Academic Freedom
Chinese Academics Detained > Other Petitions and Letters

Testimony for Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives

Hearing on June 19, 2001, at 2:30PM
Testimony of Liu Yingli
Lecturer, City University of Kong

Mr. Chairman, Members of the House Committee on International Relations, Ladies and Gentlemen:

My name is Liu Yingli. I am a naturalized US citizen.

I am married to Dr. Li Shaomin. On February 25th of this year, my husband disappeared in Shenzhen. He had crossed over the border from Hong Kong, where we both live and teach at the City University of Hong Kong.

Five days later, a counselor at the US Embassy in Beijing called to tell me that my husband, a naturalized US citizen, had been detained by the Ministry of State Security of the People's Republic of China (PRC), and imprisoned in Beijing. On May 15th, my husband was formally charged with spying for Taiwan. On June 18th, my husband's father, Li Honglin, received a call from the Chinese government. He was told that my husband had been indicted. According to the PRC's laws, his trial could begin in ten days. My husband has not been allowed to see his lawyer. The bible I tried to send to him was taken away, along with all other books.

Mr. Chairman, I thank you for holding this hearing on the plight of my husband and other US citizens and permanent residents arrested by the government of the People's Republic of China.

My husband and I first came to the United States in the early 1980s. My husband studied at the State University of New York at Albany, and earned his PhD from Princeton University. He later did his post-doctoral work at Harvard University. Beginning in 1988, he worked for AT&T in New Jersey for eight years. In 1996, he took up his current teaching position in Hong Kong.

My husband, Dr. Li Shaomin, is an outstanding scholar. He has devoted himself to teaching and to his academic research. He is not a dissident. He is not a political activist. He is a teacher. His field is business economics and social development. I have attached to my statement a copy of his resume, which lists his many scholarly books and articles.

My husband has done nothing wrong.

It has been nearly four months since Li Shaomin's detention on February 25th - four months of grief and pain, four months of worry and fear. But we are American citizens. We should not have to live with such fears.

This painful experience has not spared our daughter, who is only nine, and our parents, who are more than 70 years old. Our family has spent sleepless nights and restless days waiting for news of Shaomin. Our daughter Diana has asked repeatedly when Daddy will come home.

My family and I are truly grateful for your concern for Li Shaomin. I thank you for your efforts in protecting human rights. I thank especially the Congressional delegation from New Jersey, our home state, all seventeen representatives and two senators - all of them have stood up for Shaomin.

If China's Ministry of State Security can get away with imprisoning my husband now, it may well detain more academics who visit China in the future, regardless of their skin color, or country of origin.

If we are effective in protecting Li Shaomin today, it will go a long way in protecting others tomorrow.

I am here today to ask my government, the US government, for help. Please help free Li Shaomin and restore my family.

My husband is an American citizen. He deserves the protection of his government.

This case is not just about the freedom of one man, but about academic freedom, not only in Hong Kong, but also in America - because my husband is an American.

This is a case about basic decency and fundamental rights, like freedom of speech and freedom of movement. This is a case about America's role in protecting freedom. It is a case about America's future, because new citizens like Li Shaomin and myself, and many many others like us, for we represent America's future as its new citizens always have. And we look to the US government for equal protection.

There are many other families waiting to be reunited with their loved ones. Your help to us will also help them. May there be many more family reunions, not just here, but everywhere.

On behalf of Shaomin and our family, please accept my heartfelt thanks.

Please help to free my husband Dr. Li Shaomin. Thank you.

Yingli Liu
23 Nam Shan Chun Road
Block 2, 4A
Kowloon, Hong Kong


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HRW Press Release

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Biographies of the Detained Scholars

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Press Conference Speakers

HRW Academic Freedom Program

China: Human Rights Deteriorate
HRW Special Focus


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Dr. Li Shaomin, released

Dr. Xu Zerong, detained days