China in the Presidential Debate: Human Rights is Not a Side Issue, It's the Issue

Press Release
October 22, 2012

China in the Presidential Debate: Human Rights is Not a Side Issue, It's the Issue

Contact: Sharon Singh, ssingh@aiusa.org, 202-675-8579, @spksingh

Frank Jannuzi, head of Amnesty International's Washington DC office issued the following quote in response to the rise of China question in the presidential debate tonight:

"The China debate should not be only about trade and other economic issues. It should also be about how to create lasting export opportunities for U.S. goods and services, and the American jobs that come with them. That's why human rights is not a side issue -- it is the issue. When China tramples on land rights, prevents workers from organizing, and pollutes the air and water, it gains at least a short term advantage over its competitors. Moreover, these human rights abuses make it harder for Chinese workers to claw their way into the middle class, depriving American manufacturers and service providers of the consumers of the future."

"Long term, advancing human rights in China is a win-win-win: good for the Chinese people, good for the U.S. economy, and essential to China's ability to sustain political stability and economic growth."

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.