Rep. Bera Chairs House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Hearing on Democracy in Indo-Pacific
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA) Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation, yesterday chaired a Subcommittee hearing on democracy in the Indo-Pacific.
“Human rights and democratic governance are core to American foreign policy, leading to more stability and prosperity for people and nations. Yet, in 2020, countries across Asia witnessed a disturbing decline in freedoms, during which governments intensified their crackdown on journalists, human rights defenders, religious minorities, and civil society organizations,” said Chairman Bera. “From the genocide of Uyghurs in Xinjiang to the military coup in Burma to the political crisis in Samoa, it’s clear U.S. engagement with this consequential region must also grapple with the ongoing challenges to democratic norms and values. As Chairman of the Asia and Pacific Subcommittee, I will continue to elevate the importance of democracy and human rights in the region. Our partners and adversaries alike need to know that our commitment to these liberal norms is not a bargaining chip, and that commitment will not change just because strategic competition is afoot.”
Expert witnesses included Mr. Scott Busby, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State; Mr. Craig Hart, Acting Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for East Asia and the Pacific, U.S. Agency for International Development; Mr. Dean Thompson, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, U.S. Department of State; and Mr. Francisco Bencosme, Senior Advisor to the Acting Assistant Secretary, East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau, U.S. Department of State.