Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) today issued the following statement commending Senate Foreign Relations Committee approval of H.R. 2494:
“I’m glad my bipartisan bill to combat wildlife trafficking is one step closer to Senate passage. Today, the world’s most majestic animals are being rampantly poached to make terror and criminal organizations richer. Countering this illicit trade – worth an estimated $10 billion – is critical to our national security.
“While in Africa in January, I had an opportunity to hear firsthand from the law enforcement and park rangers on the front lines of the fight to save these animals. They are outmanned and outmatched. I want to thank Senator Flake and Senator Coons for their determined work on this important legislation, and urge the full Senate to take it up swiftly.”
Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) issued the below statement after Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced that Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, will address a Joint Meeting of Congress:
“I applaud Speaker Ryan for inviting Prime Minister Modi to address a Joint Meeting of Congress, and I look forward to welcoming the Prime Minister to the Capitol. This address will serve as a sign of the deep and important relationship between the United States and India. Our partnership in areas such as defense, nuclear power, renewable energy and space exploration is very strong, thanks to our many shared values. I look forward to hearing from Prime Minister Modi about how we can continue working together to promote peace and prosperity.”
NOTE: Chairman Royce sent a letter last week to Speaker Ryan encouraging him to invite Prime Minister Modi to address a Joint Meeting of Congress. Modi will be the fifth Indian Prime Minister to address a Joint Meeting of Congress: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress in 2005.
Chairman Royce Opening Statement
Washington, D.C. – Today at 10 a.m., House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) will convene a hearing entitled “America as a Pacific Power: Challenges and Opportunities in Asia.” Live webcast and witness testimony will be available HERE.
Below is Chairman Royce’s opening statement (as prepared for delivery) at the hearing:
Some of the world’s most dangerous flashpoints are in Asia, as are some of our closest allies. These are critical relationships to foster. Deputy Secretary of State Blinken is just back from the region. We welcome him to the Committee. America is a Pacific power, and we must act like one.
This Committee has played a leading role shaping U.S. policy toward Asia. We took the lead imposing tough sanctions on North Korea; highlighting human rights in Southeast Asia; and strengthening our alliances with democracies in the region.
Since North Korea’s January nuclear test – its fourth – Pyongyang’s belligerence has only increased. This rogue regime poses a direct threat to the United States. Last weekend it launched a missile from a submarine; reports suggest another nuclear test could be on the horizon. The good news is that earlier this year the President signed into law sanctions legislation this Committee pushed to aggressively target North Korea’s cash. This strong, bipartisan measure helped the Administration get a sweeping U.N. Security Council sanctions resolution.
So the Administration has the tools it needs to tackle the North Korean threat and keep Americans safe. But will it use them? A recent U.N. report found several countries still pushing cash to Kim through prohibited arms deals. They must be pressed to stop. And the Administration must designate more companies, banks and individuals. North Korea is a human rights house of horrors. So how is it that not one North Korea official has been sanctioned specifically for human rights abuses?
Looking south, the Beijing government continues its aggressive push into the South China Sea with land reclamation and the militarization of contested islands. Our allies are increasingly alarmed. And while these disputes must be resolved peacefully, that will be best done with a policy of strength, resolve and clarity - rejecting Beijing’s apparent moves toward de facto control over international shipping lanes.
In Southeast Asia, Vietnam’s poor human rights record continues. Bloggers and journalists are harassed and jailed. When he travels to Vietnam next month, President Obama could send a clear and unequivocal message to the communist government and firmly stand by that country’s brave dissidents, unlike he did in Cuba. I would also urge the President to stress the importance of restoring the Bien Hoa Military cemetery, the resting place of many South Vietnamese soldiers that fought to preserve their freedom, a cause especially important to the Vietnamese American community.
And while there is hope for the new government in Burma, it must now perform for all Burmese, including the Rohingya population. I hope to hear that we are making the protection of this persecuted minority one of our priorities.
Finally, no discussion of Asia is complete without mentioning its dynamic economies. We must continue efforts to open new markets for our businesses and build the capacity of tomorrow’s trade partners. Trade can play a key role in strengthening U.S. alliances.
The United States has played a critical role in Asia – our power and presence helped shape the economic miracles in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan – all vibrant democracies today. But that proud legacy has to be protected through constant vigilance and engagement.
Washington, D.C. – Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) joined Armenian Americans and members of Congress to commemorate the Armenian Genocide, during which 1.5 million innocent lives were taken.
Below are Chairman Royce’s remarks (as prepared for delivery):
It is with great sorrow that we gather to remember the 1.5 million innocent lives taken in the Armenian Genocide over 100 years ago.
The coldly calculated plan for the annihilation of the Armenians, conducted by the direct order of Ottoman authorities, was undeniably genocide.
It is imperative that we acknowledge it as such.
When I was a State Senator I authored a resolution to recognize the Armenian Genocide, with the support of then Governor George Deukmejian. It was the first resolution of its kind passed by any State.
I was honored to attend the commemoration ceremonies in Yerevan two years ago, and to lay a wreath at the memorial for the victims of the genocide.
Recognition is the necessary first step for justice and healing to occur.
That is why I am deeply disappointed again this year that President Obama avoided using the term “genocide” in his April 24th annual statement.
It is troubling that many of the terms relating to the genocide in his statement—“suffering,” “historical record,” and “tragedy”—were also used this year by Turkish President Erdogan himself, a self-proclaimed denier of the genocide.
In fact I believe that aspects of that ethnic cleansing program continue today, specifically the obliteration of Armenian historical and religious sites in Turkey.
As stated by Enver Pasha himself, the Ottomans planned to “cleanse” their Empire of Armenian religious and historical sites in Turkey.
Since 1915, Armenian burial places have been destroyed or vandalized, and their places of worship confiscated and converted into museums, warehouses or casinos.
The international community has failed to hold Turkey accountable creating an air of impunity under which Turkish authorities continue to seize properties, as we saw this weekend with the historic Surp Giragos church and related lands.
We must continue to oppose all such moves and protect Turkey’s Christian heritage.
We must also seek to protect Armenian Christians who today are being targeted for violence and assassination.
I am deeply concerned for the Armenian Christians today in Syria where Armenians have been enslaved, raped, crucified, and tortured in a clearly genocidal campaign.
That is why I supported House passage of a concurrent resolution recognizing those atrocities by ISIS as genocide, and urging the Administration to acknowledge that as well.
Just as those who do not examine the past are doomed to repeat it, those who refuse to acknowledge past genocides are bound to have a blind eye to atrocities happening today.
So tonight, as we remember the victims of the first genocide of the twentieth century, let us renew our commitment to working for the safety and freedom of their descendants.
Only by so doing do we truly honor the memory of the innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide.
Note: Chairman Royce is an active member of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues. In April of 2014, Royce led a bipartisan delegation to Armenia where the delegation commemorated the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and placed a wreath at Tsitsernakaberd, the national memorial to the Genocide.
Washington, D.C. – Tomorrow at 10 a.m., House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) will convene a hearing entitled “America as a Pacific Power: Challenges and Opportunities in Asia.”
Chairman Royce on the Hearing: “At a time when North Korea is expanding its nuclear arsenal and China is aggressively pressing territorial claims, it is critical that the United States work closely with our partners to advance shared values including democracy, human rights and open markets. Strengthening relationships with South Korea, Taiwan and others will help promote stability and prosperity throughout the region. This hearing will provide members a chance to question a top State Department official about U.S. policy for a region that is incredibly important to our future.”
When: 10 a.m., Thursday, April 28
2172 Rayburn House Office Building
Witness: The Honorable Antony J. Blinken Deputy Secretary of State U.S. Department of State
***See www.foreignaffairs.house.gov for updates.
***Coverage note: All Foreign Affairs Committee proceedings are webcast live at www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/live-video-feed.
Washington, DC 20515