According to the report, decades of engagement with the CCP and the Chinese government in the hopes of its eventual liberalization ended up in failure. This led to the U.S. turning a blind eye to the Chinese government’s human rights violations, broken promises and economic and military aggressions.
Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, who chairs the task force, said at a Sept. 30 press conference: “For decades, the United States and its allies have been asleep at the wheel.”
Among the recommendations outlined in the China task force’s report were moving critical industries—including medical supply chains—from China to the U.S., modernizing the military, and imposing new sanctions on the CCP to punish its malign influence activities and human rights abuses. The report also recommended launching a government-wide information campaign against the CCP’s propaganda efforts, scrutinizing Chinese investments in U.S. companies more intensely, and negotiating a free trade agreement with Taiwan.
The task force’s report also put forward steps to address the CCP’s human rights abuses such as providing a safe harbor for Hong Kong residents who want to flee the territory, scrutinizing the organ harvesting program on Falun Gong practitioners, identifying officials responsible for the program for necessary sanctions and considering the Uighur oppression in the Xinjiang region a genocide.
McCaul’s task force report also shed light on how the CCP addressed the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
According to the report, the COVID-19 pandemic’s severity was caused by “the CCP’s obsession with its control and reputation.” The Chinese government covered up Wuhan's actual situation—the pandemic’s epicenter—and suppressed several whistleblowers who exposed the truth about the new pathogen, including ophthalmologist Li Wenliang and virologist Li-Meng Yan.
It added that the CCP “downplayed the crisis and continues to hide key information from the world,” resulting in a “global disaster” and the world being brought to a “deadly, painful and costly standstill.” (Related: China’s attempt to steer coronavirus narrative through drama series backfires.)
McCaul said China’s response to the outbreak, and its subsequent hoarding of medical supplies created an “awakening experience” for the American people. Last May, a report said the Chinese government’s cover-up of the pandemic’s true extent enabled it to stock up on medical supplies such as face masks and surgical gowns.
The report comes after the Trump administration took a tougher stance against the Chinese government, declaring that it will no longer treat the communist country “with kid gloves.” Congress passed several human rights measures centered on Hong Kong and Xinjiang over the past year, with wide support from both Republicans and Democrats.
The Chinese government’s recent actions inside and outside the mainland have drawn worldwide condemnation—including its violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, insidious erosion of the special administrative region’s freedoms, persecution of the Uighur people in Xinjiang, military aggression in the South China sea and aerial provocations aimed at Taiwan.
In a radio interview last May, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that thanks to the pandemic, people are now waking up to the reality of the CCP’s threats against the world. He added that the Trump administration’s hardline stance on China has woken up other countries to follow suit.
“I think the whole world can now see that … this authoritarian regime, is just different than we are.”
Pompeo is correct about China being different; thus, a different approach is needed to deal with the communist country when it becomes a threat to national security.