US Commission: Religious Freedom Should Feature in US-China Trade Talks

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom is calling on the Trump administration to include freedom of belief in all ongoing U.S.-China trade talks. Their recommendation comes at a time when US-China trade talks are still taking place, and the same year as the 20th Anniversary Falun Gong’s Peaceful Appeal to the Chinese Communist Party.

Commissioner Hon. Gary Bauer said penalties should be put in place to discourage discrimination against religious practices. “We call on the U.S. government to specifically sanction Chinese officials and agencies known to be responsible for religious freedom violations,” he said.

Over the past two decades, the Commission has expressed deep concern about the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of Falun Gong. Since their inception in 1998, the Commission recommended the State Department designate China as a Country of Special Concern to highlight the communist regime’s systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom. “In our first annual report, the Commission took note of the Falun Gong’s April 25, 1999 appeal, in which the Falun Gong practitioners simply asked the Chinese government to let you alone.

“But of course, that’s the one thing a totalitarian oppressive government cannot do,” he said.

Other China experts say the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of Falun Gong is the most brutal political campaign since the Mao era.  Murray Bessette, Director of Academic Programs at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation said, “This complete extermination has even extended to carving up Falun Gong practitioners and selling their organs, one of the most heinous and disgusting acts any political party has committed in human history.”

Noting that more than 331 million Chinese people have renounced their membership of the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliations, Mr. Besett offered a picture of hope for the future.

“I look forward to the day when the first thing we think about when we hear the letters ‘C-C-P’ are no longer ‘Chinese Communist Party,’ but ‘Courageous Chinese People.'”

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