The U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) submitted a report on human rights and the rule of law. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to employ methods of overseas coercion on individuals and organizations of all kinds to silence criticism of its regime, according to the CECC.
The report lists tactics used by the CCP, such as passport control, smear campaigns, spying on companies and individuals, intimidation and threats to relatives in China of Chinese living abroad, using Interpol, among others. In addition, the CCP can also control local police in several countries, so they illegitimately arrest individuals without going through any extradition process.
In the context of the meeting between Biden and Xi Jinping, the report reflects the interest of U.S. congressmen in limiting the significant influence that the CCP has in the world.
“The People’s Republic of China continued a multi-year campaign of transnational repression against critics, Uighurs, and others to stifle criticism and enhance control over migrant and diaspora communities,” the report says.
The 2022 Annual Report describes the CCP’s systematic and often brutal efforts to censor, torture, and detain critics of party policy, rights advocates and human rights lawyers, defenders of free speech, religious freedom, women’s rights, and ethnic minorities.
The Congressional-Executive Commission on China is a bipartisan, bicameral body created in 2000. Each year, the Commission must submit a report on the rule of law situation in China to Congress and the President of the United States.
Comprised of nine members of the House of Representatives and nine members of the Senate, it was joined by presidential administration staff as of 2014.
The 2022 report highlights the CCP’s advancing influence on international human rights bodies to manipulate them at will. It exposes the CCP’s use of supply chains and technology for coercion and repression, undermining democratic freedoms and global political processes by filtering from within. The CECC notes that these developments threaten the rules-based international order and call on the United States and nations to develop coordinated action to counter the CCP.
Xi Jinping’s leadership and its view of human rights, which involves the repression of ethnic minorities, the use of criminal justice to persecute dissidents as well as the entire state police apparatus, and forced confinement in psychiatric hospitals, reflects “the moral bankruptcy of the Chinese authorities’ view of human rights.”
In addition, the document details that in the context of the 20th CCP Congress, Xi Jinping was strengthening the entire repressive apparatus inside and outside China. “The 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China last month reinforced Xi Jinping’s control over the levers of power in China, which continue to weaponize against the universally recognized human rights of China’s people and, increasingly, those outside China’s borders,” said CECC Chairman, Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley.
CECC Co-Chair McGovern commented, “We continue to focus on transnational repression, where Chinese authorities have reached out to the United States and other countries to crack down on people who criticize Chinese policies. We also continue to record the severe repression against Uighurs and other Turkic, Tibetan and Hong Kong Muslims. I urge members of Congress and the Executive Branch to make use of our recommendations to hold the Chinese government accountable and more effectively prioritize the promotion of universal human rights and the rule of law.”
The CECC detailed in its report several instances of CCP repression and persecution outside China: “Chinese officials used coercive means in an attempt to repatriate individuals from places such as Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, and Morocco to China, where they risked torture.”
The CCP has been operating in the same way in the United States. Since 2020, the Justice Department denounced agents of the communist regime for attempted repatriation to China. A recent case happened last October. The main defendant is a Chinese national who intimidated a Chinese resident in the United States through his relatives in China.
Another critical point in the report is the human rights and democracy situation in Hong Kong: “the aggressive dismantling of Hong Kong’s democratic freedoms, press freedom and civil society and the use of the National Security Law to arbitrarily detain democracy advocates.”
“Police have detained more than 10,499 people for political and protest-related offenses since June 2019. Of these arrests, 183 were related to national security offenses, triggering proceedings under the National Security Law,” the document details.
The detention of Jimmy Lai, founder of Apple News, along with the political and police persecution of Hong Kong newspapers, are also denounced in the report.
Several actions are detailed to counter the CCP’s advance, such as “enhancing the FBI and State Department’s ability to address transnational repression and the PRC’s efforts to intimidate and silence Uighurs, Hong Kongers, Tibetans and members of the Chinese-American diaspora.”
Sanctions on individuals responsible for forced labor are also suggested and extended to PRC officials complicit in forced sterilizations and abortions in the Xinjiang region.
Another countermeasure to Chinese censorship and espionage proposes to “condition access to the U.S. capital market for any Chinese company that provides support for PRC mass surveillance capabilities or facilitates human rights abuses in China.”
The report is over 350 pages long and contains a valuable compilation of the CCP’s actions abroad and its total disregard for countries’ sovereignty. While it highlights Xi Jinping’s significant influence on these intrusive policies, persecutions, and human rights violations, the bigger question is, will this succeed in curbing the CCP’s encroachment on the sovereignty of nations?