Trade officials from both the U.S. and China are preparing to sign a partial trade deal next week, which will put an end to trade tensions between the two countries, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is hoping the agreement will not stand in the way of U.S. criticism of human rights abuse in China.
“I will never accept the notion,” he said on “Face the Nation” on CBS, “that somehow, in order to be able to sell them more things, we have to look the other way on some of the grotesque human rights violations that we’re seeing systemized on their part,”
Rubio told host Margaret Brennan. “The trade issues with China are not going to be the subject of one deal. This is a major reordering of our relationship to try to bring some balance and symmetry to it. “
In 2019 Rubio introduced the bill that will allow sanctions to be applied against Chinese officials over human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
Last July, the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission (CECC) heavily criticized the Chinese communist regime for instigating and continuing the persecution of those who practice the spiritual discipline of Falun Gong. On July 20, 2019, the 20th anniversary of the crackdown the CECC said:
For the past twenty years, Falun Gong practitioners have experienced appalling and unacceptable human rights abuses in China. Banned by the Chinese government in July 1999, many Falun Gong practitioners have been subjected to arbitrary detention, torture, forced labor, and constant harassment. On this sad anniversary, the Chinese government should end the persecution of Falun Gong and allow an independent and transparent U.N. investigation into the human rights abuses suffered by Falun Gong over the past two decades. We also urge the Chinese government to immediately and unconditionally release Deng Cuiping, Zuo Hongtao, and numerous other Falun Gong practitioners, and respect the freedom of all Falun Gong practitioners to hold their beliefs and their right to practice in accordance with those beliefs as guaranteed under international human rights standards and China’s own constitution.
Rubio is also critical of China’s mass incarceration of Uighur Muslims and is hoping Congress will soon pass legislation to support them. Rubio introduced the legislation along with Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) in November 2018.
“I hope we can get a deal done with the House,” he said, adding, “They passed a version of a Uighur human rights bill. We have our version. They’re pretty close, so we can get something done and signed.”
“The United States must hold accountable officials in the Chinese government and Communist Party responsible for gross violations of human rights and possible crimes against humanity, “Rubio said at the time. Menendez added, “China’s treatment of its Uighur minority is beyond abhorrent.”
The bill is awaiting finalization in the House.
“The full extent of Beijing’s evil is finally coming into view. As the world watches the ongoing democratic uprising in Hong Kong, it is impossible to ignore the greater backdrop of oppression and egregious human rights abuses across China: more than 1 million religious minorities now in Xinjiang’s modern-day concentration camps, vast efforts at cultural reprogramming, and regular physical torture,” said Rubio, reported The Guardian.