90 Miles From Tyranny : The Chinese Communist Party’s ‘Hostage Diplomacy’ Has Backfired

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The Chinese Communist Party’s ‘Hostage Diplomacy’ Has Backfired

A Pew Research survey of 14 advanced economies — including Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom — shows the free world's opinion of China is souring.

The Wall Street Journal recently disclosed that Chinese government officials have repeatedly warned their U.S. government counterparts: “The U.S. should drop prosecutions of the Chinese scholars in American courts, or Americans in China might find themselves in violation of Chinese law.” No other foreign government has ever made such blunt threats against U.S. citizens in such a fashion.

Beijing’s warning came after the U.S. Department of Justice charged several Chinese scholars with visa fraud in connection with a scheme of hiding their affiliations with China’s People’s Liberation Army so they could study, conduct research, and sometimes collect valuable intelligence in the United States.

The DOJ and FBI also allege the Chinese government has actively used China’s embassy and consulates in the United States to facilitate these schemes and offer protection for those involved — one of the main reasons that led to the U.S. government shutdown of the Chinese consulate in Houston.

All the Chinese scholars who were charged have received legal representations and gone through due process just like Americans who may fall into a similar situation. Nevertheless, as the Trump administration made these charges public, Beijing feels deeply humiliated. In response, Beijing issued threats to punish innocent Americans in China unless the Trump administration drops its charges against those Chinese scholars.

While our country should never cave to the Chinese Communist Party’s blackmail, since the CCP has either threatened or imposed similar “hostage diplomacy” on America’s allies such as Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, any Americans in China should take the CCP’s threat seriously.

The CCP has been punishing Canberra ever since the Australian government pushed the World Health Organization to conduct an independent inquiry into the origin and the spread of COVID-19. Beijing first imposed an 80 percent tariff on Australia’s barley exports and suspended beef imports from four major meat processing plants in Australia.

Then, in August, Cheng Lei, an Australian citizen of Chinese descent who worked for China’s state media, China Global Television Network, disappeared in China. The Chinese government waited until September to acknowledge that Cheng was detained without being formally charged, but refused to disclose her whereabouts. It is unclear if Cheng has received any legal representation. Her family and friends suspect her arrest is part of CCP’s “hostage diplomacy,” aiming to intimidate the Australian government into abandoning the coronavirus-related inquiry.

A month after Cheng’s arrest, two other Australian journalists, Bill Birtles and Mike Smith, barely escaped China after a five-day diplomatic stand-off between Australia and China. Currently, there are no Australian journalists in mainland China because no one feels safe working there any longer.

Canada has also been on the receiving end of the CCP’s “hostage diplomacy.” In June, China officially charged two Canadian citizens, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, with espionage after detaining the two men for more than 18 months — all part of Beijing’s retaliation against Canada for arresting Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of China’s telecom giant Huawei and daughter of...

Read more HERE

No comments:

Post a Comment

Test Word Verification