US-China Commission Backs Call for UN to Hold Chinese Regime Accountable for Human Rights Abuses

Two people hold up candles during a vigil at Victoria Park, Hong Kong, on June 4, 2020. (Song Bilung/The Epoch Times)
BY ISABEL VAN BRUGEN

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) on June 27 backed expert calls for the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to hold the Chinese regime accountable for human rights abuses.

The CECC said Saturday that it supports a statement issued by over 50 independent U.N. human rights experts, which on Friday called on the international community to “take all appropriate measures” to monitor Beijing and “act collectively and decisively” to ensure its government respects human rights.

“The Chairs support statement by 50+ UN independent experts calling for an urgent UNHumanRights session to evaluate #Chinese govt’s persistent human rights violations & to discuss establishment of UN mechanisms to monitor #HongKong, #Xinjiang, & #Tibet,” the independent agency said in a statement on Twitter.

This includes the Chinese regime’s repression of religious and ethnic minorities in its northwestern Xinjiang region and Tibet, allegations of excessive force against Hong Kong protesters, and reports of retaliation against people who spoke out about the COVID-19 outbreak.

“U.N. independent experts have repeatedly communicated with the government of the People’s Republic of China their alarm regarding the repression of fundamental freedoms in China,” the statement said. “The U.N. independent experts believe it is time for renewed attention on the human rights situation in the country, particularly in light of the moves against the people of the Hong Kong SAR, minorities of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, the Tibet Autonomous Region, and human rights defenders across the country.”

The experts highlighted their concerns about the Chinese Communist Party’s so-called “national security” legislation on Hong Kong. Beijing’s rubber-stamp legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC), bypassed Hong Kong’s local legislature in late May to enact the legislation that would criminalize activities connected to subversion, succession, terrorism, and foreign interference.

The NPC on Sunday began reviewing its proposed law for the city, which the experts said would “introduce poorly defined crimes that would easily be subject to abuse and repression” and could allow Beijing to encroach upon the city’s special status.

Under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which set the terms of Hong Kong’s transfer to Chinese rule, the regime agreed to grant the city autonomy and freedoms not enjoyed in the mainland, under the formula of “one country, two systems.”

“It would undermine the right to a fair trial and presage a sharp rise in arbitrary detention and prosecution of peaceful human rights defenders at the behest of Chinese authorities,” the experts said. “The national security law would also undermine the ability of businesses operating in Hong Kong to discharge their responsibility to respect human rights in line with the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.”

The experts expressed concern that China hasn’t granted the same level of access to the country for them that 120 other governments have.

They urged the 47-member state council to “act with a sense of urgency to take all appropriate measures to monitor Chinese human rights practices.” They suggested the UNHRC establish an impartial and independent U.N. “mechanism” to “closely monitor, analyze, and report annually on the human rights situation in China.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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