LETTER TO THE EDITOR — Anyone who still thinks of China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as a viable business partner is sadly mistaken. It is not a country that values human rights, freedom or mutual respect among nations.
The reality is, the world has a China problem and it’s time we found the fortitude to deal with it.
Consider the reality of CCP rule. More than a million Chinese Muslim Uighurs are imprisoned in inhumane reeducation camps, targeted for nothing but their ethnicity and religion. A staggering 1.3 billion Chinese citizens are suppressed and controlled through social monitoring. This incredibly powerful tool is used by the CCP to brutally punish even the slightest infraction from approved speech, act or thought.
China has intimidated neighbors, financially enslaved emerging nations and created military outposts out of the smallest atolls in the South China Sea. They not only deny the military purpose of these installations, but absurdly even deny their very existence. They have sunk legally operating fishing ships from neighboring countries in international waters, stolen trillions of dollars of intellectual property from the United States, hacked our most sensitive military programs and refused to adhere to any normal standards of accounting and business practices. Here in the United States, they have set up Confucius Centers at our universities that are used to recruit spies, gather intelligence and intimidate any who speak against them.
On top of all of that is their staggering irresponsibility regarding the SARS-CoV-2 virus. At a minimum, the CCP withheld life-saving data in order to hide the emerging virus from the rest of the world. Meanwhile, they hoarded global stocks of personal protective equipment and critical medical supplies. Furthermore, despite internal documents warning of the virus’s rapid potential spread, the CCP allowed massive amounts of travel within China and abroad during the Spring Festival (3 billion estimated trips over 40 days), and Wuhan held a celebratory potluck with more than 40,000 families eating from 14,000 dishes.
From the unleashing of a global pandemic to the brutal suppression of a free people in Hong Kong, the Chinese government in 2020 has shown its true colors. If ever there was a threat that should unite the polarized spectrum of American political leadership, it is this.
Republican House leadership last month established the China Task Force to do a deep dive into troubling questions with far-reaching policy implications. I am honored to serve on this important committee which will examine everything from national security and emerging technologies to global competitiveness and ideological threats to American values.
This should not be a partisan issue. The country, and indeed the world, should stand united to thwart CCP aggression. The Chinese people deserve better. The American people deserve better. Congress must be prepared to proactively address China’s provocations and counter the worst impulses of President Xi Jin Ping.
Though Democrats were initially on board to participate in the task force, their leadership has since waivered. I believe that was a serious mistake. I also believe there are many within the ranks of the Democratic Caucus who understand the threats we face and would serve effectively in this role. The administration’s public acknowledgment that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China, combined with the CCP’s imposition of a draconian national security law on the people of that city, sends a stark message. The United States can no longer afford to indulge in partisan battles while passively ignoring Chinese aggression.
In my work on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I’ve been raising the alarm on China for many years. In a world where 1 in 7 people are forced to live under this oppressive regime, American leadership is needed now more than ever.
The current global crisis should be a wake-up call to the world about the nature of a regime relentlessly pursuing global dominance.
Submitted by CHRIS STEWART, Utah Congressional District 2.
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