[House Hearing, 112 Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
CHEN GUANGCHENG: HIS CASE, CAUSE, FAMILY, AND THOSE WHO ARE HELPING HIM
SUBCOMMITTEE ON AFRICA, GLOBAL HEALTH,
AND HUMAN RIGHTS
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED TWELFTH CONGRESS
MAY 15, 2012
Serial No. 112-145
Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/
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COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida, Chairman
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
DAN BURTON, Indiana GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York
ELTON GALLEGLY, California ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American
DANA ROHRABACHER, California Samoa
DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey--
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California deceased 3/6/12 deg.
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio BRAD SHERMAN, California
RON PAUL, Texas ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York
MIKE PENCE, Indiana GREGORY W. MEEKS, New York
JOE WILSON, South Carolina RUSS CARNAHAN, Missouri
CONNIE MACK, Florida ALBIO SIRES, New Jersey
JEFF FORTENBERRY, Nebraska GERALD E. CONNOLLY, Virginia
MICHAEL T. McCAUL, Texas THEODORE E. DEUTCH, Florida
TED POE, Texas DENNIS CARDOZA, California
GUS M. BILIRAKIS, Florida BEN CHANDLER, Kentucky
JEAN SCHMIDT, Ohio BRIAN HIGGINS, New York
BILL JOHNSON, Ohio ALLYSON SCHWARTZ, Pennsylvania
DAVID RIVERA, Florida CHRISTOPHER S. MURPHY, Connecticut
MIKE KELLY, Pennsylvania FREDERICA WILSON, Florida
TIM GRIFFIN, Arkansas KAREN BASS, California
TOM MARINO, Pennsylvania WILLIAM KEATING, Massachusetts
JEFF DUNCAN, South Carolina DAVID CICILLINE, Rhode Island
ANN MARIE BUERKLE, New York
RENEE ELLMERS, North Carolina
ROBERT TURNER, New York
Yleem D.S. Poblete, Staff Director
Richard J. Kessler, Democratic Staff Director
Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey, Chairman
JEFF FORTENBERRY, Nebraska KAREN BASS, California
TOM MARINO, Pennsylvania DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey--
ANN MARIE BUERKLE, New York deceased 3/6/12 deg.
ROBERT TURNER, New York RUSS CARNAHAN, Missouri
C O N T E N T S
Pastor Bob Fu, founder and president, ChinaAid Association....... 5
Mr. Wei Jingsheng, founder and chairman, Overseas Chinese
Democracy Coalition............................................ 15
Ms. Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president, Women's Rights
Without Frontiers.............................................. 27
Ms. Chai Ling, founder, All Girls Allowed........................ 33
Ms. Mei Shunping, victim of forced abortion...................... 41
LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING
Pastor Bob Fu: Prepared statement................................ 9
Mr. Wei Jingsheng: Prepared statement............................ 21
Ms. Reggie Littlejohn: Prepared statement........................ 30
Ms. Chai Ling: Prepared statement................................ 37
Ms. Mei Shunping: Prepared statement............................. 44
The Honorable Christopher H. Smith, a Representative in Congress
from the State of New Jersey, and chairman, Subcommittee on
Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights: Status of relatives
and supporters of Chen Guangcheng.............................. 49
Hearing notice................................................... 58
Hearing minutes.................................................. 59
CHEN GUANGCHENG: HIS CASE, CAUSE, FAMILY, AND THOSE WHO ARE HELPING HIM
TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2012
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health,
and Human Rights,
Committee on Foreign Affairs,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 1 p.m., in
room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Christopher H.
Smith (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. Smith. The subcommittee will come to order. I want to
thank you all of you for joining us for this hearing to examine
the status of Chinese human rights defender Chen Guangcheng,
and that of his family and others who have been targeted by
Chinese officials in connection with this case.
This hearing will also focus on Chen's cause. Chen
Guangcheng is among the bravest defenders of women's rights in
the world. Chen defended thousands of women from the ongoing,
most egregious systematic state-sponsored exploitation and
abuse of women in human history--pervasive forced abortion, and
involuntary sterilization as part of China's one-child-per-
couple policy--and suffered, as a result of his defense, cruel
torture, degrading treatment, unjust incarceration, and
The sheer magnitude of this exploitation of women has been
largely overlooked and trivialized by many, and even enabled.
United Nations Population Fund has, for over 30 years,
supported, defended and whitewashed the crimes against women
and children Chen struggled to expose. That is why President
Reagan, and more recently President Bush, defunded the U.N.
Population Fund. In an indefensible reversal, the Obama
administration has provided approximately $165 million to the
Mr. Chen, as we know, who was blinded by a severe fever as
an infant, is a self-taught lawyer. He garnered international
attention in 2005 when he organized a class-action lawsuit
against local officials who were forcing women to undergo
abortions and sterilizations to comply with China's one-child-
per-couple policy. There were as many as 130,000 involuntary
abortions and sterilizations performed in Linyi County in a
single year. In response to his heroic efforts to defend women
and men from forced sterilization and women from forced
abortion, Mr. Chen was sentenced to 51 months in prison on
trumped-up charges and then subjected to extralegal house
arrest where the beatings continued.
In response to his incredible escape on April 22nd and the
events that followed, I chaired an emergency hearing about Mr.
Chen, with the Congressional-Executive Commission on China in
this same room on May 3rd. During that hearing, which took
place just days after--after Mr. Chen left the U.S. Embassy in
Beijing, Mr. Chen spoke to us from his hospital bed in Beijing
over Mr. Bob Fu's cell phone. Mr. Chen indicated that he wanted
to come to the United States for some time of rest, as he put
it, noting that he had not had rest for the past 10 years. He
asked for a face-to-face meeting with Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton, who was in Beijing at the time. Regrettably,
that didn't happen. He also expressed fear for the life of his
family members, and said that he was most concerned about their
safety, especially that of his mother and his brother. He was
extremely concerned about their welfare, as well as their
In that context Mr. Chen noted that security officers had
installed seven video cameras and even an electric fence around
his house in Shandong Province, saying that they ``want to see
what else Chen Guangcheng can do.'' As soon as the authorities
learned of his escape, they refused to allow his daughter to
attend school. For these reasons, he was justifiably worried
about the villagers and others who were helping him and what
they were being subjected to, including severe, life-
Reports that we have received since are corroborating Mr.
Chen's fears. Following his escape from house arrest, Chinese
officials started breaking into the homes of his family in the
same village and rounding up those who had assisted him for
interrogations. When local officials and thugs broke into the
home of Mr. Chen's brother, Mr. Chen's nephew, Chen Kegui,
reportedly tried to defend himself with a kitchen knife. He is
now in a police detention center. I am extremely concerned, as
is Chen Guangcheng, for his welfare, as well as that of other
The day after the emergency hearing on May 4, the Chinese
Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted on their Web site the
statement that ``[a]s a Chinese citizen, [Mr. Chen] may apply
like other Chinese citizens according to the laws and normal
procedures of the relevant departments.'' The U.S. Department
of State also issued a press release announcing that ``[t]he
Chinese Government stated today that Mr. Chen Guangcheng has
the same right to travel abroad as any other citizen of China.
Mr. Chen has been offered a fellowship from an American
university, where he can be accompanied by his wife and two
children. The Chinese Government has indicated that it will
accept Mr. Chen's applications for appropriate travel
documents. The United States Government expects that the
Chinese Government will expeditiously process his applications
for these documents. . . .''
Now, 11 days later, Mr. Chen is still in the same hospital
room with his wife and two children under de facto house
arrest. Although Mr. Chen is under the impression that his
application for a passport was made last Sunday when he was
visited by a Chinese official, and under Chinese law blind
persons are supposed to be able to apply orally for travel
documents, he has not been notified of any further action on
the application. With the exception of the half-hour each
morning and afternoon that the children are escorted outside by
one of the nurses, he and his family are not allowed to leave
the hospital, and no one is allowed to see them.
Anyone who attempts to see Mr. Chen risks severe
retaliation. For example, on May 2nd, human rights lawyer Jiang
Tianyong attempted to visit Mr. Chen in the hospital. He was
forcibly taken away by police officers. It was later reported
that Mr. Jiang was beaten so severely that he lost his hearing
in at least one ear, and has been forced to move from Beijing
to Hebei Province until after the 18th Party Congress.
Mr. Jiang was here in the United States in October 2009 and
testified twice before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission,
an amazingly heroic man. Mr. Wolf chaired one of those
hearings, and I chaired the other. One of his recommendations
was that President Obama should speak with President Hu Jintao
and Premier Wen Jiabao about freeing a number of political
prisoners, including Chen Guangcheng, who was imprisoned at
that time. Now Mr. Jiang himself must be included in the list
of those on whose behalf the United States advocates for.
Chinese nationals are not the only ones being prohibited
from trying to meet Mr. Chen. The Foreign Correspondents Club
of China reported in early May that officials threatened to
revoke the visas of foreign journalists who entered the
hospital without permission. I would note here that many
journalists have demonstrated amazing courage and laudable
perseverance in publicizing Mr. Chen's plight. It is largely
due to their promotion of Mr. Chen's case that has reached this
stage of a possible travel to the United States. I would
earnestly ask them not to forget Mr. Chen and his family, and
extended family, and others, like He Peirong, who are risking
their security and their lives on his behalf.
The story, unfortunately, is far from over.
Before I turn to our panel of distinguished witnesses to
discuss the current events, I would like comments by my fellow
colleagues, some of whom are en route, to be made a part of the
record, without objection.
I would like to now ask our witnesses if they would come to
the witness table, and I will introduce them to the
Beginning first with Pastor Bob Fu, who was a leader in the
1989 student democracy movement in Tiananmen Square and later
became a house church pastor and founder along with his wife.
In 1996, authorities arrested and imprisoned them for their
work. After their release they escaped to the United States in
2002 and founded the ChinaAid Association. ChinaAid monitors
and reports on religious freedom in China, and provides a forum
for discussion among experts on religion, law and human rights
in China. Pastor Fu is frequently interviewed by media outlets
around the world and has testified at U.S. congressional
hearings, including the one on Chen Guangcheng, held by the
China Commission. It was Bob Fu, whose cell phone and
translation made that very important connection with Chen
Guangcheng on May 3rd.
We will then hear from Mr. Wei Jingsheng, who served two
jail sentences totaling more than 18 years in China for his
pro-democracy work. He was forced into exile in 1997, but
continued to advocate for human rights and democracy in China.
In 1998, Mr. Wei founded and became the chairman of the
Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition, an umbrella organization
for many Chinese democracy groups. He is also president of the
Wei Jingsheng Foundation and the Asian Democracy Alliance. He
has written numerous articles and regularly speaks about human
rights and democracy in China, including broadcasts via Radio
I would note parenthetically that I first met Wei Jingsheng
when he was released very briefly in 1993. He was such a highly
prized human rights advocate that China thought if they
released one dissident, they would procure the 2000 Olympics.
When that didn't happen, he was rearrested and brutally beaten
and tortured until his eventual release because he was close to
death. So this is a truly remarkable man.
And when I met him in China, he said that when Americans
and Westerners coddle and treat in a kowtowish way the Chinese
Government, they beat us more in the Chinese laogai and prison
gulags. When you are tough and transparent and say what you
mean and mean what you say, they beat us less. And I will never
forget that lesson. He said that in a hotel in January 1994
when we had dinner together. So a great man, and that was
before his re-arrest.
We will then hear from Ms. Reggie Littlejohn, who is
founder and president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, an
international coalition that opposes forced abortion,
gendercide, and sexual slavery in China. She has legally
represented Chinese refugees in numerous political asylum cases
and testified before the European and British Parliaments, the
White House, and Congress. Ms. Littlejohn serves as the expert
on China's one-child policy for the ChinaAid Association and
has issued several groundbreaking reports from inside of China
about the incalculable suffering caused by the coercive
enforcement of the one-child-per-couple policy.
We will then hear from Ms. Chai Ling, the founder of All
Girls Allowed, an organization dedicated to restoring life and
dying with dignity to girls and mothers, and to revealing the
gross injustice of China's one-child policy. Chai Ling also
established the Jenzabar Foundation and serves as one of its
board members. The foundation supports the most inspirational
and influential humanitarian efforts of students through grant
opportunities. A key student herself during the 1989 Tiananmen
Square movement, one of the most wanted by the Chinese
Government, and a very heroic character, Chai Ling was
subsequently named Glamour Woman of the Year and nominated
twice for a Nobel Peace Prize. She is the author of the book,
``A Heart for Freedom,'' and has already saved a number of
little girls who would have been subjected to sex-selection
abortions in China, who are now living today because of her
intervention and that of her organization.
We will then hear from Ms. Mei Shunping, who was born in
1958. Because of the Cultural Revolution, she was unable to
finish school. She and her husband were married in 1981, just
after the one-child-per-couple policy was implemented. As a
factory worker in a textile facility, she was forced by the
Family Planning Commission to undergo five forced abortions.
She came to the U.S. in 1999 and lives with her husband in New
England. Ms. Mei has one son, who also lives in the United
States. Her dream is to return to school and to finish her
And I now yield to Mr. Carnahan.
Mr. Carnahan. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for really putting
together this very important hearing and for your continued
work in championing human rights everywhere.
I join you in concern for the outstanding issues in the
case of Chen Guangcheng, as well as ongoing human rights issues
in China. The case of Mr. Chen not only highlights these
abuses, but also the need to evaluate the current status of
U.S.-China relations. Although still unfolding, Mr. Chen's
affair appears to mark a watershed moment for U.S.-China
Despite the many serious remaining concerns, I believe it
is important to stress the significance of the U.S. reaching
two deals on a sensitive crisis with the Chinese, as well as
engaging in the annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue as
planned. These talks underscore the vast array of national and
economic security issues in which the U.S. and China must
collaborate. We must continue to work toward greater
understanding with regard to North Korea, Iran, the South China
Sea, intellectual property rights protections, and currency
manipulation, just to name a few.
I believe efforts to improve cooperation officially and
through enhanced public diplomacy will allow us to better
address areas of mutual interest and those of disagreement,
including the myriad of security challenges and the serious
cases of human rights abuses like the ones that Mr. Chen has
endured and those revealed in the course of his brave work.
Beyond bilateral engagement to address these issues, the
U.S. must also continue to pursue engagement through
multilateral fora, including the U.N., to affect positive
change in China. It is important to note, in fact, that the
U.N. Population Fund in China was among the first organizations
to raise Mr. Chen's rights and abusive practices in Linyi with
Chinese Government officials. I look forward to hearing more
about the status of Mr. Chen, and ways the U.S. and
international community can ensure the safety of his family and
With China facing a generational leadership change later
this year, coupled with major societal, economic, and
humanitarian issues as a result of its one-child policy, I also
hope we consider what the deal on Mr. Chen reflects about the
internal political situation in China and appropriate U.S.
In closing, I once again want to thank the chairman for
calling this important hearing and the witnesses for being here
today to share their stories.
Thank you. I yield back.
Mr. Smith. Russ, thank you very much.
I would like to now ask Pastor Bob Fu if you would proceed.
STATEMENT OF PASTOR BOB FU, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, CHINAAID
Pastor Fu. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for your
leadership. Thank you for your continuous support on behalf of
a Chinese family.
While we are still waiting for a real progress report about
Chen and his close family members, any plan, or about the
issuance of a passport from the Chinese Government, today I
want to focus on the plight of his extended family members and
his supporters. And especially I am deeply concerned about the
Chen's nephew, Chen Kegui, and I want to really give you an
updated report after talking with at least two of his lawyers
and another legal representative in the past few days.
Here is a chronology for what had happened to Mr. Chen
Kegui. Of course, he has been under criminal detention since
April 30, and then on May 9, he was formally arrested with the
trumped-up charge called ``intentional homicide.''
This is how the so-called homicide happened: After Chen
Guangcheng's escape last month, the local official who has been
directing the persecution of Chen, the town mayor Zhang Jian,
led a group of people in a raid on the home of Chen's brother,
Chen Guangfu, that began at about 11:30 p.m. on April 26th and
continued to dawn. Without showing any IDs, they broke down the
door, and jumped over the walls of Chen Guangfu's home, and
then seriously beat Chen Guangfu and then his wife, Ren Zongju.
And their son, Chen Kegui, thought some bandits had come to
rob them. So, after he walked out of his bedroom, he was
violently attacked for at least 3 hours, and according to the
eyewitnesses and his own report, he was bleeding from his face,
from his head, and out of those circumstances, it was purely
out of self-defense and witnessing how his parents were
violently beaten up, he injured several of the attackers with a
And then early morning of April 27, he himself, in a
conversation recorded by a reporter for 50 minutes, he was
talking about how he was violently attacked. He said he was
waiting. He called the Chinese police, telephoned the
equivalent of 9-1-1. He wants to surrender himself, but after
waiting for a few hours, he was afraid for his life, so he
walked away to another neighboring county, actually in the
nearby Province of Jiangsu--the county's name is called the
Xinyi county--and there he was trying to surrender to the
neighboring province. And at least from my conversation with
one of his lawyers, the attorney Liu Weiguo from Jinan, the
capital city of Shandong Province, on April 29, that in a
conversation he had with attorney Liu Weiguo, he said, you
know, I am waiting, and I was waiting to go to that detention
center to surrender myself. And then on April 30, obviously, he
was under criminal detention, and later on he was charged with
And almost all of the lawyers who were waiting to handle
Chen Kegui's's case, have lost their freedom of movement, or
had their lawyer's license confiscated or are being held by the
authorities. And some of them had been simply kidnapped. And I
talked with Dr. Teng Biao, a professor of law at the Chinese
University for Political Science and the Law, last night, and
he said he just tried to go to Beijing where--that is his
home--on May 12, and only found he was kicked out on May 13.
That is the latest.
And attorney Liu Weiguo, is losing his freedom of movement,
so he is not allowed to travel to either Beijing or Shandong at
all. And another attorney from Guangzhou, attorney Wu Chen--let
us see, Wu Chen, only after he--the same day when he announced
he will be the attorney for Chen Kegui, his license was being
held by the Chinese Government, so he is not allowed to
represent Mr. Chen Kegui's case. Based on the experience of Mr.
Chen Guangcheng's trial or pretrial in 2005, we cannot have
confidence that Mr. Chen Kegui will receive any fair trial.
And let me just talk a little bit a few other cases about
those supporters of Mr. Chen, who have experienced tremendous
persecution in the past week or so just simply for being
associated with Mr. Chen, or for raising awareness. One of
them, his name is Lu Haitao, netizen from Beijing, just because
he tried to visit Mr. Chen, he and his wife, who was 2 months
pregnant, and kept being harassed and invited and forced to
have tea with the public security officers since May 10, and
then because of that harassment and the threat, on May 13, Mr.
Lu Haitao's wife, Yang Lanlian, had a miscarriage. Their 2-
month-old baby is gone.
And, of course, the other individuals like Mr. Jiang
Tianyong, who has testified before you, Mr. Chairman, was
beaten, and was also removed from Beijing as well.
And there is another individual whose name is Song Ze. He
is a member of Beijing's NGO, Gongmeng, who has been just
raising awareness for Mr. Chen. But he, on May 6, this month,
he had been put under criminal detention. Right now he is being
held at the Fengtai District detention center.
And another activist, Liu Guohui, who has been an advocate,
and also a constant visitor, or trying to visit Mr. Chen in the
past couple of years, and her passport recently was even
declared invalid. So she has no way to even travel to overseas.
And other lawyers, most of them who are not able to have any
freedom of movement.
So I am very, very concerned that the Chinese Government,
especially the local authorities, will make trumped-up charges;
based on this trumped-up charge, they will make a fake trial,
expeditiously hand him a very severe sentence, and possibly if
he is convicted, he could be sentenced to death.
Where is the way out for Chen Guangcheng? Despite the fact
that the United States and China have reached an apparent
agreement and are committed to Chen Guangcheng's freedom and
security, and Chen Guangcheng remains under de facto house
arrest in the Chaoyang Hospital. And I talked with him pretty
much twice a day, until last night and this morning we lost
And all the visitors are barred, including the U.S.
diplomatic representatives are not allowed to visit him, and
some of the Chinese supporters and friends who just tried to
visit him were barred, or tailed and beaten.
So all of this shows that the implementation of the
agreement and the realization of the commitments are far more
important than the agreement and the commitments themselves. I
hope that Congress will do more in monitoring and urging the
administration to ensure the civil rights of Chen Guangcheng
and his family members are protected by the law, and Chen
Guangcheng was allowed to enter the U.S. Embassy. Members of
the Obama administration, including the Assistant Secretaries
Kurt Campbell and Michael Posner, the State Department legal
advisor Harold Koh, and Ambassador Gary Locke all made a great
active efforts, and, of course, sacrificed sleep during the
And although some aspects of the events that followed
certainly were not handled properly by the administration, we
are nonetheless pleased to see that high-level American and
Chinese officials have promised to help Chen Guangcheng and his
family come to the United States so they can rest and have
further studies at a U.S. institution. And this shows that our
country recognized that it is responsible, you know, for the
outcome of the fate of Chen Guangcheng.
We hope that Members of Congress can provide all of the
tools that the administration needs to back their commitment
and to follow through, and we are certainly looking forward
that day when Chen and his wife and two children to touch the
soil in the United States of America very soon, hopefully.
Mr. Smith. Pastor Fu, thank you so very much for your
testimony and for your insights.
[The prepared statement of Pastor Fu follows:]
Mr. Smith. And I now yield to Wei Jingsheng, again, a
political prisoner for 18 years, the father of the Democracy
STATEMENT OF MR. WEI JINGSHENG, FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN, OVERSEAS
CHINESE DEMOCRACY COALITION
[The following testimony was delivered through an
Mr. Wei. In January 1994, I met with Representative Chris
Smith in Beijing for 3 hours, and then he was obviously
concerned with the situation of the American policies about the
Chinese human rights. So, he advised then-Secretary of State
Warren Christopher to meet with me in Beijing in that spring.
Since then, there was a very important negotiation going
on, and that negotiation had not only affected the human rights
situation in China, but also affected the U.S.-China
relationship. At this point there aren't too many people that
have the full knowledge of this history. And I think it is very
important to reflect the full accounts of that negotiation, and
because it will make a good reference for what is going on at
the present now. So therefore, I give you a reflection of the
history then, and because it is kind of long, so I will have my
assistant read out my statement to you. Thank you.
In September 1993, I was released half a year ahead of
schedule with conditions restricting my personal freedoms. Such
a release is called as a controlled release by Chinese law. The
supervision would not end until March 29, 1994, until the end
of my 15-year sentence.
After being released from prison, I had done the following
work: (1) helped to collect donations for individuals and
organizations subjected to political prosecutions; (2) purchase
bank stock shares as preparation for facilitating money
transfers; (3) planned to establish independent workers union
for workers; (4) planned to set up a nongovernment organization
for artists to relieve them from exploitations of the
government; (5) assisted in offering 1 billion Chinese yuan
worth of stock in state-owned enterprises, and in proving with
the facts after making huge profits that the government had
been manipulating the stock market to exploiting mass
I met with Representative Chris Smith in January 1994, and
we had talked for 3 hours in a restaurant in Beijing. And I
give him the advice and we exchanged ideas as regarding how to
push for human rights and democracy progress in China.
On February 27, 1994, following the meeting with Chris
Smith, I met with the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State John
Shattuck privately in a restaurant. He asked me if I was
willing to meet Warren Christopher, the U.S. Secretary of
State, to discuss human rights issues in China when Christopher
was to visit China in the following month. Shattuck mentioned
about the debates in the U.S. Congress on decoupling human
rights from trade issues and the potential risks of this
I thought if my opinions would have some effect in
preventing the U.S. from moving backwards on human rights
issues in China, I would be willing to take such risks and meet
with the Secretary of State. Shattuck mentioned that my
opinions has been passed on to President Clinton by Senator
Kerry, and already had a positive effect on the setup of Radio
Free Asia. He hoped that my views would help the Secretary of
State Christopher. We discussed and agreed on some details of
the meeting with the Secretary of State Christopher during his
In the morning, about 2 or 3 days later, police who had
been in charge for my surveillance come to my home and said
their superior would like to talk to me. Later they brought me
to a resort hotel near the Ming Tombs Reservoir, saying that I
should relax here and wait for their superior. I asked whom I
would meet and what to discuss, but got no answers.
On the next day, an official came, who claimed to be a
senior official representing the highest authority in the
Chinese Government. By observing the way he casually dismissed
the police officer to have a private talk with me, I could tell
that his status should be true. Based on the fact that he had
to leave for 1/2 hour after our talk, then come back with
responses, I would assume there were officials with higher
rankings nearby who monitored our conversation and then made
At the very beginning of the talk, this official said that
it was a negotiation because they needed my help. He said that
he knew that I had an appointment to meet the U.S. Secretary of
State and also knew my opinions. ``We could not change your
opinions and will not want to do so, but we wish you would not
meet the U.S. Secretary of State.''
I said that that is not possible. Because I had agreed to
meet, I could not break the promise. He said that they could
offer things in exchange. ``We know what you want to do,'' he
said. ``If only you will not meet the U.S. Secretary of State,
we will agree to what you want.''
I said I did not believe things could be so simple. Why was
it so important for me to meet or not with the U.S. Secretary
of State? Why would you agree to let me to do the things that
you had been prohibiting us from doing, just because of this?
He said, ``You might not know how important that the Sino-
U.S. trade is to us; taking away those false figures, 70
percent of our real profit was from the foreign trade, and the
70 percent of that come from the Sino-U.S. trade because of the
U.S. market's profit was higher. You might think we, the
Communist Government, would collapse without American profit,
which is true. I would want to do the same, if I were you, but
the Chinese people would suffer, and many Chinese companies
would go bankrupt. Since you love the people so much, we had
guessed that you would agree to our offers.''
I said, ``Not really. I believe that the collapse of the
Communist Government and the establishment of a democratic
system would be more beneficial to the Chinese people. It will
be the lesser of two evils. And the interests of Chinese would
be better compensated in the future.''
He said, ``You have described the issue too simple. You
were once in our internal circle and should know our politics.
Do you really think it would lead to trade sanctions?''
I said, ``Why not?''
He said that the interests of both China and the United
States have dictated that the trade sanctions, if any, would be
short-lived. The businesses of countries would not allow them
to continue to the degree that I would need; that is, resulting
in the collapse of the Communist Government.
I said, in that case, you had no need to negotiate with me.
You also know that I would rather stay in prison than give up
He said, ``We knew that. We understand you better than your
comrades, but we also hoped that you could think about that
carefully. Someone would have to hold the responsibility for
even short-term sanctions, and the highest authority would be
forced to step down because of that. That is why someone wanted
to make a fuss on you and why we had to protect you from
getting into trouble.''
He also said, ``You might laugh at me for such a low-level
lie, but I have to tell you that it was the truth. You are now
standing at the focal point of the Sino-U.S. relationship. If
you were in trouble, whether real or false, the highest
authority would bathe in shit. Only after he steps down could
someone take this position. Therefore, some people are eager to
get you in trouble to achieve their own objectives. When they
reach their goals, they would cooperate with the U.S.
Government to resolve the trade issues, but you would lose your
chance to reach your own goals. You should know better than the
stakes in this deal.''
I said, ``I still do not believe in your promises. I will
need an assurance. The stepping down of Jiang Zeming, might not
be a bad thing, and the person replacing him might want to
compromise with us as well.''
He said, ``We would agree with the several things that you
want to do. Would you think about it again? I have something to
do and will come back in \1/2\ hour.''
He gave me a piece of paper with the offers listed on it.
The first thing was to release political prisoners, including a
list with 35 names. The next three were also what I really
wanted to do; that is, establish workers' unions, establish
artists' own businesses, and purchasing bank shares and help
with receiving and transfer of humanitarian donations.
After more than an hour, the official, whose last name was
Guo, came back and asked how I thought about that. I said,
``What you agree to means nothing. The establishment of a
workers' union requires approval from the Ministry of Civil
Affairs. An artist's company requires approval from the
Ministry of Culture, and the purchase of bank shares requires
approval from the People's Bank. Those were not under the
authority of the judiciary branch. Therefore, all of what you
have said sounds like lies.''
He said, ``I repeat again that I am representing the
highest authority to negotiate with you. All these items are
within our scope of power. When the time comes, I will help you
to complete all the procedures.''
I still say that I could hardly believe what he just said.
He said, ``How about this: We will offer you one more offer
that you would be able to see. In addition to releasing the
political prisoners, providing that you do not betray your
promise, we will not arrest any of your people,'' by which he
means all pro-democracy activists.
I said, ``But you just detained a number of pro-democracy
activists recently who were not on your list. What about
He said those who got detained recently had not get into
the legal procedures yet. ``If you give me 1 day, I will get
all of them released. We could decide tomorrow whether you
would accept our offer. Tomorrow you could make phone calls to
verify if we had the ability to keep our promise.''
The next day I called several friends and verified that all
of those detained were indeed released without either
conditions nor explanations, but I was still inclined not to
accept their offers.
This official seems very anxious and almost lost his
posture and told me that ``you must know that we are already
bearing a great deal of risk. We have also explained it within
the Communist Party. If you still disagreed, then we will have
to arrest you, which would just be playing into the hands of
the other side, and all of the offers to you would be blown
Then he added, ``The Americans are not as reliable as you
might think, and could ultimately reach a compromise with a new
leader. Then political prisoners would be round up as usual,
and then you would not be able to complete anything that you
want to do. You should think about what is at stake. Let me
give you a worst-case scenario. Even if we recanted in the
future, you at least got the benefit of having the political
prisoners released. The other side might not even give you this
After that time, I felt the credibility of his words were
pretty high, so I accepted their offers, and I made a detailed
plan for me to leave Beijing to seek medical treatment, and I
politely declined to meet Secretary of State Christopher. I
felt that I definitely would not get those offers through the
meeting with the Secretary of State. And if the U.S. were to
insist on checking on the human rights issues in China, it
would not have canceled the annual review of the Most Favored
The offers included the provision that immediately after
Secretary of State Christopher had left Beijing, I could go
back to the city and continue to do what I wished to
accomplish, and they would fulfill their remaining offers.
On March 29, 1994, while I was Jinan, they notified me two
things: First, I had completed my prison sentence and would no
longer be under their control, and all my civil rights were
restored. Second, although Secretary of State Christopher had
already left China, the situation had changed somehow, and they
hoped I would spend some time relaxing in the South and return
to Beijing after 1 or 2 months. I rejected the second request,
and insisted on going back to Beijing according to our original
conditions. I thought that by doing so, I could verify if they
had the ability to fulfill their promise.
Two days later I entered the highway from Tianjin to
Beijing, but the entire highway was closed with just the car
carrying my friend and me and four police cars surrounding us.
When arrived at the exit of Tong County we were blocked by more
than 100 police officers, including agents from several
different departments of the Public Safety Bureau, and
officials from the State Security Bureau, and the prosecutor's
A police officer, who I was familiar with, and who has been
in charge of my surveillance for many days, told me that the
current situation was too complicated, and they did not know
what was going on either. He asked me not to make a big scene,
and then they were doing backroom negotiations. Later a
policeman who I did not recognize came and showed me the
subpoena. They took me and the businessman who was going to
transfer stock shares of 1 billion Chinese yuans' worth to a
counterfeit antique-making company in Tong County.
I slept until the afternoon and then heard the policeman I
knew arguing with someone. I heard a strange voice saying that
we got orders that no one was allowed to meet this man alone.
The policeman I knew said, ``We got the instructions from our
superior that we must meet with him alone. You have no
authority to listen to our conversation, and your superior has
agreed to this.''
Then they made phone calls. After that, the police officer
I knew took me to a private room outside the restaurant and
told me that after departure of the Secretary of State
Christopher, the debate within the Communist Party got more
heated. The other side did not believe the Americans, and also
did not believe that I did not influence the Americans. They
insisted on handling me by the dictatorship theory of the
Communist Party, and they did not think that they should abide
by terms of agreement with me; otherwise, it would be a loss of
the spirit and principle of the Communist Party. Their boss was
dealing with this conflict, and they asked me to be more
patient. I said I did not know that internal affairs, but my
patience has a time limit.
On the third day, I formally informed the police who were
guarding me that according to the Law of Criminal Procedures, a
subpoena for interrogation could not last longer than 3
consecutive days. Unless they got an arrest warrant, I would
leave by my own this evening. They said, ``You just wait. We
will go immediately to the prosecutor's office to get an arrest
At the evening, I asked if they got the arrest warrant.
They said they have not yet. The prosecutor's office will not
issue an arrest warrant. But they already had a residential
surveillance certificate issued by the Public Safety Bureau,
which did not need approval from the prosecutor office.
I said, ``Residence under surveillance means that I would
stay in my own house, and that there would be no restrictions
for my personal freedom. I just cannot leave your surveillance.
What are you going to do? It is illegal detention.''
They laughed at me and said I should not try to use their
legal loopholes. Their laws would be interpreted by them, not
by my own understanding. Although there was none, they could
create a procedure, create a precedent for me in regarding this
residence under surveillance. And because it did not get into
the legal procedure, they did not even need to notify my family
members. I would not have any rights provided by the law.
They started an illegal detention against me that lasted
for 18 months, without newspapers and TV, without any contacts
with the outside world.
From what I learned later, at least by the summer of 1995,
the promise of releasing political prisoners and no arrest of
my people had indeed been kept for about 1 year. I think it was
because the trade sanction would not be lifted as smoothly, and
that the American people still cared about human rights
situation in China. Otherwise Jiang Zemin would not be able to
get a compromise between the trade and the theory of
dictatorship under the Communist Party.
From this procedure we can learn several features
concerning negotiation with the Chinese Communist regime. One,
they are only restrained by their interests, but are not bound
by their promises. This is because fundamentally they do not
recognize the common knowledge and reason, but only their great
ideals. This is the same as all evil cults. Therefore, by
insisting on staying in China, Mr. Chen Guangcheng made a wrong
judgment due to a lack of common knowledge, and the U.S.
Government did not let him learn such a common knowledge and
thus brought to him the trouble that will come up.
Two, the Chinese Government is not a whole, but consists of
various interest groups. The struggles within those factions
lack rules, and national interests often become bargaining
chips between their own negotiations. Promises made by one
faction often become targets to be attacked by other factions.
Noncompliance of agreement is a common happening in China. The
U.S. Government, by believing in promises made by one
particular faction without any assurance, has made the mistake
of political judgment.
Three, taking a hostage first and then making negotiations
is a traditional way of negotiation by the Chinese Communists.
In their ideology, obtaining maximum benefit regardless of the
means is a legitimate method against those who are deemed as
not fit to their ideals. They would use any means to advance
their interests, which is their official theory. By returning
Mr. Chen Guangcheng to the hands of Chinese police, the U.S.
administration has made yet another mistake of political
judgment, and the world will pay an extra price for it.
I am sorry I used the extra time.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Wei follows:]
Mr. Smith. Thank you for that very, very comprehensive
look. And I think part of what your testimony helps to do is to
ask the question, the very pertinent question, ``How highly do
we value political prisoners, human rights, democracy?'' and
that the Chinese Government and the leadership weighs the
resolve and the commitment of the U.S. side in its bilateral
relationship? And if we are not committed, all in, if you will,
on human rights, they take the measure of our resolve or the
lack thereof and respond accordingly.
And I think you talked about, you know, the leadership and
especially that it is not monolithic. There are people inside
the government who might even want to do the right thing, but
if we are now folding or not extending our very serious resolve
to all players, Chen, his wife, his two children and the
others, we, unwittingly perhaps, but we nevertheless give up
what we might otherwise obtain.
So I would like to now ask Ms. Reggie Littlejohn if she
would present her testimony.
STATEMENT OF MS. REGGIE LITTLEJOHN, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT,
WOMEN'S RIGHTS WITHOUT FRONTIERS
Ms. Littlejohn. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Honorable members of the subcommittee, ladies and
gentlemen, I am grateful for this opportunity to address the
subcommittee here during this very sensitive time of
negotiations on behalf of Chen Guangcheng, his family, and his
supporters. I have been asked to testify concerning two of his
key supporters. One is He Peirong, also known as Pearl, and the
other one is Jiang Tianyong, one of his key leaders of his
Pearl, as many of you know, has played a key role in
organizing the support for Chen Guangcheng for years. And last
time I testified, which was on May 3rd, she had been detained
for almost a week, and I voiced a concern that she might be
tortured, that the Chinese Communist Party might be pressuring
her to disclose the other members of her network. But we raised
the issue of her case very strongly in that hearing.
Congressman Smith raised it very strongly, and the very next
day she was released.
So I have Skyped with her twice now, the day after she was
released and then also on Saturday, and she has asked me to
read a statement to the committee thanking everyone for the way
that her case has been raised in visibility, which she believed
is what has resulted in the fact that she was not tortured
during that detention.
And as Congressman Smith just said, echoing what Wei
Jingsheng has said, that this kind of accommodation of
kowtowing to the Chinese Communist Party and trying to
basically exercise quiet diplomacy is very ineffective, but it
is rather when you have transparent, powerful advocacy that
people are protected.
So Pearl said,
``I would like to thank everyone who fights for our
freedom, activists, Congressman and Congresswomen, as
well as the U.S. Government, the State Department,
Secretary Clinton and the United States. I hope I will
visit this great country one day, but now I just want
to stay with my friends in China. What I want is for
all my friends to be safe.''
Now, that is very courageous on her part, because even
though Pearl was not tortured during this most recent
detention, she has suffered significant violence. Specifically,
on January 10, 2011, she drove to Chen's village where plain-
clothes guards smashed her car outside of his home. Then on May
30, 2011, she went to Yinan County for Chen's case, and plain-
clothes guards kidnapped, robbed, and beat her. And, in fact,
they struck her face 30 to 40 times. She was subjected to a
painful position for 4 hours while she was being driven in a
car, and then she was dumped on the road.
Then on June 6, 2011, she went to Yinan County again for
Chen's case, and the local officials again kidnapped her and
robbed her. Plain-clothes guards drove her for over 4 hours and
kicked her out of the car into a field, where they tried to
stuff her socks into her mouth. Then they tied her up and
touched her breasts.
Despite the violence that she has suffered, Pearl wants to
remain in China for the protection of her friends, and I just
think that her courage and commitment is to be commended and
Jiang Tianyong has taken up several sensitive legal matters
and has long been a member of Chen's legal team, and for this
he has suffered violence on a number of occasions. Most
recently, according to media reports, Jiang Tianyong, simply
tried to visit Chen Guangcheng and was beaten so severely that
it appears that he has lost hearing in one of his ears. Then
after he was severely beaten, and it became clear that Chen's
nephew, Chen Kegui, was being charged with intentional
homicide, which carries a death sentence, Jiang Tianyong stood
up for Chen Kegui and said that the charge of homicide with
intent has been trumped up, and that it really should be
wounding with intent.
So this is, again, he had just been beaten, and he is
immediately standing up publicly for Chen's nephew. I just
can't even fathom the kind of courage that these people have.
So he has now reached an agreement with officials that he
will not try to visit Chen again; that he will not meet with
foreign media; and as you know, he has left Beijing and is now
This is not the first time that Chen Guangcheng has
suffered violence. On November 10, 2009, Jiang Tianyong and I
both sat on a panel at a hearing before the Tom Lantos Human
Rights Commission, as it was called by Congressman Smith, and
we both testified on the one-child policy. Jiang Tianyong
testified concerning the cases that he was assisting Chen on,
the ones for which Chen was detained. And Women's Rights
Without Frontiers released the Chen Guangcheng report on Chen's
birthday on November 10, 2011, and then at this hearing in
English on December 6, 2011.
But Jiang Tianyong was telling about these cases where a
woman had been forcibly aborted up to the 9th month of
pregnancy, where people were sleeping in the fields to avoid
family planning police, where forced sterilizations were taking
place. It was just suicide. There was all sorts of horrible
things that he was reporting on. His testimony and my testimony
were similar in the sense of the gravity of the cases that we
were exposing, but that is where the similarity ended. I was
able to go home safely to my family.
At the end of that hearing, Congressman Smith kindly
invited the various people who were testifying up to his
office. And at the end of that meeting, Jiang Tianyong said,
``Look, I am really worried. If anything happens to me, will
you please watch out for my wife and my child?'' And that
statement just struck my heart, of the courage that these
people have, people who live in China, to come to the United
States and testify. They are risking not only their own safety
but that of their families, to expose the truth of what is
going on there, not simply so that we will know what is
happening but so that we will take effective action to try to
help free the people of China from these horrific human rights
Several days later, when Jiang Tianyong did return to
China, his fears materialized. He was beaten, dragged away by
four cadres right in front of his daughter, who was screaming,
and his wife was beaten. And so then I got a call from
Congressman Smith and immediately flew back to Washington to
speak at a press conference for him to be released.
Despite this violence, Jiang Tianyong has persisted in his
bravery. In February 2011, Chen Guangcheng and his wife, Yuan
Weijing, released through the China Aid Association a video
showing the horrific conditions of their house arrest, and for
that they were severely beaten and left without medical
attention. And then soon after that, a group of Chen's lawyers
got together to try to talk about how they might help him. And
you have to understand also that the Arab Spring and the
Jasmine Revolution are a backdrop to this conversation, as
well. But many of those lawyers were detained, including Jiang
Tianyong and Teng Biao.
Jiang Tianyong was detained for 60 days, and he endured
beatings, shouts, shackles, blindfolds, and no sunlight during
those 60 days. And, according to a media report, he was banged
in the head so severely that it caused significant memory loss.
And apparently what they did was they would use water bottles
to beat him in the head. And he had so much memory loss he
could not even remember his Skype password or how the furniture
was arranged in his bedroom when he got out.
I believe that the systematic persecution, detention, and
torture of Chinese human rights lawyers appears to be a
deliberate decimation of the Chinese human rights bar. And as
an attorney myself, I am very, very concerned about China and
the rule of law. How can China say that they care about the
rule of law or that there even is a rule of law when people who
are trying to uphold the rule of law are themselves detained
and tortured and have their licenses revoked?
Although Pearl and Jiang Tianyong appear safe for the
moment, who knows whether the Chinese Communist Party will
retaliate against them if and when Chen is able to come to the
United States. Women's Rights Without Frontiers calls upon the
United States Congress and the Department of State to raise the
issue of the safety of Chen's supporters, who are heroes in
their own right.
Mr. Smith. Ms. Littlejohn, thank you very much for that
[The prepared statement of Ms. Littlejohn follows:]
Mr. Smith. I would like to now ask Chai Ling if she would
present her testimony to the subcommittee.
STATEMENT OF MS. CHAI LING, FOUNDER, ALL GIRLS ALLOWED
Ms. Chai. Thank you, Chairman Smith. Thank you for your
persistent 30-plus years of fight to defend the victims in
China and uphold the human rights conditions in China. Thank
you for giving me this opportunity to share today about the
cause that Chen Guangcheng has fought to uphold.
By now, you have heard much about Chen Guangcheng's
miraculous escape. As the media firestorm surrounded him last
week, and you probably read details about his journey to
Beijing, you learned about the twists and turns in the
diplomatic saga that followed. Incredibly, U.S. officials
fretted about the timing of Chen's arrival at the Embassy.
After he left, they downplayed his concerns for his family's
safety. Several days ago, an American official casually told
The New York Times, ``The days of blowing up the relationship
with China over a single guy are over.'' Maybe they prefer the
days of, you know, Mr. Wei Jingsheng.
But anyway, seeking genuine protections for Chen and his
family should hardly have blown up the relationship. But more
to the point, it grieves me to hear Chen dismissively referred
to as a single guy. He is one man, it is true, but he is a
symbol, a hero, in the eyes of women, children, and the poor in
China. Why? Because he defended them when it was costly and
when no one else in China would. He has lived out the words of
the prophet Isaiah, who said, learn to do right, seek justice,
defend the oppressed, take up the cause of the fatherless, and
plead the case of the widow.
Often missing from last week's news stories was the cause
that defined Chen Guangcheng's work and led to his
imprisonment. It explains why he is a hero to so many in China
today. I want to highlight this cause. It is the one that we
share with Chen through our work at All Girls Allowed. The one-
child policy formally sanctions violence against women. Chen
knew this. Chinese authorities jailed him in 2006 after he
filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of the women who had
undergone forced abortions and sterilizations because of the
I would like to share some of the stories and images that
will show you what is happening in China right now even as I
speak. I should warn you that these stories are disturbing.
They will give you a personal glimpse at the gendercide, or
systematic elimination of girls, taking place in China, where
men outnumber women by 40 million. They show the brutality of
forced abortions. They show why Chinese women face a climate so
oppressive that a woman takes her life every 3 seconds in
The first story illustrates how severely the one-child
policy can affect a single family. This is Deng Lourong, the
picture you can see on the PowerPoint presentation on the
screen, who lives in Anhui Province. She is the second daughter
of two parents who violated the one-child policy because they
desperately wanted a boy after Lourong's birth. So in her
family they had three girls.
But after Lourong's birth, officials demolished the family
home and confiscated their belongings. Two years later,
Lourong's mother again gave birth to a girl and disappeared 3
days later. Her father fled from the family planning officials
and left the three girls in the care of their grandmother.
Undeterred, officials detained the girl's grandmother in 2002
and left them without a guardian. During the night, a man broke
into their room and raped the 12-year-old Lourong. Her sisters
managed to obtain the release of their grandmother after this,
but the elderly woman died a month after she returned home. The
rapist, meanwhile, was sentenced to a mere 5 days in
Within 3 years, Lourong was sold as a child bride to a man
twice her age. Her sisters were also sold by traffickers and
have not been found as of today. When a German reporter and
Chinese volunteers found Lourong's father last November, he
told them that Lourong's husband had turned her into a
prostitute to earn income for him. He beats her frequently and
sold her body to bachelors in that area. Deng was in a poor
mental state. She would roam the mountains for over a week
sometimes before returning to the house.
Remember, all of this was set into motion by the
enforcement of the one-child policy upon this family and the
lack of value assigned to girls and women in China.
A second story is Ma Jihong. Last October, officials
dragged Ma into a van. That is Ma Jihong's picture. When she
was heavily pregnant with her third child, she died during a
forced abortion procedure. That is the picture. It is kind of
gruesome. And her family did not know hours afterwards. Her
husband and two surviving daughters have no real resources to
take. The third picture is--I believe that is her picture.
Yeah, that is her family. And they make under $2 a day as a
A final story came out less than 2 months ago on Weibo, a
Chinese version of Twitter. It is just an image, but a chilling
one. A 9-month-old baby is dropped into a bucket of water
following a full-term forced abortion. According to the source,
the infant's parents did not have a permit for their second
child. You can see in that image in the water bucket, that is
the baby's body.
So I wish I could tell you these stories were rare, but
they are not. They are a mere glimpse into the dark environment
that the one-child policy created for women. This is a darkness
into which Chen Guangcheng tried to shine a light.
I want to challenge you, honorable Members of Congress, to
view your callings as servants of the people in light of these
words from Isaiah. ``If you do away with the yoke of
oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if
you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the
needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the
darkness and your night will become like the noonday.'' This
challenge also applies to President Obama and Secretary
Clinton. It is my fervent prayer that your light will rise in
the present darkness that consumes many at this very moment in
Please continue to press for Chen Guangcheng's freedom and
the assurance of safety for his family and his supporters.
Their freedom is not secure yet, and you are in a position to
act. I urge you to compel China to honor its word and its own
If you are concerned that such a cause is not realistic or
pragmatic enough--I know you are present here because you are
not thinking that way, but we know there are leaders thinking
that way who are not present here--I humbly ask you to do what
is right. It was not economically pragmatic for William
Wilberforce to seek an end to the British slave trade. It was
not expedient for Martin Luther King to speak out against
injustice and then land in a Birmingham jail. Ronald Reagan was
not acting with calculated diplomacy when he said, ``Mr.
Gorbachev, tear down this wall.'' I can think of many instances
in history where men and women sacrificed pragmatism for the
sake of higher principle. Somehow, they always end up on the
right side of history. I hope America would stand on the right
side of history in confronting this largest injustice in our
time, and God will honor your courage.
Finally, though we are sitting here in the halls of power,
we can take heart in the fact that our power is weakness when
compared to the strength of our God. We can face injustice
without fear because we serve a God who is just, hears our
prayers, and can overcome any power. Jesus said, ``You may ask
me for anything in my name, and I will do it.''
We have long prayed for these injustices in China to cease.
We know that God is faithful. The only reason why these
injustices still happen is that he chose to raise a man and
woman among us to end them, and he is patient with us. God can
and will end this injustice of forced abortion and the one-
child policy. We know that. It may be our generation of
privilege to carry out his task.
Here is a final story that gives hope. It shows that God
does answer prayers. Last year, Nie Lina was arrested for being
4 months pregnant with a permit. Our team met and prayed for
her release, knowing that a forced abortion was imminent. But
family planning officials, you know, decided not to go through
the procedure at the last minute, and she was released. Nie
Lina gave birth to a baby girl 5 months later. So that is her
But on the night of December 5, 2011, we learned Nie Lina
was arrested again, this time for petitioning the government
about her property, which officials had confiscated. She, her
70-year-old mother, and her 3-month-old baby was in the illegal
``black jail.'' The guards were hardly feeding her, and her
baby was crying from hunger because she could not produce
enough milk. The guards told her that she would be there for
another 6 months at the least. You all probably remember that
there was a hearing the next day on December 6 on behalf of Liu
Xiaobo. You allowed us to all pray for Nie Lina and Chen
Guangcheng and Liu Xiaobo. Many of you all joined us in this
prayer. Thank you, Brother Bob Fu, Sister Reggie Littlejohn,
for all of your prayers.
This is what happened 20 hours later at midnight on the
next day in China, because they were watching us at 4 o'clock
a.m. their time. Nie Lina was blindfolded, together with her
mom was blindfolded, and was drove off and dropped off outside
of Beijing 2 hours away and released alongside together with
her baby and her mother. It was a dramatic answer to our
prayers. And Chen Guangcheng--despite the fact that Chen
Guangcheng has not obtained the full freedom, but his ability
to escape from a massive prison was no less a miracle either.
Your words are so important. Media attention is also so
important, and prayers are very important as we speak publicly.
As Ms. Reggie Littlejohn also reminded us, the Chinese
Government watches us, the world watches us, and acts in
response to our conviction. So, with your permission, I would
like to end this testimony with a prayer.
Heavenly Father, you, Lord, hear the desires of the
afflicted and you encourage them and you listen to their cry.
You hear the cries of people in China calling for your justice
and mercy. You hear our cries as we, too, plead for your
justice to roll down like a mighty river. Today, we lift Chen
Guangcheng and his family and his supporters up into your care,
for we know you will finish what you have started and you will
surely one day bring them to complete freedom.
We lift up to you these leaders here, these servants of the
people. I pray to you for raising them up and bringing them
here today. I ask you to move their hearts and inspire them to
assist the families and friends of our brave friends in China.
Lord, please protect us all from being indifferent when we
are suffering. You say that if a single sparrow falls, you
notice. How much more do you notice the plight of your
daughters, Ma Jihong, Deng Lourong, and the millions of other
women and the babies oppressed by the one-child policy?
Please inspire the men and women here today to use their
authority in a way that serves the least of these in the world
you have created. And unto Him, who is able to do immeasurably
more than all we can ask or imagine, according to His power
there is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and
in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever.
Mr. Smith. Ms. Chai, thank you very much for your
extraordinary testimony and the importance of prayer, because
they certainly need it, and we all do. So thank you.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Chai follows:]
Mr. Smith. I would like to ask Ms. Mei if you would
STATEMENT OF MS. MEI SHUNPING, VICTIM OF FORCED ABORTION
[The following testimony was delivered through an
Ms. Mei. Mr. Chairman and honorable Members of Congress, I
am very grateful for the opportunity to testify today before
Congress to expose America and the world to how the one-child
policy in China destroys lives and the rights of women.
My name is Mei Shunping. I had an assumed name, a name
called Liuping. I was born in 1958 in Tianjin, China, and
arrived in the United States in 1999. Before coming to America,
I worked in a state-owned textile factory in Tianjin. The
majority of the workers in the factory were young women, so the
family planning policy was implemented strictly. I am only one
of these many women whose lives were destroyed by the policy--
the women that Chen Guangcheng tried to help so courageously.
I got married in 1981 and gave birth to a son 2 years
later. According to the policy at that time, women who gave
birth were required to have an IUD implanted or one of the
spouses was required to be sterilized. At that time, I had
swelling in my right kidney for undiagnosed reasons so doctors
refused to implant an IUD in me. Without the IUD, I became the
prime target for surveillance by the factory's family planning
Without the IUD, I became pregnant. From 1983 to 1990,
because of the one-child policy, I had to have five forced
abortions on the following dates: September 28, 1984; December
17, 1985; March 20, 1986; May 5, 1989; and December 14, 1990.
All the operations were recorded in my medical history. I
suffered greatly because of the inhumane one-child policy.
There were many severe methods of surveillance and
punishment to prevent unplanned pregnancies and above-quota
births. My factory's family planning commission used three
levels of control: At the factory level, in the factory clinic,
and on the factory floor. If one worker violated the rules, all
women would be punished. Workers monitored one another. Women
of reproductive age accounted for 60 percent of my factory
floor. Colleagues were suspicious and hostile to each other
because of the one-child policy. Two of my pregnancies were
reported by my colleagues to the family planning commission.
When discovered, pregnant women would be dragged and to undergo
forced abortions. There was no other choice. We had no dignity
as potential child bearers.
By order of the factory's family planning commission, every
month during their menstrual period women had to undress in
front of the birth planning doctors for examination. If anyone
skipped the examination, she would be forced to take a
pregnancy test at the hospital. We were allowed to collect a
salary only after it was confirmed that we were not pregnant.
The day of my fifth and last abortion--December 14, 1990--
was the saddest of my life because I was unable to prove that I
wasn't pregnant within a 10- to 15-day period. The birth
planning doctor in the factory clinic found out about my
pregnancy that day. Officials from the factory family planning
commission drove to City Police Hospital and forced me to have
an abortion in the birth planning department. It was my first
operation in that hospital. All my previous abortions happened
in the Central City Hospital.
After the abortion, the doctors, without my knowledge,
implanted a metal IUD in my uterus. When I learned of the
procedure, I protested that I had a kidney disease and could
not keep the IUD, but they completely ignored me. The doctors
just gave the bill to my husband and told him to pay.
While my husband argued with the doctors, I was recovering
in the hospital bed. When I left the operating room, still
weak, I could not find my husband. I was told that he had been
arrested. I collapsed, crying, from the physical toll of the
two operations and the emotional shock. A kind nurse tried to
comfort me, but she was pushed away by a man who also
threatened to have me arrested by the police. I felt alone,
sick, and weak.
Afterwards, I learned that my husband had been sentenced to
criminal detention without a trial for violating and
obstructing the one-child policy, disturbing the normal
operations of a hospital, and disturbing social peace. My
husband was released 15 days later.
I was in great pain from the metallic IUD and the weakness
of the abortion and almost did not want to live. The arrest of
my husband deprived me of care of my family. My young son did
not know what was happening and kept crying for his father. I
did not know what to do and could only hold my son and cry with
him. Even now when I think of all of this, my heart shudders
and the pain throbs.
Those painful 15 days of separation became the catalyst of
my eventual failed marriage. My body suffered great damage from
all the forced abortions. I gradually grew afraid of a family
life with my husband. I tried to find excuses to refuse any
intimate demands from my husband. I grew to hate him after the
IUD was inserted because I blamed my suffering on his
unwillingness to be surgically sterilized.
After the fifth abortion and the IUD insertion, my factory
also gave me a serious administrative warning and fined me 6-
months' wages. Afterwards, I had to go to the factory clinic
every month for exams to make certain that I had not privately
taken out the IUD or become pregnant. I carried this IUD in my
body for over a decade before I came to America.
My husband's detention accelerated the demise of our
marriage. He was suspended from his job and censored and then
lost his job in 1991. Our family immediately sunk into
financial difficulty. We argued frequently. I was laid off at
the end of 1995.
I was still considered of reproductive age. The family
planning commission of my neighborhood commission took up the
job of monitoring me. In early 1997, I spent 40 days taking
care of my terminally ill mother and missed a monthly pregnancy
check. Agents from the family planning commission waited at my
home to drag me to the exam. When they pushed me to the ground,
I fell and hurt my neck vertebrae. My spirit completely
collapsed after this. I attempted suicide but was stopped by
family from jumping out of the building.
With the help of old friends, in 1999 I escaped the China
that humiliated and destroyed me and came to the free soil of
America. My husband came to the U.S. a year later. We were
unable to mend our past grievances and divorced in 2001.
I became extremely depressed after the divorce. But at the
suggestion of my friends, I started attending church, where I
felt the warmth of Christ's family. And then Lord Jesus led me
to give up the bitterness in my heart bit by bit. I reunited
with my husband in 2009, and we joined together again after I
was baptized last year--I think 2 years ago.
Now we live in the great family of Christ in the free land
of America. I feel happiness but know that back in China there
are millions of women who are suffering like I did. Every day,
thousands of young lives are being destroyed. I beg everyone to
save them and wish everyone to join me in prayer for them.
Let the love of our Heavenly Father, the grace of Jesus
Christ and the Holy Spirit fill their hearts and release them
from the hellish suffering. In the name of our Lord Jesus
Christ, we pray. Amen.
Mr. Smith. Thank you so much, Ms. Mei. Thank you for your
courage in bringing every woman's story in China to the
attention of this subcommittee.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Mei follows:]
Mr. Smith. And by extension--and I am very grateful that C-
SPAN is here--that men and women in their homes will hear what
every woman goes through in China and has been going through
since 1979 when the one-child-per-couple policy was first
I think it is very important to point out that, in China,
brothers and sisters are illegal, and women are treated as
criminals if they have a child without explicit government
permission. I know Chai Ling herself has suffered the gross
exploitation of being forcibly aborted. And so many women, by
the millions, by the tens of millions, have suffered this
degrading and this horrific abuse of women. And, again, that is
what Chen Guangcheng's mission was, and that is what his cause
was. And for that, he has been so brutally mistreated. And so I
do, again, want to thank you for that.
I would like to now turn to my distinguished colleague, Ann
Marie Buerkle, who is a registered nurse. She is also a lawyer,
a former assistant attorney general for the State of New York.
And she also chairs the Subcommittee on Health for the Veterans
But I understand Bob Fu is going to join us in a moment. We
do have Chen Guangcheng on the phone. And then we will go to
Ann Marie Buerkle. Again, he joined us on May 3 and provided
very useful insights, to say the least. And so we will yield to
him momentarily so he can speak from his hospital bed again in
Ann Marie, if you wanted to say a few words before we
Ms. Buerkle. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And I want to thank the chairman for his steadfast pursuit
of human rights throughout the world. As you mentioned, 30
years, he has just been vigilant for all human rights.
And I want to thank all of you for being here today, for
your pursuit of justice and human rights in China. Future
generations--you talked about some of the past, with Martin
Luther King and Ronald Reagan--future generations are going to
look at you for your devotion to creating a free China. So
thank you all very much for your courage, for your willingness
to be here and testify before us. We so appreciate all that you
do, and we just want to work with you to shed a light on this
terrible injustice that exists in China.
Mr. Smith. We will go to questions momentarily, but you
know, Ms. Mei mentioned how her husband was detained. Again, I
think for the purposes of understanding the depravity of the
one-child-per-couple policy, I invited, with the help of Harry
Wu, a woman who ran a program in Fujian Province. She went
under the pseudonym of Mrs. Gao.
When she came here, she said, you don't understand, America
and the West and really the rest of the world, what a priority
it is to the government to impose this one-child-per-couple
policy and to use and employ forced abortion and forced
sterilization. She self-described before this committee in this
room just several years ago at a hearing that I chaired, she
said, ``By day I was a monster, by night I was a wife and
mother of one child.'' And she said that they used detention
against family members, the way Ms. Mei talked a moment ago, to
hold family members, to put them in prison, as they looked to
find a woman who was trying to escape the family planning
cadres. That is the reality that goes on every day in China
that is so grossly under-appreciated by so many of us in
And, again, when you talk about that kind of abuse of women
that is unprecedented in world history, where an entire couple
of generations now of Chinese women have been made to suffer
that cruelty, with barely a peep of dissent from the Obama
administration, from many of our friends in the European Union
and elsewhere, and then when you get groups like the UNFPA, the
U.N. Population Fund, who say repeatedly that the program in
China is totally voluntary, when it is totally involuntary, it
is a whitewash that has no comparison either.
So thank you for sharing that detail that is so extremely
important, that it is not just, if that wasn't enough, the
mother herself, the woman herself who is so hunted and degraded
by the Chinese dictatorship, they also look at the rest of the
family in a way that parallels what is going on with Chen
Guangcheng. It is not just him and his family, it is the rest
of his family, the extended family.
And, without objection, I will put in the record a list of
nine members of his family, and a list of six friends, who we
are deeply concerned about--and that is not the extent of it;
some other friends might be in trouble, as well--that we know
the government has either arrested, detained, beaten.
[The information referred to follows:]
Mr. Smith. And then including friends like He Peirong,
which Reggie Littlejohn spoke so passionately about, and Jiang,
who has suffered so much, including the loss of his hearing.
And that was just a few weeks ago, just a few weeks ago.
We do now have Chen Guangcheng on the line, and I would
like to--Ann Marie, would you join us?
Mr. Chen, you are on. Welcome back again.
Mr. Chen. [Mr. Chen's testimony and answers to member
questions were delivered via teleconference and through an
I just want to talk about what had happened to my other
family members after I escaped from my own home.
On April 26, around midnight, a group of Chinese
Government--the local government hired thugs, led by the local
township leader Mr. Zhang Jian, raided my elder brother Chen
Guangfu's home at midnight. Around midnight, this group of
thugs by the Chinese, the local authorities, just broke into my
elder brother's home and started beating him violently. And my
elder brother was taken away by these thugs without any
And then they came back and started beating up my nephew,
Chen Kegui. They used sticks and violently beat him up. And
then for 3 hours he is bleeding on his head and his face, was
not stopped. And so this was so violent that Chen Kegui,
according to my knowledge, had to defend himself. This charge
against my nephew, Chen Kegui, for so-called intentional
homicide, is a totally trumped-up charge. And for himself at
his own home to be accused of committing this crime of
intentional homicide against the intruders is totally absurd
and irrational, unreasonable.
So this guy, this township leader, Mr. Zhang Jian, had led
from 40 to sometimes 80 officials, guards and thugs, raided my
home in the past year and beat me and my family seriously. And
so this is a pattern already. It is not the first time he had--
against my family.
After my nephew was beaten up and he actually was waiting
to surrender himself, the police came back again and violently
beat up my sister-in-law. So my brother, of course, was taken
away without any reasoning by the authorities. And then the
attorney, Si Weijtang, who has already got the commission paper
signed by my nephew's wife, went to Yinan County, and even
though he had the signature by Chen Kegui's wife, the detention
center and the public security officers in Yinan county refused
for him to meet with Chen Kegui by calling that document as a
fake document, although they know it is true. And also they
just want to have my nephew's wife to come and to surrender
And what has been done by these Yinan public security
officers is a total violation against the Chinese Constitution
and the Chinese criminal law. And, of course, those charges
against my nephew for self-defense is in contradiction of
Chinese law, as well. The same tactic of the Yinan County that
was used against me in 2006 when they tried every way to
prevent my attorneys from defending me at my trial, is now
being used again against my nephew, Chen Kegui. And I do think
those charges are trumped-up charges. And those people in Yinan
County have already been on the wrong side, on opposite side of
the rule of law in China.
And this is so far what I have learned about my extended
family members in Yinan County. So right now I am not able to
communicate with them anymore because all their communication
tools were confiscated already.
Thank you for your attention.
Mr. Smith. Mr. Chen, very briefly, I have invited to the
dais the people who are testifying today on your behalf: First,
Bob Fu; the great Wei Jingsheng; Reggie Littlejohn; Chai Ling;
and Ms. Mei. And we are also joined by Congresswoman Bass and
Congresswoman Buerkle from New York.
Briefly, the focus of the hearing has been about your
safety and your wife and children, with a particular emphasis
on your cause, fighting as you did so bravely to defend women
from forced abortion, and to rally congressional support and
hopefully executive branch support and hopefully worldwide
support for your extended family as well as your friends like
If I could ask you very briefly, has the United States
Government, our Embassy, been able to in any way make contact
with your extended family and your friends who are at grave
risk and are suffering beatings?
Mr. Chen. For that question, I am not very clear on the
specifics, but I do know, however, the U.S. Embassy has been
communicating with me every day.
Mr. Smith. If I could, your wife and your children, how
well are they doing under this enormous burden?
Mr. Chen. They are doing fine, especially my two children.
They kept telling my wife and I that this is such a wonderful
place, we can play outside. You can tell, from what they told
my wife and I, how terrible they have been back to our
hometown. They were only allowed to have a 1-hour outing every
Because my wife and of course children had been under such
a long time of difficulties with malnutrition and with low
blood pressure when I saw them under these circumstances, I
felt very saddened.
Translator. One suggestion from the panel of the witnesses
is to suggest to Mr. Chen to hire his own lawyers, not to
accept the government-appointed lawyers for his family members.
Ms. Littlejohn. This is Reggie.
I am wondering whether there is any lawyer that has been
accepted to be the lawyer for Chen Kegui. I mean, we have heard
that there are 13 who offered some--at least 1 has been beaten
and at least 1 has had his license revoked. And I am wondering
specifically about Teng Biao. I understand that he has offered,
and I am wondering how he is doing. We haven't had much news of
Mr. Chen. I do know that many lawyers are waiting and
wanting to go, and I feel they will be able to go. They are
planning to go.
Mr. Smith. Mr. Chen, Ann Marie Buerkle just asked, do you
know that all of America is listening to your voice right now?
There are large numbers of people from the media here, and C-
SPAN is broadcasting this throughout America. What would you
like to tell the American public?
Mr. Chen. I want to extend my gratitude and thankfulness to
all those who cared and loved my family and myself and our
situation, especially to American people who have shown that
you care about the equality and justice. These are universal
values. And I am very, very grateful to all of you.
Mr. Smith. Mr. Chen, Chai Ling would like to say something.
Translator. I think the question from Ms. Chai was, we are
very proud of you as a hero of America and Chinese, and the
many millions of Chinese women are very encouraged by your
And what Mr. Chen just answered, he said, ``I am not a
hero, I just do what my conscience asks me to do. I cannot be
silent and cannot be quiet when facing these evils against
women and children. And so this is what I should do.''
And Ms. Chai Ling said, ``Many, many Christians all over
the world have been fasting and praying for you.''
And Mr. Chen said, ``What I have done is just out of my
conscience and conviction. I cannot be silent when we see and
face these kind of evils.''
And Ms. Chai said, ``You are the first man to stand up for
this 30 years of Chinese one-child policy, on behalf of the 400
million Chinese babies who are forcibly aborted and killed. So
we praise you and we thank you and appreciate you.''
Ms. Chai. We will stand with you until the very end, and
you will be set free.
Mr. Smith. Mr. Chen, thank you so very much. We will
continue--this is the third hearing. The first one was last
November when we thought you had disappeared. This is the third
hearing. And I can assure you, as chairman of both the
Congressional-Executive Commission on China and as chairman of
the Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights Subcommittee of the
House of Representatives, we will never cease in our advocacy
for you, your family, your extended family, your friends, and
the very important human rights cause that you espouse,
defending women from the crime of forced abortion and forced
sterilization. So thank you so very much.
Mr. Chen. Thank you.
I want to let you know I have been praying for you. And
your courage has inspired all of our women, and we have been
praying for you every day and one day that this evil one-child
policy will be abolished soon.
Mr. Smith. Mr. Chen, thank you.
Mr. Chen. I have a final word that I want to emphasize.
What had happened to my family and to my extended family
members are just a total violation of the Chinese own law,
including Chinese relevant law about the family planning
system. And so what they have done is just totally in violation
of the Chinese own law. So they should be held accountable by
the Chinese own laws.
So that is what I want to emphasize. Thank you.
Mr. Smith. Thank you so much, Mr. Chen.
I think we are close to concluding this hearing. And I want
to thank our very distinguished witnesses and ask them if
perhaps they might have some final comments they would like to
I do--and I say this with all due respect to the President
of the United States. I am concerned when the United States
Government, when President Obama was asked about Chen
Guangcheng specifically and human rights, he said, ``No comment
on Chen,'' and that, human rights, ``it comes up.'' My hope is
that we are in the process of a game-changing reappraisal of
our deprioritization of human rights in China, and perhaps
elsewhere in the world but absolutely in China, where,
wittingly or unwittingly, we have enabled this terrible crime
of forced abortion and forced sterilization to occur while we
have looked askance and acted as if it wasn't happening.
Chen Guangcheng reminds us in a very powerful way, in the
suffering that he has endured, that he stays in solidarity with
the women of China, as do I, as does Ann Marie Buerkle, as do
so many Members of Congress, as does this panel.
So if you would like to make any concluding statements,
because I think we have heard it all with Chen's own voice just
a moment ago. So would anybody want to make any final statement
before we conclude the hearing?
Ms. Chai. Yeah, I would just like to say, Chairman Smith,
you are such a hero and inspiration to all of us too. There is
no one else in this country that has fought and stood together
with the victims like Mei Shunping and Chen Guangcheng for the
past 30 years. Thank you for your persistence. May God bless
you and all the work you are doing.
And we do believe this year China's one-child policy and
genocide will come to an end. So we encourage the American
leaders, including President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and
other congressional leaders to join us, join the people, and to
bring about an end to this horrific, the largest crimes against
humanity on earth in this year.
Mr. Smith. I want to thank our distinguished witnesses.
We will continue pursuing, obviously, Chen's case until it
is resolved successfully. And the focus that he has brought on
the hideous one-child-per-couple policy will increase in terms
of focus, scrutiny. And, God willing, it will end.
The hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 3:05 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
Material Submitted for the Hearing RecordNotice deg.