In a bold move on the world’s stage, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich) last week introduced legislation strongly supporting human rights in China, the world’s most populous nation and No. 2 economy. The resolution encourages the people there to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as part of the Tuidang movement. The word Tuidang literally means “quit (tui) the party (dang).”
“It’s important for the people of China who are struggling to be free to know that the United States, as free people, totally support efforts of the Chinese people to reject the Communist Party, to leave the Communist Party, a party that has tried to suppress the freedom of the Chinese people for decades,” said McCotter, who recently dropped his candidacy for president.
A peaceful way of voicing discontent in China, the Tuidang movement got its start in November 2004, when The Epoch Times published the “Nine Commentaries,” which reports honestly on the brutal history and crimes of the CCP. Since its introduction, as many as 100 million Chinese people have contacted the Global Service Center for Quitting the CCP by phone, Internet, fax, mail, and in person, to publicly post their renunciation of any association with the CCP and its affiliated organizations.
The legislation, House Resolution 416, references details of discrimination, harassment, imprisonment, torture, and execution of prisoners of conscience; specifically naming Falun Gong practitioners, journalists, and Christians, including Catholics.
The Senate has a similar initiative, Senate Resolution 232, also supporting the Tuidang movement and condemning the persecution of Falun Gong; a peaceful spiritual practice that was banned in 1999 after its popularity began to be perceived by CCP leaders as a threat.
For some politicians, human rights in China is a difficult topic. They want to support freedom around the world, but they also don’t want to endanger any potential economic benefits from a good relationship with CCP officials.
McCotter isn’t chasing the carrot of economic benefits from the CCP.
“I think that is very penny wise and pound foolish,” said McCotter. “The Chinese people will one day be free and the United States needs to stand with them in their stronghold the same as the people of Eastern Europe when they were occupied by the Soviet Communists.”
By strongly supporting the Tuidang movement, McCotter’s resolution, which has seven co-sponsors, and the Senate resolution, introduced by Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), are going where legislation on China has never gone before, essentially calling for a peaceful end to communist rule in China.
Speaking of China’s ruling class, who may not be so quick to throw away the form of the regime that has given them power and wealth, McCotter offered some words of wisdom:
“I think as time goes on and as they realize they should not settle for what the Communist Party allows them to have, they should demand what their rights are as human beings,” he said. “The Communist Party can make their lives miserable and there is nothing more dear and more cherished than freedom.”
With reporting by Lynn Wan.