Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) voted against the formation of a bipartisan select committee designed to monitor and keep in check the genocidal Chinese Communist Party, whose victims have predominantly been the Chinese people.
Pressley, who previously called for “unrest in the streets,” said she voted “no” because the committee “would further embolden anti-Asian rhetoric and hate and put lives at risk.”
What is the background?
The Republican-led House established the Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party on Tuesday by passing H.Res 11 by a vote of 365-65, with 219 Republicans and 146 Democrats voting in favor.
The committee, to be chaired by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), is tasked with investigating and submitting policy recommendations concerning the status of the economic, technological, and security progress of the Chinese Communist Party and its competition with the United States.
The Pentagon noted in its October National Security Strategy report that China is “the only competitor with both the intent to reshape the international order, and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to advance that objective.”
Gallagher wrote an op-ed, stating, “The House will stand with all those in China oppressed by the regime while advancing policies that both deter war this decade and set the long-term path for victory in this new Cold War.”
Citing the “CCP’s coverup of COVID-19, silencing of whistleblowers like Dr. Li Wenliang, aggressive theft of American intellectual property, rampant human rights violations, increased aggression toward Taiwan, growing influence in South America, and acquisition of US farmland,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) stated that it was “long past time” Congress formally organize to counter the Chinese threat.
This committee, formally organized to that end, will not just take into account the security threat the CCP poses, but will, per Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s suggestion, “investigate how to bring back hundreds of thousands of jobs that went to China and win the economic competition.”
Democratic Rep. Adam Smith (Wash.) said on Jan. 10, “China is undoubtedly our greatest competitor, and the United States must balance strategic competition and careful cooperation to advance our economic interests and tackle global security challenges,” adding, “House Democrats’ participation on the Select Committee is the best way to make it as productive and useful as possible, and for that reason I voted today for its establishment.”
Democrat Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) similarly conceded the need to “stand up against extremism where necessary,” particularly in the case of the Chinese regime’s authoritarianism.
Criticism of genocidal communists might ‘puts lives at risk’
While an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the House supported the creation of the bipartisan select committee — including her ally Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn), critical of the CCP’s genocide of the Uyghurs — Pressley voted against the resolution.
Pressley told CNN, “We have enough infrastructure and governance to tackle those issues and we don’t need this select committee. … That is why I voted ‘no,’ because I am afraid that it will embolden anti-Asian rhetoric and hate.”
“I voted ‘no’ because, again, it’s another sham effort here,” she clarified. “It’s really clear that this is just a committee that would further embolden anti-Asian rhetoric and hate and put lives at risk.”
There may be no greater source of anti-Asian hate and violence than the very regime Pressley voted against holding accountable via this committee.
Extra to throwing Uyghurs into concentration camps in Xinjiang, the CCP brutalizes ethnic and religious minorities — especially Chinese Christians — as well as Asian political dissenters at home and abroad.
A September report from Safeguard Defenders revealed that the Chinese regime has been stationing communist police stations in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and elsewhere across the globe. Communist agents hunting Chinese dissidents and expats reportedly use these stations as headquarters for their unlawful operations.
FBI Director Christopher Wray confirmed during a Senate hearing in November that Chinese agents had been operating on American soil and conducting intimidation, espionage, and coercion campaigns, usually targeting Asian-Americans and former Chinese nationals.
Pressley was joined by other so-called progressives in Congress in voicing opposition to the formation of the committee.
Twenty-three House leftists, including the Massachusetts congresswoman, issued a joint statement on Tuesday claiming, “We are concerned about the direction of this committee given past statements and actions by Republicans. In the hands of President Trump and Congressional Republicans, reckless and prejudiced rhetoric and policy contributed to a rise in anti-Asian sentiment across the country and a 339 percent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in 2021.”
The statement neglected to mention that the rash of anti-Asian hate crimes has occurred almost entirely in Democrat-controlled cities or that, per a New York Times report this week, Asian-Americans are embracing the Republican Party as a counterforce to the hateful violence spreading in majoritively Democrat cities.
The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus similarly appeared to conflate Republicans’ past criticism of the Chinese regime in Beijing with criticism of Asians in general.
CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) said, “Because of the known risks of xenophobic rhetoric intensifying anti-Asian hate here in the United States — and my belief that the work of this Select Committee can be done by existing committees in the House — I voted against H.Res. 11.”
Gallagher emphasized, “We have no quarrel with the Chinese people. … The Chinese people are the primary victims of the CCP’s Orwellian techno-totalitarian surveillance state. And so every action we take, I think we need to be cognizant of that distinction, as well as shine a light on the way in which through extraterritorial coercion, the CCP is intimidating the Chinese diaspora population in the United States or even the Asian American population.”
Isaac Schorr, writing for Mediaite, suggested, “It’s Congresswoman Pressley, not the supporters of the committee, who struggles to distinguish between Asian-Americans and the genocidal government in Beijing.”
Several Asian-American Democrats recognizing the difference have sought appointments to the committee.
NBC News reported that Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), and Andy Kim (D-N.J.) have expressed interested in joining.
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