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tv   Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  February 15, 2012 1:00am-6:00am EST

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ies. >> it alsoand on global issues s climate change and nuclear security interior -- and nuclear security. we appreciate your candid response those of we discuss these issues, and our believe you appreciate hours as well --
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i believe you appreciate hours as well mr. vice president, welcome to the united states i have always believed the best way to understand a country is to see it with your own eyes. there is an old chinese saying. it is better to travel 10,000 miles then to read 10,000 books. although i read dr. kissinger's
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and a book on china, i felt my trip to your country was at least as important. [laughter] actually, mr. vice president, i cannot thank you enough for the hospitality you extended to me on my trip, and i would like to propose a toast. a toast to a successful visit by the vice president and an increase in cooperation and understanding that will help both of our nation's continued to increase this relationship, and may in benefit not only of a
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foal whole world. go -- not only us, but all whole world. mr. vice president. o[applause]
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[speaking chinese] >> ladies and gentlemen, your friends, it gives me pleasure to attend this for me and my colleagues. last august, vice president
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biden paid a successful visit to china. the purpose is to implement the agreement between our presidents, of practical cooperation, deepen people to people stringent and further advance the corporate partnership between our countries. [speaking chinese]
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[speaking chinese]
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[speaking chinese] >> this year marks the 40th anniversary of president nixon's visit to china and the shanghai communique. 40 years ago with the extraordinary courage, leadership of our country's open the door to china and u.s. exchanges that have been sealed off for years. despite some twists and turns, u.s. relations have moved forward now out historic proportions. the growth of relations has brought a huge benefit to the two countries and people to your guns that is so strong impetus to peace, and -- to the two countries and people. but as a strong impetus to
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peace for the world at large. this have been one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world. when you drink water, do not forget those who died at the well. when we enjoy the fruits of china-u.s. relations, we should be grateful to the next- generation of chinese and american leaders for the outstanding contribution to the new chapter. we should also be grateful to the friends, including many who are present today, for the painstaking and resource all efforts they have made for the development of china-u.s. relations. [speaking chinese]
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>> in the past three years, during the obama administration, a chinese-u.s. relations on a whole have maintained a positive growth. in january last year, president hu jintao trade-in visit to the united states. he and president obama reads an important agreement on building a partnership based on mutual respect and benefit, charting the course for the long term
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development of chinese-u.s. relations. we are glad to see the two countries have further deepened cooperation in a wide array of areas and carried out productive communication and on the range of international, regional, and global issues. [speaking chinese]
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[speaking chinese] >> this morning i had a meeting with president obama and joe biden of the white house. we had an exchange of views on bilateral relations and reached a new and important consensus. we believe the two sides should focus on opening a new path of partnership between the major countries, featuring a harmonious coexistence and cooperation. to this end, are two sides should treat each other with
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sincerity and enhanced dialogue and communication. we should enhance each other. we should keep pace with the times and expand cooperations. we should look ahead to the future and step up people to people exchanges, and we should intensify corp. -- intensify cooperation and work together to meet challenges. >> [speaking chinese]
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>> president obama, vice president biden, and i devoted a great deal of discussion to economic and trade issues. we share the view that the financial system remains grim and adjusting structure and promoting employment are high on the domestic agenda of both countries. we must continue to make concerted efforts to tide over difficulties and accelerate the building of comprehensive and a mutually beneficial economic partnership and maintain a steady economic recovery and growth in both countries and the world as a whole. we should create more right spot
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thing in our cooperation and strive for greater balance between the countries. we should address our economic and trade concerns through dialogue and consultation, not .rotectionism >> [speaking chinese]
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[speaking chinese] >> we also had a candid exchange of views on human rights. i stressed that china has stayed achievements in the field of human rights over the past 30 plus years the reagan -- 30 plus
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years. there is always room for improvement, given the diversity and of been -- and uneven development, we are still faced with many challenges a dancing human-rights. the chinese government will always put the people's interest first and take seriously people's aspirations. we will continue to take concrete and effective policies and measures to promote justice and harmony and push forward human-rights. at the same time, we are ready to conduct candid exchanges on human rights with the united states and other countries on the basis of equality and mutual respect with the view to enhancing understanding,
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narrowing differences, learning from each other, and achieving common progress. >> [speaking chinese] [speaking chinese]
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>> china is the largest developing country while the united states is the largest undeveloped country. to build a partnership as a pioneering a endeavour with great and far reaching significance. there is no precedents to follow and no experience to refer to. we shall cross the river by feeling the stones or what secretary clinton once quoted. when constructed with mountains, one finds a way through.
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one block by river, one finds a way to bridge to the other side. a chinese pop song goes like this, when asked where the past is, it is where you take your first step. i am convinced china and the united states have the wisdom, ability, and means to maintain their corporate partnership based on mutual benefit, and by doing so will set an unprecedented and inspiring example for countries with different political systems, histories, cultures, to cooperate -- to enhance our relationship. >> [speaking chinese] >> i now propose a toast to the
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health of vice president biden and secretary clinton and celebrate an even better tomorrow for china-u.s. relations. cheers. [applause]
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>> later on tuesday, the u.s. chamber of commerce hosted the chinese vice president for a u.s. round table. this is 15 minutes. >> we have a vice president of the people's republic of china. [applause]
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>> mr. president, thank you for your hospitality at the chamber. i appreciate very much your hosting this event, and a warm welcome to the vice president of china, indicating the i have not been of very good co -- very good host so far. we are joined by so many
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distinguished business leaders. we are honored to have you here as our guest secondly, how important we think her relationship is. and as you and i have discussed in the past, mr. vice president, we presume as well to think they're important for the world at large. in this area, as in many others, we're working together to an unprecedented degree. let me be clear, i believe, as the president said also to the vice president in the oval office not long ago, we believe that a rising china is a positive development -- not only for china but also for the united states and the world. it will fuel economic growth and prosperity, and a rising china will bring to the fore a new
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partner with whom we can have help meeting the global challenges we all face. even as our nations cooperate, though, as the vice president point out, we will continue to compete. as americans, we welcome this competition. i've said to the vice president before, it's part of our dna. and it pushes our companies to develop better products and services and our government to craft better policies. but competition can only be mutually beneficial if the rules of the game are understood, agreed upon and followed. i'm pleased that we have made progress in areas of concern. china's exchange rate is appreciating, though still substantially undervalued in our view. china has committed to rebalance its economy and has just informed us that it will move forward this year with a tax reform policy that will increase imports and promote consumption.
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china has also just told us that it will open third-party liability auto insurance market to foreign companies, an important step in the reforming of the financial sector. and china has responded to our concerns about procurement policies and established a high-level body to strengthen enforcement of intellectual property rights as well. for our part, the u.s. is working to be responsive to chinese concerns as well. for example, the united states is expending our visa processing capacity in china to help reduce delays and encourage chinese travel to the united states. but i'm sure, as the vice president will be the first to tell you, we have work to do -- especially on issues like discriminatory subsidies and financing, protecting intellectual property and trade secrets and ending the practice of making the transfer of technology a requirement for doing business. the united states will also work to ensure that all countries play by the international rules.
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we've brought cases that have challenged unfair trade practices, and we've defended u.s. producers and workers in many arenas. and in last months, state of the union address, president obama announced further steps to investigate and challenge unfair trading practices, protect our markets from counterfeit and unsafe goods and level the financial playing field for our companies. i look forward to hearing from those of you gathered here today about both the benefits -- and there are many -- and the challenges of doing business in china, as well as about your plans here and their plans here in the united states. we welcome your suggestions as to how our governments can address the difficulties you face. and i want to thank you again, tom, for your hospitality and thank all of your colleagues for joining us, and i look forward to our discussions. mr. vice president.
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>> vice president biden, president donahue, chairman muhtar kent, chairman wan jifei, business representatives to both china and the united states, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends it gives me great pleasure to attend this business roundtable in washington d.c. together with vice president biden. i wish to thank the ccpit, the u.s. chamber of commerce, the u.s.-china business council for their careful organization, and business leaders of both countries for their active participation. the 20-plus business leaders from china and the united states present today include representatives both of the
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rural economy, financial sector, the traditional manufacturing industry and emerging industries. they represent both state-owned enterprises and private companies. the broad and active participation of business people in both countries has made the comprehensive, mutually complimentary, and win- win china-u.s. economic relationship more colorful and more dynamic. the purpose of my current visit to the united states at the invitation of vice president biden is to implement the important agreement of the two presidents and advance the china-u.s. cooperative partnership. this morning, i met with president obama and held talks with vice president biden. during these meetings, we had in-depth and candid exchange of views on china-u.s. relations and major international and regional issues of shared concern. we reached a new and important agreement that will help us enhance mutual trust, increase mutual understanding, and generate win-win outcomes. we had an in-depth exchange of views on economic and trade
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issues. we agree that china-u.s. economic relationship is highly mutually complimentary and full of dynamism. the two sides should quicken our steps to build a comprehensive and mutually beneficial economic partnership, advance the investment and trade package plan on cooperation, address economic frictions through dialogue and cooperation instead of by protectionist means so as to promote a steady recovery and growth of the two economies and the world economy as a whole. with regard to the u.s. concerns concerning trade imbalance, ipr protection, indigenous innovation and investment environment, the chinese side has taken steps to address them and will continue to do so. we hope that the u.s. side will adopt the same positive attitude and take credible steps as soon as possible to address chinese concerns on lifting restrictions on high-tech
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exports to china and providing a level playing field for chinese companies investing in america. since the normalization of china-u.s. relations, business people of the two countries have worked together to make progress. what they have done has made important contribution to china- u.s. economic cooperation and overall china-u.s. relationship. in the process, they have shared development opportunities and reaped handsome profits. this is a true example of one reaps what he has sown. given the growing uncertainties and instability in world economic recovery, there has become an even more pressing need for china and the united states, and our businesses, to strengthen cooperation. in august last year, in beijing, vice president biden and i attended a business forum. and today, once again, we are having this face-to-face interaction with business representatives of both
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countries. in doing so, we want to increase and expand china-u.s. economic and trade cooperation and bring it to a higher level, to the greater benefit of the two peoples. to achieve this end, i would like to share with you some of my observations. first, the british thinker francis bacon said, "the ripeness or un-ripeness of the occasion must ever be weighed." at present, both china and the united states are at a critical juncture of shifting growth models. china is implementing its 12th five-year plan with focus on expanding consumption, upgrading service sector, and encouraging chinese companies to go global, while the unite states is implementing the national export initiative, investing in america and programs with focus on expanding exports, boosting the manufacturing sector, and inviting in foreign companies. the economic agendas of the two countries have a lot to offer to each other and there is space for our cooperation in energy,
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environmental protection, biomedicine, advanced manufacturing and infrastructure. i hope business people of the two countries will follow their trend to seize the opportunities and translate potentials into real win-win outcomes. second, range far your eye over long vistas. we should adopt a long-term perspective and have broad vision. the vision of an entrepreneur decides his strategy, his actions decide his attainments. i hope business people will not let the drifting clouds block their views, will not allow their hands to be tied by some temporary disturbances. instead, i hope they will develop more and better products and services. here i wish to congratulate general motors for becoming world champion in car sales last year. as far as i know, the saic-gm, a joint venture of saic and gm now produces and sells 1.
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2 million cars every year. for two consecutive years, gm sales in china has exceeded its sales in the states. last year, the urbanization rate of china reached 51. 2 percent with urban population totaling 690 million. with the continued process of urbanization, it is estimated that by 2015 the total retail sales of consumer goods in china will reach 32 trillion rmb. during the 12th five year plan period, china will import over $8 trillion u.s. worth of commodities. such a huge chinese domestic market offers broad space for mutually beneficial cooperation between chinese and american business communities.
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we welcome more american companies to make investment in china. third, to strengthen the role of china-u.s. economic relationship as the ballast and propeller in our bilateral relationship -- those two metaphors of ballast and propeller shows how much weight our economic relationship carries and as that it serves a strong, driving force. last year, our bilateral trade hit a record high of $446. 6 billion u.s., an increase of 16 percent on year-on-year basis. at this rate, it is expected to top $500 billion u.s. i hope business communities and chambers of commerce in both countries will continue to care about support and take part in china-u.s. economic cooperation, present a true picture of mutually beneficial china-u.s. economic relationship to the governments and the people, oppose protectionism, and more vocally effectively prevent politicizing economic issues and avoid various kinds of undue interference so as to uphold to the overall interests of china-u.s. relationship and bilateral relationship.
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fourth, running business conscientiously, honestly fulfill corporate social responsibility. both chinese and american business people should come to realize that only with credibility a company can win a good reputation. i'm happy to learn that chinese wanxiang group in recent years has purchased some bankrupt american enterprises that has helped to keep more than 3,500 jobs for local people. and the tianjin pipe corporation of china invested $1 billion u.s. in the state of texas, creating 800 jobs for local people. i am also happy to learn that some of the american companies represented here have taken active parts in poverty alleviation and scholarship programs. all these have demonstrated the strong sense of social responsibility and morals of chinese and american business people. i hope while expanding your business, you will further
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reward the local community, creating jobs for local people, increasing revenues for local governments and taking part in the public welfare and community development projects, so that our two people benefit more from china-u.s. economic cooperation. ladies and gentlemen, american writer edward bellamy said, "the golden age is before us, not behind us." looking ahead to 2012 and even longer time to come, i'm fully confident that the chinese economy will maintain steady and fast development, that the u.s. economy will achieve strong recovery and growth, and that china-u.s. economic cooperation has a bright future. i sincerely hope that business people of the two countries will seize the opportunity and strive for greater progress and write more success stories in china-u.s. economic cooperation. i thank you.
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[applause] >> the congressional u.s.-china commission had a hearing. they talked about imprisoned human rights activist in this meeting that is a little over an hour and half. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> the commission will come to order, and i want to welcome our distinguished panelists. as president obama welcomes the chinese vice president, our commission will hear testimony from two wives appealing for the immediate release of their jailed husband, a great human rights leaders in china. we will also appear from experts
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who will give great insights into this issue before us. i hope president obama does not put human rights last on the agenda as he did when hu jintao visited on january 19, 2011. one of the wives said, only the united states can make this case to china, the case of her husband and the disappeared and incarcerated human-rights leaders. please, president obama, listen to these women and act decisively. the china commission hopes to issue of human rights abuses in china will be raised in a serious and visible way during the vice president's visit and in particular [chinese names]
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and names listed often and in detail. this recognizes one of china's most important human rights leaders and lawyers. in early 2000, the self-trained lawyer emerge as a champion of human rights and offender of marginalized groups in china. we have learned little about his whereabouts. then the issue of an academic who published an open letter calling for multi-party alexians -- multi-party elections and called for the end of the labor system. he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. a legal advocacy on behalf of marginalized groups in china, including christians, on human
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rights activists, and more, resulted in being given trumped up charges in 2006. he was granted a five-year suspended sentence. during this time he was subjected to years of brutal torture, and he repeatedly disappeared. only a brief to the appearance in march and april of 2010. information on his disappearance remains a closely guarded secret. for months and years we heard nothing about the ongoing attention or torture. chinese officials announced he would be forced to serve his original three-year criminal sentence a week before he should
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have finished his five-year kuralt. it has now been claimed he violated the condition of his parole. no details were provided. one can only do wonder what violations he has committed since he has been brutally tortured by the chinese government. his brother and other family members have been turned away from attempts to visit. we have received no word on his health or condition. the case is not only rife with dillon read but also missing semblance of humanity. he disclosed to the reporter the excruciating details of his attention. "the police stripped him air and pummeled him.
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for two days and nights they took turns beating him and describe things he refused to describe." he said, my life hung by a thread. reportedly a threatened to kill him and to dump his body in the river, and authorities top of him by saying, you must forget you are human. we will not forget. we do not know if this man is alive or dead. we know we will honor his accomplishments, his rights advocacy, and his grave witness for the truth. we will now let those -- we will not let these criminal destroy his legacy or dispose of his significance. we will not forget him now or ever, and we will continue to press for his release. we are also honored to hear
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from to specialists, including the founder of freedom now and a member of the pro bono legal team. now we will discuss the recently filed a petition which seeks and whether or not it violates international law. we will speak with the founder of the china aid foundation. we will discuss the free gao campaign and the need to hold china responsible. the case of the former criminal court officer illustrates how chinese officials' target citizens who attempt to form independent political parties or use the internet to organize or post online opinions seem too politically sensitive. in 2007, he began posting a
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series of letters advocating on behalf of laid-off workers and displays farmers. he also wrote letters calling for a multiparty rule and its democratic reforms. because of his writings, because they were considered too critical, he lost his university professorship, and he was further demoted from a communist, democratically stated party and formed his own party, and he has gotten a 10-year prison sentence. the hearing today continues the commission's work to monitor human rights and to give voice to the persecuted. in the past year the commission has repeatedly raised china's ongoing violations of human rights. we have been able to shine a
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light on some of china's greatest human rights abuses and injustices and on its darkest policies. in december of 2011, are commission hold and nine hearing one year after he was awarded a nobel peace prize. not even his wife was allowed to travel to oslo to receive the prize. in november of 2011 we had a hearing on the illegal detention and and abuse of mr. chen. he was wrongfully detained for exposing the brutal abortion policy and activism on behalf of the women, which caused the ira of the dictatorship now to come down with full force. as i think we know, the one child per couple policy is
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cruelty and constitutes a massive crime against humanity. forced abortion is a crime against humanity. nothing compares to the magnitude of china's 33-year assault on women and children. chen spoke out, and he continues to pay a price. the policy has led to the absence of all sorts of 100 million girls who have been killed by way of abortion as part of this one trouble and -- one child per couple push, and that has led to a massive increase of human trafficking because the women are not there. we held a hearing in which we heard something on the order of 50 million men will not be able to find wives because they have been systematically killed as
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part of the policy. i will also note i and members of my staff will try to visit. we have applied repeatedly to the chinese embassy for a visa to go visit him. it has been turned down. my hope is they will grab it soon. i would like to turn to my colleague, a co-chairman around. >> i will be brief. -- co-chairman brown. >> i will be brief. we are here to show support to the wife of a man who was devoted his life to helping citizens. thank you very much for being here today. we look forward to hearing from
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you. we know you are a source of inspiration. she will share her husband's story, standing up for basic human rights in the face of intimidation and imprisonment. today's hearing comes at an important time in the relationship between the united states of america as the chinese vice president attends meetings just minutes away. we are reminded the real china is represented by the brave individual imprisoned under a cloud of secrecy, who is the focus of today's hearing. we understand not only what gao stands for but the challenges we face in china today. he has devoted his life to trying to make the law work.
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he stood by factory workers protesting long hours. he stood up for practitioners. chinese authorities show no concern for his rights to the law. they jailed him. they tortured him and made him disappear. chinese authorities have sent a message to would-be human rights offenders. do not challenge us, or else. he would say this is about more than just his experience. as he wrote in his book, behind each case in china are systemic problems. for all the problems faced, we see why our nation faces so many
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systemic problems with china today. this case and the case you were gone shows how easy it is for chinese officials to sheet, and to break the system, to ignore labor laws and environmental standards and manipulate currency. they tell us and sell us with the help of some of our own companies, toxic toys, tainted pet food, consumer products made by underpaid workers, and while i and other members of the government are doing what we can to ensure the safety and health of our citizens and ensure fair trade with china, which cannot do it alone. we need to brave citizens like the man each of you are married to do to defend their rights, to make sure their food is safe and their environment is clean.
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that is why it is so important, because of chinese citizens can defend their rights, we all benefit. we all benefit when we know the products made in china are made by workers treated well in clean conditions. we benefit from the rule of law that ensures the citizens of china the possibility to hold their government accountable and to petition grievances to affect change, but until mr. gao and other prisoners in china are released from their shackles, that they will remain in the distant future. that is why we must do all we can to spotlight these cases and secure his release. we want to help in any way we care. treatment of human rights deserves no less. >> i yield to ranking member tim wolfe. >> i yield to the chairman of the human rights commission and an outspoken advocate of human rights abuses -- against it of
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course. >> i want to thank mr. smith and senator brown for their work on this. i have a statement i want to read. and i woke to found a piece. it opens with the following. as chinese exiles get a different response than soviet writers received not too long ago. i would even go further to say chinese defector is get a different response. a story broke days ago about a senior communist official from china who reportedly attempted to defect to the u.s. and was turned away after his request for asylum was rejected. the soft-spoken man endured beatings and torture from chinese secret police. he said china was a greater
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threat than the u.s. ever was, but visionary policies such as ronald reagan's stand up to that threat. we urge president obama in a letter signed by a number of members to do what reagan has gone. we urge you to meet with the families of these dissidents. we urge the president to publicly and privately raise the cases of six private citizens suffering greatly at the hands of their own government. we will have the honor of hearing his wife momentarily. we also heard from the president and vice president that he was wife,t she was mr. gao's to hear firsthand from these incidents. while the vice president's trip to the u.s. is already under way, the administration should still give gao's why is the courtesy of a meeting, given
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that they are rolling of the diplomatic red carpet for the very government that has imprisoned and tortured her husband. can they meet with her, even if it is after words, it is clear that the current situation in china is not working. human rights are reportedly discussed in private meetings, but it has not yielded any results and has emboldened the chinese government. we should not forget to persecute a church. 25 catholic bishops are under arrest. protestant pastors are in jail. a tibetan nun sectors of the flame on sunday because of this activity, -- set herself on fire on sunday because of this activity, and the list goes on. these issues would have featured prominently with susan coates.
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the state department's ambassador for international freedom was ready to take on china last week. it is my understanding her trip has been cancelled. her request to meet with chinese government officials were denied, and her visa was denied, so the special ambassador for this administration cannot get to china common -- cannot get to china, cannot even get a visa, and you have people putting in jail. it begs the question, has the department protested this action? has the white house protested their own ambassador cannot even get a visa to go to china of? i will end on this last comment. martin luther king famously said, in the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends. america is a friend to the imprisoned human rights lawyer.
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america is a friend to the gun tibetan nun who set herself on fire. america is a friend to the catholic bishop, the protestant pastors, and we should not be silent, as this administration has been, and i yield back. >> i would like to introduce our distinguished panelists. without of section, we do without objection, the wife of the human rights lawyer, who completed her university studies in accounting in china. she married in august of 1990. between to thousand and 2006 she worked as a paralegal and an accountant at a beijing law firm -- between to thousand and 2006 she worked as a paralegal
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and an accountant at the beijing law firm. she has been everywhere speaking out for her persecuted husband. we will then hear from the wife of the human rights and democracy advocate. she has a b.a. from the university, and the democracy advocates married in 1999. she worked for the newspaper for five years. she also worked in import and export businesses. she arrived in the united states in january of this year and has publicly advocated on her husband's behalf. she is currently serving a 10- year sentence for subversion of state hours after the court, she uses the internet to publish reactionary's statements on- line. we will hear from the founder of
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freedom now, a nonprofit organization that worked to free prisoners of conscience and worldwide. he is the director of a firm focusing on human rights. he was a partner in the government affairs and a management consultant with mckinsey and company. he has worked for this commission as well as my committee. he has been a great source of actionable information concerning human rights in general and political prisoners in particular. and we will hear from pastor bob fu, who was part of the movement in tiananmen square and then became a pastor and church founder along with his wife. authorities arrested and imprisoned them for their work. after their release, they escaped to the united states.
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he has been a great source of information that is accurate as well as actionable, so i thank him for his leadership on behalf of people, especially christians who are suffering so much in the people's republic of china. i would like to ask her to present her testimony. >> [speaking chinese] >> good afternoon, everyone, and happy valentine's day. greetings to the chairman. thank you for letting me speak about my husband, the imprisoned human rights lawyer. i would like to thank the
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congressional commission on china for holding this hearing today and everybody who has attended for their interest in this case. >> [speaking chinese] >> as a lawyer in china, he represented some of the most vulnerable when it is. he represents people who lost their land to project like the olympics. the workers were arrested when they protested against low wages and long hours. he also protected church
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charities, and his righteousness actions have brought prosecution by the chinese authorities. you cannot be a rights lawyer in china without becoming our rights case yourself. >> [speaking chinese] >> they suspended the license. it was inciting the threats against our children. it's like it would have been turned upside down.
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the place our family is under constant surveillance. they have repeatedly tortured them. >> [speaking chinese]
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>> in september 2007, authorities held him for over 50 d's after he broke an open letter to the united states congress exposing human rights abuses in china. they took him into a room where they stripped him naked and beat him. they used electromagnets to shock him, especially his private parts. it was so painful he was rolling on the ground. after losing consciousness, he woke up covered in urine. later, his captors use cigarette smoke to burn his eyes. he could not open them. they tortured his genitals with toothpicks spiri.
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he asked to be locked in a prison but they refused. they said you have got to be kidding. this last is a lot more than three days. >> [speaking chinese] >> in order to protect our children, i escaped injury 2009. the next month the authorities of that did him again. this time they held him for over a year before he briefly reappeared the following spring. in an interview, he described more torture. they hit him with handguns for two days and nights.
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his lielife, by a thread. -- hung by a thread. >> [speaking chinese] >> i last spoke to him on april 17, 2010 on the birthday of my doctor. -- daughter. his absence has caused a severe emotional absence. she dreams that he is dead. my son told his teacher he does not have a father. they were forced to endure rumors that the guards had tortured him to death. >> [speaking chinese]
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>> in december 2011, less than one week before his probation was scheduled, that chinese authorities claimed that he would spend the next three years in prison. this news came just before the holidays. it some people have asked us if
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we were relieved because they say he is a live appearance at the kneelive. it has not reassured the spirit we do not know what to believe. we do not know if he is still in prison. >> [speaking chinese] >> this morning vice-president was meeting with president obama. i requested to meet with them. i did not get a reply. i was very disappointed. >> [speaking chinese]
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>> i am so grateful that the united states has provided protection to my family from the chinese government. i also need to ask to ask of president obama and secretary hillary to continue to ask the government of china to respect human rights. i would like to request a meeting with them to tell them the story face-to-face. i asked you to continue to report on this of the truth about his treatment will be known to the world. i hope and pray that with you help my husband will regain his freedom and my family can be together once again. thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak today. i welcome any questions you may have. >> [ speaking chinese]
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>> i request the congress to include the following articles in the record. to the first one is about an execution on christians in china. the second is an open letter b about executions. the third is a letter a citizen wrote titus "dark knight, a dark mask." the fourth is an interview with the associated press. thank you. >> thank you very much. that was a very moving testimony. it was an appeal of a white on
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behalf of our husbands read a wife on behalf of her husband and the -- it was an appeal of a wife on behalf of her husband's spirit the documents will be made part of the record. i would include one that i remember we received on the timber 27 of 2007. it was used -- september 27 of 2007. it was used as an inside of letter with quotations from madison and martin a 13. dr. king said justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. it will be made part of the record. i would like to invite our second wife whose husband is being unjustly persecuted. please come to continue with your testimony. >> ladies and gentlemen, i would
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like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak out on the persecution of my husband and our family. my husband is currently in prison serving a 10 year sentence for peacefully expressing his opinions about democracy and human rights. after several years of harassment, my son and i am right in the united states three weeks ago. -- arrived in the united states three weeks ago. we are enjoying freedoms here that hopefully will someday be enjoyed by everyone in china. because i now have the freedom to speak, i want to tell you a little bit about my husband's case. he is a professor at the university with a degree in law
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and a doctorate in philosophy. he started to publispublicly asr democracy and human rights. in 2007, because of his public works, my husband suffered. he cannot teach again. he was stripped of his associated professor salary and longed to work for only minimum- wage. it makes them to feel that human rights have not improved. a very even worse. this a motion did not stop. they published the democracy. he published articles criticizing one party
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dictatorship spreading the ideals of democracy and constitutional government. to push the democracy in china in december, my has been posted announcing theine, funding of this party. on november 13, 2008, it was on the abortion of state power. i also was forbidden by 19
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police to go to the trials or speak to international media about this case. he is currently serving his prison term. from the first he published the letters, my family experience the continuous harassment by police. our lives have been turned upside down for the simple expression of political opinion. our home was raided several times in the middle of the night and they forcibly confiscated our computers and .ome of my husband's work they even gave our [unintelligible] my employees told me that the public security this is his him three times -- visited him three
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times. he is asked to muster my activities. i had no opportunity to be promoted and. my career came to an end. it also affects the life of our nine years old son. he is the continually blamed by some teachers before his father was arrested. he had some leadership position in his class. he has been stripped of this. previously active and outgoing, and he has become more withdrawn and lacking of confidence. my husband loved our country. he is a college professor who thinks he has commitments for our country. fors led him to devotvote freedoms and rights.
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his mother is elderly and deceased. i miss him greatly. i cannot imagine my son not being able to see his father for another seven years. i am very grateful to china for having me in the united states to live in exile. i've of to the united states to help your reunitreunite my husb. it is penalized for speaking out. thank you all. >> thank you so very much for joining us. i helped the house and the
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is listening to this appeal from two wives for an appeal for your husband and the fbi family members pare. >> thank you for the opportunity
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to speak. i want to begin by thanking the commission on china and all the members of staff here today for the fabulous word that you are doing on behalf of the united states. i want to provide it with a brief overview of the case and why his detention violates chinese and international law. i will also reflect on why many chinese prisoners -- his case is a bellwether that deserves close attention. he was a prominent chinese lawyer who ran afoul on the government after it took on politically sensitive cases, particularly those of religious minority group spirit in 2005, the government shutdown his law firm. in 2006, if they arrested him and accused him of inciting
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subversion. they prevented him from meeting with him and threatened against his wife and children. it lasted less than a day. they fell to notify the family or the chosing council. on december 26, the beijing intermediate people's court handed down a suspended three- year sentence subject to a five- year probationary. . despite the formal suspension, he was not free. over the next five years, the government repeatedly disappeared and tortured him. authorities disappeared him for 50 days after he publicly criticized china's human rights record. in february 2009, they abducted him shortly after his family saw asylum in the united states.
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they denied access to a lawyer. he held a secret for more than a year. although he disappeared march 2010, he disappeared again a few weeks later. he has not been seen or heard from since. on november 19, the u.n. working group including experts from chilly, and norway -- chile and norway issued finding is ongoing attention to be in violation of international law. just days before the period was to end, they announced that he would now serve his barrier prison sentence. he was taken to the prison in the remote region. authorities turned his family away after they traveled 22 hours by train to see him.
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they claimed that mr. gao did not want to see his family any cannot receive visitors. no parties have been able to confirm he is alive for at the prison. imprisonment isa's illegal for three reasons. first, that he has already spent more than three years in government custody since his arrest in 2006 on subversion charges. the charges against him for inciting subversion are rises out of this criticism of the chinese government. imprisoning him for exercising his right to freedom of expression is a grant of china's international obligations and its own constitution. the prosecution of him failed to meet international standards. the government revised on a forced confession and denied him a right to counsel of his own
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choosing. they see that the government has done it. he is not a traditional person purity is a lawyer. this case shows the government's willingness to persecute those that persecute the rule of law from within. he is not alone. the government holds chen under house arrest with his wife and daughter. boast abuses. the government is also moving
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forward with prosecutions of a well-known lawyer. this is part of a larger crackdown. as he noted last month, china has only worsened since the uprisings in the middle east and africa. in december, and activists all received long prison sentences of nine or 10 years. authorities report them on trial. each were charged with subversion or incitements. this crackdown will only be exacerbated by the government's moves to legalize the appearances. such a cynical move would render the whole idea of the rule of law meaningless. his case is striking for have reason the government has come in the willingness to publicly by about the circumstances of
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his detention. after the government disappeared, and a gentle the family that mr. gao have losses way and went missing. they indicated that he is "where he should be." when they later smiled, they said he did not know where he was in cannot be expected the whereabouts of all china's 1.3 billion people. the government released a photograph of him reporting to show him alive and well. in it he was wearing a distinctive breeze of a given his daughter before they fled to the united states. after his wife pointed this out in an interview, and i known what been tried to steal this bracelet from grace on the new york city subway. now they're claiming that mr. gao would rather not see his family. the treatment of mr. gao and his
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family is at the short of shocking. issues a disregard for the international community. if the lives are not -- it shows a disregard for the international community. if the lives and not confronted, rights are no longer a priority. i thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts. i welcome any questions. >> thank you for your testimony. i would now like to ask you if you proceed. >> thank you. thank you for the professional staff and for your excellent work in documenting and pursuing the human rights issue in thailand. it promotes the establishment.
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in pursuit of this mission, and to support its war, met he has pared no effort -- he has been no effort in launching a worldwide campaign. cover the past five years, we have expanded acute manpower and financial resources and mobilizing efforts in the regard spiris. we know that our efforts have some value in the same way that those before the american civil war eventually led to the full awakening of the same force of justice. three years ago, we set up the website called freegao.com to launch a worldwide petition on his behalf. so far, we have collected over
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150,000 real name signatures from 119 countries. we printed of the signatures today. we want to give it to the record. these names, voices, people spoke up from sudan to afghanistan to south africa to norway to china to america. 150,000 people's conscience calling for family backgrounds of difference altercations. we have never stopped asking where is gao zhisheng?
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i have traveled all over the united states into europe many times calling for his release. the situation is getting worse. we do not have a way of confirming that he is still alive today. we earnestly hope that of the western world will abandon the diplomacy and speak up and urged china, a country, to both the declaration of human rights and the political rights and to apply the domestic and international law to abolish this and stop persecuting the family because of him. china should be held accountable.
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the next leader of china and the chinese party will feel once more some hope, hoping that it house leaders. the first african-american president would not be sitting in the white house today if history reminds us that those who have been free must not forget the virtues of those who have fought for freedom. they have the obligation to carry on this tradition and to show compassion and support for those around the world who are still being oppressed. this is the spirit of martin
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luther king and gao zhisheng. it is a noble reason to continue. i was very much moved this morning by the actions of my friends on behalf of china's sixth prisoner consciousness. i was especially moved by his effort to cause the obama administration to move with the priority and such leaders as president reagan. he was arrested in front of the white house for engaging in a quiet and respectful of demonstration. i saw the police handcuff him and drive them away in a swap car -- swat car, i realize how
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great america's heart could be. he played an important effort spit it is such legislation as the international freedom act. his statement reflects a great understanding of the peaceful means. let me conclude with the words of martin luther king himself. this must be true. much. you very a
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>> your request to include the statement will be made part of the record. thank you for your testimony. let me ask you. he points out that gao zhisheng said he cannot be a human rights lawyer in china without having a right case yourself. i would say this as well, when we express dissatisfaction with a policy or our government, we made an escoriaeditorial that as politicians we may come under
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scrutiny that we may not welcome. it is the thing that even comes close to the consequences that men and women that promote human rights in china face. it is a systematic use of torture and show trials. there is no due process of laws. it is a dictatorship. your husband spoke out boldly knowing that there might be severe and long-lasting consequences. what motivates that kind of courage? you bear the brunt and the scars of the dictatorship as well.
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>> thank you very much. why do they do it? where does that courage come from? where does that kurds come from to speak out when the iron fist of the secret police is waiting with a baton and implement the torture? chaired a0's, i hearing in my human rights division. we invited six survivors. your husband spoke out. why did he do it? >> [speaking chinese]
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>> my husband corrupt in the poor countryside. -- grew up in the poor countryside. his father died. he also is starting very hard. he was hoping to get more people to help china. >> [speaking chinese] >> he was very happy to use his knowledge to help many chinese people.
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the first casey took was for people that he did pro bono. -- case he took was for fourpe people, and it was for pro bono. he handled a case and helped the victims get an 800,000 reward. after the successful case, many people in china come up to him to seek support. >> [speaking chinese]
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>> some traveled more than 1,000 miles to seek his help. it even provided me or him. they would talk about the case. each time, he was always very touched. it reminded him that his mother was also helping people was to is in difficult conditions.
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>> [ speaking chinese] he has done so many good deeds and china. -- deeds in china. my doctor had a police bus to school. when we are right, the first day my daughter chose to go to the hospital because she suffered
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mentally. >> [speaking chinese] >> my children and i support its him wholeheartedly. we believe. >> thank you. >> thank you. for my husband, we are a christian family. the key words in the bible are "love." it is not just a feeling. it is a commitment. for my husband, he needs to help the poor people ot havto ha coicevoice, so he did that.
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after the first prosecution for him, he started to think why they can treat him like this. only one party. he started thinking over this matter and -- >> without the division of power and checks and balances -- >> they can do everything they want. they start to push the democracy in china. every time when i see him in "i amn, he always told me i a not wrong." he promised he will not continue to write until they
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get out. he always say "no." i am not wrong. >> thank you. >> out of love, based on a eight based conviction which is an enormous motivator. i thank you for sharing that. it was a faith that people of faith or paint a significant price. at thank you for giving us an insight into the why. let me ask you a couple of questions. in your testimony, you make the statement that it is no small irony that while you are sitting here on capitol hill, the vice
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president is meeting with president obama. you did point out your disappointment that you believe that your husband's plight has been downplayed. for the record, i what is clear. i've been in congress. we have never stopped human rights issues. george bush was dropping the ball. we spoke out very loudly. we even when there before the a olympics to raise independent lyrics. it included harry wu and others to ensure that the focus never left. i know this is shared by many others. this administration has been in
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different. we are relying on lower-level dialogues and conversations. i would submit that quiet diplomacy is another name for indifference. he came here. there was one public expression by president obama. there he was meeting with the capture and the jailer of those to cut the nobel peace prize. the wives may want to speak to this. you made a very profound insight when you said without u.s. leadership or human rights, you will be listening. they have certainly cannot use their voice in any reasonable way.
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only the united states can make the case for china. >> how would you rate how we are doing, how the white house is doing? it seems to me this is on a back burner if it is even on that. >> i will begin by expressing my disappointment that we did not receive a response from the white house to the request to heard me to the vice president. he did not meet any victims directly. while we are grateful that they had been repeatedly and persuasively relentless the only way we will do this is by having the highest level of government officials.
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i would submit that what we have here today is someone who i represented for five years. >> if you could stand to be recognized? >> they were both deeply engaged over years. the way he got out was president bush raised the case tries to hu jintao. the u.s. government had to be relentless. without that kind of direct engagement, we will not see the release of people. if it is not working, we need to change our strategy is. >> i agree with your overall assessment of the past three years.
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it is the required diplomacy. obviously, this administration took up the human rights and religious freedom on the back seat from day one. after two years, the ambassador at large was not even appointed. the first official visit was not really met with even a courtesy from the chinese government. to i expect the state department or the white house had done
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anything to protest this insults. it was a presidential appointee. i think this attitude it is the action against the human rights abuses in china. >> [speaking chinese]
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>> this is getting worse and worse. i strongly request to meet with the leaders in the government. it is very important because this is critical. it is critical for breaking through the current situations.
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they arrested many human rights lawyers. the authority told them have you had the? e probably know him. do you know heard? so what? it disappears. we have no money. >> it is typical for us to get any lawyers. no lawyers can take the case. >> nowadays, they pay attention.
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they knowed this can have any improvement. i really wish i could have an appointment with the leaders. >> you have tried it and not gotten back to you? >> yes, we got no response. >> we did hear back from the state department. we're offering a meeting with secretary poser. we do get no response from the white house. we sent a response.
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>> and talking about the a horrific policy, he said i am not going to second guess the policy and then sent down an e- mail to some group suggesting he is not really for the policy. the damage is done. words and do matter. he talks about the plight of the wives and husbands. that should of been one that was saw after. >> thank you. i think this administration has been a total failure.
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>> they should know that they have failed them. this administration has failed them. bashan know that this administration has failed them. lama has should know that they have failed them. i want to bring it back to this. i do not know that you have made a request. i would like to ask both of the wives and they would say publicly, what would you say?
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there is still an opportunity to meet after the vice president leaves. what would you say if you had the opportunity to meet with president obama? stamp on them both if they do not meet. you know that president reagan would have met with you. you know president bush would have met with you. in no jimmy carter would have met. this may be the only opportunity. what do they want to say they were talking to president obama?
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>> if i have the opportunity to me president obama, i would tell him my husband is a good people. he always does a good deeds. why does he have to be persecuted? what is yet to be suffering from all types of torture is? help release him immediately. >> but i have the opportunity to that myresentpresident obama
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husband is innocent, there are some things that are the way to show how he loves this country. >> thank you. >> let me ask witnesses if there's anything further. if you want to perhaps touch on what they are doing? the european parliament and other parliaments and lawmakers ought to be raising their parties. they disappeared. >> let me say briefly, the un is engaging on a number of cases. they're trying to go to china.
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it seems unlikely it'll happen. she needs to raise her voice. she needs to raise it. the u.n. needs to do a lot more. the case has gotten a lot of attention. there are a lot of different contexts. there is a lot of support. i want to underscore that terror children live in the united states now. they have protection. this gives them a special connection. we have to give them this. if we can reappear, he could immediately come to be free in this country. we need the united states to recognize special responsibility that we have taken non to raise
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this case. the last thing i will note is my biggest fear about the president and vice-president. it is not exclusively about the objects of that meeting taking place. my biggest fear is that the chinese government has publicly light about what is going on. the united states and other countries have not publicly responded by saying you are lying. you're not telling the truth. we have to speak truth to power. we have to tell the world what is really happening. it is not sufficient to have a meeting with the assistant secretary to see the progress that we want to see.
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>> i was invited along with a few leaders. they had a meeting. i was on one hand glad to hear that he had made a straightforward effort to percy this when he was missing. on the other hand, i hope the united states inventory can stand to go to verify we did not
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know whether he is alive or not. i think there is the policy of just diplomatic courtesy or formality. it cannot work anymore. it in 2005, i remembered when one of the passengers in beijing was about to be sentenced for 15 years imprisonment for printing bible's according to lawyers that had the knowledge. it was when that news came out that i communicated with the security council. president bush was on the way to visit beijing. he made a pointed speech mentioning the case.
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later the attorney was one of the attorneys at the time. he was later sentenced to three years' imprisonment. it is time. i give you the demonstration of the wrong signal of buying the administration filter 20 visited china, i received a phone call.
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>> we're going to put those on the floor and debate them. let our colleagues and let the american people see where our colleagues are. i am not so sure that nothing happens. that is one. step two, your budget does not provide any specific -- to agree is a good idea to debate these early? >> i do. a lot of people think these debates don't matter because congress has not been doing them this year. we have to have this debate.
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we're not going to be able to lay these choices indefinitely. we have some very tough choices at the end of the year for a lame duck session. better to debate the now. >> good. i agree. we may be pleasantly surprised about the progress we might make. particularly as the republican primaries and and there's a nominee. instead of that nominee moving as far to the right as possible that to move to the center in a different political climate. the buffett rule. he did not mention anything specific. he did not outline what kind of buffett rule you would like. we have one person who has dropped in such a bill. the chairman of a great deal of wisdom on what to do here. would you have any problem with us putting some specifics on the table? >> it depends on the specifics. we're probably comfortable with
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the approach the white house laid out with its proposal. no concerns about not going ahead with something. >> good. ok. one final -- my time is up. thank you. just one final point. this is a place the administration and i have disagreed. that is on $250,000 compared to $1 million. the problem is, in my state, i imagine didn't somebody other senators' states, there are a lot of people make above $20,000 who are not rich. property is much more expensive, taxes are higher. -- make $250,000 who are not rich. if the administration believes that $250,000 is the right cut off in capping deductions, why is it not also proposing a buffett rule that hits on the same run? when a which is all moved to the
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nice $1 million buffett rule? >> excellent question. well phrase. i am familiar with your views on this issue. again, we are trying to bounce a lot of competing issues. we're trying to figure out what is the most fair way, given the fiscal realities we face. that is why we're making this choice. of course, we understand and respect for proposal. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this has been a long morning. i tried to listen carefully on this comprehensive tax reform issue. see if you can sort a little bit of this out for me if you would. you mentioned three times the we ought to have comprehensive tax reform. that is a good thing. and yet when you look to the budget, it is corporate reform
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is in effect going to come now. that is what is going to come now. individual reform would come sometimes flared. corporate form is not comprehensive. it is in effect, piecemeal. if you would start with me how you would get the country to comprehensive tax reform. we both agree that is what is needed and there is bipartisan report -- support. >> good question. i think realistically, we will do it all at once. we want to provide a little bit more detail and a framework at this stage. we think that is the best way to get the debate going. i think you are right. yet spoken a lot about that. have been a big champion of comprehensive reform.
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but part of what we are trying to do is get people to think about a comprehensive foapproac. we think one way to do that is try to get discussion earlier on how we redefine the tax system. i understand your point that ultimately these things have to go together. >> let me ask one other point and get a sense of what will come next. you also talked about foundational principles. the foundational principles in 1986 i think still have a lot of support here in the cards -- bipartisan support. the idea was to cut rates on business and individual. keep a simpler code for both individuals and business and retain progressivity. what i am concerned about is if we are not careful, we could come up with a different
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foundation. in effect, he would seek changes on the business side. we could end up with more complexity as well. like the last question, how do you see us getting to the foundational principles that you described which are so key and keep them within that 1986 approach? >> those are the right principles. we would very much support those. in general, you would want to clean up and eliminates -- reduce, scale back across the tax code. use those to make affordable reductions in the overall tax rates. preserve a basic level of progress city for obvious reasons. those are the constraints we
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should all live with in this context. i do not think we will put those at risk by -- we are showing a lot of elements which we think should guide the individual discussion. we are going to provide a comparable level of elements. it will be guided by the nice way you frame the core objective parameters. >> in terms of summing up, the key in 1986 was, of course, the presidential bolling pulpit. the executive branch, every single time out, talked about how you had to fit the pieces together. i am glad you said what you did. in the end, it is probably all going to have to come together, but we have to get that message about two hours earlier. we have been sitting here for two hours and hashing through all the specifics in terms of
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corporate reform and how you clean it out. what would go first and the like. somebody, particularly at 1600 pennsylvania, all of you better out and about in the country, it is going to be very hard. i think we have a lot to work with. the chairman's clearly want to move in this direction. two hours income we finally got to the key point -- which is we will have to bring this together. i hope you and everyone in the administration would start using that bully pulpit. that was the key in 1986. >> i agree with that. i think he made the point appeared to add to say one thing, mr. chairman? you know this very well -- better than i do. our challenge here is much greater than it was in 1986 because the scale of our fiscal problems are much greater. we just have the luxury of
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offering people a substantial tax cut to individuals or do something that does not raise revenues overall -- we do not have that luxury now. we did not have the ability, even with all the unpleasant features of our tax code today, it is in many ways a cleaner -- i guess i do not really want to go there. i do not want to call this cleaner. i was going to make a point which is in the 1986 act, as you know, it was possible at that point to provide individuals, at least the first stage of the reform, a very substantial net tax cut. president reagan, to his credit, took back about 2/3 of that tax cut because it proved unsustainable and unaffordable. the country today, even though there is a lot of support for the president's proposals, we face a much more difficult political environment in the current context.
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i completely support to on the principles. there will have to happen together. we recognize that. i agree with you also that when congress is ready to move on this, we're going to have to look at a much more comprehensive framework. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator. >> thank you, mr. secretary for coming today. i appreciate your statements about tax reform. i think everyone here wants to get on with that issue. do something that will lower rates and broaden the base. i am still waiting for the white house to put forward a proposal on that. it has been fed a year earlier, but i think the proposals sort of take us backwards when it comes to the issue of tax reform. mobil kinds of new tax rates coming in. you have the proposed buffett rule. it strikes me that if we are serious about tax reform, the
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administration ought to put forth a plan that would actually accomplish tax reform and allow us to move forward. there is one thing i did want to ask about. that assiduity proposal that qualified dividend's be taxed at the same low rate as capital gains. i think the 2012 budget was something about how the taxing dividends reduces equity investment for more official allocation of capital. the budget this year, however, proses tax dividends as ordinary income. which, if you have to work, will be a top rate of 39.6%. the new surtax any health reform, that means the top rate on dividends to be over 42%. before leaving considered, it is our tax at the corporate level. isn't it true that such a high tax burden on dividends is an
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efficient capital? >> i do not think so. one way to think about this is it helps explain why we ultimately need tax reform. if he tried to do a balanced budget reduction plan and do that with a mix of spending and tax reforms and you're raising revenue on top of the current tax system, the new have to embrace a mix of things like we propose. it is a good reason to think about why it is good to do this for tax reform. i think the reason why we proposed this in the budget is the crude reality that we face. we are proposing those changes for the top 2% of americans. we're proposing those because we are also proposing a very substantial cuts in defense and
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non-defense discretionary in medicare and medicaid. to balance that out and make sure there's a more sacrificed -- a more shared sacrifice context. we had to find some additional revenue. this only affects the top 2% of taxpaying americans. we think they can handle it. you are right to point out that the better way to get to a more sensible tax system as part of a deficit-reduction plan overall is through a comprehensive tax reform process. >> are you going to propose a tax reform plan at some point? because when this was done last time in the 1986, there was a proposal put forward by at that time the reagan administration to reform the tax code. it was the starting point. congress but that up, work from it.
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we had it for at least a while. we also we're going to do this. but the clock is ticking. if we bump this down the road to the next congress, who knows with the excuse will be for not moving for with this. is there something that is going to be forthcoming? >> i agree with you. better sooner than later. even if we did not have the incentive of the tax cuts at the end of this year, as you know, we spent a substantial amount of time this summer working with the house republican leadership on how to set out broad tax reform. as you know, we were unsuccessful in that effort. we feel like, frankly, we need to see a better and more clear recognition on the republican side to be willing to consider tax reform to raise revenues as part of a balanced plan before we think there's a fine to be a basis for a more serious negotiation. it is because of what we tried this summer that we have decided to do some more foundation
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elite for tax reform rather than putting -- foundation for tax reform rather than putting out a comprehensive plan. if you were to allow all the bush tax cuts to expire, that would be a very damaging, adverse blow to the economy. nobody is proposing that. we are proposing to extend the bush tax cuts that go to 90% of americans. the only -- 98% of americans. those are pretty modest in terms of the economy. it is because of that concern for the middle class that we're not proposing to allow them to
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expire. >> the same discussion was held two years ago. at that time, state administration concluded that raising taxes on people above to an effigy thousand dollars would be harmful to the economy. that is why the extension was made at the time. >> thank you for asking that question. as you know, at that point, our view was that we should print that -- we should protect the bulk of americans from any increase in their tax burden. the prudent thing was to allow the tax cuts for the top 2% to expire. as you know, your side of the aisle would not support that. you were not willing to allow the tax cuts for the top 2% to expire. the only way we were able to prevent the tax increase on an 98% of americans was to agree temporarily with the position you took.
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but the economy absolutely could have observed the impact of letting the top 2% expire. even then, with growth as modest as it is, we could have afforded the impact. >> my time is expired, but i would like to point out that four out of five people who pay at that higher rate above the to under $50,000 income are small- business owners. they are people who create jobs. i think that as a tactician that was made not only by those of us in congress, but also by the current administration. >> we do this debate everytime i am in this room. you say it is small businesses. we say 2% to 3%. you'll acknowledge that, but we say it is only 2% to 3%. there is no credible argument that exists to suggest that those tax proposals we are making would affect more than
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that very small fraction of small businesses. as you know, a large number of those you call small businesses are lawyers and law firms, partners in hedge funds, private equity. we have had this debate many times and we should probably agree -- and a lot of people there were probably not mind taxing lawyers. >> i do think, though, that you can argue that it is to% to 3%, but it is also the people who do all the businesses and trade all the jobs. right now it strikes me that we want a policy that encourages job creation and economic growth. i think it would be counterproductive to raise taxes on people who create the jobs. >> again. we share that general objective with you. the only disagreement we have is that we do not believe there is a feasible or fair way to restore fiscal sustainability without asking a very small
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fraction of the most fortunate americans, a very modestly, higher burden. the only reason we propose that is because the alternative to that, since we cannot go out and borrow $1.50 trillion to for those tax cuts, is to cut deeply into defense spending, medicare benefits, programs for the poor, investments in education and infrastructure. if we thought there was a way to avoid that, we would join you in embracing that. we tuesday's -- we just cannot think the basic fiscal realities of the country to not allow that. >> reform of entitlement programs may be a solution. >> we will take a different approach than that, as you know. i reminded the president of the budget proposes $350 billion, roughly, of savings from medicare and medicaid over the budget window. >> out of providers.
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>> not only out of providers. >> mostly. >> not to compare our back to history, but you could ask your staff to make a comparison. that is make one more point? compare the level of savings of medicare in the president's budget over the next 10 years to those from last year and last fall -- last spring, what ever you want to say. we are proposing tough, difficult reforms on medicare and medicaid in the hundreds of billions of dollars of range alongside the other cuts across the government. we think to go specifically deeper than that would be unfair for middle-class retirees. >> thank you, mr. secretary. i very much hope that, and it will probably happen when you
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send up your corporate form of ideas, this debate we're all talking about, that we do not wait until the end of the year. if we have it now, the result will be a lot more constructive and make more sense. thank you very much for your testimony. thank you for being so helpful and so constructive. bob blacks alike could be much longer. -- >> thank you, mr. secretary. i know you want to go. i will not keep you much longer. the joint committee on taxation did say that the bottom 51% of all households do not pay any income taxes at all. you raise the issue that they pay payroll taxes. yes, but that is social security. we all do that. about 23 million of them receive
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refundable tax credits that are more than they pay in payroll taxes. in essence, they are not paying anything. another 154 5 million people get refundable tax credits -- another 15.5 million people get refundable tax credits. i am not suggesting we should tax the truly poor. i do not think anyone wants to do that. i have spent 36 years here try to help people. but i am suggesting that we have to lift people out of the current situation where they are not paying taxes. there is no way we will ever get their, it seems to me, with this administration's approach. you want to raise taxes on the upper 2%. i cannot see any of that money going to deficit reduction. maybe you think it is, but i cannot see it going there.
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i do not see it making real headway. i see our spending has now caught up to 74.3% of gdp from 69%. it was 42% under george bush. it will not be long until we are 100% spending of gdp. we all know. these are some of the things that driving me bats up here. tell me how you're going to get the deficit down when he comes up with all kinds of more programs to spend money on and in the process we're not lifting the economy at all. we're making it worse economy. i have also added to that that is based upon low interest rates that we know are going to go up. i think those are fair
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questions. >> they are fair questions. can i respond? let me just try to go through those questions. let me start with the debt problems -- i want to put the numbers in perspective. you're absolutely right that we have unsustainable deficits. >> where does this budget make a difference in deficit? >> one of the great things is that we use the neutral independent arbiter of our policies and yours. our policies which we will a valid for you will show that if congress were to enact them, off to bring our deficits down from our current, unsustainable levels to a level that is sustainable. we define sustainable as a level where the debt stops growing as a share of our economy. if congress were to adopt these proposals, then our debt burden as a share of the economy, this
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is debt held by the public and debt of financial assets, will stabilize in the 70's as a percent of gdp. >> you're telling me the deficit is going to go down? i do not believe that. >> absolutely. >> prove that to me because i do not believe that. >> it depends what congress does. in the constitution, we can only propose. congress has to enact. if the congress would enact the president's's proposals that they would bring the deficit down. >> i have a lot of respect for you. i think you are a bright man. you have had one of the toughest jobs in history and in acknowledge that. but i do not believe you can make that case. >> well, absolutely. the great strength of our country -- >> you write it to me. how you think we are going to knock the deficit down with the current budgets that the present
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has offered. >> absolutely. it will come down dramatically over time and much faster than you think. what we disagree on, really, is whether we should cut much more quickly than you propose to cut. as a set in the opening remarks, our judgment is that will hurt the economy or how we do it. >> i would just like to lift our economy by providing more opportunities. >> we share that benefit. with that objective, i want to point out that you are right to say that rates are low t the -- are low today. >> they are almost non existent. >> 10-year yield treasuries is about 2%. you are right. that is a reflection of different things. >> if they start going up to normal rates, sorry to interrupt. >> i will embrace your point. they are low in part because of the concern in europe and
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because growth is not that strong anywhere. but they are also low because investors around the world judge those securities, those treasury securities as a relatively safe bet. they believe that the congress of the united states will ultimately act to restore fiscal responsibility is soon enough so we can avoid the risk that you and i both were about a lot, which is if congress does not act, over time those rates would rise. there is no risk of that, i do not see any risk of that now. it would be better to avoid the risk if congress would enact. right now, almost any measure you can look at how people judge the relative security, including treasurys. a judge us as a -- as in a very strong position to meet our long-term fiscal challenges.
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the have a lot of confidence that ultimately this congress will act and come together to do some sensible things. that requires action by the congress. >> mr. secretary, i just have to ask a couple of other questions because of what i have heard here today. i do not agree with you on your analysis. you have all kinds of economists working with you and i cannot ignore the fact that you're in a position to be able to make those statements. but why does the president want to raise taxes in any way on small businesses with unemployment at 8.2%? don't small businesses with a taxable income of $250,000 help the unemployment situation by creating and retaining jobs? we all know that businesses will get his with the president's tax hikes even if the owners to not
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take one penny out of the business. the president says small businesses great 2/3 of the new jobs in this country. my worry is why does he want to take more of their money that they could use to hire more workers and retain the ones that they have? now, i know you are aware that 50% of all business income is subject to the president's proposed rate hikes. that is a fact. you seem to dismiss concerns about raising taxes on businesses with over $250,000 in come whether owners take out any of their income at all. why you are not more consider raising taxes on the small businesses as scarce as they are, remember, this president promised an employer would not go up above 8% if the stimulus was enacted.
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let me make one last, about this and then i'll be glad to hear your response. i think i have been very fair to and your tenure. >> brave. >> i think you're a smart guy and a hard worker. i think you're very wrong on a lot of things, to be honest with you. [laughter] small-business owners are the job creators, especially in rural america. 75% of those making $1 million or more in income are small business owners. 75%. now, that group already pays plenty. their effective tax rate is 29%. they are already paying the buffett rule. not much doubt about it. you know, i just have a real
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rough time with this we have to keep increasing taxes. if we cannot provide any incentives to the a economy. it would pull us out of it so it is more than 49% paying it. >> we have had a lot of talk about that. >> will not had too many on this one. we have significantly reduced taxes on small businesses in the first three years of the president's first term. we propose additional reductions in taxes on small business. for example, a zero capital gains extending through the provisions. we think those are good economic policies. i am not a politician. i never met anybody in public
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policy that would be in favor of that. we face unsustainable deficits. we have to find a way to dig our way out of that and restore balance. we do not see a way to do that that is fair and significance without some modest increase in revenue. we want to make sure the revenues come from the people that in the best position to bear that burden. it will affect a very small and tiny fraction of small businesses. it does affect some. most of them are not small. i think more make more than $1 million. it we do not do this with any enthusiasm. we just do it as a recognition
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that we face a terribly difficult fiscal challenges. we are adding substantial burdens. we want to avoid pushing the additional ones on retirees. we have to find some ways to raise the revenue. that is why we are taking this approach. we get is better. >> i've only been here 36 years. they say that we need more taxes and then we will cut spending. we have given in the more taxes. spending has never been cut. >> this is a good debate to have. if you look at any independent evaluation of what we have proposed on the spending side,
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you will see that we are proposing to cut spending between 2.5 trillion dollars and $3 trillion over 10 years. spending across the government including defense substantial savings. it is only in that context that we think a modest amount of revenue makes sense. we have to make choices. if we do not do that modest about revenues, where are we going to find savings that make sure we can live within our means? >> if you cannot find it, you're going to have to figure out a way to cut benefits and education, cut medicare and medicaid. that is not true.
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it has restraint of growth in savings and reform. >> you're taking credit for the productions. >> i'm glad you raised that question. we are treating the contingency operations that pays for foreign wars. we're treating it more carefully and irresponsibly even the budget of last year. we are treating it like the
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republican budgets. we are proposing to count the savings and allocate a substantial fraction. we are proposing to put most of it and to a substantial program. in general, it to be consistent with the way these things are being cheated in the past. >> you have a tough job. i do not want to make it any more talk than it is. i am really concerned. i do not think anybody up here wants to tout those programs if we can avoid it. that is also where we have to find savings. if they want to have a future. i do not see it in this
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particular budget. yet a very difficult job. -- you have a very difficult job. you were very hard. he did not get as much credit as you deserve. on the other hand, i do not agree with you. i think this administration is pushing us into a real jeopardy. i do not blame me for that. completely. -- i do not blame you for that completely. >> we recognize that we are going to have to have pretty cigna began changes. you can ask for more. then we have to decide how to get more. that is what we're talking about. >> as you know, we do not think it is realistic or fair to consider even those changes we
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proposed without changes to the tax system. >> i agree with that. i think we do need to modify our tax system. we ought to make it so we can create jobs and opportunities. >> we're going to have to raise revenues. >> would talk about entitlement reform, we are talking about it saving throw money. we think you need both of those things. >> i do not want to raise revenue. i want to see what we can do to get things under control. i know you want to get down to dinner. at some any more questions. very seldom am at all by myself.
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>> you have inherited a very tough job. i have respect for how hard you work. i know you're trying to do the best you can. unlike to see you convince this president of things we know he should be convinced of. i always respect people that work hard. you're one of the hardest workers i have seen. i wish to work a little less hard on some of these crazy ideas of this administration has. i really appreciate your testimony today. i appreciated the amounted tiny have given to this committee. i appreciate how hard you really worked.
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with that we will let you go. thank you for taking the time. >> you're going to convince me about some of these things. >> thank you so much. but that we will recess until further notice. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> in a few moments, our coverage of the cast -- of the chinese vice president visit to washington. and a business roundtable hosted by the u.s. chamber of congress. on "washington journal" this morning, we will focus on the chinese vice president visit to washington. our guests are democratic representative rick larsen and charles boustany. kelly field will look at what is in the president's proposed budget for committee colleges. and you can call in with your questions about the pentagon's budget theanna mulrine -- with
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anna mulrine. >> several live a bends to tell you about today, including president obama's house budget request. that is on c-span3. also on c-span3, the debt -- the head of the department of how much security will testify about her dept.'s budget request before the committee. now online at the c-span video library, speeches from last weekend's conservative political action conference. >> we must a outsmart the liberals. we must outsmarts the stupid people that are trying to ruin america. >> it is about one country united under god. we are not read americans.
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we are not blue americans. we are red white and blue. and president obama, we are through with you. >> they can come along and, arthur as far as we are foolish enough to raise taxes. and then they can get along in the scene like the movie after the bank robbery. and they're all happy. >> the man expected to be the next leader china met with president obama on tuesday. he met with secretary of state clinton. this is 10 minutes. >> i want to welcome vice president xi to the oval office
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and welcome him to the united states. this is obviously a great opportunity for us to build on the u.s.-china relationship, but also an opportunity to return the extraordinary hospitality that vice president xi showed vice president biden during his recent visit to china. as i indicated during my recent visit to apec and the east asia summit, the united states is a pacific nation. and we are very interested and very focused on continuing to strengthen our relationships, to enhance our trade and our commerce, and make sure that we are a strong and effective partner with the asia pacific region. and obviously, in order to do
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that, it is absolutely vital that we have a strong relationship with china. [speaking chinese] over the last three years i've had a great opportunity to develop a strong working relationship with president hu. and we have continually tried to move forward on the basis of recognizing that a cooperative relationship based on mutual interest and mutual respect is not only in the interests of the united states and china, but is also in the interest of the region and in the interest of the united states -- in the interest of the world.
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[speaking chinese] on the basis of that understanding, we have established very extensive strategic and economic dialogues between our two countries. we have been able to pursue a significant consultation on opportunities for both countries to improve their economic relationship and their strategic relationship, and also manage areas of tension in a way that is constructive.
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>> [speaking chinese] >> that includes working together in the g20 to manage the world economic crisis that had such an impact not only on both our countries, but on the entire world. and because of u.s.-china cooperation, i think that we were able to help stabilize the situation at a very difficult time. it also includes the work that we've been able to do together in dealing with regional hotspot issues, like the korean peninsula, and issues like iran that obviously have an impact on everybody. >> [speaking chinese]
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>> throughout this process i have always emphasized that we welcome china's peaceful rise, that we believe that a strong and prosperous china is one that can help to bring stability at prosperity to the region and to the world. and we expect to be able to continue on the cooperative track that we've tried to establish over the last three years. >> [speaking chinese] >> we have tried to emphasize
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that because of china's extraordinary development over the last two decades, that with expanding power and prosperity also comes increased responsibilities. and so we want to work with china to make sure that everybody is working by the same rules of the road when it comes to the world economic system, and that includes ensuring that there is a balanced trade flow between not only the united states and china, but around world. it also means that on critical issues like human rights, we will continue to emphasize what we believe is the importance of recognizing the aspirations and rights of all people. and we expect that china will continue to take a growing role in world affairs.
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and we believe that it is critically important that the united states and china develop a strong working relationship to help to bring stability, order, and security that ultimately provides a better life for both the people of the united states and the people of china. >> [translating]
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>>so, mr. vice president, i hope you have a wonderful visit while you're here. i'm sure the american people welcome you. i'm glad that you're going to get an opportunity to get out of washington. i know you'll be visiting iowa, where you visited many years ago when you were governor. also understand you're going to be going to los angeles and maybe even taking in a lakers game. so i hope you enjoy that very much. but i want to extend my deepest welcome to you, and look forward to a future of improved dialogue and increased cooperation in the years to come.
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>> [translating] >> honorable president obama, it's my great pleasure to meet you again. first of all, i'd like to convey the sincere greetings
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from president hu jintao, the national people's congress chairman wu banguo, and premier wen jaibao. >> [speaking chinese] >>i am paying an official visit to the united states at the kind invitation of vice president biden. and we have received the warm and extraordinary hospitality from our hosts. so here, i want to thank you for your personal attention and what you did to help prepare and make sure a successful visit for myself. >> [speaking chinese]
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>>the main purpose of my visit is to implement the important agreement you had reached with president hu jintao and to do some work to move forward the china-u.s. relationship along in the right direction, set by you and president hu -- that is for our two countries to work together to build a cooperative partnership based on mutual
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respect and mutual interests. and i hope to engage with a broad cross-section of american society during my current visit, so as to deepen mutual understanding, expand consensus, strengthen cooperation, and deepen the friendship between the chinese and american people. >> [speaking chinese] >> yesterday evening, soon after my arrival in washington, d.c., i met with a very distinguished group of veteran u.s. political leaders. i sought their advice on the future development of our
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relationship, and their wise and practical suggestions have provided me with much food for thought. >> [speaking chinese] >> just now i've had a set of large and small talks with vice president biden. he and i had an extensive, candid, and in-depth exchange of views on the bilateral relationship and international and regional issues of shared interest. building on our discussions last august in beijing and chengdu, the vice president and i reached some new consensus. >> [speaking chinese]
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>> i look forward to my in-depth discussion with you, president obama, in our meeting today. >> thank you, everybody. >> after meeting with prez what the white house, the chinese by as the president attended a luncheon attended by secretary clinton and vice president biden. this is 40 minutes. [applause] >> thank you. please, be seated.
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it is an honor to welcome all of you to the state department this afternoon. it is always good to have a vice president fight in the air. -- vice president biden here. i would also like to recognize the chef who refused the flavors of chinese and american cuisine. -- who fused the flavors of chinese and american cuisine. [applause] >> [speaking chinese]
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>> this year marks the 40th anniversary of president nixon's visit to china and the shanghai communique. -- and we are very pleased that dr. kissinger is with us, who was transforming -- instrumental in transforming the relationship between the two countries. today, cooperation between the united states and china is imperative for the challenges we face toward

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