March 22, 2008
Washington, D.C. -- Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH), a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, praised Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi for standing with the Dali Lama and strongly condemning China’s crackdown in Tibet.
“Freedom is a non-partisan matter,” said Congressman Chabot. “The Chinese government must respect the rights and human dignity of the Tibetan people.”
Chabot, who has met with Tibet’s exiled Buddhist leader frequently during his 14 years in Congress, lauded speaker Pelosi for being the first major foreign official to meet with the Dali Lama since the Chinese crackdown began in Tibet. Chabot said he completely concurred with Pelosi’s statement: “If freedom loving people around the world do not speak out against China’s oppression in China and Tibet, we have lost all moral authority to speak on behalf of human rights anywhere in the world.”
Tibetan exile groups estimate that 100 civilians have been killed recently while protesting China’s oppression in Tibet. The Chinese government has been attempting to keep journalists from covering the crackdown, but Tibetan protesters have been able to smuggle out video and photos taken using cell phones.
Congressman Chabot, a co-founder and Chairman of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, has been an outspoken critic of Chinese attempts to pressure Taiwan to reunify with the PRC. He has also condemned China for social policies such as forced abortion and its repression and torture of political prisoners including the Falun Gong. Chabot said that China’s behavior towards Tibet was “one more example of why the U.S. State Department should not have removed China from its list of the worlds worst human rights offenders.”