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US-China Relations - 3. page

Members of House and Senate Introduced Bill to Stop Forced Organ Harvesting in China

On December 16, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Congressmen Chris Smith (R-New Jersey) and Tom Suozzi (D-New York) jointly introduced the Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act which aims to prevent the Chinese Communist Party from harvesting organs from prisoners of conscience.

The Act mandates annual reporting on forced organ harvesting in foreign countries. This State Department reporting would identify foreign officials and entities responsible for forced organ harvesting. The Act sanctions foreign officials and entities that engage in or otherwise support forced organ harvesting and prohibits the export of organ transplant surgery devices to entities responsible for forced organ harvesting. It authorizes the U.S. government to deny or revoke passports for illegal organ purchasers.

In the statement Cotton, Smith and Suozzi issued, they stated that there is growing evidence that the Chinese Communist Party has and continues to harvest organs from prisoners and members of Chinese religious groups. They called organ harvesting barbaric, inhumane and egregious. The Act will put an end this gruesome human rights abuse and the members of the CCP must be held accountable for it.

Source: Voice of America, December 18, 2020
https://www.voachinese.com/a/bill-to-combat-forced-organ-harvesting-20201218/5705314.html

China News: China Imposes Sanctions on the U.S.

China News, a state-owned Chinese news agency with an international orientation, recently reported that the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs just announced sanctions on U.S. government officials and some non-government organization (NGO) staff, as well as their relatives. The sanctions announcement claimed these American individuals seriously interfered in China’s internal affairs and harmed China’s core interests in Hong Kong. China has also decided to cancel US diplomatic passport holders’ visa-free treatment for temporary visits to Hong Kong and Macau. On December 8, the United States sanctioned 14 Vice Chairmen of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China for their responsibilities in violating China’s treaty promise to the people of Hong Kong. This new China-issued counter-sanction is the answer to the U.S. action. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs also urged the U.S. to stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs as well as China’s internal affairs, warning the U.S. not to go down this “dangerous and wrong” path.

Source: China News, December 10, 2020
https://www.chinanews.com/gn/2020/12-10/9358930.shtml

China Times: U.S. Stock Indexes Removed Chinese Companies

Major Taiwanese news network China Times recently reported that, starting in December and January, the S&P and Dow Jones Indexes will remove 21 Chinese Mainland companies from stock and bond index component lists. A week ago, FTSE Russell also announced the removal of Chinese components from its global series of indexes. U.S. President Trump issued an executive order on December 11 requiring U.S. investors and agencies to remove their stakes in companies related to the Chinese military, with a list of 31 entities. The U.S. Department of Defense also listed four additional Chinese companies in their blacklist. Some of the blacklisted Chinese companies are well-known and large-scale companies, such as SMIC (China’s top domestic chip maker), Hikvision (the world’s largest video surveillance manufacturer), and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC, China’s third largest oil company). The U.S. House of Representatives also passed a bill on December 1, requiring the removal for three years of all foreign companies listed in the U.S. stock markets that have not complied with the audit standards set by PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board). SMIC and Hikvision declined to comment on the news.

Source: China Times, December 10, 2020
https://www.chinatimes.com/cn/realtimenews/20201210005950-260410?ctrack=mo_money_headl_p01&chdtv

HKET: China Banned TripAdvisor from Its App Stores

Hong Kong Economic Times (HKET), the leading financial daily in Hong Kong, recently reported that China banned major U.S. travel service app TripAdvisor from the China region’s App stores on both Apple and Android markets. As of now, a search in the Chinese App stores will no long find TripAdvisor. This is part of the latest wave of the removal of 105 apps in the Chinese app market. The Chinese authorities claimed these are apps spreading obscene, violent, bloody and other illegal information. Some offered illegal services facilitating gambling and prostitution. Some of the applications did not comply with the “requirements of the government reviews.” It is unclear what caused the removal of a reputable global travel service provider like TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor does provide the capability for customers to make comments on services. China expressed the intent to continue this campaign of “cleaning up the app market” with similar future waves.

Source: HKET, December 9, 2020
https://bit.ly/3a75tAW

First Chinese Official Sanctioned for Persecuting Falun Gong Practitioners

On December 10, World Human Rights Day, the U.S. State Department announced sanctions on 17 foreign government officials and their immediate family members accusing them of serious human rights violations. In addition to the big names from Russia, El Salvador and Jamaica, the sanctions list also included a police officer from Xiamen City, Fujian Province, who was involved in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.

The statement specifically called out Huang Yuanxiong, director of the Wucun Police Station, Siming Branch of the Xiamen Public Security Bureau in Fujian province, accusing him of detaining, torturing and interrogating Falun Gong practitioners and seriously infringing on their religious freedom. It stressed that the world will not disregard the Chinese government’s violations of the internationally recognized freedoms of thought, conscience, and religious belief and the systematic suppression of human rights. Teng Biao is a Chinese lawyer who has defended Falun Gong practitioners in China and is currently residing in the U.S. Teng called the sanction significant because this is the first time that the U.S. imposed sanctions on Chinese officials who participated in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. Teng said that Falun Gong (practitioners) have been persecuted for more than 20 years. It is a major human rights disaster which has not received enough attention in the world. Zhang Erping, spokesperson for the Falun Dafa Information Center said that he welcomes the U.S. taking the lead on this human right issue and hoped that the sanction will make the Chinese officials take a look at their own consciences and consider whether to side with justice or with the abusers.

This year the U.S. has unexpectedly launched a number of sanctions on China’s human rights abusers. In July and August, the U.S. imposed financial and visa sanctions against Chen Quanguo, the Xinjiang Party Secretary; Wang Mingshan, the Public Security Director of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region; Carrie Lam, the Hong Kong Chief Executive; and Xia Baolong, the Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office. Recently it imposed sanctions on 14 CCP members on the Chinese parliament’s standing committee. As of today, the U.S. has imposed sanctions on total of 30 Chinese and Hong Kong officials.

Source: Radio Free Asia, December 11, 2020
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/renquanfazhi/hj-12112020141938.html

U.S. Terminates Five PRC-Funded Propaganda Programs Disguised as “Cultural Exchanges”

The US State Department announced on Friday, December 4, that it would terminate five exchange programs with China, one of which is related to Hong Kong.

These programs include the Policymakers Educational China Trip Program, the U.S.-China Friendship Program, the U.S.-China Leadership Exchange Program, the U.S.-China Transpacific Exchange Program and the Hong Kong Educational and Cultural Program.

Such programs were conducted under Section 108A of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act (MECEA), which allows U.S. government employees to travel using foreign government funds.

The state department’s statement called these programs PRC funded propaganda programs disguised as “cultural exchanges.”

“While other programs funded under the auspices of the MECEA are mutually beneficial, the five programs in question are fully funded and operated by the PRC government as soft power propaganda tools. They provide carefully curated access to Chinese Communist Party officials, not to the Chinese people, who do not enjoy the freedoms of speech and assembly. The United States welcomes the reciprocal and fair exchange of cultural programs with PRC officials and the Chinese people, but one-way programs such as these are not mutually beneficial.”

Source: U.S. State Department, December 4, 2020
https://www.state.gov/termination-of-prc-funded-propaganda-programs/

CCP Scholar: CCP Can Use Wall Street to Influence the U.S. Political Circle

On November 28, Di Dongsheng, Vice Dean of the School of International Relations at Renmin University and Vice Director and Secretary of the Center for Foreign Strategic Studies of China, delivered a speech at a forum on the topic of the opening of China’s financial sector and the implications in Shanghai. In his speech, Di disclosed that, prior to 2016, China used its connections with Wall Street to influence U.S. political circles but has failed to do so under the Trump’s administration. He indicated that China will restore its ties again under Biden’s administration.

The event had a live audience and was broadcast live via Guan Video, the Chinese online video-sharing platform. Other participants at the event included Zhang Zhixiang, former President of the Asian Development Bank and former Director of the International Department of the Central Bank of the Communist Party of China; the State Council Development Researcher Ding Yifan, deputy director of the Center’s World Development Institute; and Yao Yang, dean of the National Development Institute of Peking University.

Below is a translation of a partial summary of the speech:

At 3:35 minutes: The Trump administration is in a trade war with us. So why can’t we influence the Trump administration? Why is it that, between 1992 and 2016, China and the U.S. used to be able to settle all kinds of issues  No matter what kind of crises we encountered, be it the Yinhe Incident, the (U.S.) bombing of the (Chinese) embassy in Belgrade, or the Hainan Island incident, things were resolved in no time. It was like (a couple) “fighting starting at the bedhead but ending at the bed end” [editor’s note: this is a Chinese Idiom meaning disagreements between a couple are usually resolved quickly]. Everything was fixed within two months. Why? Here is the smoking gun: we have people at the top of the America’s core inner circle of power and influence. We have our old friends.

At 4:33 minutes: Di told a story. In 2015, before Xi Jinping’s visit to the U.S., the CCP needed to do warm up preparation work on public opinion. To help to build up the momentum, before Xi’s visit, the CCP wanted to hold a book release event for the first edition of the English version of Xi Jinping’s new book “Xi Jinping: The Governance of China.” Di was assigned the task to book the event and also be the host and guest speaker at the event. When Di contacted the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington to book the event, he was told that he had given too short a notice and the time slot was already booked. Di quickly found out that the owner of the bookstore was a Democrat, a former a journalist in Asia, and didn’t like the CCP. In the end though, the book release event was held at the time the CCP wanted because an elderly Jewish lady intervened. The lady spoke fluent Mandarin with a Beijing dialect. She told Di that she had Chinese citizenship, held Beijing permanent resident status and owned a Siheyuan (quadrangle dwellings) on Chang’an Street in the Dongcheng district. She was the president of the Asia region of a top financial institution.

At 9:30 minutes: For the past 30 to 40 years, we have been utilizing the core power of the U.S. As I said before, since the 1970’s, Wall Street had a very strong influence on the domestic and foreign affairs of the U.S. So we had a channel to rely on. The problem was that after 2008, Wall Street’s role declined. More importantly, after 2016, Wall Street couldn’t influence Trump,  … so during the U.S.-China trade war, they (Wall Street) tried to help. I know that my friends on the U.S. side told me that they tried to help but they couldn’t do much.

At 10:26 minutes: But now we see Biden was elected. The traditional elite, the political elite and the establishment … they are very close to Wall Street. So you heard it, right? Trump has been saying that Biden’s son has some sort of global foundation. Did you notice it? Who helped him (Biden’s son) to build the foundations? There are a lot of stories in all this.

Source:
1. Youtube, December 4, 2020
https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwGLItcb498&feature=youtu.be
2. Epoch Times, December 6, 2020
https://www.epochtimes.com/gb/20/12/6/n12599572.htm

U.S. Condemns China’s Failure to Enforce Sanctions against N. Korea

On Tuesday December 1, at an online seminar that the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank hosted, Alex Wong, deputy assistant secretary of state for North Korea, said that China’s failure, if not refusal, to implement UN sanctions aimed at denuclearizing North Korea may be delaying the process.

The UN Security Council obligated all UN Member States to repatriate DPRK laborers by the end of last year. “China continues to host at least 20,000 DPRK laborers, who earn revenue that goes straight back to North Korea’s weapons development efforts. In fact, earlier this year Chinese authorities were making it easier for DPRK nationals to work in China, in complete violation of its UN obligations.”

“The Chinese government increasingly allows its companies to conduct trade with North Korea in a broad spectrum of UN-prohibited goods, including seafood, textiles, iron and steel, industrial machinery, transportation vehicles, and sand and gravel. Chinese companies transact with North Korean companies and establish UN-prohibited joint ventures with them. They even continue to conduct business with UN-designated North Korean entities and those operating on their behalf—including entities that play key roles in North Korea’s weapons programs.”

China also hosts no less than two dozen North Korean WMD and ballistic missile procurement representatives and bank representatives.

“In the past year, on 555 separate occasions, we have observed ships carrying UN-prohibited coal or other sanctioned goods from North Korea to China. On none of these occasions did the Chinese authorities act to stop these illicit imports. Not once.”

“400 of those voyages were North Korean-flagged vessels shipping coal to Chinese coastal waters. Most of these shipments go to China’s busy Ningbo-Zhoushan area, where the vessels are required to provide extensive information about their identity, origin, and destination to local authorities. These ships are not coming to China like a thief in the night. They are ringing the doorbell and literally announcing themselves. Yet the Chinese authorities have done nothing.”

“On another 155 separate occasions, Chinese-flagged coastal barges have sailed directly into North Korea, loaded up on UN-prohibited coal, and then carried the illicit cargo back to Chinese ports.”

Wong acknowledged that China has reduced its overall trade with the DPRK since 2017, and especially in 2020 due to COVID-19. “The remaining illicit, unreported trade that exists is significant and it is trending in the wrong direction. In no other country do we see this breadth and depth of continuing illicit commercial activity with North Korea, the scale of which puts China in flagrant violation of its obligations.”

To help expose sanctions evasion activities by North Korea, the US State Department has, since June 2019, offered up to a $5 million reward for information on such activities.

According to Wong, the State Department on Tuesday launched a website specifically dedicated to such information.

“Today, the State Department is launching a new website, DPRKrewards.com, through which individuals across the globe (can) provide information to our rewards for justice program on DPRK sanction evasions,” he said.

Wong argued that removing or easing sanctions on North Korea now would only weaken the reasons for North Korea to consider denuclearization faithfully.

“Chinese leaders are asking us to build the frame of a house, even furnish it, without laying the foundation first,” said Wong.

Source: U.S. State Department, November 30, 2020
https://www.state.gov/deputy-special-representative-for-north-korea-delivers-keynote-address-at-csis-conference-on-north-koreas-economy/