Confronting Communist China, More Chinese Sanctions

Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Confronting Communist China
We have been warning for years that the big challenge confronting the United States and the free world in the near future is the rise of communist China. And the battle lines, which administrations of both parties did their best to blur, are being drawn now.
China is not just another trading partner or a place to do business. Last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray gave a shocking presentation describing the threat from Beijing. Wray warned that nearly half of all the FBI's current counterintelligence cases (some 2,500 cases) are focused just on China. 
Director Wray described China's frequent cyberattacks, predatory trade practices and economic espionage as "one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history." 
The Chinese government has infiltrated scores of American colleges, universities and government research facilities. It was recently reported that more than 50 scientists were fired by the National Institutes of Health for failing to disclose financial ties to China. And the chairman of the Harvard Chemistry Department was indicted earlier this year for his ties to the communist regime. 
But beyond China's predatory trade practices, Beijing is also mounting an aggressive military buildup and projecting "hard power" around the world, especially in the South China Sea. And yesterday, the Trump Administration forcefully pushed back against China's claims.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Beijing to back down, saying:
"Today we are strengthening U.S. policy in a vital, contentious part [Asia] — the South China Sea. We are making clear: Beijing's claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them. . . The [People's Republic of China] has no legal grounds to unilaterally impose its will on the region. . . 
"The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire. America stands with our Southeast Asian allies and partners in protecting their sovereign rights to offshore resources. . . We stand with the international community in defense of freedom of the seas and respect for sovereignty and reject any push to impose 'might makes right' in the South China Sea or the wider region."
In related news, the United Kingdom announced today that it is banning Chinese telecom giant Huawei from its 5G networks. President Trump has leaned heavily on U.S. allies to cut their dependence on Huawei due to the serious national security concerns that the company is spying for the communist government.
More Chinese Sanctions
Yesterday, I told you that communist China had sanctioned four leading conservatives, including Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Needless to say, neither senator seemed particularly upset and took the announcement in stride. 
Cruz tweeted, "Bummer. I was going to take my family to Beijing for summer vacation, right after visiting Tehran." And Rubio tweeted: "The Communist Party of China has banned me from entering the country. I guess they don't like me?"
But I neglected to mention yesterday that China also imposed sanctions on the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, which monitors human rights conditions in the country. I am both proud and jealous by that development. 
I am proud because until very recently our daughter, Elyse, was the chief of staff of that commission until she left to be home with her growing family. I am jealous because China did not sanction the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). 
I am one of nine USCIRF commissioners, and one of three appointed by President Trump. The commission has been exposing China's religious persecution for a decade, and has really accelerated our efforts recently when it comes to confronting Communist China. 
I said a year ago that China has declared war on all religious faiths. What does a guy have to do to get Beijing's attention?!
In all seriousness, we do get blowback all the time, including threats against some commissioners' family members.
Bowing To Beijing
You may have heard that the NBA is now allowing players to post social justice messages on their jerseys. I am waiting to see who in the NBA is tough enough to stand up for law enforcement, defend democracy in Hong Kong or wear a jersey condemning communist China's genocide or even its blatant racism. (Herehere and here.) 
Unfortunately, it seems that the NBA is still kowtowing to Beijing's party bosses by banning anything remotely critical of communist China.
The NBA is Exhibit A in the conservative argument that trade with China would not change China but would instead change us -- and not for the better!