Human rights review of China disappointing

By February 18, 2009

China (MNN/CAA) — The United
Nations review on China's human rights record was less than satisfactory for

The world's most populous nation
appeared Monday before the UN Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review

Canada, India and Nigeria sat the
panel to hear 46 complainants on violations plus Beijing's defense of its
policies. The
list of documented rights violations ranged from torture, to censorship, to
discrimination, to human trafficking in women and children.

The Human Rights Council launched
periodic human rights reviews in 2007 and are meant to ensure all UN members
are answerable for human rights violations in their territory. Under the Universal Periodic Review system
(UPR), all UN member states have their record examined every four years.

It seemed to be an ideal time to
call China to accountability on the numerous reports of torture, arrests, and
general harassment against Christians.

However, Bob Fu with China Aid Association reports, "China
received even higher marks, and it sent a chilling signal to freedom fighters
and to the Chinese vulnerable groups that the only thing [the] American
government cares [about] is money, trade and finance."

China Aid learned that Congressman
Frank Wolf (R-VA) openly criticized the Obama Administration for its silence
during the UN review. 

In addition, speaking on the
floor, Rep. Wolf sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voicing
his disappointment. (See link below.) Here are Rep. Wolf's prepared remarks
for the House titled "U.S. Delegation Silent at U.N. Review of Human Rights

"The United
Nations Human Rights Council is now conducting reviews of the human rights
records of 16 countries–among which are China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and Russia.

"While the
United States is not a member of the Human Rights Council, every member of the
U.N. has an opportunity to pose questions and raise concerns about the human
rights record of the country being reviewed.

"I was
shocked and disappointed to learn that for the last week, the U.S. delegation
has been silent. How can America say nothing about four of the worst
offenders of human rights and religious freedom in the world?

"China has
been designated by the State Department's annual Religious Freedom report as a
country of particular concern every year since 1999. And the U.S.
delegation has remained silent.

Arabia, too, has received this designation for the past four years. And
the U.S. delegation has remained silent.

"The U.S.
Commission on Religious Freedom placed Cuba on their watch list in 2008.
And the U.S. delegation has remained silent.

administration made a pledge to place human rights at the top of its
agenda. The administration is off to the wrong start on making human
rights a priority."

China's Foreign Ministry promised
further efforts to promote human rights protection, but empty promises on improving
freedoms won't fool believers into thinking things will be different. 

Fu also notes, "This
won't have a great impact on evangelism. There will be more persecution because the Chinese government is
encouraged by the silence of free countries, and the Chinese government will
take that as a 'pass.'" 

Fu expects revival and even more
outreach, based on the resolve of one house church member. Rather than be discouraged, she told him,
"I'm determined to see freedom to be realized in China, even when
others are keeping quiet. I think this is the message that Chinese house
Christians are willing to share."

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