UN envoy Kelly Craft vows US pushing issue of human rights in China 'at every opportunity we have'

Diplomat says Beijing 'standing in the way of democracy' for Chinese people

The United States is broaching the topic of human rights issues with China at the United Nations whenever it can, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Kelly Craft told "The Story" Monday night.

Craft joined host Martha MacCallum hours after Chinese authorities arrested pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai and raided the newsroom of the tabloid Apple Daily. Also Monday's China's Foreign Ministry said it would impose sanctions against top Republican lawmakers, including Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Marco Rubio of Florida and Josh Hawley of Missouri.

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"What a disappointment that Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who also enjoyed the freedoms that were allowed for Hong Kongers for decades ... then she allowed China to come in and suppress, to take the liberty and the freedom away from the Hong Kongers," Craft told MacCallum. "We owe it to the 1.4 billion Chinese citizens who also deserve democracy and freedom."

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"What we are doing at every opportunity we have in the Security Council is bringing up the human rights issues in China, whether that be with the Uighurs, whether that be with Africans, Tibetans, the Taiwanese -- any area where we can bring forward [those] human rights abuses that China is bringing on."

MacCallum noted that Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar has been in Taiwan, a trip which has angered Chinese leaders who do not recognize the island as an independent entity.

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Craft called Taiwan a "beacon of democracy" and credited the Taipei leadership for "standing up" to Beijing by helping bring to light the dangers of coronavirus and its transmission between humans.

"The [World Health Organization] wasn't going to tell us this," Craft said, "and they knew the Taiwanese shared this with the WHO, but [the] WHO is nothing but a mouthpiece for China and in every opportunity that we have -- you remember that our president ran on this in 2016 --- that we were going to show the world China and the fact that China was standing in the way of democracy for the people not only [of] Hong Kong and Taiwan but for their own people within their country."