US congressman opposes House resolution on China

Republican congressman Ron Paul issues unexpected defence of China.

(from Xinhua: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-08/04/content_8934651.htm)

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) — U.S. Republican congressman Ron Paul of Texas described the recent resolution by the House of Representatives on China’s human rights situation as “ill-conceived” and “hypocritical” and he urged the U.S. legislature to deal with human rights abuses in U.S. or those created abroad by U.S. foreign policies.

“I rise in opposition to this resolution, which is yet another meaningless but provocative condemnation of China. It is this kind of jingoism that has led to such a low opinion of the United States abroad,” Paul, who had run for U.S. president as a Republican candidate earlier, said in a statement posted on the official website of the House.

“We are not debating a bill to close Guantanamo, where abuses have been documented. We are not debating a bill to withdraw from Iraq, where scores of innocents have been killed, injured, and abused due to our unprovoked attack on that country. We are not debating a bill to reverse the odious FISA bill passed recently which will result in extreme abuses of Americans by gutting the Fourth Amendment,” he said in the statement made before the House voted to adopt the anti-China resolution on July 30.

“Instead of addressing these and scores of other pressing issues over which we do have authority, we prefer to spend our time criticizing a foreign government over which we have no authority and foreign domestic problems about which we have very little accurate information,” the congressman added.

Paul described it as “ironic” that the resolution calls on the Chinese government to begin negotiations, without preconditions, directly with the Dalai Lama or his representatives.

“For years U.S. policy has been that no meeting or negotiation could take place with Iran until certain preconditions are met by Iran. Among these is a demand that Iran cease uranium enrichment, which Iran has the right to do under the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It is little wonder why some claim that resolutions like this are hypocritical,” he said.

“Instead of lecturing China, where I have no doubt there are problems as there are everywhere, I would suggest that we turn our attention to the very real threats in the United States where our civil liberties and human rights are being eroded on a steady basis,” Paul said.

“The Bible cautions against pointing out the speck in a neighbor’s eye while ignoring the log in one’s own. I suggest we contemplate this sound advice before bringing up such ill-conceived resolutions in the future,” he said.

In response to the U.S. Congress’ adoption of the resolution on China’s human rights situation, a spokesman for the Beijing Olympic Games said last Thursday that the resolution was an attempt to politicize the Games.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao also rejected the resolution as an abominable conduct by a handful of anti-China lawmakers.

“Such a deed itself is blasphemy to the Olympic spirit, and is against the common wishes of people all around the world, including people of the United States,” Liu said.

U.S. President George W. Bush had announced that he would travel to Beijing next week to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

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