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Jim Risch on Foreign Policy

Republican Jr Senator; previously Governor

 


Hold China accountable for erosion of Hong Kong's autonomy

China reacted furiously to President Donald Trump's signing of two bills on Hong Kong human rights and said the U.S. will bear the unspecified consequences. A foreign ministry statement repeated heated condemnations of the laws and said China will counteract. It said all the people of Hong Kong and China oppose the move.

Congress approved the bills last week following months of unrest in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. China's foreign ministry called the laws a "naked hegemonic action" that seriously interfered in Hong Kong and China's internal affairs, violated international law and "fundamental norms of international relations."

Democratic and Republican lawmakers applauded the signing of the bills. Sen. Jim Risch, an Idaho Republican and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the bills are "an important step forward in holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its erosion of Hong Kong's autonomy and its repression of fundamental human rights."

Source: Idaho Statesman on 2020 Idaho Senate race , Nov 27, 2019

OpEd: did nothing against Saudis for Khashoggi death

Risch has a broad range of tools to control and set policy, including the Magnitsky Act. Sanctions deployed against the worst violators of human rights increases the cost of misdeeds. It should be deployed against members of the Saudi government for the death of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Senator Risch's only response was to say he had received a letter from Secretary of State Michael Pompeo describing "ongoing efforts to seek justice." China reacted furiously to President Donald Trump's signing of two bills on Hong Kong human rights and said the U.S. will bear the unspecified consequences. A foreign ministry statement repeated heated condemnations of the laws and said China will counteract. It said all the people of Hong Kong and China oppose the move.

Congress approved the bills last week following months of unrest in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. China's foreign ministry called the laws a "naked hegemonic action" that

Source: Link , Feb 28, 2019

Call on Iran to release those imprisoned for Christianity

Senator Jim Risch praised the unanimous support for passage of his resolution calling on the government of Iran to immediately release Pastor Saeed Abedini and all other individuals detained on account of their religious beliefs.

Pastor Saeed Abedini, a pastor and resident of Boise, was seized by the Iranian government in 2012 and has been sentenced to eight years in prison for allegedly spreading Christianity. He was in Iran visiting family and working to build orphanages. The Resolution:

    Resolved, that the Senate--
  1. recognizes that freedom of religious belief and practice is a universal human right and a fundamental freedom of every individual
  2. governments have a responsibility to protect the fundamental rights of their citizens; and
  3. calls on the Government of Iran to immediately release Saeed Abedini and all other individuals detained on account of their religious beliefs.
    Source: Risch press release on 2014 Idaho Senate race , Nov 15, 2013

    Don't police the world, but do engage appropriately

    The United States is a leader on the world stage and looked to for leadership and involvement in the many challenges found around the globe. As a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, I work with other committee members to determine what our involvement should be on those issues.

    I am currently the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, a volatile area of the world in which there are many policy challenges for the U.S. I also am a member of the Subcommittee on African Affairs; Subcommittee on European Affairs; and Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps and Global Narcotics Affairs.

    America cannot be the policeman to the world. It is, however, important that we recognize matters in which America has a national interest and engage appropriately exercising great restraint whenever military action is considered.

    Source: 2012 Senate office press releases , Oct 28, 2011

    Vigorous support for State of Israel against Hamas in Gaza.

    Risch co-sponsored Resolution for Israeli Self-Defense

    RESOLUTION expressing vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare, security, and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders:

      Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Congress:
    1. expresses unwavering commitment to the security of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders, and recognizes and strongly supports its inherent right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against acts of terrorism;
    2. reiterates that Hamas must end Gaza-linked terrorist rocket and missile attacks against Israel, recognize Israel's right to exist, renounce violence, and agree to accept previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinians;
    3. urges the UN Security Council to condemn the recent spike in Gaza-linked terrorist missile attacks against Israel, which risk causing civilian casualties in both Israel and Gaza; and
    4. encourages the President to continue to work diplomatically with the international community to prevent Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist organizations from retaining or rebuilding the capability to launch rockets and missiles against Israel.
    Source: SR599/HR813 12-SRes599 on Nov 16, 2012

    Ban imports from Xinjiang made by Uyghur forced labor.

    Risch co-sponsored Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

    Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (H.R.6256 and S.65): To ensure that goods made with forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China do not enter the United States market. This bill imposes importation limits on goods produced using forced labor in China, and imposes sanctions related to such forced labor. The bill also expands existing asset- and visa-blocking sanctions related to Xinjiang to cover foreign individuals and entities responsible for serious human rights abuses in connection with forced labor.

    Al Jazeera news, "Biden signs law banning goods made in China's Xinjiang region," 12/23/21: President Joe Biden signed a new law banning products made in China's Xinjiang region because of China's oppression of its largely Muslim Uighur minority population. The law imposes a near-blanket ban on the import to the US of goods from Xinjiang by requiring suppliers to first prove their products were not made with forced labour. Xinjiang is a large supplier of cotton and solar panels.

    UN experts have estimated that more than one million people, mainly Uighurs, have been imprisoned in recent years in a vast system of camps in Xinjiang. The US and many rights groups have called it "genocide".

    China has rejected allegations of abuse in Xinjiang, accusing countries and rights organisations of launching "slanderous attacks" about conditions for Muslim Uighurs in the far western region. An independent UK-based tribunal ruled last week the Chinese government had committed genocide, crimes against humanity and torture of Uighurs and other minorities. The US cited the situation in Xinjiang in a decision earlier this month to launch a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing.

    Legislative Outcome: Introduced in House and passed by voice vote on 12/14/2021; passed Senate by Unanimous Consent on 12/16/2021; signed by President on 12/23/2021.

    Source: S.65/H.R.6256 21-HR6256 on Dec 14, 2021

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    Page last updated: Jan 13, 2022