Critical Questions on China for U.S. Presidential Candidates

What we would like to ask during tonight's debate

NEW YORK -- Recent in-depth analysis of the current political turmoil in China demonstrates that the systematic persecution of Falun Gong has divided the Communist Party leadership at the highest levels, with far-reaching ramifications throughout China and beyond (analysis). At the same time, an explosive new video details how, for the past ten years, Chinese military hospitals have been operating a multi-million dollar human trafficking business that murders Chinese citizens to sell their organs –what renowned human rights lawyer David Matas dubbed "a new form of evil on this planet." (video online)



Given the level of economic engagement between the U.S. and China, as well as Beijing’s ongoing attempts to exert influence internationally, there are several questions that should be at the forefront of any discussion about U.S. foreign policy, especially as it pertains to China.



Question #1: Today, hundreds of thousands of prisoners of conscience—most of them practitioners of Falun Gong—are detained arbitrarily in Chinese labor camps and prisons. Credible reports estimate that tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been killed, many from torture, but most so that their organs could be extracted and used to fuel a booming organ transplantation business. With 100 million people across China practicing Falun Gong in 1999, this persecution campaign has had devastating effects throughout Chinese society, causing the rule of law, media freedoms, and citizens’ rights to revert backwards. If elected, what would your administration do to secure the release of innocent men and women whose lives are at risk on a daily basis?
 


Question #2: As noted in the annual report of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China released earlier this month, Chinese citizens have become increasingly vocal and firm in asserting their basic freedoms, even at great risk to themselves. Yet, Communist Party leaders have ignored their calls for change. The United States relationship is not only with the Chinese government, but more importantly, with the Chinese people. How would you lend moral and practical support to Chinese people peacefully fighting for their rights and freedoms? Would you personally meet with Chinese activists, including former Falun Gong prisoners of conscience?



Question #3: The Communist Party has used various tactics in an attempt to extend its persecution of Falun Gong onto U.S. soil, including encouraging harassment of U.S. citizens who practice Falun Gong, engaging in cyber attacks and espionage, and in some instances, possibly hiring thugs to assault Americans who practice Falun Gong. A 2003 Congressional Resolution condemned such activities and those immediately responsible have been prosecuted, but to date, no Chinese diplomat has been formally censured for implicitly or explicitly supporting such suppression. What would you do as president to investigate such attacks and protect the rights of U.S. citizens and residents from intimidation and repression by a foreign authoritarian regime?