United States: Full Text of China Human Rights Protection Act of 2014 (H.R. 5379)

Congressman Chris Smith, co-chairman of the U.S. Commission on China and Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs human rights subcommittee, introduced a new bill, China Human Rights Protection Act of 2014, to propose sanctions on individual human rights offenders in China.

The bill, introduced on July 31, 2014, proposes that within 120 days of enactment of the Act, the President of the United States should submit a list of Chinese human rights offenders to the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Financial Services, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Homeland Security, and the Committee on the Judiciary of both the House and Senate.

The list includes both human rights perpetrators in China as well as their immediate family members. The perpetrators covered by the bill include senior leaders giving directives, as well as individuals implementing such measures. The bill defines additional sanctions for continuing offenders, those on the list for three consecutive years.

The sanctions include visa denial, financial sanctions and denial of benefiting from any federal programs. The financial sanctions include “blocking of the property of, and restricting or prohibiting financial transactions and the exportation and importation of property” in the United States.

It also proposes options for termination of sanctions if the perpetrator has been prosecuted appropriately or “has credibly demonstrated a significant change in behaviour, has paid an appropriate consequence for the activities for which sanctions were imposed, and has credibly committed to not engage in [human rights violations]...”

The following is the full text of the introduced bill.

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[Congressional Bills 113th Congress][From the U.S. Government Printing Office][H.R. 5379 Introduced in House (IH)]

113th CONGRESS2d Session

H. R. 5379

To impose sanctions on individuals that are responsible for the commission of serious and ongoing violations of human rights or gross violations of human rights against nationals of the People's Republic of China or their family members, to protect universal freedoms in the People's Republic of China, and for other purposes.

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IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 31, 2014

Mr. Smith of New Jersey introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committees on Financial Services, the Judiciary, and Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

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A BILL

To impose sanctions on individuals that are responsible for the commission of serious and ongoing violations of human rights or gross violations of human rights against nationals of the People's Republic of China or their family members, to protect universal freedoms in the People's Republic of China, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “China Human Rights Protection Act of 2014”.

SEC. 2. IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS ON INDIVIDUALS RESPONSIBLE FOR COMMISSION OF SERIOUS AND ONGOING VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS OR GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS AGAINST NATIONALS OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA OR THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS.

(a) In General.--Except as provided in subsection (e), the President shall--

(1) impose sanctions described in paragraph (1)(A) of subsection (c) and paragraph (2) of such subsection (as applicable) with respect to each individual on the list required by subsection (b)(1); and

(2) impose sanctions described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of subsection (c)(1) with respect to each individual on the list required by subsection (b)(2).

(b) Lists Required.--

(1) Individuals responsible for commission of serious and ongoing violations of human rights.--Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a list of individuals that the President determines are responsible for or complicit in, or responsible for directing, the commission of serious and ongoing violations of human rights against nationals of the People's Republic of China or their family members, regardless of whether such abuses occurred in China.

(2) Individuals responsible for gross violations of human rights.--Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a list of individuals that the President determines--

(A) are responsible for or complicit in, or responsible for directing, the commission of gross violations of human rights against nationals of the People's Republic of China or their family members, regardless of whether such abuses occurred in China; or

(B) have benefitted materially or financially from the commission of serious and ongoing violations of human rights described in paragraph (1) or the commission of gross violations of human rights described in subparagraph (A).

(3) Updates of lists.--The President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees updated lists under paragraphs (1) and (2)--

(A) not less frequently than on annual basis; and(B) as new information becomes available.

(4) Form; public availability.--

(A) Form.--The lists required by paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be submitted in unclassified form but may contain a classified annex.

(B) Public availability.--The unclassified portion of the lists required by paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be made available to the public and published in the Federal Register.

(5) Nonapplicability of confidentiality requirement with respect to visa records.--The President shall publish the lists required by paragraphs (1) and (2) without regard to the requirements of section 222(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1202(f)) with respect to confidentiality of records pertaining to the issuance or refusal of visas or permits to enter the United States.

(c) Sanctions Described.--

(1) In general.--The sanctions described in this paragraph are the following:

(A) Prohibition on entry and admission to the united states.--In the case of an individual whose name appears on the list required by paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (b)--

(i) ineligibility to receive a visa to enter the United States or to be admitted to the United States; or

(ii) if the individual has been issued a visa or other documentation, revocation, in accordance with section 221(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1201(i)), of the visa or other documentation.

(B) Financial sanctions.--

(i) In general.--In the case of an individual whose name appears on the list required by subsection (b)(2), the President shall impose sanctions authorized pursuant to section 203 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1702) with respect to the individual, including blocking of the property of, and restricting or prohibiting financial transactions and the exportation and importation of property Act by, the individual if such property and interests in property are in the United States, come within the United States, or are or come within the possession or control of a United States person.

(ii) Inapplicability of national emergency requirement.--The requirements of section 202 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701) shall not apply for purposes of this subparagraph.

(2) Additional sanctions.--The sanctions described in this paragraph are the following:

(A) Individuals on list for two consecutive years.--In the case of an individual whose name appears on the list required by subsection (b)(1) for two consecutive years but does not appear on the list required by subsection (b)(2) for such two consecutive years, the individual and any immediate family member of the individual shall be ineligible to participate in or receive any benefit from any program, project, or activity that is funded by the United States Government.

(B) Individuals on list for three consecutive years.--

(i) In general.--In the case of an individual whose name appears on the list required by subsection (b)(1) for three consecutive years but does not appear on the list required by subsection (b)(2) for such three consecutive years, the President shall impose sanctions authorized pursuant to section 203 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1702) with respect to the individual, including blocking of the property of, and restricting or prohibiting financial transactions and the exportation and importation of property Act by, the individual if such property and interests in property are in the United States, come within the United States, or are or come within the possession or control of a United States person.

(ii) Inapplicability of national emergency requirement.--The requirements of section 202 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701) shall not apply for purposes of this subparagraph.

(C) Regulatory authority.--The President shall issue such regulations, licenses, and orders as are necessary to carry out this paragraph.

(d) Requests by Chairperson and Ranking Member of Appropriate Congressional Committees.--Not later than 120 days after receiving a written request from the chairperson and ranking member of one of the appropriate congressional committees with respect to whether an individual has engaged in an activity described in subsection (b)(1) or subsection (b)(2)(A) or meets the requirements of subparagraph (B) of subsection (b)(2), the President shall--

(1) determine if that individual has engaged in such an activity or meets such requirements; and

(2) submit to the chairperson and ranking member of that committee a report with respect to that determination that includes--

(A) a statement of whether or not the President imposed or intends to impose sanctions with respect to the individual; and

(B) if the President imposed or intends to impose sanctions, a description of those sanctions.

(e) Exception To Comply With United Nations Headquarters Agreement.--

(1) In general.--Sanctions under paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (c) shall not apply to an individual if admitting the individual into the United States is necessary to permit the United States to comply with the Agreement regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations, signed at Lake Success June 26, 1947, and entered into force November 21, 1947, between the United Nations and the United States, or other applicable international obligations of the United States.

(2) Notification.--The President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a notification that paragraph (1) applies to an individual prior to the application of paragraph (1) to the individual.

(f) Termination of Sanctions.--The President may terminate the application of sanctions under subsection (c) with respect to an individual if the President determines and reports to the appropriate congressional committees on the day the individual is removed from the list that--

(1) credible information exists that the individual did not engage in the activity for which sanctions were imposed;

(2) the individual has been prosecuted appropriately for the activity for which sanctions were imposed; or

(3) the individual has credibly demonstrated a significant change in behavior, has paid an appropriate consequence for the activities for which sanctions were imposed, and has credibly committed to not engage in an activity described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of subsection (b)(1) or meets the requirements of subparagraph (C) of subsection (b)(1).

(g) Definitions.--In this section:

(1) Appropriate congressional committees.--The term “appropriate congressional committees'” means--

(A) the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Financial Services, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Homeland Security, and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives; and

(B) the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate.

(2) Human rights definitions.--

(A) Gross violations of human rights.--The term “gross violations of human rights” means, with respect to an individual, the act of torture, forced disappearance, extra-judicial killing, rape, prolonged and harsh detention, forced abortion or sterilization, or other severe and ongoing deprivations of individual liberty, including psychiatric or medical experimentation or organ harvesting of the individual detained for exercising internationally guaranteed human rights.

(B) Serious and ongoing violations of human rights.--The term “serious and ongoing violations of human rights” means, with respect to an individual, violations of freedom of expression or Internet censorship, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and association, or the right of due process such that the individual is not able to engage freely in such activities without fear of arrest, intimidation, arbitrary detention, property destruction or confiscation, heavy fines, or loss of jobs or professional status.

(3) United states person.--The term “United States person” means--

(A) a natural person who is a citizen of the United States or who owes permanent allegiance to the United States; and

(B) a corporation or other legal entity which is organized under the laws of the United States, any State or territory thereof, or the District of Columbia, if natural persons described in subparagraph (A) own, directly or indirectly, more than 50 percent of the outstanding capital stock or other beneficial interest in such legal entity.

SEC. 3. ESCALATING SANCTIONS FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO COMMIT ONGOING AND SERIOUS ABUSES OF INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED HUMAN RIGHTS AGAINST CHINESE NATIONALS OR THEIR FAMILIES.

(a) In General.--Any individual who remains on the list created by section 2(b)(1)(A) for 2 consecutive years, and is not specially identified for committing or being responsible for committing gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, shall incur additional penalties or sanctions, including the following:

(1) Such individuals and their immediate family members shall be denied from engaging or benefitting from any Federal program or institution.

(2) The President shall require that the individuals on list under section 2(b)(1)(A), and their immediate family members, shall not engage in or benefit from any Federal program or institution.

(3) The President shall order the removal individuals on the list under section 2(b)(1)(A) and their immediate family members from any Federal program or institution.

(4) The President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committee not later than the last day of each fiscal year, a list of the family members denied from engaging in or benefitting from any Federal program or institution.

(5) Exceptions to this section may include those family members who are known to have publicly disavowed the human rights abuses of individuals found on the list created by section 2(b)(1)(A) and those, who are enrolled in said Federal program or institutions, on the day before the list described in this section is submitted to Congress.

(b) Continuing Offenders.--Any individual who remains on the list created by section (2)(b)(1)(A) for three consecutive years, and is not already specially identified for committing or being responsible for committing gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, shall incur additional penalties or sanctions such as:

(1) Financial sanctions.--The President shall impose sanctions authorized pursuant to section 203 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1702) with respect to an individual whose name appears on the list required by section 2(b)(1), in including blocking of the property of, and restricting or prohibiting financial transactions and the exportation and importation of property Act if such property and interests in property are in the United States, come within the United States, or are or come within the possession or control of a United States person.

(2) Waiver.--The President may waive the application of this subsection for the same reasons stated in section 2(e) above.

(c) Enforcement.--

(1) Penalties.--A person that violates, attempts to violate, conspires to violate, or causes a violation of this section or section 2(c) or 2(d) above or any regulation, license, or order issued to carry out said sections shall be subject to the penalties set forth in subsections (b) and (c) of section 206 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1705) to the same extent as a person that commits gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.

(2) Requirements for financial institutions.--Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall prescribe regulations requiring each financial institution that is a United States person and has within its possession or control assets that are property or interests in property of a foreign person on the lists required by section 2(b)(1)(B) and those later identified in section 3(b) to certify to the President that, to the best of the knowledge of the financial institution, the financial institution has frozen all assets within the possession or control of the financial institution that are required to be frozen.

(d) Regulatory Authority.--The Secretary of the Treasury shall issue such regulations, licenses, and orders as are necessary to carry out this section.

(e) Definition.--In this section, the term “Federal program or institution” means any program or institution that receives funds from the Federal Government.

SEC. 4. TO FURTHER PROTECT THE INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED RIGHT OF FREE EXPRESSION, ENSURE THE FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION, AND PROTECT FOREIGN JOURNALISTS AND MEDIA PERSONNEL IN CHINA.

(a) Limitation on I-Visas.--Section 101(a)(15)(I) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(I)) is amended by inserting “subject to section 214(s),” before “upon a basis”.

(b) Restrictions on Visas to Executives of State-Owned Media.-- Section 214 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1184) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(s) Restrictions on Visas to Executives of State-Owned Media.--

“(1) In general.--In the case of aliens who are executives at a state-controlled media organization from the People's Republic of China and are seeking classification under section 101(a)(15)(I), the visas may be refused to such aliens if any United States media personnel were expelled, had visas denied, or faced intimidation or violence in the course of working in China in the prior fiscal year.

“(2) Visas to such aliens, in proportion to the expulsions, visa denials or delays experienced by U.S. journalists or media personnel working in China during the prior fiscal year, may be refused or delayed.

“(3) For purposes of this subsection--

“(A) the term 'state-controlled media worker from the People's Republic of China' means a representative of a media organization owned, operated, or controlled by the People's Republic of China, including--

“(i) China Central Television;“(ii) China Daily;“(iii) China National Radio;“(iv) China News Service;“(v) China Radio International;“(vi) China Youth Daily;“(vii) Economic Daily;“(viii) Global Times;“(ix) Guangming Daily;“(x) Legal Daily;“(xi) Liberation Army Daily;“(xii) People's Daily; or“(xiii) Xinhua News Agency.

“(B) Revocation of certain visas; nonimmigrant status.--Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this section, the President shall order the revocation, delay, or refusal of a sufficient number of visas already issued to executives of state-controlled media organizations from the People's Republic of China in proportion to the expulsions, visa delays or denials, and intimidation experienced by personnel from U.S. journalist or media personnel organizations in the previous 12 months prior to the Act's passage.

“(C) Reporting on restrictions on foreign media in china.--The Department of State, in the Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Conditions shall include information and details on intimidation, travel restrictions, visa denials and delays, and expulsions of foreign media personnel from China and the censoring and blocking of media corporations' Web sites within China.

“(D) Sense of congress.-- It is the sense of Congress that restrictions on the activities of U.S. journalists and media personnel in China and the censorship and blockage of news media Web sites damages the competitiveness of U.S. media corporations and should be considered a restriction of trade and an unfair competitive advantage benefitting Chinese government-controlled media organizations. As such, the U.S. Government should link to any bilateral investment treaty, currently being negotiated, language that guarantees fair treatment of journalists, a reciprocal number of journalist visas, and free and unfettered operation of news Web sites in China.”

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