Congressional Leaders Support "China 16" Initiative in Open Letter to Obama

Thursday, June 6, 2013

China Aid Association

(Washington, D.C.–June 6, 2013) Four Congressional leaders on Wednesday voiced their bi-partisan support for the "China 16" initiative launched by a coalition of 30 NGOs calling on President Obama to seek the releases of 16 Chinese prisoners of conscience at his summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"[We] call upon you to advocate for the rights of prisoners of conscience, as your predecessors have done," said the letter signed by Representatives Frank Wolf (R-Va.), James P. McGovern (D-Mass.), Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Karen Bass (D-Calif.).

Wolf and McGovern are the co-chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, Smith is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations, and Bass is a ranking member of the subcommittee.

They urged Obama to raise the cases of the China 16 by name.  The letter suggested that the Congressional leaders expected Obama to respond and indicate his "readiness to call for the release of the China 16."

Please see our report about the coalition's China 16 initiative here:

The full text of the letter:

Congressional Letter for China 16
PDF download link:

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