Congressional Documents
                                  59 006                                 



                                                                                   



                                                                             



                            105 th Congress                             



                                 Report                                 



                                                                            



                                                                             



                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                        



                               1st Session                              



                                105 305                                 



                                                                        







                        POLITICAL FREEDOM IN CHINA ACT OF 1997                 







                                                                         



   October 6, 1997.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the

 State of the Union and ordered to be printed                            

                                                                         



  Mr. Gilman, from the Committee on International Relations, submitted   

 the following                                                           

 R E P O R T                                                             



 [To accompany H.R. 2358]                                                



 [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]            





      The Committee on International Relations, to whom was referred the   

   bill (H.R. 2358) to provide for improved monitoring of human rights     

   violations in the People's Republic of China, having considered the     

   same, report favorably thereon with amendments and recommend that the   

   bill as amended do pass.                                                

      The amendments (stated in terms of the page and line numbers of the  

   introduced bill) are as follows:                                        

   On page 3, line 5, strike ``state' and'' and insert ``state' or''.      



      On page 3, line 8, strike ``[n]on-approved'' and insert              

   ``[n]onapproved''.                                                      

   On page 3, line 12, strike ``Zinjiang,'' and insert ``Xinjiang,''.      



   On page 3, line 22, strike ``residents'' and insert ``dissidents''.     



   On page 4, line 2, strike ``1996,'' and insert ``1995,''.               



   On page 5, strike lines 18 23.                                          





                          BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE                         



      H.R. 2358, the ``Political Freedom in China Act of 1997,'' authorizes

   to be appropriated to State Department additional funds to support      

   personnel to monitor political repression in the People's Republic of   

   China (PRC) in the United States Embassy in Beijing, as well as the     

   American consulates in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, Chengdu, and Hong 

   Kong, $2,200,000 for fiscal year 1998 and $2,200,000 for fiscal year    

   1999.                                                                   

      The China section of the State Department Country Reports on Human   

   Rights Practices for 1996 states that ``[o]verall in 1996, the          

   authorities stepped up efforts to cut off expressions of protest or     

   criticism. All public dissent against the party and government was      

   effectively silenced by intimidation, exile, the imposition of prison   

   terms, administrative detention, or house arrest. No dissidents were    

   known to be active at year's end.''                                     

      Testimony and reports from both private non-governmental             

   organizations (NGOs) and the Administration called attention to the     

   importance of having more State Department personnel assigned solely to 

   monitor human rights of the people living under the rule of the         

   Government of the People's Republic of China. H.R. 2358 attempts to     

   address this need and the important question of whether the cornerstone 

   of our foreign policy should be the promotion of American values--that  

   is, the protection and advancement of fundamental human rights of people

   around the world.                                                       

      The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor has 52 employees and

   a budget of a little over $6 million. It is disturbing that the Public  

   Affairs office is approximately twice as large, with 115 employees and a

   budget of over $10 million. In addition, the Protocol office has 62     

   employees, ten more than the whole Human Rights bureau. Moreover, each  

   of the six regional bureaus has an average of about 1500 employees. In  

   many instances, these are the bureaus the Human Rights bureau has to    

   contend with in ensuring that human rights is given a prominent role    

   against competing concerns, and they have a combined budget of about a  

   billion dollars, or about 160 times the budget of the Human Rights      

   bureau.                                                                 

      State Department regional bureau officials based in Washington       

   enhance their expertise by traveling to the regions in which they       

   specialize. Officials in the Human Rights Bureau below the rank of      

   Deputy Assistant Secretary have very little funds at their disposal for 

   such important trips.                                                   

                             COMMITTEE ACTION                            



      The Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights during 

   the 104th and 105th Congresses held the following hearings or markups   

   related to the human rights problems of individuals living under the    

   rule of the Government of the People's Republic of China:               

       1. February 2, 15, 1995--Country Reports on Human Rights Practices  

   for 1994                                                                

    2. March 16, 1995--Human Rights and Democratization in Asia            





    3. April 3, 1995--Chinese Prison System, ``LAOGAI''                    



    4. July 18, 1997--Beijing Conference on Women                          



    5. August 2, 1995--Beijing Conference on Women                         



       6. September 8, 1995--Expereinces of Harry Wu as a Political        

   Prisoner in the People's Republic of China                              

       7. December 7, 1995--Resolution Concerning Writer, Philosopher,     

   Human Rights Advocate Wei Jingsheng                                     

       8. December 18, 1995--Trial, Conviction, and Imprisonment of Wei    

   Jingsheng: How Should it Affect U.S. Policy?                            

    9. February 15, 1996--Persecution of Christians Worldwide              



    10. March 26, 1996--Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1995 



    11. June 18, 1996--China MFN: Human Rights Consequences                



    12. December 18, 1996--Was There a Tiananmen Massacre?                 



      On September 25, 1997, the Subcommittee on Human Rights and          

   International Operations met in open session and agreed by voice vote to

   favorably report H.R. 2358 to the full Committee for consideration.     

      On September 29, 1997, the full Committee adopted by voice vote an   

   amendment offered by Representative Bereuter to strike the provision in 

   the bill that stated that there is only one State Department official in

   the PRC who is assigned to monitoring human rights. An amendment by     

   Representative Campbell to strike the findings section of the bill was  

   defeated by voice vote. Finally, on September 29, 1997, the Committee   

   adopted by voice vote a motion to report favorably H.R. 2358, as        

   amended, a quorum being present.                                        

                       COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS                      



      In compliance with clause 2(l)(3)(A) of rule XI of the Rules of the  

   House of Representatives, the Committee reports the findings and        

   recommendations of the Committee, based on oversight activities under   

   clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives,  

   are incorporated in the descriptive portions of this report.            

          COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM AND OVERSIGHT FINDINGS          



      No findings or recommendations of the Committee on Government Reform 

   and Oversight were received as referred to in clause 2(l)(3)(D) of rule 

   XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives.                        

                NEW BUDGET AUTHORITY AND TAX EXPENDITURES                



      The Committee adopts the cost estimate of the Congressional Budget   

   Office, set out below, as its submission of any required information on 

   new budget authority, new spending authority, new credit authority, or  

   an increase or decrease in the national debt required by clause         

   2(l)(3)(B) of rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives.     



                        Federal Mandates Statement                       



      The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal mandates     

   prepared by the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 423 of  

   the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.                                       

                       Advisory Committee Statement                      



      No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) of the     

   Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this legislation.        

                 Applicability to the Legislative Branch                 



      The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to the terms

   and conditions of employment or access to public services or            

   accommodations within the meaning of section 102(b)(3) of the           

   Congressional Accountability Act.                                       

                    Constitutional Authority statement                   



      In compliance with clause 2(l)(4) of rule XI of the Rules of the     

   House of Representatives, the Committee cities the following specific   

   powers granted to the Congress in the Constitution as authority for     

   enactment of H.R. 2358 as reported by the Committee: Article I, section 

   8, clause 3 (relating to the regulation of commerce with foreign nations

   and among the several states); and Article I, section 8, clause 18      

   (relating to making all laws necessary and proper for carrying into     

   execution powers vested by the Constitution in the government of the    

   United States).                                                         

                Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate                



      In compliance with clause 2(l)(3)(C) of rule XI of the Rules of the  

   House of Representatives, the Committee sets forth with respect to H.R. 

   2358 as reported by the Committee the following estimate and comparison 

   prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office under       

   section 403 of the Budget Act of 1974:                                  





       U.S. Congress,                                                          



       Congressional Budget Office,                                            



       Washington, DC, October 3, 1997.                                        







          Hon.  Benjamin A. Gilman,                Chairman, Committee on International Relations,



       House of Representatives, Washington, DC.                               



       Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has prepared the 

   enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2358, the Political Freedom in China Act

   of 1997.                                                                

      If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be pleased to  

   provide them. The CBO staff contact is Sunita D'Monte.                  

   Sincerely,                                                              



         June E. O'Neill,  Director.                                            



   Enclosure.                                                              





           H.R. 2358--Political Freedom in China Act of 1997                       



      H.R. 2358 would authorize appropriations of $2.2 million each year in

   1998 and 1999 to fund additional personnel at diplomatic posts in China 

   to monitor human rights. Assuming appropriations of the authorized      

   amounts, CBO estimates that enacting the bill would raise outlays in    

   each year by the amount of the authorization. Because H.R. 2358 would   

   not affect direct spending or receipts, pay-as-you-go procedures would  

   not apply. The bill does not contain any intergovernmental or           

   private-sector mandates as defined by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act  

   of 1995 and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal     

   governments.                                                            

      The authorization in this bill would be in addition to amounts       

   provided in other legislation. H.R. 1757, as passed by the House of     

   Representatives on June 11, 1997, would authorize $1,747 million each   

   year in 1998 and 1999 for diplomatic and consular activities. Together  

   H.R. 2358 and H.R. 1757 would raise annual funding for comparable       

   activities by $47 million over the amount provided in 1997.             

      The estimate was prepared by Sunita D'Monte. This estimate was       

   approved by Paul N. Van de Water, Assistant Director for Budget         

   Analysis.                                                               

                       Section-by-Section Analysis                       



           Section 1. Short title                                                  



      Provides that the Act may be cited as the ``Political Freedom in     

   China Act of 1997.''                                                    

           Section 2. Findings                                                     



      Sets forth relevant findings of Congress. In particular, Congress    

   concurs in many of the conclusions of the Department of State in its    

   1996 human rights report with respect to the People's Republic of China,

   including that China is ``an authoritarian state''; that the government 

   of China has ``continued to commit widespread and well documented human 

   rights abuses''; that ``[a]buses include torture and mistreatment of    

   prisoners, forced confessions, and arbitrary and incommunicado          

   detention''; that the number of persons detained ``are believed to      

   number in the thousands''; and that ``[o]verall in 1996, the authorities

   stepped up efforts to cut off expressions of protest or criticism. All  

   dissent against the party and government was effectively silenced by    

   intimidation, exile, the imposition of prison terms, administrative     

   detention, or house arrest. No dissidents were known to be active at    

   year's end.'' Among those dissidents who have been arrested are Wang Dan

   (sentenced to 11 years in prison); Li Hai (sentenced to 9 years in      

   prison); Liu Nianchun (sentenced to 3 years of ``re-education through   

   labor''); Wei Jingsheng (sentenced to 14 years in prison); Gao Yu       

   (sentenced to 6 years in prison); and Chen Longde (sentenced to 3 years 

   of ``re-education through labor'').                                     

                      Section 3. Authorization of appropriations for additional    

           personnel at diplomatic posts to monitor human rights in the People's   

           Republic of China                                                       

      Authorizes the appropriation of $2,200,000 in fiscal year 1998 and   

   $2,200,000 in fiscal year 1999 to support personnel at the U.S. embassy 

   in Beijing and at the U.S. consulates in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, 

   Chengdu, and Hong Kong to monitor Chinese political repression.