the political system, it will be impossible for the people to gain human rights or enjoy their economic rights. If there is a good turn in the Chinese economy, they will gain very little benefit. However, should there be any eruptions, then they will be the first victims.
    Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Short of taking a force of arms, Mr. Wei Jingsheng, what do you suggest we ought to do? Isolate China, not be involved with its economic, social and political well being? What exactly are you projecting in terms of what the United States should do, as other nations as well? I mean, we should aggressively pursue human rights, we understand that. But there come limitations as what other nations can do against other nations short of using force of arms. So we don't take force of arms as an option, so what do you suggest? Should we isolate China completely from the rest of the world community? Because that is not a reality as well.
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    Mr. WEI. Of course you are quite right. The isolation of China would not be part of the realities. But since the very beginning, the Chinese Communist Party has isolated China from the rest of the world. That is reality.
    The members of the Chinese Communist Party themselves do not like isolation. But on the other hand, they would prefer that the Chinese people have no contact with the outside world.
    So I think one should avoid generalizing when we come to the topic of China, because there are really two Chinas; one belonging to the Chinese people, and the other is the Chinese Communist regime.
    The Chinese Communist regime, through its suppression and exploitation of the Chinese people there, is in fact very isolated. Of course as a matter of course, it should also be isolated internationally.
    It does seem that it would be hard to find a middle way on this question, because if you were to help this regime which engages in the butchering, in oppressing, in exploiting the Chinese people, then you would be opposed to the Chinese people.
    For example, the UNFPA, that organization that we just talked about earlier, it extended extensive help to the Chinese Communist Government. By doing that, it has isolated itself from the Chinese Republic or set itself on the opposite side of the Chinese people.
    It is like, let us say one of our neighbors did something bad. I think the entire neighborhood would get together and isolate the culprit.
    If you were to show that we don't really care and remain very close to him, it would be tantamount to encouraging him to do more bad things in the future.
    It is really quite simple.
    Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. I have one more portion of your statement and I think it really needs to be shared by my colleagues and as well with the American public. I quote again from you, Mr. Wei. You said, I only wish to tell you that many journalists, experts and scholars from the West have often been misguided in their assessments of China. Because the United States has in the past relied upon these mistaken assessments to formulate policy, the U.S. Government has made repeated mistakes that echo for decades.
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    Mr. Wei, can you submit for the record a list of books, anything that you think that we in the West should read up a little more to understand and appreciate the situation in China better? I know what you say here is quite, not prophetic but quite accurate in terms of our involvement with our failed policy in Vietnam. But I would appreciate your elaboration on that statement you made. Maybe you might offer some suggestions on the so-called experts that we have here in the West who know more about Chinese culture and what is happening there in China.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Mr. Wei. Your response.
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Faleomavaega. Let me just thank our very distinguished witness, Wei Jingsheng for his outstanding and very sobering testimony. I think your comments serve as a reality check to some of the conventional wisdom that is rampant on Capitol Hill and really throughout the world.
    I would say to my good friend, Mr. Faleomavaega, one interesting book that I read some years back by Stephen Mosher was entitled ''China Misperceived.'' He spoke of this continuing comedy of errors committed by U.S. and other Western diplomats, vis-a-vis the People's Republic of China and a diminution of human rights abuses to the point where we would look askance almost habitually, we would never face the reality somehow, we would judge the Chinese Government with a different yardstick than we would other countries like the Soviet Union.
    Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. I might also add, Mr. Chairman, I think in light of what Mr. Wei had shared with us earlier, I am reminded of what the poet-philosopher Santayana always advised us about those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. I think this is something that maybe we could take as a lesson in history. I certainly thank you and Mr. Wei for his presence here and his testimony. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. SMITH. I want to thank Mr. Wei for his testimony. I would like to announce and I have cleared this and spoken to our four distinguished witnesses who will follow and would ask that those who are interested, for the press, if they could return. I have a meeting with a high official in the Clinton Administration at 1:30. I can be back here, I believe, about 2, a little bit after 2. We will look to reconvene shortly thereafter. We will take a very brief break and then come back. I want to thank our distinguished witness. Again I am sorry to our witnesses for this delay. Thank you.
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    Mr. SMITH. The Subcommittee will please come to order. Let me again apologize to our panelists. Our earlier session did run a little bit longer than anticipated. I am sure you agree because Wei is such a stellar witness for human rights in China, none of us wanted to in any way curb his statement. So I do thank you for your patience.
    I would like first of all to introduce Stephen Rickard, the Washington Office Director of Amnesty International, USA. Previously he served as senior adviser for staff, Asian Affairs, in the Department of State. Mr. Rickard earned his law degree from Yale Law School and a Masters degree from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School.
    Elisa Massimino is the Director of the Washington Office of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, where she has worked since the office opened in 1991. Ms. Massimino also teaches refugee law at the National Law Center of George Washington University. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and holds a Masters degree in philosophy from Johns Hopkins University.
    Nina Shea is the Director of the Center for Religious Freedom at Freedom House, America's oldest human rights group. She is a member of the special advisory committee to the U.S. Secretary of State on religious freedom abroad. In addition to her frequent fact-finding trips and appearances before Congress, Ms. Shea is the author of ''In the Lion's Den,'' a book on the persecution of Christians that was published last year.
    Finally, Mr. Kenneth Roth has been the executive director of Human Rights Watch since 1993. Previously, Mr. Roth worked for the Independent Counsel for the Iran-Contra investigation and also served as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He is a graduate of Yale Law School and Brown University.

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    Mr. SMITH. Mr. Rickard, if you could begin.
    Mr. RICKARD. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Let me just say that I am very pleased to have the opportunity to testify before you again this year. Knowing your dedication to the issue, I always come for the full day and am prepared for that should that eventuality befall us.
    I would like to ask that my full statement be placed in the record, and I will try and briefly summarize it so we can have plenty of time for questions.
    Mr. SMITH. Without objection, it will all be made a part of the record.
    Mr. RICKARD. I would like to join some of the other witnesses and, I am sure, some of my colleagues in emphasizing out of the gate that I think it is a welcome development in the annual human rights report process that the Department has put such a strong emphasis on the religious freedom issue and on the human rights of women. Those are two topics that have been growing in importance. We strongly support that.
    I have testified before the Committee on the religious freedom issue separately, and last year we spent a lot of time talking about the women's rights issue, so I won't go into a lot of detail on that this year. Those are important parts of the report that we strongly support.
    I would like to make one point that I made last year and that is that while some people see in the annual report a sign of pessimism and brutality, I always look at it as a testament to courage and optimism. If thousands of average people in every culture on every continent weren't willing to stand up and fight for their dignity, even at the risk of death, we wouldn't have a human rights report or, at best, a very slim one. It is a compendium of courage to me. Those people have earned our respect and deserve our support.
    I would also like to add that we very much appreciate the efforts of Assistant Secretary John Shattuck and his fine team. We have been very appreciative of the strong words of support Secretary Albright has offered, particularly on subjects including Afghanistan and Bosnia. When Deputy Secretary Talbott opened up the press conference last Friday, in which he introduced this year's report, he took advantage of the occasion to plug the Administration's plea for financial support for bailing out the East Asian economies. I suppose that is admirable. He was on message for the Administration. But last year Secretary Albright made a somewhat similar point, but with an important twist. Instead of saying, as Secretary Talbott did, we should do something about these economies because economic failure will be bad for human rights, it will cause social conflict and it will erode progress, Secretary Albright a year ago said it is a mistake for people to see trade and human rights as conflicting objectives. The opposite is true. Human rights are good for trade. When we promote human rights in societies, we promote the rule of law, we make them better customers, better places to invest.
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    I am not an economist, and I don't take a position on the Administration's bailout issue, but I do think that Secretary Talbott missed the opportunity to make two important points. The first is that this might be the moment when the business community really begins to understand the point that Secretary Albright was trying to make a year ago when she introduced last year's report, namely, that you cannot sweep human rights under the rug in pursuit of trade without setting up a situation which is rife for instability, chaos and economic problems.
    If it makes business people uncomfortable to talk about this in terms of human rights, we can use other terms. We can call it ''crony capitalism'' and ''lack of transparent markets'' and ''corruption'' and other terms which they are comfortable using. But those are really just other ways of saying ''abuse of power,'' ''absence of a free press to expose corruption,'' ''absence of an independent judiciary.''
    And so I would have liked to have seen the Administration say, this is the moment where we can see that if we pursue economic goals to the exclusion of human rights, if we see economics and human rights in tension with each other, we are setting ourselves up for a problem, and it is a false dichotomy.
    The other point I would have liked to have seen Secretary Talbott make is that as long as we are out there saying we need billions to promote human rights in East Asia, maybe the Department was willing to put a few million more into the Human Rights bureau in their own building. Maybe he could have made the point that the Department should promote people who are doing outstanding human rights work instead of letting them be passed over for promotion, as happens too often. Maybe his own building could take initiatives to strengthen the functional bureaus like the Human Rights bureau, instead of the regional bureaus, the already dominant regional bureaus, as I understand is happening right now. So there was a lot of stuff that he could have said that was a lot closer to home than saying we should spend billions in Asia to promote human rights. I would say, Mr. Chairman, that basically he could do a lot of the things that you have been suggesting that the Department should do in terms of investing in human rights within their own building.
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    Mr. Chairman, last year both you and I quoted my predecessor, Jim O'Dea, when he said, in testifying about the annual human rights report, ''Human rights is an island off the mainland of U.S. foreign policy.'' That statement is still true for the most part.
    But one very important development has occurred since the last time we met to discuss the Human Rights Reports. Like the Reports themselves and the Human Rights bureau, the new development was a congressional initiative. It was an initiative that links the human rights reporting to what the United States does with foreign aid, namely, the Leahy amendment. It says that when the United States has information that a security force unit is guilty of gross human rights violations, that unit becomes ineligible to receive U.S. foreign operations assistance unless the government takes effective steps to bring the perpetrators to justice. That really, from my point of view, is a step that ties this reporting together with what we do in the field. It requires the embassies to put in place monitoring arrangements. It requires them to link the human rights reporting with what the aid teams and the military advisors and attacks are doing in countries abroad.
    I would like to take just a second to pay special tribute to the Chairman of this Committee, Mr. Gilman, who was very involved in the discussions over the Leahy amendment, and through his insistence, a provision was added to the Leahy amendment that requires for the first time that when such a provision is triggered, the U.S. Government provide information to the foreign government about what it knows about human rights abuses and actually assist on bringing the perpetrators to justice.
    That provision, which Mr. Gilman brought into law, ties the reporting together with what the U.S. Government has to do in the field. He may already have received a copy of it, but one of his constituents and an Amnesty member sent us a note which I would like to just read for the record. It was just scribbled on an article about the Leahy amendment and aid to Colombia.
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    It says, ''Dear Congressman Gilman, my husband and I sleep better at night knowing that your efforts have made it possible to assure that tax dollars are no longer being used to perpetrate horrible human rights abuses. We and the hundreds of AIUSA members in your district are grateful for the role you played in this.''
    I think that this Committee continues to play the role of trying to tie that island off the mainstream back to the foreign policy mainland, and the Leahy amendment was an important step in that direction.
    Mr. Chairman, I would like to just very briefly mention a couple of things that have also happened since we met last year. First, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to congratulate the Administration for paying more high-level attention to Africa. Last year we talked about this and the fact that it had been largely overlooked, and since then there have been a number of high-level trips. We are very pleased that the President is thinking of going.
    We also talked last year about the absence of effective action in Bosnia to bring indictees to the War Crimes Tribunal. Although far too many of the indictees are still at large, even though their locations are well known, at least initial steps have been made. We are very pleased that the Administration has moved on that issue.
    I would also like to draw attention to a point that my colleague, Elisa Massimino, made last year; I thought it was a very important one. I have taken a close look at the new Reports this year, and it is still a problem in the Annual Reports. Too often the Department is not speaking in its own voice when it criticizes human rights abuses.
    As Elisa pointed out last year, the instructions for preparing the Reports could not be clearer on this point. The Department is to speak in its own voice whenever possible. But this remains a problem that runs throughout all of the Reports. Although there may be cases where you simply can't make your own judgment or you don't want to reveal the source, the reality is that this is such a common practice that it is clear that this is a device to avoid direct criticism from the United States of foreign governments. I put in my written testimony a number of examples of where this occurs. You can find examples in virtually every report. I will not take your time to go through them in detail now, but they are in virtually every report.
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    I have included some comments about specific countries which I will not go through in detail, but there is one report which I think this year is getting justifiably close scrutiny, and that is the report on China. The report is long. It is very detailed; it is not possible to go into a line-by-line examination of the whole report. But attention has focused on the introduction to the report and rightly so. It is intended to provide the context, the overall tone for the report. It is for that reason the most frequently cited and read section of each report.
    The 1996 introduction was very frank. Dissent was not tolerated in China. The 1997 China report is very different. It contains a great deal of positive, even glowing commentary regarding ''positive steps,'' ''greater independence,'' ''progress,'' and ''personal freedom'' which reportedly blossomed in China during 1997. As a purported attempt to provide a context and an overview for the current human rights situation in China, this is deeply disappointing.
    The first two paragraphs are largely unchanged, giving the two introductions a superficial similarity. If you look at the last nine paragraphs of the introduction, you see how dramatically, startlingly different they are. Four are almost completely new and almost entirely devoted to singing psalms of praise. Three contain major new language extolling positive new developments, and the remaining two have small changes, but all in a positive direction.
    Here are the opening clauses of the five paragraphs following those first two introductory paragraphs: ''There were positive steps in human rights''; ''In 1997 the government took several positive actions to address international concerns''; ''The government response to dissent was also somewhat more tolerant''; ''China also released a few political prisoners''; ''China made progress in legal reform efforts.''
    What had been ''intolerance'' in the 1996 report became ''limited tolerance'' in the 1997 Report. ''Severe restrictions'' became ''tight restrictions.'' ''Intensified repression'' on religion became ''varying degrees of official interference and repression.'' Churches ''continued to grow at a rapid pace, and those who dare to speak out did not suffer unthinkable brutality.'' They simply ''live in an environment of repression,'' whatever that means.
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    We agree that it is important to acknowledge positive developments. We also agree that there were some. Amnesty members quite literally danced in the streets when Wei Jingsheng was released. But what has gone out the window in 1997 is a sense of proportionality. In every single one of these areas, the remaining problems are much more severe than the positive steps that are highlighted. This results in a classic case of praising with faint damns.
    The longest journey does begin with a single step, but that doesn't mean the first step is the journey. But much more than the overemphasis on positive developments, what bothers me about the 1997 introduction is the sleight of prose by which thousands of political prisoners who were held throughout 1997, and hundreds and possibly thousands of new protesters and suspected opponents of the government who became prisoners during 1997 simply fade away until they are all but invisible in the new introduction. I know, if you read carefully, they are still there, but they are draped in camouflage, while a thousand rhetorical flowers bloom around them, praising, ''somewhat more tolerant authorities taking positive steps, making progress in legal reform, diminishing state control over people's daily lives, providing greater independence for entrepreneurs and more personal freedom than ever before'' to the Chinese people—all new language in the 1997 Report.
    The thousands of prisoners already in jail when 1997 began are now tucked in between six prisoners who were released early and two who were ''allowed'' to leave China. They should be simply happy they got mentioned, because there is literally nothing in this introduction that conveys to the reader that hundreds and possibly thousands of new prisoners were arrested to take Wei Jingsheng's place.
    The bottom line is this: If the Department had published last year's introduction again, it would have conveyed a more meaningful message about the current situation in China than the new report does.
    I am going to stop there, except to say that a comment that has been made by others and I know is in the testimony of others of my colleagues, which is to say that I think we all see us heading for the same train wreck at the Human Rights Commission that happened last year, where people say, there has been all this progress; we have to look, we have to wait. Meanwhile, the Chinese are working diligently to defeat a resolution, and we will have the same result that we did last year.
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    I will simply end by noting that we were very pleased that there were changes in the Afghanistan report this year, which eliminated some of the troubling language from last year which seemed to imply that some of the abuses against women in Afghanistan were cultural or traditional. We thought that was inappropriate and objected about it last year, and I am very pleased that the Department acted on those concerns.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much for your comments. There is a real parallel between what you are saying about the report and the use of those words and what Wei Jingsheng told us just previous to your remarks. I thank you for that information.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Rickard appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. SMITH. Ms. Massimino.

    Ms. MASSIMINO. Thank you. I just want to start by saying, it is a privilege for me to be at a hearing with one of the true heroes in the struggle for human rights. I thank you for bringing him here and for the privilege of hearing him speak about the Reports. His remarks were very pointed and very timely, as Steve just mentioned, as the Administration continues to waffle on the issue of whether to press for a resolution condemning human rights abuses in China at the upcoming session of the Human Rights Commission in Geneva.
    Many of us in the human rights community believe that U.S. leadership on this effort, which is so critical to any chance of success, is even more important this year than it was last year. We conveyed these views in a joint letter, which many of us signed, that was delivered to the President today, and which I will be happy to share with you.
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    In a year that has been marked by increased engagement with the Chinese Government, we have to be very, very clear with them. When we say that significant progress is necessary, we really mean it. The Lawyers Committee has promoted an approach to advancing human rights in China that encompasses targeted support for internal change, particularly in the area of legal reform. But this approach will not succeed without strong, consistent external pressure.
    One of the methods of exerting that pressure is a resolution at the Human Rights Commission. Belated U.S. action in support of a Commission resolution does far more damage than simply ensuring that the resolution itself will fail; it says to the Chinese that our interest in human rights is not genuine. And that is a big mistake.
    It is now 20 years since the Department of State published the first of its annual ''Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.'' For the last 18 of those 20 years, the Lawyers Committee has monitored the quality of that exercise, publishing its own critique of the Reports. This is our most recent one, and I brought copies for the Members of the Committee.
    We look at a representative range of country chapters, 25 in this volume, and use these studies to draw general conclusions about the Country Reports and the way in which they are prepared. Over those 18 years, and particularly in the last 5, we have seen a steady improvement in the objectivity and comprehensiveness of the Country Reports, and our critique has acknowledged and welcomed these positive changes.
    We view the Country Reports as a singularly important contribution to the worldwide movement to protect and promote human rights. We admire the professionalism and diligence of the many people involved in their production. At the same time we have continued to speak candidly about the failings of the Reports when we find this to be necessary.
    Occasionally, we will still find a country chapter in which the reporting falls short of the general standard of excellence that the Department has set. In the 1997 report on Mexico, for example, we continue to see many of the same failings that we identified in the previous year, particularly in the treatment of attacks on human rights monitors. After a year that was marked by unprecedented levels of hostility toward nongovernmental human rights organizations, it is dismaying, to say the least, to read the report's conclusion that, ''Government officials are generally cooperative and responsive to NGO views.''
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    Other shortcomings are especially frustrating because they show evidence of the continued politicization of a process whose value is directly proportional to its objectivity and which should be characterized by the use of dispassionate reporting criteria based on clear and consistent standards. Important U.S. allies, we see time and again, such as Egypt, Israel, Turkey and the United Kingdom, have often been shielded from blunt criticism even when the record of their misdeeds is clear. This happens in a variety of subtle and not so subtle ways, ranging from selective reporting and tendentious language to a failure to hold governments and nongovernmental entities to a single, universal standard of conduct.
    The 1997 report on China, as usual, raises important questions about the politicization of the reporting process. At this time last year we and others in the human rights community criticized the dissonance between the bleak and damning language of the China report and a policy of increasing engagement. In the 1997 report, it is very clear that the Department of State has taken great care to bring its language and its policy into line with one another.
    In a sense, this represents progress because, of course, the two should not conflict, if for no other reason than that any such conflict is likely to lead to public embarrassment and diplomatic confusion. At the same time, however, there is a risk that the need to generate soundbites will politicize the reporting process in a different way.
    The main outcome of the introduction to this year's China report, whose wording has obviously been very carefully crafted, has been to generate press headlines, such as ''United States Says China Getting Better on Rights.'' The Administration is very well aware that simple formulations such as these send powerful political signals, both to the Chinese Government and to the U.S. public. However, they do not accurately convey the message that a careful reader will draw from the report itself, which we believe on the whole is thorough, judicious and highly critical. While it correctly notes signs of progress in China's behavior, the report equally correctly warns that the real test of China's reforms, particularly in the legal reform area, is in the degree to which they are implemented, and the jury is still out.
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    The large point here, of course, is that the reason the Country Reports have become so politicized is because they are so influential. We believe that the time is now ripe for this influence to be used more assertively, not so much to send diplomatic signals to offending governments but more to help create the institutional structures and the international enforcement mechanisms that will protect human rights in a lasting way.
    In this most recent critique, published last year, we recommend improvements in two areas in particular where the Country Reports could contribute powerfully to the development of an international system of enforcement and compliance with universally recognized human rights. Section 2(b) deals with the long neglected and poorly understood right of freedom of association for nongovernmental associations, which are so critical to the emergence of a healthy civil society and to which we have devoted an entire chapter of our book. I have distributed that chapter to Members of the Committee, and I would ask that it be included in the record with my prepared testimony.
    Mr. SMITH. Without objection, that will be made part of the record.
    Ms. MASSIMINO. The other section that we cite for necessary improvement is section 4, which looks at how governments cooperate with those who seek to hold them accountable to their obligations under international law. In this section particularly we see enormous scope for the State Department to bolster the international system of laws, treaty compliance bodies and criminal enforcement mechanisms ranging from the treaty bodies of the U.N. system to the proposed international criminal court. Innovations of this sort would keep the Country Reports abreast of the far-reaching changes on the international human rights scene since they were first published and would contribute enormously to the leadership role of the United States in the international community. Twenty years ago, the international system of human rights monitoring was rudimentary; simply documenting the facts and bringing violations to light was an uphill struggle. But that is no longer the case. Thanks to national governments, U.N. and regional bodies and the pioneering work of international organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and hundreds of national NGOs, the facts are largely known and the mechanisms to discover them, with some important exceptions, are in place.
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    We should never become complacent about this, and there should be no slackening of the effort to document and expose violations. But it is not where the main future challenge lies. The key emphasis now is not exposure, but enforcement.
    In a speech in Oxford last November, Mary Robinson said that ''Human freedom is that special place secured by standards, laws and procedures which defend, protect and enhance human rights. We are all custodians of those standards,'' she said.
    The Country Reports have a vital, but in our view, as yet only partially realized role to play in creating this custodial role and, in themselves, acting as an enforcement mechanism for the international rule of law. The Reports are not an academic exercise; the enforcement of human rights standards has always been their explicit purpose. But as the introduction to this year's Country Reports correctly recognizes, effective enforcement of human rights standards is beyond the scope of bilateral action by governments, even those as powerful as the United States.
    To protect human rights, it says we must, and I quote, ''strengthen and expand international institutions of justice.'' That is what we are looking for as a change in the structure of the Human Rights Reports, an attempt to use the Reports as an enforcement mechanism in themselves by highlighting the treatment of nongovernmental organizations, particularly human rights organizations which are at the forefront of protection of human rights and change in their societies, and holding governments to account for their actions before international enforcement mechanisms, the U.N. mechanisms, including the special rapporteurs.
    I would just like to add, in closing, that there was a point raised last year at the hearing, I think by Congressman Houghton, about whether or not we ever ''turned the mirror on ourselves,'' that frequently we get asked questions about our own human rights record, which on the whole is quite good and we all recognize that. We believe this suggestion of self criticism is a good one. There was a letter sent this week from human rights organizations asking if we ought not to use some of this critical expertise that has been developed in producing the Country Reports to take a good look at how we are doing on these issues in the United States. I think that would be an excellent way for us to start off the next 20 years of the Country Reports.
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    Thank you.
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Massimino appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. SMITH. Ms. Shea.

    Ms. SHEA. I thank you, Mr. Chairman, for inviting me to give my critique of the religion sections of the ''Country Reports'' again this year. Like my colleague, I am also very honored to be sharing the platform today with one of the world's most heroic champions of democracy and human rights, Wei Jingsheng.
    Freedom House is America's oldest human rights group, founded in 1941. It is a bipartisan organization dedicated to strengthening democratic institutions at home and abroad. Although we are politically diverse, our trustees are united in their commitment to the spread of freedom and strengthening of democracy.
    In almost every new democracy, political change has been achieved primarily through the hard work and sacrifice of local democratic forces, including the religious communities. But these efforts have been sustained through the outside pressure exerted by the world's established democracies, the United States in particular. We therefore strongly urge the United States to make the promotion of democracy an integral part of the foreign policymaking process.
    Mr. Chairman, I wish to address an area of human rights in which I have a special expertise, freedom of religion and belief. This is one of the topics in the 1998 State Department Country Reports where there has been a dramatic improvement in coverage.
    Taken as a whole, the Reports this year, I am encouraged to conclude, represent a milestone in the effort to obtain recognition and concern for abuses of religious freedom on a par with the level of detail and nuance of other human rights treated in the State Department's reporting. In contrast to prior years, there is generally greater sensitivity to the experience of religious minorities and minority groups within a dominant religion who are besieged in many countries.
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    For the most part, in the 1998 Reports religious freedom has come a long way from being the lonely stepchild of human rights, isolated in a perfunctory sketch in the freedom-of-religion subsection, left out of the larger human rights profile.
    Mr. Chairman, this year's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices reflects hard work and commitment at the embassy level to research and analyze a category of human rights victims—that is, religious believers—who are often living in underground and marginalized communities under severe persecution and about whom reporting is sometimes made more difficult by their own reluctance to seek help from the West or draw further attention to themselves.
    This heightened sensitivity to the plight of minority religious groups on the part of U.S. embassy officials was recently brought home in a very personal way to our office. Just last week, as a Freedom House representative attending an international conference of Protestant leaders from northern Africa, including Egypt, I noted that one leader after another commented that U.S. embassy officials who were usually, ''unavailable,'' or difficult to reach in recent years, were now suddenly and inexplicably solicitous of their views and concerns. ''What is going on in Washington?'' the Protestant leaders from Egypt wanted to know.
    Mr. Chairman, the explanation can be found in the renewed resolve of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to restore the salience of religious freedom in America's human rights concerns. As a member of her advisory committee on religious freedom abroad, I have been informed that Secretary Albright has transmitted a series of cables to U.S. embassies worldwide, asking for improved attention and reporting on issues bearing on religious freedom.
    Assistant Secretary Shattuck and his dedicated staff at the bureau deserve special commendation as well. It is a testament to the suppleness of our own democracy.
    Mr. Chairman, your own long-term and vigorous advocacy of the rights of religious believers around the world and your focus on the massive oppression of Christian minorities abroad, as well as other Members of Congress, have played a large role in obtaining the improved reporting on religious freedom in the Country Reports this year. I thank you for that.
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    The Reports have shown a quantum leap in improved reporting on religion from 1997 to 1998. Nevertheless, we do have suggestions on how they can be made more accurate and complete.
    In some notable cases, the Reports give too much weight to self-serving government assertions that religious freedom is respected or otherwise find favor in the government when the facts point otherwise. Perhaps the most glaring example is found in Sudan report, which reports, without commentary, a Khartoum commission's finding that essentially denies government implication in slavery.
    Another is the freedom of religion discussion in Tibet, which asserts that the continued operation of the monasteries, ''makes possible the transmission of Tibetan Buddhist traditions to future generations,'' while it is well documented by the International Campaign for Tibet, as well as other human rights groups and even elsewhere in the Country Reports, that in fact these monasteries of Tibet are under the control of government, Communist Party and security police committees that oversee even the religious matters.
    The China report presents the fact of the growth of the Christian church almost as a mitigating factor in their persecution, which is a common tactic of the Chinese Government itself. We also, Mr. Chairman, share the concern expressed by others here about the general positive thrust of the China profile.
    In the Ethiopia report we are told that while Christian minorities believe they are not adequately protected by police, ''unnamed observers are cited to assert that the police are impartial on religious disputes.''
    Concerning Saudi Arabia, the report uncritically reprints government propaganda that, ''the government does not prevent private, non-Muslim religious worship in the home.'' At the same time, it fails to mention the well-documented case of Donato Lama, a Filipino Catholic who was flogged with 70 lashes last spring for praying as a Christian in his Saudi home and who alleged that two others of his cell mates, also Filipino Catholics, were beheaded by the sword last May for practicing their faith.
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    On Egypt, the report accepts the government's controversial estimate of the number of Coptic Christians which the Copts themselves say is deliberately lowered by as much as 50 percent by the government in order to downplay the group's significance in Egyptian society. This report also devotes inadequate attention to the rampant anti-Semitism in the Egyptian press and the failure of government measures to address it.
    The importance of this phenomenon goes beyond the tiny Jewish community in Egypt, with ramifications throughout the Middle East in fueling violence and hatred against Jews and the Jewish religion. In some instances, the Reports omit critical developments over the past year that bear on religious persecution.
    Again, I wish to thank Wei Jingsheng for his expose of the role of the Communist Party in repressing human rights. The China report, while one of the most detailed of the Country Reports and greatly expanded over last year—that is, the religion section—nevertheless fails to take into account the discovery of five important official documents that were issued throughout 1997 and found their way—they were leaked to the West. These documents are crackdown orders directing a brutal crackdown on unregistered Christian churches.
    These documents give valuable insights into the large role still played by the Communist Party in setting religious policy, in directing the, ''investigation and indictment of unregistered clergy and church leaders, in summarily excluding certain congregations from registration and in manipulating and exploiting patriotic churches, in fact, using the patriotic churches as tools in their efforts to control religion.''
    I would like to ask that you include one of these documents, the Kiangsu document and my analysis of it, in the official hearing statement.
    Mr. SMITH. Without objection, that document will be made a part of the record.
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    [The information referred to appears in the appendix.]
    Ms. SHEA. Thank you.
    The Sudan report is sketchy throughout, relying on dated information with respect to, for example, slavery when there are ample new examples to draw from. By listing most human rights abuses its sketchiness fails to convey the gravity of Sudan, one of the world's worst human rights violators. The New York Times magazine in December described the situation there against Christians as, ''near genocide.'' This sense fails to come through from the State Department Reports.
    The Iran report should mention that religious police infiltrate and spy on Christian congregations looking for converts in their midst whom they will then arrest on the fatal charge of apostasy.
    The Vietnam report fails to note that a well-known Catholic priest and several Buddhist monks were transferred to strict regime labor camps this past fall, where they are kept in solitary confinement on starvation rations; and that Christian leaders at the local level are threatened and harassed in a variety of ways, thus undermining the ability of a large number of people to exercise religious freedom; and that a religious affairs board in Vietnam is directed by atheists who are actually hostile to religious believers.
    Mr. Chairman, I have comments in my written testimony on Bangladesh, on Morocco, on Turkey, and on Tunisia, and how the Reports have missed important points. For the sake of time, I am not going to state them here. In many cases, the omissions reflect the fact that an embassy lacks good contacts with minority religious communities. Certainly this is true in Iran and Sudan where the United States lacks a real diplomatic presence.
    Where possible, the embassy should strive to develop links with a broad spectrum of the local religious communities, including the minority communities. Where this is not possible or desirable for security concerns, the State Department should use the resources of religious groups that can publish freely. These include Compass Direct, Fides, Asia Focus, Kay May, Vietnamese Buddhist News, China News and Church Report, and the newsletters of Christian Solidarity International, to name only a few.
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    In some instances, the deficiencies of the religious reporting seems to be an underestimation of the importance of religion to a culture with comparative overemphasis on economic and ethnic factors. This is particularly apparent in the reporting on Nigeria and Indonesia. These are both large, populous regional powers and both are facing important religious threats. Responsible religious leaders in Nigeria have raised the danger of a religious war.
    The increased attacks and tensions in Indonesia, despite the best efforts of religious leaders of all major religious groups, threaten to undermine what has been one of the world's best examples of interreligious toleration and cooperation.
    While the reports on China and Vietnam briefly mention those countries' coercive family planning policies, they fail to note the dimension of these policies that impinge on religious freedom. Much more could be stated on the draconian one-child policy of China, particularly how it is being enforced within the workplaces of American and joint ventures.
    In Vietnam, there are disturbing reports that a woman working on a U.S. Government project was fired because she violated Vietnam's two-child family planning policy. This case warrants close examination by the State Department.
    In closing, the 1998 Country Reports on the whole are a significant contribution to the monitoring and understanding of respect for human rights, including religious freedom throughout the world. Now it is a matter of implementation on these findings. Because of traditional American concerns with separation of church and state, the U.S. Government in recent years has been reluctant to champion religious freedom as a cornerstone of its foreign policy.
    If human rights can be compared to an island off the mainland of foreign policy, then I think that religious freedom in recent years has been the drowning man on the life raft off the island. But various actions over the past year in this report show religious freedom is a legitimate concern in shaping foreign policy. Freedom House believes that the interests of democracy and human rights will be advanced if the Administration and Congress continue to give significant emphasis to religious freedom.
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    In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, Freedom House reiterates its conclusion from last year's testimony. It hopes that this Committee, as well as your colleagues serving on committees and subcommittees responsible for foreign aid and international affairs spending, will be guided by their findings in the 1998 State Department report. We urge the Congress to use the data in the Reports and additional data collected by nongovernmental human rights organizations and religious groups to ensure that the most blatant violators of human rights, including persecutors of religious believers, are not supported with U.S. taxpayer dollars as is envisioned in the Wolf-Specter bill.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Ms. Shea, very much for your testimony.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Shea appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. SMITH. Mr. Roth.


    Mr. ROTH. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Let me begin by just saying how much I appreciate the fact that you devote so much time and care to these hearings. I think it is precisely this kind of scrutiny that keeps the State Department on its toes and that makes these Reports so valuable for the promotion of human rights. So thank you.
    May I request that the full comments, as well as the two brief attachments, be put into the record. My written comments I will simply summarize.
    Mr. SMITH. Your full statement and the statement of each of our witnesses and any attachments that you deem necessary will be made a part of the record.
    Mr. ROTH. Thank you very much.
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    Let me begin by congratulating Assistant Secretary Shattuck for generally living up to the principle that I know he deeply believes in, and that is that to achieve anything in the realm of human rights, it is essential to report accurately on basic conditions. I do think that for the most part, as has been the practice in recent years, this year's Country Reports do live up to that principle. I would like to focus my comments, though, on a few points.
    First, noting that there have been areas where clearly this principle has been compromised, where pressures emanating from elsewhere in the State Department or elsewhere in the U.S. Government have led to a deceptively rosy picture of human rights practices in countries that, for whatever reason, our government wants to maintain better relations with.
    Second, I would like to address the far broader failure to translate these generally accurate reports into consistent policy.
    Finally, I would like to make a point about the universality of human rights and make a suggestion for how next year this report might do a better job of contributing to that important principle. I will begin by noting a few positive aspects of the report.
    I note that despite obvious pressure to compromise, there were a few places where Mr. Shattuck's shop was able to hold the line. I will cite in particular its report on Colombia where, although I am sure that this wasn't terribly popular with various parts of the U.S. Government, it called it as it is with respect to the role of the paramilitary forces in severe violence in Colombia. They play a major part, along with the guerrillas.
    He noted in particular the role of the Colombian military in acquiescing in and at times being complicit in those serious paramilitary abuses. I am sure that that was a political battle that Mr. Shattuck had to fight, and I congratulate him for having won it and for having achieved such an objective assessment.
    Similarly, I want to congratulate him for the emphasis that he put on the importance of arresting Bosnian war crime suspects. Again particularly segments in the Pentagon clearly have been urging a go-slow policy with respect to what I believe is an essential step for the building of an international system of justice and the securing of any possibility of lasting peace in Bosnia. The fact that he was able to give such prominent focus to that, despite resistance in the Pentagon, I think speaks well to the work that Mr. Shattuck put into this report.
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    I would also like to commend the authors for paying far greater attention to women's rights. These do seem now to be more centrally integrated into the general report. I note in particular its reporting on the Russian Government's neglect of problems of domestic violence, its strong words condemning the Mexican Government for permitting pregnancy testing in the maquiladoras along the U.S.-Mexican border, and its strong words on the forced trafficking of women.
    Finally, I want to join in the commendation voiced by my colleagues with respect to this report's better treatment of the issue of religious freedom. I want to note in particular that I think it bears praise, the fact that the report looked at religious freedom in its full complexity, that is to say, it recognized that no single group has a monopoly among either victims or perpetrators.
    I cite, as examples, the China section, which notes that not only Christians, but also Muslims and Buddhists face persecution. I note the chapter on Russia in which criticism is launched against the new law essentially trying to enforce a monopoly for the Russian Orthodox church against other churches that are seen as being upstarts and potentially threatening its dominance. I note the range of victims of religious persecution cited in the Iran chapter.
    Similarly, I think it is very useful, the fact that this report looks at religious persecution in the context of the broader persecution in which it almost inevitably arises. For example, in China the report recognizes that one can't speak accurately about religious persecution without also noting the government's utter distaste for most, if not any, formation of independent association. In its analysis of Sudan, it looks not only at the religious dimension to the conflict there, but also the ethnic, racial and indeed territorial dimensions to the problem.
    In the report on Indonesia, again, one can't understand the rising violence against Christians today without understanding the deep frustration that many Indonesians feel facing an economic crisis and severe impoverishment that, to a large degree, was exacerbated by an unaccountable government that does not permit basic political freedoms.
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    Again, I think those of us who seek to defend religious freedom appreciate the fact that religious persecution is portrayed in the broader context in which it occurs. For that reason, I was very happy to hear Secretary Shattuck this morning talking about his efforts to bolster his office's reporting by creating a new post of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Religious Affairs.
    Again, I think that his or the Department's view that this should be within the Human Rights bureau rather than creating a religious ghetto outside of the bureau is exactly on point, because that ensures that he or she, the person occupying this post, will be able to marshal all the facts, all the evidence of persecution, in trying to build a case against a government that insists on not only violating the rights of its people to practice their religion, but also violating the range of other rights that inevitably accompany that form of religious persecution.
    Where I would like to be a bit more critical of the report is in noting that it paints too rosy a picture in a series of situations. The spin doctors were clearly at work when it came to the report on China. I will not repeat the observations of my colleagues here other than to note that in the introduction, which of course is the part of the report that receives the greatest press attention, it merits comparing the treatment of China with the summary descriptions of human rights practices in governments where the United States is not trying to create better relations.
    For example, Burma is charged with ''cosmetic changes, but no changes in its restrictive practices.'' Nigeria is described as ''having no meaningful progress.'' Cuba is described as having ''a totalitarian structure that remained unchanged.'' Syria is described as making ''scant progress on opening up the autocratic system in that country.'' I read these because each description would quite aptly be applied to China.
    But what did we get as the leading description of China's human rights developments over the past year? We learn that its ''response to dissent was somewhat more tolerant.'' Needless to say, that is not an accurate headline in describing what concededly were a handful of positive steps against a backdrop of unchanged, systematic repression.
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    I think that we have done a tremendous disservice to those who are trying to defend human rights in China, people like Mr. Wei, who appeared before us today, when we try to twist the facts so transparently, apparently in an effort to either justify going slow in pressing for a resolution before the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva or possibly in justifying President Clinton's much anticipated visit to Beijing later this year.
    I think Mr. Shattuck was absolutely right when he said that the basic principle behind the Country Reports should be accurate description of human rights practices. Unfortunately, the spin doctors at the State Department seem to have prevailed in this particular case. I do not think that the overall impression gained from the China chapter is one of accuracy, despite the fine print that everybody can point to that was more accurate.
    This is not a problem, though, that was restricted to China. I note that the description of the Democratic Republic of Congo speaks about ''allegations'' of civilian massacres. I contrast this with, for example, the ''credible'' reports of massacres in Iraq. Those two struck me in juxtaposition because my organization, Human Rights Watch, took pictures of the massacre victims, spoke to eyewitnesses to the massacres in Congo. There is no doubt that massacres took place and that they were carried out largely by Rwandan forces, but also those allied with Mr. Kabila, the current Congolese leader.
    By contrast, because Iraq is so closed, we are operating with much less clear evidence about the terrible human rights situation there. So the fact that we have reduced the direct photographic evidence in Congo to mere ''allegations'' strikes me again as trying to cut the description to fit the policy.
    I also note that in the case of Congo, the passive voice was used in saying that the United Nations ''has sought unsuccessfully'' to investigate the massacres, never making clear who it was who made this effort unsuccessful. Of course, the failure was due to the complete obstruction by Mr. Kabila's government—obstruction that, I might add, has been all too tolerated by the Clinton Administration.
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    The report also downplays the continuing severe restrictions on political freedoms in Congo by repeatedly contrasting today's circumstances with those under former President Mobutu without simply describing the severity of those restrictions as they exist today.
    Another example that I might cite is the Mexican case where, although the report describes torture and extensive violence, it attributes this largely to a lack of institutional reform rather than the more accurate assessment, which would be a lack of political will on the part of the Mexican Government.
    I could go on, but I don't have time here, so let me simply move to my next general point which is that there remains a severe problem of failure to translate these descriptions of human rights practices into U.S. policy in support of human rights around the globe. I welcome Mr. Shattuck's lengthy list of steps that the Clinton Administration has taken in support of human rights and certainly there are many such steps. But nonetheless, the principle at the heart of the human rights movement, which is that you only make progress if you apply pressure consistently, is one that for the most part has been broken by this government.
    What we have for the most part is a once-a-year human rights policy. That is, a good, clear description of human rights practices at the end of January each year, followed by 364 days of relative silence. If we are going to have an effective human rights policy, we need a 365-days-a-year policy.
    I might cite just a few quick examples where I think the disjunction between the Country Reports' descriptions and U.S. human rights policy has been particularly severe. In the case of Israel and Egypt which together account for 91 percent of U.S. foreign aid, or in the case of Saudi Arabia, which is today the largest consumer of U.S. weapons, these three governments are virtually insulated from criticism the other 364 days of the year. Even over the last year in the case of Israel when Secretary Albright has talked about things like settlements, she has talked about them as an obstacle to peace rather than a human rights problem.
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    In the case of China, this Administration has excelled in reducing the complex question of how to properly balance trade and security concerns against human rights by reducing that to simplistic formulas, such as ''we can't isolate China; therefore, we must engage it,'' or ''we can't hold the U.S.-China relationship hostage to human rights.'' This kind of simplification is really inexcusable and inevitably leads us to a policy in which no effective pressure is being placed on the Chinese Government to improve its terrible human rights practices.
    I would be remiss if I didn't highlight two urgent steps that the Administration should be taking now with respect to China's human rights practices. One is to announce, I would hope tomorrow during Prime Minister Tony Blair's visit, that the United States is committed to sponsoring a resolution in Geneva next month condemning China, and that it is going to actively embark on a diplomatic effort to convince its friends and foes around the world to similarly sponsor or at least vote for such a resolution.
    The fact that Tony Blair's Government and in fact Foreign Minister Cook is speaking about the importance of European Union unity on this point is really another excuse for stalling, because that unity will never be achieved, and it is much more important for the British Government and those who are willing to stand up for human rights in China to announce now their support rather than waiting for an elusive European Union unity which will condemn us to failure once more in Geneva.
    Similarly, the Clinton Administration should announce clear, systematic changes that must occur in China before President Clinton will return the visit to Beijing.
    One of the great disappointments of the last year is that the summit took place here in Washington without any meaningful, systematic change. Yes, we are happy that Wei was released, but, as has been noted, many thousands of others remain in custody. We should be looking for systematic changes, not a hostage policy where we will trade one or two prisoners for such major rewards such as a state visit.
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    In the case of Rwanda, I note that one way of bringing a largely accurate description of human rights practices into line with U.S. policy would be to make clear that U.S. assistance in the military realm or for justice programs is going to be dependent on successful efforts by the Rwandan Government to hold accountable its troops that have been responsible for atrocities not only in Rwanda but also next door in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
    In the case of Bosnia, it is essential that Mr. Shattuck's strong words about the importance of arresting war crimes suspects be translated into action. Fortunately, in January, for the first time, American troops were involved in the arrest of a war crimes suspect.
    I hope that that signals, first of all, a change, a definitive change, in the U.S. policy with respect to not requiring a chance encounter with a suspect but, rather, permitting planned apprehension of suspects which, of course, is the only way to successfully apprehend these people without undue risk to American troops.
    I also hope that the lack of retaliation for this arrest shows that it is possible to make these arrests while containing the risks and that this is a step that, indeed, must be taken if we have any hope of a lasting peace in Bosnia.
    I hope in the case of the Democratic Republic of Congo that the United States will support the principle that abusive governments should not be able to pick their investigators and that we will take steps to correct our violation of that principle this year, one that came back to haunt us when Saddam Hussein, learning from the precedents set by Mr. Kabila, insisted on choosing his own investigators and is now leading us to the brink of war.
    Finally, I hope that the premium put on the importance of justice in Bosnia will also extend to the Administration's position on an international criminal court. Despite nominal endorsement of such a court, the United States is actively trying to restrict its independence and make its docket subject to U.S. veto on the Security Council, a stance that is utterly inconsistent with the universality that would be required of an effective court.
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    Finally, let me make a point about universality more broadly, and that is to say that perhaps the greatest gap in the Country Reports is the failure to speak about the United States.
    While of course Congress's mandate to the State Department does not require reporting on the United States, I would recommend that this Committee and the Congress as a whole think seriously about changing that mandate. It would be a wonderful illustration of the fact that, indeed, human rights principles apply across the board, to everyone around the world, if we were to begin to report honestly on human rights practices here at home.
    While we are fortunate here in America to enjoy great respect for our rights, it is important to recognize that there are some Americans whose rights are less respected than others. I would cite as certain categories at risk: prisoners in U.S. and State prisons, victims of police abuse, immigrants, and victims of various forms of discrimination.
    I think the American people have a right to know what the state of human rights is in the United States and what our government is doing to secure the same kind of improvements that we should be seeking around the world.
    I have attached to my testimony today a letter to President Clinton signed by Human Rights Watch and 12 other human rights and domestic civil rights organizations urging that next year the Country Reports be extended to eliminate this one gaping hole in the scope of their coverage.
    Thank you very much.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Roth appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much, Mr. Roth.
    On that last point, which I think has a great deal of merit, one of the aspects of our bilateral contacts with the former Soviet Union and multilateral with the East Bloc—and I have been on the Helsinki Commission for eight of my nine terms in Congress—was always to invite them to give us their list of complaints so we could have dialog. It proved to be very useful, and they had some valid observations, some that were hyperbole but many that were very valid. I think it is a very good idea. I thank you again for making it.
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    Let me just ask a couple of questions. Mr. Roth, I thank you for bringing up the issue of Congo. We have tried in this Committee repeatedly through letter, through hearings that we have held, to get the Administration to take more seriously those atrocities which we believe could be laid at the door of the Rwandan forces who are our friends, as well as the Kabila Government, and soft peddling or not being as forthcoming in the report as to who we believe to be responsible, as you pointed out, using the word ''alleged'.' If this were Iraq, our ''enemy,'' we would be much more forthcoming about, that is I think hopefully the State Department will take that to heart and not politicize that language.
    Again, I think you have all spoken very eloquently to the importance of, like the preamble language or the introductory language.
    I saw this when the women's conference, the U.N. Women's Conference, was held in Beijing. I argued that, yes, let's have a women's conference, but don't give the dictatorship the ability to project to its own populace somehow that the whole world was coming to applaud the advances made in women's rights in China.
    Sure enough, I spent the week there, I co-led the congressional delegation, and every day the New People's Daily and all the other papers—and I don't read Chinese, but I had people tell me what at least the headlines were saying, what some of the main articles would say, and the Chinese Government played it as, the whole world is coming here to kowtow to the gains made in women's rights for China. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whereas the other papers did carry, for instance, the picture of the Tibetan women when they staged their protest for being excluded and to the kinds of things that are being done against Tibetan women and Tibetan culture. None of that was carried.
    What I am suggesting is that when they look at the language, there is something in there that any propagandist can use and run with for the rest of this year and maybe even longer because that language is so flowery. It cites specific statutes, for example, in China that look good, just like their constitution looks good, but there is no implementation.
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    I think Wei Jingsheng's comments were a wakeup call, hopefully, to the Washington establishment—you have always been there saying it—that we need honesty and transparency. But our policy works, who think they know China better than anyone else, so downplay it.
    I am glad, Mr. Roth, that you mentioned this idea of not holding our policy hostage. I believe Madeleine Albright said that. When she first came on board as Secretary of State—I was leading the applause—thinking that human rights would be put center stage and, at worst, would be right there with trade and perhaps linked in some way. Now they are holding hostages?
    I think you judge a nation by how well or poorly it treats its weakest and most vulnerable. That includes the unborn, that includes people of religious persuasions you may disagree with, and right on down the line. For a Secretary of State to say that, it was disappointing, at best, when she said ''hostage.'' This is our opportunity to put this issue on a par with trade and any of these others.
    Even the NGOs. I am glad, Ms. Massimino, you brought up the importance of the NGOs. We need to have solidarity with the true human rights NGOs that are pushing the envelope, not the government-sponsored shills that are out there taking our money, whether it be money from the USIA or any of the others.
    Right now I am holding a grant to the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations to get more information with regard to whether or not they are indeed promoting democracy and human rights. I think we need to demand that the executive branch live up to Public Law 104–319 more faithfully as it relates to the NGOs and the organizations that we fund.
    I guess if I have no questions, it is because you have pretty much said it all in your very comprehensive statements. I do have a couple of questions. On the sham elections, in reading this language in the report and then hearing Wei Jingsheng saying that nothing could be further from the truth, how do you read that?
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    Right before Jiang Zemin came in, those of us living in the Washington area—and it may have been carried elsewhere, WTOP, the CBS affiliate, all-news radio, carried these China updates. One of those had come on over and over again on how they are holding all of these local elections. Maybe there is something to it, maybe there is not. Wei seemed to throw cold water on that notion.
    How real are they? Is democratization taking root at the grassroots and somehow we are missing it, or, again, is it a Potemkin village that we are looking at where a select few get picked and you have got a choice between bad and worse?
    Would anybody want to tackle that, on the elections?
    Ms. SHEA. I would just like to, I guess, draw a parallel with the religious structure as well, that it seems like social policy these days, religious policy, is being made at the Communist Party level, either the local level or the central level.
    In that sense, I agree with Wei Jingsheng that it is going to be a sham election if those people don't actually even—who are elected, whether it is a free election or not, and he rightly pointed out that they don't have freedom of speech, so how can you have even a free election? But once they are in power, how can they possibly act democratically if the Communist Party is always in the background dictating policy?
    I think that is what the fallacy of our so-called dialogs with the religious structure of China—we have a religious delegation going to China this weekend. They are going to be meeting with the Religious Affairs Bureau, the China Christian Council, and other governmental structures.
    But the real policymakers are going to be the Communist Party officials. This is totally clear from these documents that have come out over the past year. I am just afraid that what Wei was so correct in pointing out, that the Chinese have been so adept in deceiving the West, is going to occur once again with that delegation.
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    Mr. SMITH. Mr. Burton has to leave for another appointment. I yield to Mr. Burton.
    Mr. BURTON. Yes, and I apologize for not being here. I have got another committee I am chairing, and I can't spend the time here. I would like to, although my heart is with you.
    I would just like to make one quick comment and ask one quick question. The quick comment is that as long as the almighty dollar is ruling our foreign policy, we are going to do business with China and close our eyes. There is just no question about it.
    I can remember when Bob Hope was on television and a lot of other celebrities on TV opening their coat up saying, ''Buy American,'' and Wal-Mart was advertising on TV, ''We only sell American.'' You go in Wal-Mart today, any Wal-Mart store in the country, and you will find probably 60 percent of the products in there are made in China, made by slave labor.
    As long as the businessmen can convince this Administration and the leaders of this country that we ought to close our eyes as long as it is economically to our advantage, then we are going to continue to see that kind of repression and China will never change its policies. That is why you and I—and I know it has been on television at Christmastime saying, don't buy products made in China, send them a message so that they will know they are going to have to change their human rights policies and help those people over there. Otherwise, it is just going to continue on and maybe even get worse. We are shoring up that government with American dollars in the process. I think that is unfortunate.
    The question I want to ask—and I thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding these hearings; I am sorry for not being here. I also want to thank you for your unerring diligence in trying to focus the world's attention on human rights. You are one of the crusaders that I love in this place.
    In Colombia, the FARC troops—or terrorists, we call them—have been holding some religious hostages now for a long time. We don't know if they are alive or dead. We understand that they are alive, and we hope they are. We also understand that the FARC guerrillas have been executing CNP police whenever they can get them. In fact, I think at Meta, Colombia, there was an encounter and there were a lot of troops that were injured and were on the battlefield, if you will, fighting the FARC terrorist forces, the narcoguerrillas down there. They came up and shot them through the back of the head, which I presume you would consider a human rights violation.
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    I would just like to have your comments, if you have any knowledge on these religious leaders that are still down there as hostages, whether they are still alive, if you have any information on that, and also what you think about the Colombian terrorist organization and what we in the United States should be doing about it, especially in view of the fact that everybody in Colombia is not a bad apple. General Serrano. Colonel Gallego down there is one of the real fighters against the narcotraffickers and guerrillas. He has been doing a good job. Hundreds of his troops, probably thousands by now, have been killed in combat with them.
    I would like to know what the situation is down there from your perspective.
    I thank you, Mr. Chairman, very much.
    Mr. ROTH. I would be happy to start with that.
    I can't answer your question specifically about the religious figures. I don't have any more information than you do on that. But I think that to understand the severe problem of political violence in Colombia, it is important to recognize that it comes from more than one side. You have used the term ''terrorist'' to refer to the FARC, or to the guerrillas. I take it by that you mean that they systematically target civilians and commit violations of humanitarian law.
    I would agree with that assessment. But I think that that assessment applies equally to the paramilitary forces that operate with the acquiescence and, at times, the complicity of the Colombia military, as the Country Reports indicated today.
    Mr. BURTON. You are not including the National Police, though, that are doing a good job according to all the sources, are you?
    Mr. ROTH. No. The biggest problem from the military's perspective is the paramilitary forces, which have, shall we say, a complicated relationship with the Colombian military.
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    The other point you make in terms of referring to the narcoguerrillas. Again, that term has a degree of truth to it in that the guerrillas do support themselves with the trade of narcotics, but so do many of the paramilitary's organizations.
    I think that it is useful to move beyond these labels and to recognize that there is a severe problem of humanitarian law abuse by both the guerrillas and the paramilitary in Colombia and at times by the military itself. I welcome the fact that this is described candidly by the State Department. I think that the task facing our government is how effectively to put pressure on all sides, because all sides are really responsible for atrocities in Colombia today.
    Ms. SHEA. I would just like to add to that, responding to your question. There was some pessimism regarding those religious figures at the end of December when the leftist rebels denied any knowledge that the Mensanya bandits had taken them. The new tribe's mission, whom the missionaries were associated with, said that they didn't believe that and that it was probably a ploy by the rebels to wash their hands of the issue at a time when they were trying to build international support.
    Also, a Colombian priest was found dead in Colombia in early December. It is believed that he was murdered by FARC.
    Mr. RICKARD. If I could just add that I know that this is an issue that you and your office have worked hard on. It is a very tragic situation. Hostage-taking is a gross violation of anyone's human rights. This situation has been going on for a long time. I know that given the difficulty of making contact, raising the issue, getting through, that everyone, through every available channel, is appealing that there be a cessation of this. But I know that it is something your office has worked very hard on, and that has been appreciated, I am sure.
    I think the point that you make about the situation in Colombia, and picking up on the point that Ken made in response, is a very good and important one, and, that is that the things are complicated, it is tangled up, not everybody there is evil or bad or corrupt, and I think one of the really constructive things about the work that this Committee has been encouraging and that the Administration has been willing to work hand in hand with the Congress on is trying to sort that out.
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    Let's not treat Colombia as just one big block. Let's be a little more specific. Let's get some detailed information—whom you can work with, whom we should not be working with. Let's get that detail and not paint everybody with the same broad brush.
    Mr. BURTON. Mr. Chairman, let me just add for the record that the State Department has formally designated FARC and the ELN as foreign-based terrorist organizations, and I think that ought to be made clear and in the record.
    With that, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Thank you, folks, very much.
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much, Mr. Burton.
    Mr. Faleomavaega.
    Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I apologize for not being here earlier, but I do want to thank the members of the panel for their appearance and their testimonies they have provided for the Committee.
    I wanted to ask Mr. Rickard, I notice that you specifically did cite some of the countries in Amnesty International's involvement. I was just curious if Indonesia is taken out of the map, or is Amnesty International involved in this country at all?
    As you know, it is the fourth most populous nation in the world, and it is probably the most populated country that is a Muslim country, which raises some very interesting problems there in itself. I was curious of the fact that Indonesia was not mentioned in your statement. Maybe you could elaborate a little more.
    Mr. RICKARD. Every time we do this hearing, every year, we face the crush of getting ready on a very short time basis. Some of it has to do with whether or not there is a particular thing that we think illustrates a particular point. Certainly it is not in any sense intended to be our list of the Reports or the countries that deserve the most attention. Far from it. Indonesia is a country with very, very serious human rights problems. Amnesty does a lot of work on it.
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    Obviously in Irian Jaya, East Timor, these are very, very serious and ongoing human rights abuses that have been going on a very long period of time. So please don't read into the statement we pulled together quickly for this hearing any sort of rank ordering, because clearly Indonesia is a very high priority country, one of the highest priority countries for us in Asia.
    Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Earlier this afternoon in the hearing, I asked Mr. Wei some specific questions concerning the statement that he had made earlier in his address before the Council of Foreign Relations. He painted a very broad brush, literally, as far as castigating almost our whole system, our total effort concerning human rights. I was just wondering if you might have some comments on this.
    In reading through some of the statements—and, again, I didn't read every specific word—it seems to be a lot more positive than what Mr. Wei had indicated in his opinion about the lack of a sense of aggressiveness on our part as a Nation to pursue human rights the way it should be. As you know, also, he didn't think very highly of our experts and policymakers concerning China.
    Am I missing something here? Is he correct in his assessment of our Nation's wealth of knowledge about what is happening there in the Asia Pacific region, or am I on the wrong pole here?
    Mr. RICKARD. I will lead off, but I am sure everyone will have a comment on that. I actually was very struck in listening to my colleagues about the highs and lows, the peaks and valleys. That is to say, we may look at one report and say, this is really a very good job and it is comprehensive, it is hard hitting. There is a lot of information here, and we happen to know in this particular case we have an activist ambassador—doing a lot of good things. They have got good people on the ground. They are working with the human rights defenders in that country, and by associating with them, they give them a degree of protection.
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    I actually said last year that if sometimes we seem angry about the conduct of the State Department and some of the people in the State Department even though we know they are hardworking and talented people, it is because we have seen how important it can be and how useful and beneficial it can be when the United States takes human rights seriously, and really does its best and tries to make a difference in the human rights situation. And then we go to the next situation and the United States just isn't there. You see people getting hurt because of that. You see people dying because of that.
    I think that is the best response I can give to that question. One of the reasons why I was so exercised about this year's China report is because we have actually gotten a little used to the Reports being pretty good. They are really not politicized for the most part. We have problems here, problems there, but it is disturbing when we hit a report, that really seems to us to have been tailored to fit a particular policy on an extremely important country where there are severe human rights abuses going on. That means there's been a failure of all the mechanisms—which, again, Congress put in place. Congress created the bureau, Congress mandated the report. It doesn't average out to mediocre. The State Department ends up either impressive and helpful—and in some cases decisive—on an issue or ''absent without leave.''
    My reaction with the Secretary's remark that the United States is not going to have one issue that dominates China policy—and I think I said this last year when I heard that—was hallelujah, great, because to me that meant human rights was going to get into the game and it wasn't going to just be trade anymore. It hasn't worked out that way.
    Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Ms. Massimino.
    Ms. MASSIMINO. The timing of Mr. Wei's remarks is particularly important because, as Chairman Smith said, it is a kind of wake-up call. The Lawyers Committee spent a lot of time poring over the language. As we look at the China report, we think it has obviously been worked over, shall we say. But there is a lot of detail, a lot of detail about the actual abuses. It is very helpful to hear Mr. Wei's impression of the report. And the particularly important timing of it now with the commission, the decision on the commission resolution coming up. I think it is very helpful for that kind of stark assessment of the report to come at this time.
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    I think also his focus was very much criticizing the shortsightedness of U.S. policy with regard to China and encouraging us to take a longer view. Part of the shortsightedness is the emphasis on the profit motive that tends to drive our policy with China. I think he is very right to point that out. We saw this—you know, last year the report was so stark and generated such a kind of an outstanding sound bite, ''there is no more dissent, China has effectively shut down all dissent,'' and created, in a year when there was a high-profile meeting between the two countries, a very stark divergence between language and policy.
    Well, we see that the State Department has learned its lesson. This year, instead of changing the policy to fit the report, we saw the report being changed to fit the policy. That is disturbing on China policy, but it is also disturbing for what it says about the Reports, because we know the Reports, to be effective, must be objective, they have to be the starting point for the policy.
    Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Yes, Ms. Shea.
    Ms. SHEA. I think the China report is really a question of emphasis. There is a lot of detail, one of the longest Country Reports in the book, but it accentuates the positive.
    Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Let me add just a thought here. Suppose the roles were reversed and that the population of our country was 1.3 billion people in our democracy. If the roles were reversed, do you think we would have been able to provide for all the specific reports and the details and problems and issues affecting the entire environment, our social, economic, and political life styles?
    Ms. SHEA. It is a very difficult task to get all the important points in. There is a lot of detail there. It is really the spin, the question of emphasis and accentuating the positive developments.
    Chinese leaders have become very good at, so to speak, reading the tea leaves in these Reports, and it will have an impact on them and how they conduct themselves. They will be encouraged to go in the direction they have been going which is, in the human rights sphere, a negative and in the religion sphere a very negative direction.
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    I know there was an American religious leader who, with the help of the State Department, went over to China to dialog with the religious leaders, the Religious Bureau, in August, Ya Chou Yen, and he started talking about a case of a particular religious prisoner. This American nodded, started nodding and started coming around to the government's point of view, and I talked with him when he came back, and he said yes, this religious figure was a heretic and interfering with the modernization program and so forth and so on.
    Two weeks later, that particular detainee was sentenced to the stiffest sentence in a labor camp in 15 years for a Christian leader, sentenced to a prison camp. I think they raised a trial balloon and when the American religious leader agreed and said, well, gee it seems he was a real problem, they thought it was OK for them to put him away and throw away the key.
    I really worry about the impact that this report has in China, that they will see themselves as having made progress in the eyes of the United States and therefore they can continue to put people behind bars and in labor camps and so forth.
    China really is the real test of our human rights policy, because there is so much money at stake, whether we have any resolve with the Chinese holding themselves out as a model, a third way of governing, a model, a combination of authoritarian or totalitarian social policy and a capitalist economic policy.
    So I think it is a real test that will be watched around the world.
    Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Mr. Roth.
    Mr. ROTH. Let me make two brief responses. One is, picking up on the comment Mr. Burton made a moment ago, I think it is unfortunate that trade and human rights have been so juxtaposed in recent years. I take some of the blame because my organization helped to launch the whole MFN debate which did set the two communities at loggerheads.
    One of the golden linings in the Asian economic crisis today is that many of the leaders with whom I have spoken now recognize that we can no longer build prosperity on repression, that it may have looked good in the short term, that in the short term it may have looked like the Asian Tigers or Asian economic miracle was proceeding. But that is a very shortsighted perspective. Indeed it is the unaccountable governments in such places as Indonesia which exacerbated the crisis, led to the misguided loans, the currency devaluations, and ultimately the crisis we face today. Because we have seen over the last 6 months with the global economy that our own prosperity is so linked to prosperity around the world, it is a mistake to bank on repression.
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    So given that new insight which is widely shared in the business community, it is time for leadership from this Administration to act on it and no longer proceed as if trade is the dominant interest of even the business community. Whose own prosperity ultimately will depend on a strong human rights policy worldwide.
    One other point I wanted to make: even if the Administration might be reluctant to use trade as a tool to promote human rights, there are very significant things you can do to promote human rights that in no sense jeopardize trade. First and foremost, the Administration could announce as of tomorrow its sponsorship of the resolution in Geneva. It is inexcusable that we are stalling and delaying yet again until it is going to be too late and then we are going to throw up our hands and say, ''What's the point? We are just going to lose.''
    What is needed now is an aggressive diplomatic effort to rally the votes the way we did a few years ago when we won the procedural vote and lost on the substantive vote by a single vote. That was because of the tough, aggressive, advance diplomacy that is so painfully lacking today. It is time to use these non-trade levers which don't have an economic cost but which we are simply squandering today.
    Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. President Clinton, in his State of the Union message, made what I thought was a positive direction toward child labor laws, at least a sense of enhancing the concerns that have been mine and I know also those of the Chairman. I know how international law is not taken well as far as using children literally almost like slaves.
    I would like to invite our friends here to keep an eye on this policy if the Administration as well as the Congress is going to follow through this, because some of our own Western allies are very much part of the problem. A lot of the big conglomerates that come from European countries are caught into this problem of the child labor laws. They look the other way and they just don't wink an eye. So the profit motive is there, and, unfortunately, we try it for different reasons.
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    Mr. Chairman, thanks. I know you have some questions, but I want to thank the members of the panel.
    Mr. ROTH. If I could just highlight a particular point on child labor and a particularly severe form of child labor: that is, using children as soldiers. I happen to be appalled at the fact that our Pentagon stands alone in the world in objecting to a proposed ban on the use of children under the age of 18 in armed hostilities. This is in the context of efforts to create a so-called optional protocol on the rights of the child that increases the age for conscription or, at a minimum, for engaging in hostilities, from 15 to 18.
    I can't believe we are not willing to back this. The reason we are not is that the Pentagon likes to recruit students when they are 17, upon graduation, rather than waiting until they are 18, even though they are almost 18 by the time they end basic training.
    So it would be a simple thing for the Pentagon to endorse the ban on involving children in hostilities. It refuses to do so. It displays an arrogance and insensitivity that is deeply disturbing.
    Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. It used to be 21 was considered an adult; now 18 is considered an adult. I wonder how much different there will range as far as the age limits we provide at least in our own society. How do you consider a person to be adult? A lot of these young people suddenly turn 18 and they don't even know what they should be doing as adults.
    But anyway, that is said as an observation.
    Thank you, Mr. Roth.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. SMITH. On that point, if we learned anything from the Vietnam War, it was that some of the younger recruits were most likely victims of posttraumatic stress syndrome; the maturity was not there. The ones that did the best, if there is a best, were the older, even the POWs, who seemed to have their minds more developed.
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    So I think your point is very well taken.
    Mr. ROTH. There is a flip side to that, too, in the interests of the American soldier. Imagine even considering a conflict like Liberia, where American troops are more than likely to be deployed and you see a 12-year-old with an AK–47. Do you shoot this kid? Is that something you want to do? Or do you have to risk your life on the judgment of this immature soldier?
    This is the choice the American soldiers don't want to have to face, so why do we object to this effort to increase the minimum age to 18? It is beyond comprehension.
    Mr. RICKARD. I don't mean to pile on on this issue either, but Amnesty is an international organization, and I will very often be in meetings with other countries from around the world and other Amnesty sections.
    This is an issue where the United States is blocking a consensus on the optional protocol to a convention that the United States is not even a party to. But the United States is injecting itself into the negotiations for the optional protocol to the treaty where the rest of the world is ready to do this. The other countries say, look, if you ever come along and want to join us in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, fine, but in the meantime one of the things we are really going to work on is the child soldier issue. It is a serious problem. The United States is very actively engaged in blocking this. It is one of the issues about which other countries with which we are otherwise working very closely are absolutely neuralgic. It is very damaging in lots of other issues.
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you for bringing that to our attention.
    You may find it of interest, I actually gave the speech on behalf of the Bush Administration at the United Nations on the Convention of the Rights of the Child. I was the presenter, if you will, in 1989.
    Let me ask a couple of final questions and then thank you again for your expert work that you do 365 days a year and for lending us the insights that you have regarding these very important issues.
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    Ms. Shea, let me ask, in the Country Reports it speaks to the issue of Bishop Su. Do we have any further update as to his whereabouts, and could you speak briefly on how many people of faith are incarcerated at this particular time?
    Ms. SHEA. I think at any given time there are hundreds of people of faith incarcerated. We have a list of at least 10 Catholic bishops who are in labor camps, under house arrest, or some form of detention. We list Bishop Su among those.
    Cardinal Kung Foundation has had contacts inside China who have sighted him in a detention center in Hupeh Province, and I was astonished to see in the report that he was seen by someone on the streets of Shanghai or someplace, but it said, ''in the company of government officials.''
    What does that mean? Was he being led to a hearing, or was he in the custody of the government? Again, it was that question of emphasis made it sound like he was a free man going to dinner with some friends of his in the government. He was obviously under custody. So as far as we know, he is in a detention center.
    Mr. SMITH. With the delegation which some of us met earlier in the week, I brought up the story having met with Bishop Su. He asked for our delegation, and he was immediately questioned. And we run the risk, all of us, and I know your people in the field are always very concerned about perhaps walking the secret police right to an individual who suffers retaliation against him or her. Archbishop McCarrick indicated they ought to steer clear of meeting with dissident church officials of all faiths because of that precise concern. Yet Wei Jingsheng, in almost a contrary view, with respect to what the Hill, State Department, or White House might think, said when the pressure is on, that is when the people are less likely to be hurt or beaten, the dissidents in prison. And when the pressure is off, just the opposite: The thugs have a free rein to do whatever they want to make life miserable for incarcerated victims.
    What is your advice to this group, publicly? And maybe you want to convey something privately, but I have a fear they will be back, having been given the red carpet treatment that they try to give all of us, and it is not until you break away from the tether that you are actually able to see things and talk to people, even with their being wary that you are watched and monitored. What would be your advice to that group?
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    Ms. SHEA. I would be very insistent that they meet or ask to meet with religious prisoners, because that might help protect or get better treatment for the prisoners themselves. I would not try to break off and meet with the underground church people, because they are going to be followed and monitored and those people will be punished after they leave.
    They perhaps could try to meet with some of the Catholic youth leaders, Catholic bishops who have a reputation of meeting—Bishop Thong in Shanghai, perhaps they could go to his apartment and have a ceremonial meeting with him even though he is under surveillance. It would be a big mistake to think it is a fact-finding mission, it is not fact-finding; it is, at best, sharing American concerns about treatment of religion in China.
    Mr. SMITH. Perhaps in your written testimony you commented on it—this is China-specific—but the MOU and use of Gulag labor or Laogai labor for exportation of prison-made goods. I and this Subcommittee have been very critical of the access, in that it looks good on paper, but what does it get you?
    Mr. ROTH. There is a desperate need to renegotiate that. It is not working at all, and it is time to face up to that fact and come up with some procedure where there can be spot visits and some meaningful verification. At this stage, the MOU is just a piece of paper.
    Mr. SMITH. Wei Jingsheng said earlier, and said it strongly, that the Population Control Program in China is in total disregard of human rights and then asked the question, is the United Nations on the side of the Chinese Government? In particular the UNFPA, which has had a hand-in-glove relationship and actually established it back in 1979 with the one-child-per-couple policy.
    When I was in China on one of my fact-finding trips, I met with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Beijing. One of the government representatives from a major corporation told me how, when he saw their company in China had to implement the one-child-per-couple policy, he objected and successfully excised that out of their cooperation with the Chinese Government on that.
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    It seems to me, as one of you said a moment ago, that one of the silver linings of the Asian crisis is, you can't build prosperity on repression. It seems to me, when we are violative of women and of their babies and families, that more CEOs and others have to take the proactive stance and excise that out of the contract.
    Do you have advice on what they can do on that issue, or on any other human rights issue? It seems to me they are more concerned about profits at this particular point, except for that one person who raised it.
    Ms. SHEA. One of the problems with the American joint ventures is, they often delegate personnel matters to the Chinese partner, which are sometimes government or even Communist Party people. So they don't have control over their own workforce and don't even know what is being done to their workforce and how they are promoted, demoted, or given raises or how they are enforcing the one-child policy.
    I think that is a very big problem in trying to export human rights along with capitalism. They must have better control and take responsibility for their workforce. That is where a lot of the abuses occur, including the one-child policy enforcement, where I think the U.S. Business Council at one point gave advice to its membership to don't get involved in the policy, delegate it to the Communist Federation, the women's group, have them deal with it. But it was the American workforce in China.
    The Washington Post reported that the McDonnell Douglas plant in Shanghai, which is a 1,000-worker plant, had a Communist Party official at an office on the floor of the factory overseeing personnel. It turned to the Ministry of Aviation for its hiring policies.
    Ms. MASSIMINO. This is a really important point you raised, and it is one we have been doing a lot of thinking about at the Lawyers Committee lately.
    We have embarked on a dialog with leaders of the major businesses doing business in China. It is an area in which I think businesses are starting to feel a little bit of heat of public scrutiny and therefore are turning to human rights groups slightly more to ask questions.
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    There is a process that needs to go on that is part education. As Nina just said, some of them don't know what is going on, some of them don't want to know what is going on, but we need to educate businesses about human rights standards and we need some, I would say, stronger leadership from the White House in asking business to play a constructive role. Businesses are playing a large part in dictating U.S. foreign policy with China. Part of that deal has to be that businesses pay more attention to what they can do in the area of human rights.
    When the White House called leaders of the apparel industry together with human rights organizations and labor unions and consumer groups and said, I want you to work as a task force, on a code of conduct, a voluntary code of conduct, and this is something I care about that is important to my Administration, it happened.
    That is the kind of leadership that we would like to see from the White House on this issue, to call Boeing and the other big businesses doing business in China to the White House and say, this is what we want you to be part of, our human rights policy, or, at the very least, don't be part of the problem.
    Mr. ROTH. If I could add to that, actually I think my colleague here may be giving the Clinton Administration too much credit. Yes, they said whoever wants to come to the White House can talk about adopting a voluntary code of conduct. So you have a dozen corporations, all good-guy corporations, sitting there talking about adopting something that would be voluntary in any case, and it leaves out everybody else.
    I think this kind of voluntary approach isn't working. We don't have a White House code of conduct. They have stalemated on the question of how you monitor whether the companies comply with this code. Even the handful of groups that have come on, are they going to have the accounting firms do the monitoring, or are they going to have a truly independent monitor?
    I think that this is a place where there could be congressional leadership in that I have become pessimistic about the concept of voluntary codes of conduct, and I think what is ultimately needed is a law governing the way American businesses conduct themselves overseas. Hopefully, we could convince allies around the world to adopt these or similar provisions.
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    Even though no one wants to turn businesses into human rights advocates, there are basic principles that should govern all corporate conduct overseas; at minimum, they should not become complicit in human rights violations; they themselves as well as their suppliers or joint venture partners shouldn't violate rights involving free association, free expression, the use of arbitrary violence, discrimination, and the like.
    Until that is a legal requirement, the same way as not bribing foreign officials is a legal requirement, I don't think we are going to get the progress we need in making sure that American corporations are part of the solution rather than of the problem.
    Mr. SMITH. I thank you for that.
    This also should apply to our own government. Joseph Rees, my staff director and chief counsel of the Subcommittee, was in Vietnam recently, and he discovered a very credible report of a Vietnamese national who was part of the Orderly Departure Program who was fired because he had an unauthorized child. It is part of the two-child-per-couple policy that they have in Vietnam.
    It seems to me someone in the employ of the U.S. Government shouldn't be subject to this. And we are tracking this down, and we have alerted the proper authority to get the full accounting of this and hopefully reinstate. If indeed this is accurate—and we believe it is—it seems to me we shouldn't be enforcing a two-child-per-couple policy because that person happens to be a Vietnamese national. We should start with ourselves and our own State Department, and certainly we should be looking at what Mr. Roth is talking about, some kind of national code.
    Voluntarism is fine, but when the profit motive rears its—I won't say ugly head because the world does run by incentives—all of a sudden, what is human rights? Who wants to know anything about it?
    We have run into a similar buzz-saw with the Administration, even on child labor. The former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, was very, very much involved with that issue. We had two hearings in our Subcommittee. We prepared a very extensive bill—and my good friend, Eni, is one of the cosponsors—we have a good bipartisan group. We can't get the Administration to support the bill; there is one with sanctions, the other without sanctions.
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    We are trying to apply legislative leverage to make it easier for the Administration to promote that agenda. We said, show us where we can make it better. We are still waiting for feedback. That was the last Congress when they stopped it, because we needed bipartisan support. Now we have the bill pending again, and we are into the second year of this session.
    So I agree, voluntarism only goes so far; there are good-guy companies, and a whole lot of others who just couldn't care less.
    Mr. RICKARD. The underlying issue you put your finger on is getting past the false dichotomies that are always created to argue against promoting human rights. There seems to be a desire to create a situation where human rights is put in opposition to some other goal that we might want. Almost always when you examine this closely, it is a false dichotomy, whatever it is. Ken talked about it, repression and trade, and I talked about it. Maybe this year the businesses will actually begin to internalize this. People have been talking to them for a long time.
    The same is true in counternarcotics, the idea that you will have officials in Colombia who don't think they will be held accountable if they kill someone, but the next day, if they take a bribe to look the other way over a drug transaction, that is not OK, and somehow there is an independent judiciary for that and a free press for that but not for murdering people. It is a false dichotomy.
    A pro-business policy is pro human rights. Counternarcotics strategy means free press, independent judiciary, professionalized police—it is a false dichotomy. You are saying here that you can't be a company going into these areas and think you can work with a regime that can treat individuals extremely roughly in the most personal matters with total impunity and then be OK if you run into the problems of the bankruptcy law or with the local authorities. It is all part of the same problem, which is unaccountable authority.
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    Mr. SMITH. I have one more question, and then we will conclude the hearing. It is on Burma and the impact of UNDP programs. In your opinion does SLORC have too much to say about those? What about our policy vis-a-vis Burma? Is it proper sanctions?
    You can respond for the record.
    Mr. RICKARD. I am hesitating because I actually have a long personal involvement on that, but it is somewhat different from my organization's policy, Amnesty doesn't take a position on economic sanctions or linkages to human rights.
    I would be very happy to work with you to provide you with information. I know a lot of people that follow that issue closely. Absolutely, there is no question there have been allegations in the past that—I am a little dated on this—that UNDP was not nearly careful enough in distinguishing development programs from programs which just ''coincidentally'' were extremely helpful in terms of prosecuting warfare against ethnic minorities.
    But the United States did get involved in monitoring those projects. There was a change in the UNDP programs in Burma. But, as I said, I am a little behind on that but would be happy to work with you in terms of getting information on that point from people who do follow it very closely and are very current on the issue.
    Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much for your expert testimony, and the hearing is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 4:10 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]


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