Republicans in Congress urged President Joe Biden to reverse his approach toward China, demanding that Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping “demonstrate [his] seriousness” in improving ties with the United States before they two leaders meet next week.
A group of 13 Republicans on the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, led by chairman Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), penned a letter to President Biden, expressing their concerns over the administration’s continuing efforts to engage with the Chinese regime.
The letter made public on Nov. 9 came shortly before the official announcements from the White House and China’s foreign ministry confirming that the two country’s top leaders will meet in the San Francisco Bay area next week.
That will be President Biden’s first in-person meeting with Mr. Xi in a year. The president is seeking to “stabilize” ties with China in a way that also benefits America and its allies when he sits down with Mr. Xi on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, a senior administration official told reporters on Nov. 10.
The group of Republicans stated in the letter that they shared the administration’s desire to “deter a devastating conflict” with China. However, they are concerned that the United States has made “repeated concessions” while putting little demand on China.Washington’s “recent prioritization of bilateral engagement has come at an unacceptable cost to ‘competitive’ or defensive actions that have been delayed, scuttled, or otherwise in an effort to get the PRC to the table,” they wrote, referring to the official name of the People’s Republic of China.
“So far, these very real trade-offs have led to negligible benefit,” they wrote.
Despite Washington’s efforts to engage with China, the lawmakers stated the regime has taken “no action” on issues such as curbing the flow of deadly fentanyl from China and releasing American citizens “unfairly detained” in the country.
“This month’s meeting with Xi Jinping presents a final opportunity to reverse your misguided policy and challenge Beijing to demonstrate its seriousness about improving U.S.-PRC relations. ”
Competitive Actions ‘Sacrificed’
The Republicans credited the administration for strengthening semiconductor export controls and restrictions on outbound investment toward China.
And yet, the United States has taken fewer actions against China compared to the early days when President Biden took office, particularly regarding the communist regime’s human rights violations, the lawmakers wrote.
Despite Beijing’s continuing efforts to undermine the Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms, the lawmakers noted that the Biden administration didn’t impose any sanction on Chinese or Hong Kong officials.
According to this year’s Hong Kong report issued by the U.S. State Department, officials in Beijing and Hong Kong “continued to use ‘national security’ as a broad and vague basis to undermine the rule of law and protected rights and freedoms.”
Beside Hong Kong, the lawmakers said the president has not sanctioned a single Chinese official for the regime’s oppression of Uyghur and other Muslim minorities in the far-western Xinjiang region for nearly two years.
More than one million Uyghur and other Muslim minorities have been incarcerated in internment camps in Xinjiang, where they have been subjected to forced sterilization, torture, political indoctrination, and forced labor. The United States and other Western democracies have formally labeled Beijing’s actions a genocide.
They also criticized the Biden administration for failing to expand restrictions under a Treasury Department’s blacklist that aimed at banning American firms from investing in the Chinese military-industrial complex, military, and intelligence.
In addition, the annual number of Chinese entities added to the Commerce Department’s entity has been reduced compared to that of the Trump administration, they said.
“[I]t is clear that competitive actions have been sacrificed to advance aimless, zombie-like engagement.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.
The lawmakers outlined their 10 demands in the letter, urging President Biden to tell Mr. Xi to come to the APEC summit with “meaningful deliverables” on these items. (APEC is the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, an intergovernmental forum that promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region.)
Their demands included that China release all Americans the U.S. considers wrongfully detained; take measures over the flow of chemicals used in the opioid fentanyl; cease unsafe intercepts of U.S. ships and aircraft in international waters; and stop the harassment of Philippines ships around a disputed shoal in the South China Sea.
The group of Republicans described these demands as “the bare minimum” for the Chinese regime to prove its “good faith.”
“To be clear, these asks are the beginning, not the end of the necessary behavior change the PRC needs to undertake to demonstrate it truly wants a better relationship with the United States and the world. ”
“If Xi fails to deliver, your administration must end its pursuit of zombie engagement and shift gears to a more assertive posture in order to defend American interests and values.”
Reuters contributed to this report.
The Epoch Times