The recent indictments of two suspected Chinese agents in California reveal how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is trying to turn the United States into a “hunting ground” for dissidents, according to Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.).
“This is a foreign government that is committing crimes against those that it deems to be a threat, right here on American soil,” Newhouse said.
The two suspected Chinese agents—John Chen from Chino City, California, and Lin Feng from Los Angeles—carried out their bribery scheme from January to May this year, according to prosecutors.
According to a court document, Chen characterized a Chinese official from whom the two received “direction” as someone “that is always in charge of these matters,” during an intercepted phone call. In other words, the unidentified Chinese official could be directly involved in China’s ongoing persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, possibly once having a position within the regime’s extralegal body known as the 610 Office.
The United States “should be a haven from persecution, not what they're trying to turn it into—a hunting ground for an authoritarian government,” Newhouse added.
610 OfficeFalun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline with slow meditative exercises and moral teachings based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. In 1999, the Chinese regime launched a persecution campaign against the group, throwing practitioners into prisons, labor camps, and brainwashing centers.
Newhouse said more and more American people, as well as members of Congress, are “seeing China for what it is” because of the “aggressive actions” that the Chinese communist regime has undertaken.
‘Confront China’s Repression Head-On’In response to the alleged bribery scheme against Falun Gong, two Republican lawmakers are calling for the government to confront China’s actions in the United States.
Noting in the letter that the Chinese police station in New York was reportedly helping Chinese authorities coerce the regime's targets into going back to China, Banks wondered at the time whether the facility had received U.S. approval to establish the premises and stressed there "should be no room for the Chinese government to exercise extraterritorial law enforcement unilaterally on U.S. soil."
He believes that the Biden administration could have acted faster.
“That sort of handwringing has emboldened the Chinese Communist Party and its agents to continue targeting American citizens on U.S. soil,” Banks told The Epoch Times. He urged Congress to push for more U.S. actions on this issue and "confront China’s repression head-on by sanctioning the United Front Work Department and kicking out any Chinese so-called ‘diplomats’ involved in these malign practices.”
China’s “united front” efforts mainly involve overseas operations to persuade organizations or individuals to spread the Party’s propaganda in different locales. The executive CCP agency behind these operations is the United Front Work Department (UFWD).
‘We Must Address This Threat’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) sees the alleged bribery case as an indication that the Chinese regime is relentless about targeting dissidents, even in the United States.
“China’s genocidal regime will stop at nothing to harass and intimidate Uyghurs, Tibetans, Falun Gong practitioners, Christians, and Hong Kongers living in exile, even on U.S. soil,” Rubio said in a statement to The Epoch Times.
“As continued reports of CCP agents targeting these groups surface," Rubio said, Congress "must address the threat" by passing the bipartisan Transnational Repression Policy Act that he, together with Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), introduced in March.
Under the act, U.S. diplomatic personnel and domestic federal employees would also receive training on identifying transnational repression, and the U.S. president would need to submit to Congress a list of foreign individuals who should receive sanctions for engaging in such campaigns.