FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 1, 2012 Permalink
CONTACT: Michael Steel, Brendan Buck, Kevin Smith 202-225-0600
WASHINGTON, DC - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today hosted a bipartisan meeting with Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng. Boehner made these brief comments at a media availability following the meeting:
“It’s truly an honor and privilege to welcome Mr. Chen to the United States Capitol. Like many Americans, I have followed his remarkable journey with great admiration for the courage he and his family have shown. Their example humbles us, it reminds us why we cherish life and freedom so much, and why we work so hard to preserve and protect these fundamental values. Let me also personally thank Mr. Chen and his family for the sacrifices they have made in the cause for human rights, religious freedom, and the rights of the unborn.
“While our economic relationship with China is important, the United States has an obligation to engage with China and press for democratic reforms and improvement in its human rights practices. We cannot remain silent when fundamental human rights are being violated. We cannot remain silent when religious liberty is under attack. And we cannot remain silent regarding China’s reprehensible 'one-child’ policy.
“When it comes to guaranteeing the freedom and dignity of all her citizens, the Chinese government has a responsibility to do better, and the United States government has a responsibility to hold them to account. Mr. Chen, thank you for coming today.”
NOTE: High-resolution photos of House leaders’ bipartisan meeting with Chen Guangcheng are available on Speaker Boehner’s Flickr page.