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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Chinese Constitution

The Chinese constitution was adopted 37 years ago today on December 4, 1982.

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo mentioned the Constitution six months ago on the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, saying, “China’s own constitution stipulates that all power belongs to the people. History has shown that nations are stronger when governments are responsive to their citizens, respect the rule of law, and uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

China has existed for centuries, long before the adoption of this Constitution (English).

Challenges to this government would not be as identity-shattering as for America would be challenges to the U.S. Constitution. In America, our Constitution marks our beginning, and it remains today. We have amended it, as needed, but the form of government is the same and the only one we've ever had.

These two governments have clashed of late. It's one thing to push and pull on economic levers to balance trade disparities and deficits. It's another when one considers deeper levels of principle such as those regarding fundamental human rights.

Since two weeks ago today, Congress has sent three major pieces of legislation to the President regarding human rights in China:

S. 1838: Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019
S. 2710: To prohibit the commercial export of covered munitions items to the Hong Kong Police Force.
S. 178: Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019

This standing up to China on principle needs to continue because China's disrespecting of human rights must not continue.

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