Wednesday, July 30, 2008

布什会见中国异见人士 President Bush Meets with Harry Wu and Other Chinese Human Rights Advocates

President Bush Meets with Harry Wu and Other Chinese Human Rights Advocates


On the eve of the Olympic Games, it is clear that the human rights situation in China has not improved as promised by Beijing, but rather, that it has deteriorated. So acting on the recommendation of Representative Frank Wolf, Representative Chris Smith, and Representative James McGovern, President Bush agreed to meet with Laogai Research Foundation Executive Director Harry Wu and several other well-known Chinese human rights advocates this morning in the West Wing of the White House. The others in attendance at the meeting included prominent Chinese democracy advocate Wei Jingsheng, Uyghur American Association President, Rebiya Kadeer, China Aid Association President Bob Fu, and acclaimed scholar and activist Sasha Gong.

Mr. Wu presented President Bush with a copy of the House Concurrent Resolution 294, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 16, 2005, which calls on the international community to condemn the Laogai. In speaking with President Bush, Mr. Wu made three points. First, he explained that China's Laogai system is incompatible with democracy, and asked President Bush to take note of this issue and help bring about an end to this inhumane system. President Bush assured Mr. Wu that he would take his perspective on the Laogai into account. Next, Mr. Wu warned President Bush of the alarming amount of Chinese espionage activities taking place in the U.S. And lastly, Mr. Wu informed President Bush that he would be establishing the world's first Laogai Museum later this year in Washington, D.C. When President Bush asked where exactly the museum would be located, he was delighted to learn that it would be on M St., not too far from the White House.

The other activists present also discussed their personal experiences and efforts to improve human rights in China. Wei Jingsheng expressed that he disagreed with the President's decision to go to Beijing for the Olympics, to which President Bush responded by explaining that he felt the need to go and speak personally with Chinese President Hu Jintao. Rebiya Kadeer gave President Bush a brief account of the dire human rights situation in Xinjiang, currently the only place in China where political prisoners face the possibility of immediate execution. Bob Fu discussed the predicaments of mainland Chinese Christians and the ongoing persecution of underground "house church" members. Sasha Gong spoke about the Chinese government's increasing control of the internet and the suppression of writers online.

President Bush promised the group that he intends to raise the issue of human rights directly with the Chinese leadership when he travels to Beijing in August for the Olympic Games. Moreover, he informed the group that he plans to attend a Christian church service while in Beijing. Throughout the meeting, which lasted for about forty minutes, Bush made it very clear that he was deeply concerned about the human rights situation in China and that human rights could not be overlooked at any occasion, no matter how grand.

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