Romney Advisor Speaks Up on Organ Harvesting in China

October 16, 2012 4:36 pm Last Updated: October 1, 2015 12:06 pm
John Bolton (center), a Romney foreign policy advisor, stands with Ken Zimmerman (left), a Maryland Congressional candidate, and Jianmei Yu, an audience member who asked a question related to human rights, after a recent private fundraising event held in Virginia. Bolton said the United States should take on the matter of organ harvesting in communist China. (NTD Television)

A foreign policy advisor to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said at a private fundraiser recently that the United States should “take on” the issue of organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience in communist China. 

Recently, Romney has on four separate occasions at public rallies received letters from audience members detailing the Communist Party’s abuses related to organ harvesting. His running mate, Paul Ryan, has also received such letters multiple times; and President Barack Obama was also handed a letter from a human rights supporter, caught in a memorable photograph by a close bystander.

At the private fundraiser in the Washington area on Oct. 11, John Bolton, a lawyer and former diplomat, and one of Romney’s foreign policy advisors, was asked what the United States should do about the evidence that Chinese security forces have been overseeing the mass harvesting of organs from prisoners of conscience. 

The allegations and evidence indicate that tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners, and to a lesser extent adherents of other persecuted creeds in China, have been blood-typed and then killed for their retail organs. The organs were often removed while the victim was still alive, after having been given an anaesthetic, the investigations indicate.

John Bolton said in his response: “This is a government that we need to take on on these issues. I think it’s important for the United States to do that, and frankly, I think it would get us more respect from the government in Beijing if we stood up for our principles instead of apologizing for them.”

He added that “The sorts of issues you raised are going to be critical in a Romney administration.” 

The reason, he said, is because “this is critical to showing the world that we pursue not just American interests, but American values.”

The remarks were carried by NTD Television, a mostly Chinese-language broadcaster based in New York City. 

In May, in an interview with NTD Television, Bolton said that the United States should investigate the allegations of organ harvesting “as a priority.”

It is unclear whether the fact that Mitt Romney has on four separate occasions been personally handed letters from activists, detailing the evidence of organ harvesting, and calling for U.S. action against it, influenced Bolton’s remarks. 

Romney was given the first letter in a public park at a campaign event in Virginia in September. The Chinese woman who handed it to him, Wang Chunying, said “he had an astonished look on his face” after scanning it, apparently due to the shocking nature of the allegations. He shook hands with Wang. 

Romney received another letter on Oct. 4 in Fisherville, Virginia. The Chinese woman who delivered him the letter, Angela Lee, who is a Falun Gong practitioner, also spoke with two of Romney’s sons about the contents of the letter, and arranged to take a photograph with them. 

Separately, Paul Ryan has received multiple letters of a similar nature. President Obama received a letter while campaigning at George Mason University: Karen Gao, a practitioner of Falun Gong, is pictured looking at the president imploringly while handing over the envelope.

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