Archive for the ‘Chris Smith’ Category

Forced Abortion In China Draws Attention of Media, Lawmakers

November 17, 2008

A mother of two faces a forced abortion in China this week, according to human rights groups, a violation they say demonstrates that the most brutal aspects of China’s population control policies are still prevalent in the county’s western regions.

forced abortion

A mother of two faces a forced abortion in China this week, according to human rights groups, a violation they say demonstrates that the most brutal aspects of China’s population control policies are still prevalent in the county’s western regions.

Arzigul Tursun, six months pregnant with her third child, is under guard in a hospital in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region, scheduled to undergo an abortion against her will because authorities say she is entitled to only two children, according to the Uyghur Human Rights Project.

The case has sparked outrage in the United States among members of Congress. Republican Chris Smith of New Jersey, the House Ranking Member on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, called forced abortions a “barbaric practice,” and made a personal appeal on behalf of Tursun directly to Chinese ambassador Zhou Wenzhong.

By Anna Schecter, ABC News

Read the rest:
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=6256644&page=1

Olympics A Catalyst for Congressional Interest In China

January 12, 2008
By FOSTER KLUG, Associated Press Writer 

WASHINGTON – The world will be watching China closely as it gears up to host the Olympics this year. So will U.S. lawmakers, who hope to use the attention generated by the summer games to highlight their complaints about China’s government.

Lawmakers, in hearings and in legislation, will scrutinize what some see as unfair Chinese economic policies, its secretive military buildup and its human rights abuses. China already has been targeted by presidential candidates.

“The Chinese want this `Show’ — with a capital `S’ — to showcase their government to the world,” Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., said in an interview. Congress, he said, should use that as leverage to “bring maximum scrutiny and light to their egregious human rights abuses.”

Chris Smith
Chris Smith (U.S. politician)

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080112/
ap_on_go_co/us_china_congress_3

A bill against U.S.-Vietnam positive development

September 21, 2007
08:53′ 21/09/2007 (GMT+7)

Because of our great respect and admiration for the communist government of Vietnam, we have published this without any editing or comment.  PEACE and FREEDOM. 

VietNamNet Bridge – The U.S. House of Representatives made on 18 September an other wrong decision against Vietnam by ratifying a legal document coded H.R. 3096. The whole world has now become interactive and connected but it would be unacceptable for a law-making body of one country to threaten to use sanctions against another country for its internal affairs.
 
It was not a big surprise when Republican Representative Christopher Smith, who has been so vocal against Vietnam’s human rights record, authored the legislation. It was not strange too when the House Foreign Affairs Committee approved the bill, the “Vietnam Human Rights Act of 2007,” last July and the House itself made its latest move. The reason is that several people in the U.S. still think they have the right to criticize individuals, organisations and even countries, despite of the reality.
 
The H.R. 3096 act prohibits increased U.S. non-humanitarian assistance to the Government of Vietnam unless the Southeast Asian nation meets a bevy of demands including the release of those people that Smith and his supporter call “political and religious prisoners,” respecting the right to freedom of religion and the human rights of members of all ethnic minority groups.
 
The act further pushed the intervention into Vietnam’s affairs by authorizing 4 million USD over two years for organizations and individuals that “promote human rights in Vietnam” and over 10 million USD for the Radio Free Asia which has been notorious for distorting any stories regarding Vietnam. Smith’s bill also requires the U.S. State Department to issue an annual report on the progress of human rights reform in Vietnam.
 
“The act has sent a signal to the Vietnam’s Government that violations of human rights will lead to sanctions,” said the author of the HR 3096 bill.
 
Who is Rep. Chris Smith?
 

Christopher Henry Smith, 54, is an Republican Party politician, who is a member of the United States House of Representatives for the 4th District of New Jersey. Since being elected to Congress, Smith has also played a key role over the years promoting human rights reforms in the former Soviet Union, Romania, Vietnam, China, Sudan, Cuba, and elsewhere.
 
One of Smith’s significant legislative achievements is his landmark Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Law, the nations’ first law that deals specifically with human trafficking.
 
However, the law-maker was rated a mere 13 percent, by the American Civil Liberties Union, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record. Smith voted yes on an 78 billion USD emergency package for war in Iraq and Afghanistan but no on 84 million USD in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges. He voted no on more immigrants visas for skilled workers but yes on allowing electronic surveillance without a warrant and continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight.
 
A man who cannot adhere to his own country’s ideals of civil liberties and human rights, how could Rep. Chris Smith instruct those from abroad on what is right or wrong? Vietnam and those countries under Smith’s unreasonable scrutiny can never expect a pacifistic and constructive viewpoint from the U.S. law-maker.
 
Undeniable reality
 

Vietnam’s President Nguyen Minh Triet once told President George Bush during his U.S. visit last summer that the Vietnamese laws could not be 100 percent similar to American laws as the two countries have different histories. Other Vietnamese leaders have reiterated in various occasions that the country’s legislations ensure citizens’ rights and only law violators were prosecuted.
 
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Dung said on September 19 that “Vietnam strongly protests the Vietnam Human Rights Act of 2007 which contains fabricated information on the situation in Vietnam and affects the current positive development of the Vietnam-US relationship.”
 
The spokesman went on to say that, over the past many decades, the Vietnamese people has pursued with its struggles to gain independence, freedom and democratic rights. The Vietnam Constitution clearly stipulates that the State respects and ensures its citizens’ economic, political, cultural, social and civil rights, including the rights to freedom of religion, speech, the press, information, meetings and forming of associations.

After 20 years of renewal, Vietnam has recorded huge achievements in economic development, executed social justice, brought into play democracy, improved the living standards and ensured the rights and freedom of its citizens. This progress has been recognised by the international community.
 
Vietnam has been and will be ready for dialogue with the U.S. on a number of issues, including democracy, human rights and religious issues. The U.S. Representatives should have acknowledged democracy and human rights issues in Vietnam objectively and within the country’s historical context while respecting Vietnam’s economic, cultural and social particulars in the spirit of cooperation and mutual understanding, without letting these issues hinder the fine development of the two countries’ relationship.
 
It was a pity that the U.S. House of Representatives has ignored what have been taking place in Vietnam, intentionally politicising civil misconduct to give pressure on a nation that is trying to stand on its feet and supporting a group of extremists to alter the path that a nation has chosen.
 
The only obvious question now is: did those congressmen who voted for the bill act responsibly to strengthen the ever increasing and close relations between the two countries? Will the intervention into another country’s internal affairs gain any support when scandals at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib prisons have been still making the public, in the American soil and the world over, thwarted.

(Source: VNA)

Vietnam: “NO!” to VN Human Rights Act in U.S.A.

September 20, 2007

Preface: On September 18, 2007, the U. S. House of Representatives passed by a vote of 414 to 3 the “Vietnam Human Rights Act.” The act, if also passed by the Senate and enacted into law, requires future increases in U.S. nonhumanitarian aid to Vietnam to be tied to improvements in the Hanoi government’s human rights record. The president would be required to certify that Vietnam made significant progress in its human rights record — before any increase in nonhumanitarian aid is released.

September 20, 2007
Xinhua News, China

Vietnam strongly protests the United States’ Vietnam Human Rights Act 2007, which contains fabricated information on the situation in the country, local newspaper Vietnam News reported Thursday.

The bill would negatively impact on the positive development of the Vietnam-United States relations, the paper quoted spokesman of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Le Dung as saying.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill on Tuesday.

“Over the past many decades, the Vietnamese people have pursued their struggles to gain independence, freedom and democratic rights. The Vietnam Constitution clearly stipulates that the state respects and ensures its citizens’ economic, political, cultural, social and civil rights, including the rights to freedom of religion, speech, the press, information, meetings and forming of associations,” he said.

“After 20 years of renewal, Vietnam has recorded huge achievements in economic development, executed social justice, brought into play democracy, improved the living standards and ensured the rights and freedom of its citizens. This progress has been recognized by the international community,” Dung said.

“Vietnam has been and will be ready for dialogue with the United States on a number of issues, including democracy, human rights and religious issues,” he said. “We ask the United States to view democracy and human rights issues in Vietnam objectively and within our historical context while respecting Vietnam’s economic, cultural and social particulars in the spirit of cooperation and mutual understanding, without letting these issues hinder the fine development of the two countries’ relationship,” he said.

House ties Vietnam aid to human rights

September 18, 2007

By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – Future increases in U.S. nonhumanitarian aid to Vietnam would be tied to improvements in the Hanoi government’s human rights record under legislation approved by the House Tuesday.

Supporters of the legislation, passed 414-3, said it was in response to Vietnam’s recent crackdown on citizens speaking out for political, religious and human rights.

“Sadly, in recent months, the human rights situation in Vietnam has deteriorated and become substantially worse and a new ugly wave of brutal oppression has been launched by Hanoi,” said Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., sponsor of the legislation.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith (US politician)

Read the rest at:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070918/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/
congress_vietnam_2

Related essays:

June 22, 2007
“Of two minds on Vietnam”
The Washington Times
http://washingtontimes.com/article/20070622/
COMMENTARY/106220020/1012/commentary

June 26, 2007
“Vietnam: Two sides to Triet’s US visit”
Asia Times
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/
IF27Ae01.html

Nguyễn Minh Triết
Nguyễn Minh Triết
Nguyễn Minh Triết and First Lady Trần Thị Kim Chi meet with George W. Bush and Laura Bush at the President’s Palace, November 2006.

Text of announcement from Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and a message in Vietnamese from Dr. Thang D. Nguyen, Director, Boat People SOS.

http://vietamreview.blogharbor.com/blog/_
archives/2007/9/18/3239198.html