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house Bill H. Res. 393

Should the House Express Solidarity with the Pro-Democracy Protesters Who Were Exiled by China After Tiananmen Square in 1989?

Argument in favor

The 1989 pro-democracy protests at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, and elsewhere in China, were brutally suppressed by the Chinese military. Thirty years later, the Chinese government censors discussion of these events and prohibits their teaching in schools. This resolution would call on the government to end these practices and let Chinese people learn about and discuss Tiananmen.

burrkitty's Opinion
···
06/04/2019
Yes yes warm fuzzies all around, well done. NOW GO DO YOUR REAL WORK. Once again, these “expressing the sense” bills DO NOTHING. Stop the grandstanding and DO YOUR JOB!
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Stephanie's Opinion
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06/02/2019
You bet! Only an authoritarian dictatorship would choose to abuse their people for having or expressing their points of view.
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Joey's Opinion
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06/04/2019
I really have a hard time seeing any negative in this. America is a nation of many different backgrounds, and we are the leader of the free world. If we extend a hand of democracy to the ones fighting for it, it will show that democracy wins over dictatorship.
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Argument opposed

What the Chinese government says or does within its borders is a domestic matter that the House shouldn’t meddle in. Even if the U.S. government disagrees with the Communist Party’s suppression of discussion about Tiananmen, it’s overreach for the House to try to tell another sovereign government how to conduct its domestic affairs.

Jason's Opinion
···
06/05/2019
We already did when that all happened. What a waste of time and tax dollars! No wonder it's called Congress, because you're all monkeying around and acting like a bunch of baboons! Address the real issues!
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Lennis-lori's Opinion
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06/05/2019
China needs to handle it's own affairs , not us.
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Bwana's Opinion
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06/05/2019
All of the pompous pedantic resolutions take time. One word Congress: Focus. Health care. Immigration. Debt. Quit picking the low-hanging fruit.
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simple resolution Progress


  • The house Passed June 4th, 2019
    Roll Call Vote 423 Yea / 0 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedMay 21st, 2019

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What is House Bill H. Res. 393?

This resolution would express the House of Representatives’ sympathy and solidarity with the families of those killed, tortured and imprisoned for their participation in the pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing and other Chinese cities during the spring of 1989. It’d also express the House’s support for the leaders of the Tiananmen Square demonstrations and all those who peacefully sought political reform, democratic transparency, the rule of law and protections for universally-recognized human rights in China.

It’d also call on the Chinese government to: 1) support a full, transparent and independent accounting of the government’s actions and the death toll during the violent suppression of the Tiananmen demonstrations; 2) rehabilitate the reputations of those who participated in the demonstrations and those detained for seeking to commemorate the anniversary of the demonstrations; 3) cease censoring information and discussion about the Tiananmen Square massacre, including at Confucius Institutes worldwide; and 4) allow Tiananmen demonstration participants who escaped to or are living in exile outside China to return to China without risk or repercussions or retribution.

Finally, this resolution would condemn the Chinese government’s ongoing restrictions on universally-recognized human rights and its efforts to quell peaceful political dissent, censor the internet, brutally suppress ethnic and religious minorities, and detain and torture lawyers and human rights advocates seeking the government’s commitment — in both law and practice — to international human rights treaties and covenants that it’s a party to, and which are reflected in the Chinese constitution.

As a simple resolution, this legislation is non-binding and wouldn’t advance beyond the House if passed.

Impact

House of Representatives; U.S.-China relations; China; Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests of spring 1989; Tiananmen Square protesters; political dissidents in China; Chinese political dissidents living outside China because of their involvement in the Tiananmen Square protests; human rights in China; internet censorship in China; the Chinese government’s suppression of ethnic and religious minorities; and Chinese government persecution of lawyers and rights advocates.

Cost of House Bill H. Res. 393

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. James McGovern (D-MA) introduced this resolution to remember the victims of the Chinese government’s violent suppression of pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square and elsewhere in China on June 3 and 4, 1989 and call on the Chinese government to respect the universally recognized human rights of all people, both in China and around the world.

Bao Tong, a former senior Chinese government official who’s now one of China’s best-known dissidents due to serving a seven-year sentence — entirely in solitary confinement — for supporting the Tiananmen protests, says the Chinese government should allow people to discuss the events of 1989. Tong says, “What worries me is that in the past 30 years all Chinese leaders have been willing to stand alongside the inhuman crime of 4 June. They treat it as a valuable lesson, as a magic trick behind the nation's rise. They consider it beneficial. The CPC should allow people to discuss - victims, witnesses, foreigners, journalists who were there at the time. They should allow everyone to say what they know and figure out the truth."

This resolution has 28 bipartisan cosponsors, including 18 Democrats and 10 Republicans.


Of NoteAs the Wall Street Journal notes, a democratic future for China seemed possible in the spring of 1989, until the Tiananmen Square protests. After the death of sidelined reformist party leader Hu Yaobang in April 1989, students occupied Tiananmen Square, and their protests evolved into a passionate call for cleaner government and increased democratic rights in the country.

While Zhao Ziyang, one of the Communist Party’s leaders, and his supporters favored defusing the protests through negotiations, hard-liners prevailed, pushed Zhao from power, and used the military to quell the protests. Under Deng Xiaoping’s orders, overnight on June 3, 1989, soldiers fatally shot hundreds — or, by some estimates, thousands — of protesters and bystanders in Beijing and bloody confrontations also erupted in other Chinese cities.

This year — 2019 — is the 30th anniversary of the events at Tiananmen Square. Brahma Chellaney, Professor of Strategic Studies at the New Delhi-based Center for Policy Research and Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin, notes that the events of Tiananmen remain “a dark and hidden chapter in China’s communist narrative” due to the Communist Party’s omission of the event in textbooks and censorship of discussion online. Thus, there are no public memorials or protests around the issue expected in mainland China.

Officially, the Communist Party acknowledges that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) intervened after seven weeks of demonstrations, and that people were killed. However, it maintains that rather than crushing a peaceful protest, the military was defending itself — and the country — against violent counterrevolutionary elements. Officials tend to refer to the massacre as “chaos” or “turmoil” and claim it was the product of a few older “black hands” exerting influence over impressionable students.

The Chinese government’s successful suppression of knowledge of the Tiananmen Square massacre is evidenced in younger generations’ ignorance of the incident. In her book “The People’s Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited,” journalist Louisa Lim found that only 15 out of 100 Beijing college students could identify Tank Man — the global symbol of the crackdown.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: Charles Mok via Flickr / Creative Commons)

AKA

Remembering the victims of the violent suppression of democracy protests in Tiananmen Square and elsewhere in China on June 3 and 4, 1989, and calling on the Government of the People's Republic of China to respect the universally recognized human rights o

Official Title

Remembering the victims of the violent suppression of democracy protests in Tiananmen Square and elsewhere in China on June 3 and 4, 1989, and calling on the Government of the People's Republic of China to respect the universally recognized human rights of all people living in China and around the world.

    Yes yes warm fuzzies all around, well done. NOW GO DO YOUR REAL WORK. Once again, these “expressing the sense” bills DO NOTHING. Stop the grandstanding and DO YOUR JOB!
    Like (39)
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    Share
    China needs to handle it's own affairs , not us.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    You bet! Only an authoritarian dictatorship would choose to abuse their people for having or expressing their points of view.
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    I really have a hard time seeing any negative in this. America is a nation of many different backgrounds, and we are the leader of the free world. If we extend a hand of democracy to the ones fighting for it, it will show that democracy wins over dictatorship.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    We’re killing dissent here so why don’t we support dissent in the country’s who want to own us. Maybe it will empower us to stop medicare create change, stop discrimination based on any ground and create an ecological plan that sustains the world and its myriad people
    Like (7)
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    We already did when that all happened. What a waste of time and tax dollars! No wonder it's called Congress, because you're all monkeying around and acting like a bunch of baboons! Address the real issues!
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    All of the pompous pedantic resolutions take time. One word Congress: Focus. Health care. Immigration. Debt. Quit picking the low-hanging fruit.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes yes warm fuzzies all around, well done. NOW GO DO YOUR REAL WORK. Once again, these “expressing the sense” bills DO NOTHING. Stop the grandstanding and DO YOUR JOB!
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Why doesn’t Congress “do” something to honor their sacrifice, like outlining regulations regarding ethical journalism (see U.K. for details), or put an end to Fox News (state run propaganda) being used as a trusted new source in our local broadcast: morning/evening news reports, and/or examine the US’ own GINI coefficient...
    Like (4)
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    Democrats in Congress should express support for democracy and democratic movements in this country and around the world. Republicans may not support democracy for all people, given their support for a demagogic president, but that’s why they are destined to be a party that represents a minority of voters in this country.
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    ”The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men [and women] to do nothing”, Edmund Burke. Yes, authoritarianism should never be supported in any form. It is not our jobs to be world police, but unfortunately China is worse now than it was then, leaning more and more into fascism, hate, censorship, and general human rights abuses. That should not be allowed anywhere on this “civilized” Earth!
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    Yes, the House was elected by the people to stand up to dictators and the enemies of free speech and free protest. They should voice support for Democracy on this very tragic anniversary.
    Like (3)
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    It’s important that the US express solidarity with any nation that threatens free speech.
    Like (3)
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    Patriotic Americans should always stand up for freedom and democracy!
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    Yes, we need to show that we are still a compassionate country.
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    America was founded on principles of democracy and freedom and throughout history we have supported movements for democracy. We no doubt need good relations with the Chinese, but what good are American values if we don’t stand up for it?
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    Anyone who exercises peaceful protest on behalf of democracy and natural human rights should be fully encouraged. This show of support for those who participated in the protests at Tiananmen encourages participation in democracy and peaceful demonstrations for natural human rights stateside and world wide.
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    Yes we should express solidarity. The people there deserve the right to freedom. People are not tools to be used and thrown away. We should support their people.
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    Duh????
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    It never hurts for the US to condemn evil Communist and Socialist countries and there "state before people" approach to governing.
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