Thank you for inviting me here today. I appreciate the opportunity to stand with you in support of human rights.
We are here to address human rights abuses in China. As we do so, it is important to remember that our response to these crimes overseas speaks as much to the character of our nation as it does to the character of China’s.
China’s leaders have already extended their campaign against freedom to America. Local U.S. officials around the country have faced undue pressure from Chinese officials for supporting Falun Gong and condemning the human rights abuses of the Beijing regime.
We must stand up to this attempt to intimidate American officials on American soil.
That’s why I introduced H.Con.Res. 447. This resolution calls for an end to the persecution in China and urges President Bush to take tough action to prevent the Chinese government from pressuring local officials that support Falun Gong here in the United States.
America is a nation of law, a nation of freedom, and a nation of justice. Those principles are what make America strong—and what make America great.
That is why they must never be sacrificed—not when the lure of open markets invites us to ignore the abuse of women and children in sweatshops, not when oil and fear invite us to lash out in the Mideast, and certainly not when the leader of a nation that consistently flaunts universal principles of human rights comes to visit America.
That is why it is extraordinarily important that President Bush bring human rights to the forefront of his discussions with President Jiang (Gee-ang). As our leader, it is his obligation to stand up for American values.
We must make it clear that democracy and human rights are a priority in America, and that freedom of speech is an unalienable right, no matter what country you call home.