U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently met with representatives of groups victimized by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) who urged the Trump administration to designate the CCP a “transnational criminal organization.”
Washington-based advocacy group Committee on Present Danger: China organized the gathering, under the banner of the “Captive Nations Coalition,” which included representatives from the Tibetan, Uyghur, Inner Mongolian, Hong Kong, and Falun Gong communities. Also invited were people who have negatively affected by Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative, a massive foreign investment project that aims to advance the regime’s political and economic interests around the world.
Committee Vice Chairman Frank Gaffney said the victim groups hoped to convey to the State Department their experiences of suppression by the regime, in the hopes of advancing the message that “all of us are under threat from the global, totalitarian ambitions of the Chinese Communist Party.”
The meeting marked the first time that State Department officials met with these groups together, according to participants. The representatives met with Pompeo; Robert Destro, the assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor; and Miles Yu, Pompeo’s policy adviser, on Dec. 3.
The State Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Gaffney said the representatives urged the administration to designate the CCP a “transnational criminal organization” under U.S. law. Such a designation would help “delegitimize the most odious and most dangerous entity in the world today,” Gaffney told NTD, an affiliate of The Epoch Times.
He added that it would also send a strong message to those in China who are “trying to empower, enrich, enable, and embolden this most dangerous entity to become even worse by transferring the wealth of Americans, particularly from our capital markets,” because this designation would mean that they would become accessories to criminal activity.
Joyce Ho, president of Project Black Mask, a U.S.-based advocacy group for Hong Kong, said she told Pompeo at the meeting that the United States must continue fighting for the people of Hong Kong. In the past six months, the CCP has drastically escalated its crackdown on freedoms in the city after imposing a draconian national security law.
“If we don’t have the support of the United States government, it seems that Hong Kong will go down the path of becoming the next Uyghur population or the next Tibet,” Ho told NTD, referring to Uyghur Muslims and Tibetan Buddhists who are suppressed in the Xinjiang and Tibet regions.
Sean Lin, a representative of the Falun Dafa Association of Washington, said he thanked Pompeo for his strong statements condemning the persecution of its adherents, a campaign that Beijing began in 1999.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that includes meditative exercises and a set of moral teachings based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. Adherents have been subjected to harassment, detention, and torture in an effort to coerce them into giving up their beliefs.
Millions have been detained, according to estimates by the Falun Dafa Information Center.
On July 20, the 21st anniversary of the start of the CCP’s elimination campaign against Falun Gong, Pompeo called on the regime to end its persecution—the first time a U.S. secretary of state has issued such a statement.
During the recent meeting, Lin also emphasized to Pompeo the crime of forced organ harvesting committed by the CCP on imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners. In 2019, an independent people’s tribunal concluded, after a yearlong investigation, that state-sanctioned organ harvesting had occurred for years in China “on a substantial scale,” and continues. The main sources for the organs are Falun Gong adherents, it said.
Pompeo said he was well aware of forced organ harvesting and that the department was looking into the issue, according to Lin.
“I think in the future, we will hear more about the crime of organ harvesting being exposed,” Lin said.
NTD reporter Kitty Wong contributed to this report.