Tate Zeigler (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said the United States should stand with Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng. Chen, a blind human rights lawyer had been under house arrest in China for exposing the practice of forced abortions and sterilization of rural women under China’s One Child Policy.
Graham is the ranking member on the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Graham plans to introduce a resolution expressing support for Mr. Chen if the situation has not been resolved before the Senate returns next week.
“I cannot think of a more defining moment to push China to embrace a more progressive platform on human rights than by standing with Chen Guangcheng. Mr. Chen deserves our admiration and respect for his work, at great personal sacrifice, in speaking out against China’s continued practice of forced abortions and sterilizations. The Obama Administration should work to protect his safety, the safety of his family, and the safety of others associated with him. His cause should be our cause.
“Our future relationship with China should be based on exposing the honest differences between us and not just money and trade. There is no better example of the differences we have than the way the Chinese government treats its citizens, like Mr. Chen, who dissent from government policy.
“The Chinese communist dictatorship has a terrible human rights record. The United States must push the Chinese communist dictatorship toward democratic reform and respect of the basic human rights of its citizens. Mr. Chen’s case is a powerful reminder China still has far to go in respecting the freedoms and liberties we in the United States hold dear and sometimes take for granted.”#####