Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) on Oct. 1 introduced a bill to designate the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as a “transnational criminal organization” and eliminate sovereign immunity for Chinese officials—which would allow them to be tried in U.S. court for criminal prosecution.
Perry on Thursday morning introduced the legislation with Reps. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) and Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) that would add the CCP to the Department of Justice’s Top International Criminal Organizations Target (TICOT) list.
The list, which was first distributed to federal agents and prosecutors in 2008, seeks to identify and eliminate international criminal organizations that pose the gravest threat to U.S. national interests, Perry’s office said.
The Pennsylvania representative announced the legislation on the 71st anniversary of the CCP’s takeover of China, which saw more than 150 groups in some 60 cities around the world rally in protest of the Chinese regime’s human rights abuses.
“The thugocracy that is the Chinese Communist Party must be held accountable for its international crimes and face the full force of the U.S. law enforcement agencies,” Perry said in a statement.
Perry described the Chinese regime as “an existential threat to American freedoms and liberties,” saying that the United States must deploy an all-of-government approach to combat its “malign behavior.”
“For decades, the aggressive, illegal behavior of the CCP has cost Americans millions of jobs, billions of dollars in intellectual property value, and the independence of our academic institutions,” he added.
Transnational organized crime is defined by the FBI as self-perpetuating associations of individuals who operate transnationally for the purpose of obtaining power, influence, and monetary and/or commercial gains, wholly or in part by illegal means, while protecting their activities through a pattern of corruption and/or violence, or while protecting their illegal activities through a transnational organizational structure and the exploitation of transnational commerce or communication mechanisms.
Perry also announced the bill in a speech in front of the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, saying that the CCP “cannot be given a pass, cannot be absolved of justice, just because it’s ruling China.”
“They’re allowed to get away with oppression, concentration camps, all kinds of horrific things that you already know about, whether it’s the Falun Gong, whether it’s our friends in Mongolia, whether it’s taking over Tibet,” he continued, referring to Beijing’s persecution of the ancient spiritual practice, erosion of Mongolian cultural customs, and suppression of Tibetan Buddhists, respectively.
“All of it has to end, and it’s criminal activity that must be recognized and stood against by the whole world community, and the United States must lead,” he added.
Eva Fu contributed to this report.