WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley—who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee—announced today that he will serve as Chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) for the 117th Congress.
Congress established the CECC in 2000 in order to monitor China’s compliance with international human rights standards, to encourage development of rule of law in China, and to establish and maintain a list of victims of human rights abuses in China.
“The U.S. relationship with China will define the world for years to come, and we must ensure that American advocacy for human rights and democracy is a centerpiece of that relationship,” said Merkley. “In recent years, the CECC has played a key role reporting on, and responding to, China’s crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong and the internment, torture, and genocide of Uyghur Muslims. I’m honored to lead the CECC’s continuing work standing against China’s assaults on fundamental human rights, bolstering international cooperation to hold China accountable, and ensuring that American policy promotes dignity, opportunity, and freedom for all people.”
The appointment follows years of work by Merkley on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and as a Commissioner of the CECC, which has included supporting pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong, banning the export of crowd control munitions to Hong Kong, and shedding light on the genocide of Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region.
Every year, the CECC—which is comprised of nine senators, nine representatives, and five senior Administration officials—submits a report to the President and to Congress to outline its findings. The 2020 report is available here.