We as Americans can do better than this. A lot better.
Last November, President Trump signed a bill backing Hong Kong protesters who seek to maintain their promised independence from the Chinese Communist Party’s iron-fisted rule.
Then on Wednesday, actor and director Stephen Ford shared a shocking story containing new evidence of the tyrannical, Chinese dictatorship’s forced labor camps. The question he asks is a poignant one — and it’s one that should convict every person who reads it: “Why is no one talking about this?”
US customs just intercepted 13 tons of human hair taken from the prisoners of the Uyghur concentration camps.
Why is no one talking about this?https://t.co/M3fGWXiCsy
— Stephen Ford (@StephenSeanFord) July 1, 2020
Some people are speaking out bravely, including the tech CEO who founded Stripe:
As a US business (and tech) community, I think we should be significantly clearer about our horror at, and opposition to, the atrocities being committed by the Chinese government against its own people.https://t.co/QusslsNGGO
— Patrick Collison (@patrickc) June 30, 2020
Now, Bloomberg reports, the U.S. is set to take steps against Beijing, including sanctions, which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has characterized as “harsh,” focused on human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims, a Turkic, minority ethnic group living in China:
The sanctions, part of a toughening of the Trump administration’s stance toward Beijing, are likely to target Communist Party officials responsible for the internment and persecution of minorities in Xinjiang, according to the people. They declined to say who specifically would be cited or when the sanctions would be rolled out.
And in a Monday Reuters piece on reports of China’s forced sterilization, abortions and “coercive family planning against minority Muslims,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was quoted as calling the policy “shocking” and “disturbing.”
These developments come on the heels of China’s decision Wednesday to pass a new national security law, which “many in the Hong Kong media say will allow Beijing to crack down on any activity there that authorities deem subversive with secessionist aims.”
Fox News reported:
The [Trump] administration has warned for weeks that, if the law was passed, it would take action to end special U.S. trade and commercial preferences Hong Kong had enjoyed since reverting to Chinese rule in 1997.
Arrests of protesters started immediately, with nearly 400 taken into custody:
Hong Kong police made more than 370 arrests on Wednesday, deploying the water cannon truck and firing rounds of tear gas against pro-democracy protesters. pic.twitter.com/AVIPpfcQX5
— 奉主名 (@AsylumShelterUS) July 1, 2020
…including this man, who dared to display a flag in support of the pro-democracy movement:
#BREAKING: A man was arrested for holding a #HKIndependence flag in #CausewayBay, Hong Kong, violating the #NationalSecurityLaw. This is the first arrest made since the law has come into force. pic.twitter.com/C0ezm3SGDm
— Hong Kong Police Force (@hkpoliceforce) July 1, 2020
Hong Kong police detain a man in the Causeway Bay district where an annual rally usually takes place on the #July1 anniversary of the city’s return to China.
— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) July 1, 2020
GOP members on the House Foreign Affairs committee released a statement Wednesday, on the anniversary of “Hong Kong’s handover to the CCP”:
Today and every day, the United States stands with the freedom-loving people of Hong Kong.https://t.co/0PKutkep6p
— Congressman Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) July 1, 2020
And there were similar noises from Senate GOP leadership, via Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)’s Twitter account:
Since the #CCP is now silencing free speech in Hong Kong, here’s an image overlord Xi Jinping has blocked on the mainland.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) July 1, 2020
But, so far, all we’ve seen from the GOP – at any level – are tough words for the Communist regime in China. When I asked someone on social media who says he’s written widely on the Uighurs’ plight, what the U.S. government can do to help either Hong Kong or the Chinese people — including the minority population, he answered:
“I honestly don’t know. Containment needs to be on the top of the agenda. And I think the US needs to open the gates to people fleeing like it did to the South Vietnamese.”
I honestly don't know. Containment needs to be on the top of the agenda. And I think the US needs to open the gates to people fleeing like it did to the South Vietnamese.
— Avi Woolf, Wilderness Conservative🐺 (@AviWoolf) July 2, 2020
That’s something I agree with. And I’m guardedly hopefully that the GOP pushes to pass sanctions with teeth, and not just “supportive words.”
Our allies in Canada, the U.K., and Australia have recently angered China with statements or actions that seem to be a move towards asylum for Hong Kongers or the Chinese themselves.
Big thanks to @chercywong @alliancecanhk for speaking to us on the urgency to help those people from Hong Kong and China who are seeking asylum in Canada following the passage of China’s national security legislation. https://t.co/caNJDui7sp
— Winston Szeto 司徒永業 사도영업 (@winstonszeto) June 30, 2020
China warned the UK it could retaliate with "corresponding measures" following the UK's decision to extend a broader path to British citizenship for residents of Hong Kong.https://t.co/npIof6Lfn7
— DW News (@dwnews) July 2, 2020
— Hong Kong Free Press HKFP (@HongKongFP) July 2, 2020
Chinese Communist Party has declared that the One Country Two Systems end after 23 years’ implementation. The future will be tough and dark but we will not kowtow to the Chinese Communist Party.
I appreciate that USA stand with the people of Hong Kong to confront the CCP. pic.twitter.com/852dwcO5tC
— For Liberty We All Fight_Universal Suffrage 2020 (@FuckCCPandPRC) July 2, 2020
If the United States is truly the freest country on Earth, then I believe we should be willing to give sanctuary through asylum to any victim of Chinese rule. Actions speak louder than words.