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Second, is the murder of Henry Liu an isolated incident or is it only the most visible manifestation of a consistent pattern of acts of intimidation or harassment?
Third, is the existing legal framework for restricting illegitimate foreign agent activity strong enough? Or is new legislation required to better protect the rights of people within the territorial boundaries of the United States?
This hearing is the beginning of a process through which this subcommittee will seek complete answers to these questions. Contributing to our understanding today are four distinguished witnesses:
The Honorable Norman Y. Mineta, a Member of Congress from the State of California, who was among the first to speak out against this outrage, and whose testimony we look forward to receiving.
We also will be hearing from Mr. William Brown, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
We will hear from Mrs. Helen A. Liu. For myself, and I am sure for other members of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I would like to pay a special tribute to Mrs. Liu, the wife of Henry Liu, for her willingness to appear today and speak on a subject which I am sure still causes deep emotional anguish.
Finally, we will hear from Prof. Michael Glennon, of the University of Cincinnati Law School. From 1977 to 1980 Professor Glennon was Legal Counsel for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Among the subjects in which he specialized was foreign agent activity in the United States.
After the witnesses have presented their testimony and Members have had an opportunity to pose questions, the subcommittee will proceed to consider and markup House Concurrent Resolution 49, which expresses the sense of the Congress that the Taiwan authorities should cooperate fully in the case of Henry Liu by delivering to the United States for trial those citizens of Taiwan charged by authorities in the United States in connection with the murder of Henry Liu.
Before we hear testimony from the gentleman from California, Mr. Mineta, I want to yield first of all to my new ranking minority member, Mr. Leach, for some opening observations, and then to the gentleman from California, Mr. Lantos, who has expressed his deep concern about this case, and would like to say a few words as well. Mr. Leach.
Mr. LEACH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to commend you for calling this hearing to examine the circumstances surrounding the death of Henry Liu, particularly the implications for United States-Taiwan relations of recent press revelations of apparent involvement of Taiwanese Government officials in the murder. It was not long ago, in July 1981, that this subcommittee held hearings on the death of Dr. Chen Wen-cheng, an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University who was found dead under suspicious circumstances following interrogation by Taiwanese Government officials during a visit back to his homeland.
At that time, it was the hope of concerned Members of Congress that the congressional hearings, efforts by the FBI and State Department, and the subsequent enactment of legislation, bearing Mr. Solarz' name, barring arms sales to governments engaged in harassment and intimidation of individuals in the United States would effectively deter any future such conduct, either on the part of the Taiwan Government or any other government.
Sadly, the murder of Henry Liu demonstrates otherwise, and we have seen not an end to, but a more blatant example of the silencing of dissent on foreign soil.
Although the United States may have a national interest in maintaining warm relations with certain governments which do not protect as assiduously as we do the civil liberties of their citizens, such relations should not provide opportunity and temptation to such governments to abridge the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution to individuals, citizens and aliens alike, residing within our borders. The protections and guarantees of the U.S. Constitution are not negotiable.
The Taiwan Government has been effectively on notice since 1981 that any act taken by their agents against any individual in this country who is engaged in the lawful exercise of his or her civil and constitutional rights would seriously jeopardize the warm relations between our governments. How the Taiwanese authorities respond to U.S. concerns with regard to the Henry Liu case may well decide the future course of United States-Taiwan relations.
The Congress expects Taiwanese authorities to cooperate fully with State Department and FBI officials in obtaining justice in the death of Henry Liu, and I would urge the prompt extradition of those individuals now in Taiwan who have been charged with the crime to stand trial in the United States. Failure to provide such cooperation may force the Congess and the executive branch to consider less attractive alternatives or sanctions.
As I suggested in testimony before this subcommittee in 1981, if there continues to be evidence of espionage or harassment by Taiwan agents in the United States, the State Department should give consideration to cutting back the current number of CCNAA offices in the United States. Recent events cause me to once again urge that this option be given serious consideration in the event that the execution of full justice is not achieved.
In addition, the department should consider requesting the withdrawal of all Taiwanese Government personnel in the United States who may be part of the intelligence services implicated in ordering the murder of a U.S. citizen.
The conduct alleged in the case before us, of government-sanctioned murder, is not the conduct of friends. Actions, not words, will be the response Congress will be looking for in the days ahead.
There are perhaps two larger lessons to be drawn from the issue before us today. First, the murder of Henry Liu throws anew the stark light of reality on the institution of martial law in Taiwan, the intolerance it breeds for dissent both at home and abroad, and the comfort it provides for those who subscribe to a doctrine of national security which subordinates basic respect for law and human rights to the self-interest of ruling authorities.
As long as the broad brush of national security can be used to gloss over the excesses of the State, there can be no guarantee in the future that murderous acts will not reoccur. Nondemocratic governments which refuse to submit themselves to a genuine test of popular will are more easily seduced by the temptations of personal power and operate with far fewer of the restraints, checks and balances which democratic governments like our own must respect.
The murder of Henry Liu must be seen in this larger context, and the Government of Taiwan urged once again to repeal martial law and restore to the people of Taiwan a fully functioning democratic system. These hearings today ought not only to be held in Washington. The representatives of the people of Taiwan ought also to be holding public inquiries into acts apparently sanctioned by their government.
Finally, it seems to me that the Congress ought to take another look at the steps taken by our own Government since our hearings in 1981, to ensure that Americans of foreign descent in the United States are fully protected in the exercise of their civil and constitutional rights. The deaths, first of Dr. Chen and now of Henry Liu, not to mention the years of less publicized harassment and intimidation of Taiwanese students on American campuses, have left everyone of Taiwanese descent living in America with a chilling message. Members of this committee do not want to sit through another round of hearings on the same subject next year or any year thereafter.
Finally, let me say that from a personal point of view, from communications and discussions with members of the State Department and the FBI, I am pleased to record the professionalism by which the investigation into the murder of Henry Liu has taken place and the seriousness of the concern our Government has registered with Taiwanese authorities.
Thank you. Mr. SOLARZ. I thank the gentleman for his statement. The gentleman from California, Mr. Lantos.
Mr. LANTOS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, first I would like to thank you for holding these hearings. As I said in my letter to you requesting that these hearings be held, this is a matter of the gravest concern, with serious and far-reaching implications for the relationship between the United States and the Government in Taiwan.
I welcome this opportunity to review the ramifications of the brutal murder of Mr. Henry Liu, an American citizen of Daly City, San Mateo County, CA.
Second, Mr. Chairman, I would like to express my deepest and most sincere sympathy to Mrs. Helen A. Liu. For most of us here, this is an important matter of national policy, but for Mrs. Liu, this is a very personal and very tragic event. I appreciate her presence here today at this hearing, at a time when her grief and her personal loss are so acute..
Mr. Chairman, it is unacceptable for U.S. citizens to be killed on American soil by individuals from other countries, whether they are acting on their own authority or whether they are put up to these acts by government officials. It is in the best interests of justice, it is in the best interests of the United States, and it is in the best interests of the Government in Taiwan, for this matter to be fully and fairly aired in an American court of law.
I, of course, understand that the United States and the Government of Taiwan have no treaty of extradition. The lack of such a treaty, however, should not prevent the Government in Taipei from voluntarily returning the perpetrators of this crime, as well as their accomplices, to the United States, so they can be tried in California where they committed the crime.
It is in the interests of the Governments of Taiwan and the United States to close the book on this tragic and horrible event as quickly and as completely as possible. This cannot be accomplished except through court proceedings in an American court of law. Even if these individuals are tried in Taiwan in a fair and open manner, the suspicion will inevitably linger that there might have been a coverup. It would be naive to suggest that this brutal murder has not cast a shadow upon the relations between the United States and Taiwan. It is important for both our countries to remove that shadow by acting as quickly and as expeditiously as possible to assure that the accused are returned to the United States to stand trial.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. SOLARZ. I thank the gentleman for a very eloquent statement. The gentleman from New York, Mr. Solomon, has asked for an opportunity to make a few introductory remarks as well. Mr. Solomon.
Mr. SOLOMON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I was not going to make an opening statement. I will have something further to say later on. But in light of some of the opening statements by you, Mr. Chairman, my good friend, and my good friend the ranking Republican, Mr. Leach, I feel I ought to make some sort of a statement.
I would like to say that I am certainly in sympathy with what both of you have said as far as Mrs. Liu is concerned, and I am in sympathy with both of your efforts to bring justice to the murderers of Henry Liu and the murderers of any American citizen.
However, I am not in sympathy with any undue criticism, and I think maybe I may have heard some, about the Republic of China. There has been some undue criticism of our allies in this subcommittee before. And whether it is Taiwan, whether it is South Korea, whether it is the Philippines or any of our many friends we are talking about, we as Americans should remember that we are free people, and we are not free just because we are a great country and because we fight great wars and we win them. We need assistance. We need help, and we need allies that can depend on us as allies.
I have heard no opening statement or comments criticizing the KGB and their continuing espionage and spy activities here in Washington, in my State of New York, in the United Nations, that spy-infested agency up there, and everywhere else throughout this country. I just want to say to try and change the tone here because it seems that Taiwan, the official Republic of China Government, was criticized as not being cooperative in some way.
I have spent a great deal of time, having been on this committee for a number of years, and especially since the murder of Henry Liu, in working with our FBI, with our State Department and other Federal agencies, and with the Taiwan Government itself. And I have found the Taiwan Government to be completely cooperative and going out of their way to help solve their case.
I just wanted to get that as a part of the record, because I think it is important to know that our friends and allies have been cooperative in this effort. If it ends up that perhaps some low-echelon member of the Republic of China Government may have been involved, certainly I am going to do everything I can, in conjunction with you gentlemen, to bring those people to justice. But I think we have to be very careful.
I probably will be offering an amendment somewhere along the line to say that we might want to encourage the United States to enter into an extradition treaty with Taiwan or some other legally enforced provision that meets American law.
The last thing we want to do is to pass some kind of a resolution that is in violation of American law. I guess we can discuss that when we get into, perhaps, our markup, Mr. Chairman. Thank you very much for the time.
Mr. SOLARZ. I thank the gentleman for his observations. I am pleased to find out that he shares our determination to bring the murders of Henry Liu to justice here in the United States, and let me assure my friend that if at any point in the future agents of the KGB, or any other intelligence service from a friendly or hostile country, murders an American citizen on American territory, that I, as I assume every other member present here today, would be among those calling for a similar hearing into that outrage as well.
If any evidence can be provided that similar assassinations have been committed on American territory, we would certainly hope to find out about it from the administration witnesses later in the day. This is by no means an effort to single out Taiwan in relationship to other countries.
It is an effort to respond to the tragic fact that an American citizen was killed on American territory, apparently by people who were sent here for that purpose, not by low-level, but by high-level officials of the Government of Taiwan. In any case, we will explore these matters during the course of the hearing.
I now call upon our first witness, our very able and distinguished colleague from the State of California, Mr. Mineta. If you can possibly summarize your testimony in around 10 minutes, that would be helpful so we would have the maximum time for questions. STATEMENT OF HON. NORMAN Y. MINETA, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA Mr. MINETA. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I want to congratulate you and this subcommittee for your leadership and that exhibited by our fine colleague, Mr. Leach of Iowa, the ranking Republican on this subcommittee, in holding today's hearings on this very important matter. I am a cosponsor of your resolution, House Concurrent Resolution 49, along with Mr. Leach, Mr. Torricelli and Mr. Lantos. I particularly want to thank my fellow colleague from California, Mr. Lantos, for the important role that he has played in bringing this case to national' attention. I share his concern that this tragic crime might indicate a violation of the Arms Control Export Act.