Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) says the Biden administration must designate the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) a “transnational criminal organization,” to allow Americans to understand the regime’s vision for not only China, but also the United States.
“We’re making a differentiation between the people of China and the Communist Party of China,” the lawmaker told The Epoch Times on Feb. 28 at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida. “We need to designate them as that which recognizes who and what they are.”
In October 2020, Perry introduced legislation to designate the CCP as such, and to eliminate sovereign immunity for Chinese officials—which would allow them to be tried in U.S. court for criminal prosecution.
“They claim they have sovereignty, because they are a government of a country, but I think that’s very specious. They’re a criminal organization involved in criminal acts. It’s not a matter of conjecture,” Perry said. “It’s easily proven fact, whether it’s the distribution or the allowance of the distribution of fentanyl across our borders and right into the United States, or whether it’s the human rights violations.
“So we’re somehow giving them a pass, because they say we have sovereign immunity as a government.”
“Sovereign immunity as a government doesn’t allow you to commit horrific acts of violence against your own citizenry, or anybody else, whether it’s in your borders or not—the world has not allowed that,” he said.
Perry introduced the legislation with Reps. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) and Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) last year that would add the CCP to the Department of Justice’s Top International Criminal Organizations Target (TICOT) list, which seeks to identify and eliminate international criminal organizations that pose the gravest threat to U.S. national interests.
He said on Feb. 28 that the designation would allow the DOJ to deal with the Chinese regime and “prosecute those responsible” for issues ranging from intellectual property theft to the regime’s crimes against humanity.
“That will get the American people fully understanding who the Communist Party of China is and what their vision is for not only for China, for the United States of America,” Perry said.
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.
“These are all crimes and they’re not being dealt with,” Perry said, referring in part to the human rights abuses being committed against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region, forced organ harvesting, the Chinese regime’s social credit program, the intellectual property theft on U.S. soil, the distribution of narcotics, and proliferation through China into the United States through Mexico.
“So I think that it sets everybody’s frame of mind and especially businesses, because I don’t think most businesses want to be dealing with a criminal organization, and most businesses certainly don’t want to deal with some of this with an organization that is involved in the concentration camps and the oppression of the Uyghurs.”
A day before leaving office, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo designated the Chinese regime’s persecution of Uyghurs as genocide and “crimes against humanity.” While the Biden administration has agreed with the designation, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, however, has said the new administration has some reservations about former President Donald Trump’s approach to China.
“Let me just say that I also believe that President Trump was right in taking a tougher approach to China,” Blinken told the Senate foreign relations panel during his confirmation hearing. “I disagree very much with the way that he went about it in a number of areas, but the basic principle was the right one, and I think that’s actually helpful to our foreign policy.”
President Joe Biden has indicated he would focus on “extreme competition” with the Chinese regime, although the administration has shed little light on concrete plans, pending a review of Trump-era China policies. The administration also faces pressure from Congress to continue a hardline stance toward the regime, an area that enjoys bipartisan support.
Cathy He contributed to this report.