House Resolution on human rights in China and Tibet

The House of Representatives on April 3, 2001 approved by a majority vote, House Resolution 56 (H. Res. 56), a measure that backs the U.S. decision to introduce and solicit support for a resolution at the current United Nations Commission on Human Rights meeting in Geneva regarding Beijing’s human rights record in China and Tibet.

The resolution, introduced by Representative Tom Lantos (Democrat of California) February 26, passed with a vote of 406 “yes” to 6 “no” votes.

In the resolution, the House of Representatives says it “strongly supports the decision of the United States Government to offer and solicit cosponsorship for a resolution at the 57th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Switzerland, calling upon the Government of the People’s Republic of China to end its human rights abuses in China and Tibet, in compliance with its international obligations.”

The resolution also urges the United States “to take the lead in organizing multilateral support to obtain passage by the Commission of such resolution.”

Following is an excerpt from the April 3 Congressional Record concerning the House vote on H. Res. 56:

(begin excerpt)

URGING INTRODUCTION OF U.N. RESOLUTION CALLING UPON THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA TO END ITS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN CHINA AND TIBET

House of Representatives April 03, 2001

Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the resolution (H. Res. 56) urging the appropriate representative of the United States to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to introduce at the annual meeting of the Commission a resolution calling upon the People’s Republic of China to end its human rights violations in China and Tibet, and for other purposes, as amended.

The Clerk read as follows:

H. Res. 56

Whereas the annual meeting of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland, provides a forum for discussing human rights and expressing international support for improved human rights performance;

Whereas, according to the Department of State and international human rights organizations, the Government of the People’s Republic of China continues to commit widespread and well-documented human rights abuses in China and Tibet;

Whereas the People’s Republic of China has yet to demonstrate its willingness to abide by internationally accepted norms of freedom of belief, expression, and association by repealing or amending laws and decrees that restrict those freedoms;

Whereas the Government of the People’s Republic of China continues to ban and criminalize groups it labels as cults or heretical organizations;

Whereas the Government of the People’s Republic of China has repressed unregistered religious congregations and spiritual movements, including Falun Gong, and persists in persecuting persons on the basis of unauthorized religious activities using such measures as harassment, prolonged detention, physical abuse, incarceration, and closure or destruction of places of worship;

Whereas authorities in the People’s Republic of China have continued their efforts to extinguish expressions of protest or criticism, have detained scores of citizens associated with attempts to organize a peaceful opposition, to expose corruption, to preserve their ethnic minority identity, or to use the Internet for the free exchange of ideas, and have sentenced many citizens so detained to harsh prison terms;

Whereas Chinese authorities continue to exert control over religious and cultural institutions in Tibet, abusing human rights through instances of torture, arbitrary arrest, and detention of Tibetans without public trial for peacefully expressing their political or religious views;

Whereas bilateral human rights dialogues between several nations and the People’s Republic of China have yet to produce substantial adherence to international norms; and

Whereas the People’s Republic of China has signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, but has yet to take the steps necessary to make the treaty legally binding: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives–

(1) strongly supports the decision of the United States Government to offer and solicit cosponsorship for a resolution at the 57th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Switzerland, calling upon the Government of the People’s Republic of China to end its human rights abuses in China and Tibet, in compliance with its international obligations; and

(2) urges the United States Government to take the lead in organizing multilateral support to obtain passage by the Commission of such resolution. . . .

URGING INTRODUCTION OF U.N. RESOLUTION CALLING UPON PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA TO END ITS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN CHINA AND TIBET

House of Representatives April 03, 2001

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were–yeas 406, nays 6, answered “present” 6, not voting 13, … [Roll No. 78] …

The title of the resolution was amended so as to read:

“A resolution strongly supporting the decision of the United States Government to offer and solicit cosponsorship for a resolution at the 57th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Switzerland, calling upon the People’s Republic of China to end its human rights abuses in China and Tibet, and for other purposes.”

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