All present and former members of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) National Congress, as well as all of their adult relatives, would be barred from entering the United States or owning property in the country under new sanctions sought by 19 House Republicans.
“This collection of individuals are some of the world’s worst human rights offenders and leaders in an authoritarian, evil regime. We not only have a national security obligation, but a moral obligation, to block them from carrying out their corrupt agenda here on our shores,” Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) said in a statement provided to journalists covering Congress by the Republican Study Committee (RSC).
Banks is chairman of the RSC, which is the largest caucus in the 117th Congress.
The CCP National Congress is the top policy-making body within China’s sole legal political party and meets every five years, including later in 2022.
Banks and the other co-sponsors of the Sanctioning Tyrannical and Oppressive People within the Chinese Communist Party (STOP CCP) Act point to China’s repression of millions of ethnic Muslims, including the Uyghurs in the country’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, as justification for imposing new U.S. sanctions.
“Repression of ethnic Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China has been ongoing, and was formalized with the ‘Strike Hard Campaign against Violent Terrorism’ that began in 2014. The mass internment of Uyghur and other Muslim ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has been ongoing since April 2017,” the STOP CCP Act reads.
“The People’s Republic of China has conducted a targeted and systemic population-control campaign against ethnic and religious minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region by imposing and implementing coercive population-control practices, including selectively enforcing birth quotas, targeting minority women who are in non-compliance with birth quotas, and subjecting women to coercive measures such as forced birth control, forced sterilization, and forced abortion.”
China has also forced thousands of Uyghurs to live in forced labor camps that produce products used by U.S. firms, as well as businesses throughout the world. A 2020 report named 83 such companies and estimated that more than 80,000 Uyghurs were being held in the camps.
The sanctions would take effect 30 days after being signed into law and would continue in force until “the CCP ends its theft of American intellectual property, ends its genocide of Uyghur Muslims, ends its incursions into Taiwan, and stops its human rights abuses in Hong Kong,” according to the RSC.
U.S. national security officials have long argued that China has used a variety of both covert and overt methods to obtain advanced U.S. commercial and military technology. Foreign firms seeking to do business in China are also required to share their technology.
The CCP promised to respect Hong Kong’s democratic institutions when the former colony was freed by the UK in 1997, but Beijing steadily tightened its grip thereafter, to the point that massive pro-democracy demonstrations broke out in 2019 and continued until being forcefully put down a year later.
Beijing also installed new local leadership in Hong Kong and imposed a national security law that authorized additional repressive measures.
Taiwan has endured mounting military pressure from Beijing in recent months, with multiple violations of the island nation’s air space by aircraft of the People Liberty Army (PLA) Air Force.
“China is one of the biggest threats to the safety and security of the United States and the world. Sanctioning leaders of the CCP is a common sense way to show China and the world that we are sick and tired of their aggressive, bully-like tactics,” said Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.), one of the main co-sponsors of the STOP CCP Act.
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said in the statement: “The Chinese Communist Party must be held accountable for their egregious and disturbing human rights abuses. Every day that Joe Biden hesitates in holding the CCP accountable for genocide and slave labor, the CCP only grows more emboldened in their campaign of evil.”
Other co-sponsors include Reps. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), Brian Babin (R-Texas), Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Carlos Giménez (R-Fla.), Yvette Herrell (R-N.M.), Clay Higgins (R-La.), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), David McKinley (R-W.Va.), Mary Miller (R-Ill.), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), Greg Steube (R-Fla.), and Tracey Mann (R-Kan.).
In early 2022, members of the RSC introduced the Counter Communist China Act, a nearly 300-page legislative proposal that the caucus has described as “the most serious and comprehensive effort to combat the China threat introduced in this Congress.”