China’s Deteriorating Human Rights Could Strain U.S.-China Relationship

By Ena Cefo

The 2014 report by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), an independent U.S. agency tasked to monitor human rights and legal development in China, showed a deterioration in China’s human rights and rule of law. During his tenure, president Xi Jinping strengthened the authoritarian model of his predecessors, especially over the pertinent issues of Hong Kong’s autonomy, Internet and media freedom, ethnic minority rights, religious freedom and civic engagement. Among numerous other concerns, the Chinese government has been accused of implementing harsh security measures in the ethnic minority regions following incidents of violence, continuing the imprisonment of human rights activists and minority religion practitioners, allowing violence against women – including forced sterilizations and abortions, and discriminating against Uyghur Muslims. According to the CECC, such practices add insecurities to the U.S.-China relationship, as well as China’s own development.