Anders Corr , CONTRIBUTOR
On Monday, Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper revealed that 11 democratic nations jointly condemned China’s increasing human rights abuses in a secret February 27 letter sent to Chinese representatives. The U.S. failed to sign it.
“Apparently the U.S. was asked to sign but declined, unlike Australia, Canada, Japan and Switzerland, along with seven European Union member countries: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom,” according to Bill Bishop, the publisher of Sinocism China Newsletter. “This does not seem to bode well for the hopes in some circles that Trump is going to take a harder line on China over human rights.”
The letter demanded that the Chinese government investigate allegations of torture and months-long incommunicado detentions of human rights lawyers and defenders. The locations of these detention areas are kept secret from families and the lawyers of the detained, making the detainees vulnerable to torture and lack of due process. The letter further demanded that China remove all suspects from these irregular forms of detention, labeled “residential surveillance at a designated place.”
China is an increasingly powerful country that regularly violates human rights at home and international law abroad. If the U.S. wants to maintain a position of global leadership, we will have to lead, not lag, our allies in taking the moral high ground. President Trump, Secretary of State Tillerson, and U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad need to step up to the plate and ensure that they strongly and publicly represent U.S. values of democracy and human rights when dealing with China. [FULL STORY]