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Rep. Scott Perry: US Should Designate the CCP as a ‘Transnational Criminal Organization’

 

“We need to quit this viewpoint that they’re a strategic competitor. China and the Communist Party [see] the United States of America as their enemy. And they treat us as such. It’s time we start acting like there’s an enemy out there,” says Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, Texas, we sat down with Perry to discuss Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent trip to Taiwan, the Chinese regime’s threats to shoot down her plane, how Beijing is exploiting America’s strategic weaknesses, and what holding the Chinese regime to account would actually look like.

Perry argues that the United States should “classify and characterize the Chinese Communist Party as a transnational criminal organization.”

“If you look at the evidence, everything that they do qualifies them for that,” Perry says.

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Jan Jekielek:

Congressman Scott Perry, it’s such a pleasure to have you on American Thought Leaders.

Rep. Scott Perry:

It is great to be with you. And of course, the subject couldn’t be more appropriate at the moment.

Mr. Jekielek:

Absolutely, and it’s high time. I’ve been following your career and your thoughts about China for years now. The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, landed in Taiwan, and met with the highest officials in Taiwan. The Taiwanese were thrilled with her visit. It met with mixed reactions worldwide, and very strong verbal reactions from the Chinese regime. What’s your take?

Rep. Scott Perry:

My take is that I’m happy that America is representing itself in Taiwan and meeting with the leadership in Taiwan. I’m invigorated that China sees that. Look, everybody knows I’m not a big fan of the speaker, or the speaker’s policies. Regardless, the speaker represents the United States of America and the speaker went to Taiwan. That’s a big deal. While we don’t have a treaty obligation, it’s important that the United States, not just rhetorically, but with action, lets the rest of the world know that we stand shoulder to shoulder with free people, people that want to be free, people that have democracies, and people that reject oppression, dictatorships, and totalitarian leadership around the world.

Of course, it’s front and center with China being right there across the strait. For Taiwan, it’s not just a rhetorical thing. It’s not like someone is an ocean away stealing the things that you fought for and the freedoms that you have. It’s right there in their face. Every time something like this happens, it’s a good thing for the cause of freedom around the globe. It is good when America stands up for countries that want to be free like Taiwan.

Mr. Jekielek:

There were actually threats from the top through their state media suggesting that her plane might be shot down. There were numerous things like that. That was probably the most extreme, saying that action would be taken. What do you make of this?

Rep. Scott Perry:

First of all, it needs to be a wake up call to anybody in America thinking the status quo will always remain the status quo. I am talking about the United States of America always being the global leader. Americans just assume this, because in their lifetimes, that is how it’s always been. But there has been a big price to pay for that. Of course, the cost of freedom is eternal vigilance. What Americans should recognize is that the Communist Party of China and their state media made the calculation that there was no downside to threatening the United States. Essentially, it was an act of war, because they’re threatening to shoot you down. They are threatening to shoot down the Speaker of the House of the United States of America. They made a calculation there would be no downside, or a minimum downside to that.

It’s a wake-up call that this cannot be business as usual. We need to see the Communist Party of China for what it is. We need to quit this viewpoint that they’re a strategic competitor. The Chinese Communist Party sees the United States of America as their enemy, and they treat us as such. It’s time we start acting like there’s an enemy out there.

Mr. Jekielek:

Do you think the Chinese state media is saying this in their official capacity, or is someone  just mouthing off?

Rep. Scott Perry:

No, there’s nothing in Chinese state media that is not controlled by the Communist Party. This is all by design. It is intentional. There’s a reason it’s happening, because weakness invites provocation. They feel comfortable doing it. They feel comfortable saying it, because at this moment, they judge us to be weak enough for them to get away with it. That’s really the important point that American citizens need to internalize. This isn’t just happening because someone made a mistake, or somebody shot off their mouth. That doesn’t happen in these controlled societies. It is all by design. The United States is currently projecting weakness, and has been over some time. You are seeing the consequences of that right now. And if you think these consequences are going to lessen, you’re wrong. Actually, these consequences are going to increase.

Mr. Jekielek:

To quote you, you’ve talked about, “the flacid response” to China’s threats of war in general. You’ve also described us as having a failed One China policy. Please explain that to me.

Rep. Scott Perry:

Certainly the response has been mixed. Even in the administration, we see two different viewpoints that seem to be confusing to Americans and are taken advantage of by our adversaries, especially the Chinese. We don’t support Taiwan, or the independence of Taiwan, yet we’ll send our Speaker of the House over there. The speaker will meet with their highest leadership. We disagree with the goals of the Communist Chinese Party, but we don’t really do anything meaningful regarding the theft of intellectual property, the disregard for international trade agreements, and the disregard for United States law.  We disregard a host of things that the Chinese Communist Party does, from propaganda to spy operations. It might actually be worse than a flacid response. It’s almost an emboldening and almost a willfully assistive response to the goals of the Chinese Communist Party.  

We don’t want to be in a war with China. That’s not our goal. That’s never been our goal. But at some point we have to acknowledge that the policy and the rhetoric from the United States has failed. It’s a failed policy, and we are now long into this. We have got to begin starting at this moment. Every single moment that goes by is a wasted moment.  We need to start digging ourselves back out of this carefully, because we don’t want to be in a war with China and the Communist Party of China. But we have to understand our circumstances as well. We no longer have the largest navy on the planet. We no longer can project power like we could against the Chinese Communist Party, because of parity and things like hypersonic missiles, and maybe even the superiority of the Chinese Communist Party in space.

These things are all a very careful calculation. Unfortunately, the American people have very little confidence that this current administration has a coherent strategic plan for China in the short term and in the long term with. Quite honestly, as a conservative, there have been too many occasions where our side, the Republican Party in particular, has turned a blind eye to things that are unacceptable. So, we’re culpable in this too. We need to be not just throwing  blame and pointing fingers, but collaboratively working with our friends on the other side of the aisle for the good of America and the good of the globe.

Mr. Jekielek:

For decades, it has been a bipartisan situation that has allowed the Chinese Communist Party to get away with many things, like building up these islands in the South China Sea.

Rep. Scott Perry:

There has been a lot of rhetoric, but zero action. I’ve been on the Foreign Affairs Committee since I came to Congress. Up until COVID-19, there were plenty of bills that were submitted to the committee for consideration for a markup, and for a hearing. None of them ever came to be, not one in the entire time until COVID happened. So yes, it’s a problem with both sides. We were in the majority too. I was there when we were in the majority for a short period of time. In this regard, we have been complicit in our own demise. Of course, the first step towards recovery and health is recognizing your own failures and your own problems. We are complicit in this situation.

Mr. Jekielek:

When you’re in a bad relationship, the other side is used to getting away with things. It’s almost an expectation. Maybe this is what Chinese Communist Party is doing. Basically, you have this situation where it’s almost outrageous when you no longer follow the script. The script may have been that you capitulate, you agree, and you allow the other side to save face.  

I was wondering whether Speaker Pelosi would actually end up in Taiwan, because historical precedent might suggest that she wouldn’t go, if you look back at the last 20, 30 years. But she did. There was outrage before, and outrage after. How do you, “safely change the status quo?”

Rep. Scott Perry:

If you’ve had any type of relationship, at some point you realize that we teach each other what we’ll accept. That’s kind of what you will get. So, if you keep on accepting poor treatment from the people you’re in relationships with, they’re going to continue to give you poor treatment.

If on that one particular day you decide, “I’m done with this,” but you’ve always allowed them to treat you poorly, there’s going to be a reaction. You have to recognize and understand that. This is one of those moments where we have a choice to do it the right way. Look, there’s two in this relationship. There’s a Chinese Communist Party, the CCP, and then of course, there’s the United States of America. As a military guy, this is one of the things I know. The enemy always gets a vote. You have your plan, but the enemy gets a vote. Even though you planned a bunch of different things, the enemy might not respond like you expect.

We need to be prepared for that. At the outset,  this is going to take some small, but very definitive steps to say, “We have reevaluated this relationship and our circumstances. We don’t appreciate the way you’ve been treating us. So, we’re moving things in a different direction right now.” Then, we will see how they respond. It’s important that we do that as soon as possible, because as time goes on, we will have less and less options based on their response.

Mr. Jekielek:

But we’ve taken a first step here.

Rep. Scott Perry:

We have taken the first step. But even as you say that, it’s my understanding that while the speaker decided not to be intimidated by the rhetoric of the Communist Chinese Party, the administration urged her not to go and was not in agreement. That’s not a good place for us to be. The speaker did visit Taiwan, it’s very high profile, and the world is watching. The Communist Party of China is also looking behind the scenes and knows that we’re not speaking with one voice. They are willing to exploit that division and that weakness.

Mr. Jekielek:

What would be the geopolitical implications were the U.S. to recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation?

Rep. Scott Perry:

We don’t know.  Based on the rhetoric of the Communist Party, we speculate that potentially there could be a military incursion, and that potentially there could be punishment on economic terms to both us and Taiwan. The Chinese Communist Party is very calculating. They’re anxious and they want to move up their timeline, especially when they sense weakness. I don’t think that they necessarily would do anything rash, but here, again, the enemy always gets a vote. They might be calculating a whole different paradigm. They might say, “We’re not going to accept that. Now, we’ve gotten ourselves so far out on a limb that we’re going to be perceived as weak unless we do this.” It’s very important that we have some caution here, and I want to be careful about how I characterize this. You can push an animal that’s typically docile into a corner, but once it’s in a corner and has to fight for its life, the character of that animal changes.

The prudent thing is to not push the animal into a corner, so that it has to fight its way back out. But we need a coherent strategy that all of us are on board with. All of us. It can’t be that the speaker is heading here, and the president is heading there, Wall Street is heading here, and half the Congress is headed over there. We’ve all got to be on the same page on this thing and somebody has to lead it. Unfortunately, there’s been a lack of leadership at the top during this administration, but also to a certain extent in our own party. President Trump was taking the correct steps, but even as he was doing it, people within his own administration were undermining him. That cannot be allowed to happen.

There need to be consequences for that as well. The people that are doing that need to be reminded and somebody’s probably going to have to be the example. There’s a bigger cause here. It is the cause of the sovereignty of the United States of America and of freedom around the globe. That is the cause. There have to be sacrifices.

Mr. Jekielek:

Talking about Wall Street very broadly, we’re in a situation where Chinese companies still are not required to have a normal audit. But at the same time, American companies that are working in China all have these partnerships set up where they are required to transfer their intellectual property. You mentioned that Wall Street needs to be on board with this. You are describing the one-country effort Secretary Pompeo talked about at one point. What is the likelihood of that happening, given these realities?

Rep. Scott Perry:

Look, nobody said this was going to be easy. I don’t know the likelihood of it happening. But here’s what I am confident in saying. There is almost no chance of it happening unless the people at the top of this administration, and quite honestly in the halls of Congress say “We’ve had enough of this. We’re not going to stand for it any longer.” Then, they have to take some concrete actions. Quite honestly, in this regard, the administration can take action right now. All they have to do is say to China, “You’re working on the stock exchange, and the Securities and Exchange Commission says you must comply with audits like everybody else.” This is a pretty easy sell to the American people.

The American people would be fine with this, even the ones that have questions. If you just say, “Look, we would appreciate the reciprocity. We understand that you don’t like this. We’re going to do what’s fair here. We’re going to treat you like everyone else, and you’re going to treat us like everyone else, or else we’re going to have an issue here.” Somebody with the authority to make that change has to be willing to say that. The person with the authority is the president and the secretary of the Securities and Exchange Commission. They can start signaling and say, “This is coming.” It doesn’t have to be a switch that you throw overnight. You can say, “Look, we have decided this is our policy now. We’re going to implement it in six months.” But right now there has been no sign whatsoever that anything is going to change. The people that are taking advantage of us in this relationship sense that we’re okay with being taken advantage of, and they’re going to continue. They will see just how much they can take advantage of us.

Mr. Jekielek:

With the bills that you are mentioning, there are many reasons why most of them never made it. But what is the overall theme of these bills that would actually be beneficial to America?

Rep. Scott Perry:

There is a whole host of bills, from very moderate to pretty much in your face. For instance, we could classify and characterize the Chinese Communist Party as a transnational criminal organization. That might seem extreme to people. But if you look at the evidence, everything they do qualifies them for that classification. I know that’s uncomfortable for some people. So, how about this? We just don’t allow the thrift savings plan. Every service member in uniform is required to pay into these plans that invest in Chinese companies that are unaudited, and in many cases these plans are funding the very enemy that our service members in uniform are training to fight against. That seems pretty perfunctory to me, but yet none of those bills have come up, not one of them.

We can’t even find a way to determine the origins of COVID 19, vis-a-vis the Chinese Communist Party, and the Wuhan Institute of virology. We’re not even interested in that. These should be somewhat easy things. There’s a lot of money floating around. I understand there’s a lot at stake, but the sovereignty of your country and your freedom is at stake too. We need to ascribe a value to that freedom, so that people can really understand what is truly at stake here.

Mr. Jekielek:

Is it the money, basically? Is that what you’re saying? Is it the money that makes the difference?

Rep. Scott Perry:

Absolutely. A lot of it is about the money. It’s front and center in some instances.. I hate to pick on the NBA, but they certainly deserve criticism. I get that the market in China is huge, but is that how we want to live? The NBA is happy to criticize the United States of America for whatever shortcomings we have, either currently, or through perceptions about our past. But they’re absolutely unwilling to criticize the Communist Party of China. As a matter of fact, even when they slightly dip their toe in the water, they have to publicly apologize for it. Is this a long, deeply held belief of theirs that the Communist Party of China is the moral high ground, the moral standard, and the beacon of light on the hill that all countries aspire to? Meanwhile, concentration camps are happening in East Turkistan.

You have the social credit system. You have the lack of freedom now in Hong Kong, before our very eyes, and the dissolution of the agreement. I’m sorry, but it’s a linear equation. But we all understand this, and we know what’s happening here. Yes, money is a powerful motivator, but you’re betraying your own country for the money.

Mr. Jekielek:

Enes Kanter Freedom, formerly playing in the NBA, can’t find work right now. And it’s not for lack of skill, that’s for sure.

Rep. Scott Perry:

That’s exactly right.

Mr. Jekielek:

What about the money flowing in the halls of Congress?

Rep. Scott Perry:

That probably needs to be addressed. I don’t have any that I know of, other than the fact that on occasion, my family shops at Walmart. So, if that’s where we’re going, then we all need to know those are the new rules of play. It’s important to see if the votes that are being taken and the bills that are coming to the forefront in Congress are being done so that somebody is enriching themselves based on their relationship with the Communist Party of China. It’s also important to distinguish that we’re not talking about rank-and-file citizens in China that would like freedom themselves.

We’re talking about the Communist Party and all the connections to that enterprise. If the things that are being done in Congress are enriching our legislators, and at the same time benefiting the CCP, that needs to be taken head on.

Mr. Jekielek:

I don’t know if anyone’s done this calculation, but how much money does the Chinese regime spend on lobbying in Washington? And it’s not just federal lobbying, they have operations in every large state.

Rep. Scott Perry:

 Absolutely, right down to the local level. 

Mr. Jekielek:

Exactly.

Rep. Scott Perry:

Again, where is Congress on the oversight? We have a whole committee dedicated to that. I sit on foreign affairs, and there’s an oversight subcommittee—but there has not been one hearing, and not one question.

Mr. Jekielek:

A lot of people are expecting the Republicans will take the gavel in the house, at least in the coming election. What are you going to do?

Rep. Scott Perry:

First of all, we have to shore up our own citizens that are greatly suffering right now. The cost of living right now, and the policies driving it are hitting home to every single citizen. As members of Congress, we need to start adding value as to why we’re in Congress. What are we doing for our citizens in our country? I’m a representative of the American people in a district in Pennsylvania. So, that’s number one, but part and parcel of that is also how we’re doing internationally. I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania, and every little town had its own industry. Over the course of my lifetime, that’s all gone. Those jobs are gone.

Those skills are gone. Those industries are gone. Most of them have gone overseas. Most of them have gone to Asia. A lot of them have gone to China at a speed and depth that is increasing. It’s not just menial jobs. Now it’s high tech. If we want to preserve not only our country, but also well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we need to look at what our policies have been, what the results have been, and start making course corrections. And we haven’t seen it. We started a course correction during the last administration, but in the course of a year-and-a-half, that’s already been wiped out. We’ve got to start that long march again, and we’ve got to get both sides on board.

Mr. Jekielek:

Let’s briefly take a side road here. There is one initiative that is pretty much stuck. It’s the Clean Network Initiative, run by Under Secretary of State Keith Krach in the previous administration. It was getting Huawei out of our communications system, and also out of other countries’ systems. So, what about Huawei? Recently, there’s been some buzz about maybe they really do have monitoring on these large structures.”

Rep. Scott Perry:

Who knew, right? Who knew? Of course, we all knew. In circumstances like that there’s no time to waste. The Left and the Right, Republicans and Democrats, and everybody in between needs to be speaking with one voice and an understanding that it’s bad for our country. It’s not just politics, and it’s not just the Left versus the Right. We can’t have these wild swings where we’re going to ban Huawei, and then the next administration comes in and says, “We have no problem with them.” The Chinese can wait us out. They can wait the four years. They can wait the eight years. In the meantime, they’re working all around the globe. Now at the same time, Republicans and fiscally-conservative Democrats, if there are any left, need to be aware that there might be a cost to this.

Oftentimes we call it cronyism, or crony-capitalism, but the Chinese are happy to dump all this technology on these struggling companies to get it embedded in there. Then, it’s in there. For upgrades these companies have to keep going back to the Chinese. There’s going to be a cost to America to do some of this stuff. The question is, is it a reasonable cost and can American recoup it? What we don’t want to do is have American taxpayers pay for all this. The companies make all the money, they make all the profits, and China and Huawei continue. That’s not going to be acceptable. This is actually what we’ve seen, to a certain extent.

Mr. Jekielek:

Let’s call it extreme subsidies for the CCP. It goes far beyond the immediate financial gain for corporations. For example, let’s take the whole solar panel industry in China. It is massively subsidized to the point of almost cornering the market, and then basically being the only source. This isn’t the only industry where this has been done. Do people realize this? 

Rep. Scott Perry:

People like me scream it from the mountaintops every time we have the opportunity—85 per cent sourcing of things like battery technology, battery critical components, solar panels, or slave labor-associated products, whether it’s in East Turkestan or whether it’s in Africa. You’re a part of that every time you purchase these things, and every time you advocate for this situation. Generally speaking, I don’t know whether people know or care. They care about it when they know about it, but then maybe they don’t believe it. They don’t believe it’s at that scale. They don’t believe the claims of over 90 per cent of the pharmaceuticals. They do not internalize that until it hits home. It hit home with the pharmaceuticals, at certain point during COVID.

Mr. Jekielek:

Please let me clarify, because we jumped from the solar panels. You’re saying a very significant portion of the ingredients of medicines sold in America are made in China

Rep. Scott Perry:

We can’t get antibiotics in this country if we’re dependent on China, which is where we are right now. So again, if you’re going to get into an openly adversarial, hostile relationship, understand that you better be prepared to quickly provide the medicines that your society needs. Right now we can’t. That’s just one of the reasons that we have to be careful. So where the Right might have to come to the table on funding for some of this stuff, the Left also has to be willing to come to the table. Look at all these restrictions on getting critical minerals, because they like to call them rare earth minerals. They’re not rare. They’re under our feet in the United States of America, but it’s so restrictive we can’t get them, and we won’t get them. They’re going to have to say, “Look, there’s a bigger cause here. Yes, we’re going to mine for them.”

There’s going to be the things that occur with mining, but no one does it cleaner and more responsibly than the United States of America. But if we’re going to allow China to continue to do this, then be ready to be led around by the nose by the Communist Party of China.

Mr. Jekielek:

The picture you’re painting here is that Congress hasn’t been very effective on these matters.

Rep. Scott Perry:

Congress hasn’t been effective. Congress has not been willing, for one reason or another—whether it’s courage, whether it’s people feathering their own nest, or whether it’s people voting in favor of someone else that’s a constituency that’s feathering the profit motive. Let’s face it. What has Congress really done to reign in the Communist Party of China in America or globally? From my observation, it has been tepid rhetoric, at best.

Mr. Jekielek:

Let’s get back to this issue. One of the things that you mentioned is that China’s preferential trade status should be revoked.

Rep. Scott Perry:

I do think so.

Mr. Jekielek:

That would be a very significant move, which is probably a huge understatement. Of all the things I can imagine, that one would probably have the greatest consequence. Do you agree with me?

Rep. Scott Perry:

I definitely think it would. I don’t necessarily think we’re going to just flip the switch. When I wake up to tomorrow morning, I’m going to flip the switch and we’re going to announce it. You start letting China know that we’ve had enough and these will be the consequences. “Here’s what you can do so that this doesn’t happen. You take these actions and then we can have a discussion about it. But if nothing’s going to happen in this amount of time, which we are going to lay out right now—here’s the timeline, here are the concrete steps you can take—then we’re going to start taking some action.” No one is talking in those terms whatsoever. What happens is people will get frustrated and say, “If we’re not going to do anything, then I’m just going to take this action.”

We all go to our corners. We can’t be that way. The leadership in Congress has to be willing to do this. When I say the leadership in Congress, it’s the speaker, it’s the minority leader, and it’s committee leadership as well. It’s committee leadership, especially on the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Financial Services Committee, and the Energy and Commerce committee. Get together, take a stand, and work out a plan so we can start walking out of this box that we have put ourselves in.

Mr. Jekielek:

Is there anyone still talking about holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable for COVID?

Rep. Scott Perry:

No, not in any real way. Certainly the administration could be the strongest voice on that. But signaling that we are joining with the World Health Organization on this pandemic response policy doesn’t bode well. Again, it should be rhetoric, followed by action. And we see nothing. I see nothing that signals the administration is willing to hold China accountable. They have different priorities. People that are following along know that the administration is following its own priorities, not the priority of holding China accountable. This has to be the priority.

Mr. Jekielek:

You introduced a bill in 2020 about this. It died, I would guess. Is it coming back?

Rep. Scott Perry:

We’re going to continue to reintroduce it, but the other side of the aisle is not going to. First of all, they have to agree with it. Second of all, it doesn’t have to be my bill. They can write the same bill and I’ll support it. We won’t love it, if they steal it. But we’re trying to get on the same page here. So, it’s certainly not going to come up while they’re in charge. The question is, will it come up when we’re in charge, or will we even have a conversation about it?

Mr. Jekielek:

That’s what I’m asking. 

Rep. Scott Perry:

Yes, I sure hope so.

Mr. Jekielek:

Let’s jump back to this bill that would label the Chinese Communist Party a transnational criminal organization. It would be such a huge move politically that it’s almost unimaginable, even to people that are listening right now. But this has been something you have been serious about.

Rep. Scott Perry:

It is acting as a transnational criminal organization to the detriment of our country, to our society, and to our economy. Even if we had a markup on the bill, even if we just brought up the bill and had a hearing on the bill, it would start sending a signal. But when you don’t even discuss that every single day the Chinese Communist Party gets away with all this stuff and we do nothing about it, it makes people wonder why do we have these designations if we’re not going to use them? Apparently, you can buy your way out of them. We’re either a country of laws or we’re not. We have to influence the behavior of the Chinese Communist Party. The important part of this conversation is to alert America that this is happening, because they might not know it. We need to have them understand there is a separation between the Chinese people who are oppressed, and the Chinese Communist Party that oppresses them, and that the CCP wants to steal from us and replace us as the leader in the world.

How are they ever going to know? How are the people that are trying to pay their mortgage, get their kids to school, and deal with doctor bills and insurance and taxes going to internalize this if we never have the conversation?

Mr. Jekielek:

There is a stark distinction between the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese people. Certainly there are people who support the Chinese regime, but there’s certainly a lot that don’t. Professor Sen Nieh from Catholic University was on the show talking about the Quit the Chinese Communist Party movement, also known as the Tuidang movement. That movement just reached 400 million people quitting the Communist Party over about a two decade period. 

Rep. Scott Perry:

Yes. Here again, it’s easy for us. We’re in America and it’s easy if you don’t live somewhere in the clutches of the Chinese Communist Party to say, “I quit the CCP,” and I’m sure many have done it. But the ones that are in their clutches understand the gravity of the situation. You can lose your livelihood, lose your family, and potentially, lose your life. This is a good opportunity for America to say, “We stand with these people. We acknowledge these folks.” We need to acknowledge the sacrifices they are making for the sake of freedom. We cannot continue to take for granted the liberties that we have, because they will be taken away, just like they have been taken away in Hong Kong, just like they are being taken away in Tibet, and just like they are being taken away in China. This is happening with the advent of Big Tech, and with the help of Big Tech in the United States .

When I say that, of course, they don’t it see themselves. They see themselves as global companies founded and operated from the United States of America, but working with the Communist Chinese Party to oppress their people. Why is that acceptable in the United States of America by American citizens? Why is the forced organ harvesting of the Falun Gong acceptable for the American people? Why isn’t the media covering it? Why is this not a bigger issue? Somebody has to make it a priority. As you know, I make it one of my priorities. But we need 435 in the house, and we need 100 in the Senate. And for goodness’s sake, we need the President of the United States to say something about this.

Mr. Jekielek:

I’m glad that you mentioned this. I’ve been reporting on this since 2006, and I have interviewed David Kilgour. You have probably met him, and he recently passed away, unfortunately. He was doing some of the initial work studying this issue and asking the question, “Is there really a murder-for-organs industry in China?” I remember this like it was yesterday. He had talked to a Taiwanese who had a rare antibody condition, and had eight different kidneys fitted over two months before the eighth one took. He explained to me the ethical scenario when this actually happened. Recently, we had the American Journal of Transplantation, the top-tier transplantation journal in the world, publishing about 73 cases of Chinese doctors killing people by extracting the heart. This is not conspiracy theory. But when we talk about it, I think back to the film Coma, and I think back to all these other crazy films. It’s very difficult for people to grasp.

Rep. Scott Perry:

They can’t imagine this would actually be happening in the 21st century, but every single sign points to it. We have to be careful here because no one has stood in the operating room with the lights on and the camera on interviewing the person that’s about to have their organs taken out, and losing their life. I have a news flash for everybody. The Chinese Communist Party doesn’t allow these kind of investigations in their country. But look at the fact that there is no waiting list for an organ transplant in China. Yet, in developed nations there are long waiting lists. People will sometimes pass away while waiting for a suitable organ match. Yet there is no waiting list in China. There have been investigations into this that have concluded, and confirmed as far as they can, that live organ harvesting happens in China.

We want to see the public outcry. We want to see Xi Jinping questioned on this in an open forum, and not be allowed to weasel out of answering that question. That’s what we want to to see. Not something behind closed doors, where you come back out and tell us afterwards that you brought it up.

Mr. Jekielek:

Here’s one thing that has always troubled me. When a regime does this sort of thing, a lot of money is involved. This is a billion dollar industry, even by the most conservative calculations. How can you expect them to function ethically in other areas?

Rep. Scott Perry:

You know that they won’t. Again, we’re doing what is easy. We’re just turning a blind eye to these horrible things, because we want to do business over there. Morally and ethically, it’s completely unacceptable. And from a government standpoint, it’s unacceptable to essentially turn a blind eye as well. That is exactly what we have been doing for a long time. We have found some way to justify it, since we don’t have the proof right in front of us. We don’t have the person that had their organs harvested, the family members, or other witnesses. So, we can’t do a thing about it. We have said, “Never again in our lifetime.” It’s happening right now, and we’re not doing a thing about it.

Mr. Jekielek:

This was being done to the Falun Gong for more than a decade before it resulted in the current situation in Xinjiang.

Rep. Scott Perry:

Again, weakness is provocative. There was a dictator in the thirties that said, “We watched what happened to the Armenians, and no one said a word, so we can just keep going. That’s why you cannot allow these things to occur at any level. As soon as you find out about them, they must be stopped. The United States is woefully lacking on this. Quite honestly, the free world is completely lacking on this.

Mr. Jekielek:

As we finish up, there was a significant turning point in the relationship with China during the Trump administration. This is one of the areas where there was some kind of bipartisan consensus. It was Speaker Pelosi that went to Taiwan after all, indicating that the CCP has to be dealt with in some way. Throughout this interview, you have talked about lots of structural problems in Congress and in the administration that are preventing this from happening. In a very concrete way, what can be done immediately to shift this?

Rep. Scott Perry:

The rhetoric is important. Public actions, like the one by the speaker are important to reset people’s minds about this. Probably the best thing to do is to look at the perils the United States faces in a world where China is in charge and is the global leader—whether it’s pharmaceuticals, whether it’s technology, or whether it’s just general economics and finance. We need to prioritize those challenges and then assign a solution to each one. We need to prioritize them both legislatively and administratively. But right now there is no one plan that everybody can refer to, in order to identify the current, top problem. We can’t say, “This is a real problem now, but we’ve worked on it. We got it down to 50 per cent, now we need to shift to this other problem.”  We’re being attacked from all sides. In the chaos of this attack, we can’t pick something and start working on it, or we’re just unwilling to do it. Because right now it serves other interests, and we’re okay with that.

We can’t look out far enough to see where this story ends. We have to start looking out far enough, come up with what our challenges are, prioritize our solutions, and then get to work on those solutions.

Mr. Jekielek:

Congressman Scott Perry, it’s such a pleasure to have you on the show.

Rep. Scott Perry:

Thank you so much for the opportunity and the forum. It is great, and it’s impactful for people. Thanks for bringing it to us.

Mr. Jekielek:

Thank you all for joining Congressman Scott Perry and I on this episode of American thought leaders. I’m your host Jan Jekielek.

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