Last week, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) National People’s Congress announced its intention to unilaterally and arbitrarily impose national security legislation on Hong Kong. Beijing’s disastrous decision is only the latest in a series of actions that fundamentally undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms and China’s own promises to the Hong Kong people under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a UN-filed international treaty.
The People’s Republic of China is one of the rapidly dwindling number of countries that welcomes Mahan Air, which ferries weapons and terrorists around the world for the Islamic Republic of Iran. Such cooperation has consequences.
The Department of State has made the promotion and protection of religious freedom a priority, especially in China, where people of all faiths face severe repression and discrimination. As part of that mission, on May 17, we marked the 25th anniversary of the disappearance of the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, who has not appeared in public since the PRC government abducted him in 1995, at age six.
As we work together to defeat the coronavirus at home, the United States stands with our global partners in their time of need, as we always have. A healthier world means a healthier United States.
On behalf of the American people, I extend my best wishes to Muslim communities in the United States and around the world as they mark the start of the holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan is a time of introspection, service, and compassion. In the United States, under normal circumstances, many mosques, homes, and community centers welcome friends and neighbors of different faiths to unite under one roof, echoing our shared American values of inclusion and charity.
For more than a half century, the United States has been the largest contributor to global health security and humanitarian assistance. Through the American people’s generosity and under the leadership of President Trump, the United States continues this outstanding record in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the announcement of more than $270 million in additional foreign assistance provided by Congress in supplemental funding specifically to respond to the outbreak.
The United States calls on the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to allow human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang’s freedom of movement, including the ability to join his family in Beijing, now that he has been released after five years of unjust detention.
The U.S. Government is leading the world’s humanitarian and health response to the COVID-19 pandemic even while we battle the virus at home. As part of this comprehensive and generous response from the American people, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have now committed nearly $508 million in emergency health, humanitarian,
“I will never hesitate to take any necessary steps to protect the lives, health, and safety of the American people. I will always put the well-being of America first.” – President Donald J. Trump
MS ORTAGUS: Thank you very much. Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us on another briefing call. We have someone that is not a stranger to our State Department bullpen, Ambassador Sam Brownback, who is going to talk to all of us today, give us a brief on what is happening with religious minorities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This call will be on the record and it also is going to be embargoed until the end of the call, please.