U.S. lawmakers concerned about human rights in China, and their supporters, need to be exceedingly clear that their quarrel is with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and not with the people of China, said Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.).
The many human rights abuses in China, involving myriad issues such as forced labor camps, concentration camps, organ harvesting, disappearances, and extrajudicial killings, are urgent issues that call for concerted action, but Perry said that all too often, “China” is identified as the culprit in discussions of these matters, rather than the CCP.
“I think you always have to make the distinction. We have no quarrel with the people of China who are yearning to breathe free, like so many other people around the globe. Our quarrel is with the Chinese Communist Party, and its adherents, and the things that they do to their citizens, and the things that they would like to impose on the rest of the globe. That’s the problem,” Perry told EpochTV’s “China Insider” program at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, on Feb. 25.
People concerned about the situation in China have more options than they may realize.
“Everybody can do something, even if it’s just telling your neighbors, ‘Did you know this is happening in China?’” Perry said.
“So that if you have a choice between buying something that’s made in China, or not; if you have a choice between supporting a candidate who supports the CCP, or not—there’s where we make a million choices every single day.”
In the congressman’s view, the American public has received a heavy volume of misinformation about China over the years, some of it emanating directly from the U.S. government, which has tended to paint the regime Beijing as a “competitor in the marketplace” rather than an adversary with a far more sinister plan for global dominance. The CCP “wants to rule the world and dominate the world,” he said.
“So it’s going to take a long time to undo 40 or 50 years of dogma and propaganda, not from the CCP exclusively, but from [the U.S. government] itself,” Perry continued.
Perry sees the current U.S. administration’s approach to China as ill-advised. President Joe Biden, he said, has turned away from some of the tough policies of his predecessor, and the general tendency is to rely on the World Trade Organization (WTO) as an arbiter in disputes. But in Perry’s view, such an approach betrays a lack of understanding of how the WTO works and is doomed to failure as long as Beijing has a vote at the WTO.
“They’re going to continue to lie, they’re going to continue to abuse their privileges. China declares itself an emerging or developing nation, when they’ve got the first or second-largest economy in the world. They’re not a developing nation anymore,” he said.
“And so the WTO can’t be counted on, it must be America.”