July 23, 2002

The following is an excerpt from the statement of Senator Russ Feingold:

"The United States must continue to place human rights issues at the forefront of our relationship with China. Authorities in the People's Republic of China regularly violate basic human rights principles, using the state's security apparatus to suppress free political and religious expression. The persecution of Falun Gong practitioners is a disturbing part of this broader trend. As the State Department's most recent human rights report on China notes, a campaign of intense repression continues in which authorities have beaten and imprisoned thousands of people associated with the Falun Gong movement, leading to reports that over 200 [445 as of July 29, 2002 -- editor] of these individuals have died in detention due to torture or mistreatment."

"Our national values must inform our foreign policy. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Congress and the Administration to ensure that the totality of China's dismal human rights record ... remains a critical component of our bilateral dialogue with China."