The White House on Wednesday issued a broad-scale attack on Beijing’s predatory economic policies, military buildup, disinformation campaigns and human rights violations.
The 20-page report, issued on the eve of the annual session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Beijing, does not signal a shift in US policy, said a senior US official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the report and spoke only on the condition of anonymity, but it expands on US President Donald Trump’s get-tough rhetoric that he hopes will resonate with voters angry about China’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left tens of millions of Americans out of work.
“The media’s focus on the current pandemic risks missing the bigger picture of the challenge that’s presented by the Chinese Communist Party,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said before the White House released its report.
“China’s been ruled by a brutal, authoritarian regime, a communist regime since 1949. For several decades, we thought the regime would become more like us — through trade, scientific exchanges, diplomatic outreach, letting them in the World Trade Organization as a developing nation. That didn’t happen,” he said. “We greatly underestimated the degree to which Beijing is ideologically and politically hostile to free nations. The whole world is waking up to that fact.”
While pushing back on China, Trump has sometimes uttered contradictory statements. He has talked about having a great personal relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), yet has repeatedly denounced China for not doing more to stop the coronavirus from spreading across the world.
He criticizes China, then say he wants Beijing to sign phase 2 of a US-China trade deal, and join the US and Russia in a three-way nuclear arms control treaty.
Late on Wednesday, Trump wrote on Twitter that China’s “massive disinformation campaign” is intended to help former US vice president Joe Biden win November’s US presidential election.
In the past 20 years, the US believed that if it opened its markets wider, invested more money in China, and provided greater access to top US technology and training for Chinese military officers that somehow this would cause China to liberalize, the US official said.
Instead, China is more authoritarian than at any time since the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989 and the Chinese Communist Party is increasingly asserting its political ideas across the globe, they said.
The US and China established diplomatic relations in 1979.
“More than 40 years later, it has become evident that this approach underestimated the will of the Chinese Communist Party to constrain the scope of economic and political reform in China,” the report says. “Over the past two decades, reforms have slowed, stalled, or reversed.”
Under Xi, Chinese officials have purged political opposition; bloggers, activists and lawyers have been unjustly prosecuted; stringent controls have been imposed to censor not only media, but universities, businesses and non-governmental organizations; citizens and corporations have been targeted with surveillance; and people perceived as dissidents have been subjected to arbitrary detention, torture and abuse, the report says.
“Xi’s decision to remove presidential term limits, effectively extending his tenure indefinitely, epitomized these trends,” it says.
‘HARD DECISION’: The international medical society now only refers to Taiwanese groups as from ‘Chinese Taipei,’ after the WHO asked that it make the change Two Taiwanese medical groups have been forced to change the word “Taiwan” in their membership names for the International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists (ISRRT) to “Chinese Taipei,” due to a request by the WHO. The two groups are the Taiwan Society of Radiological Technologists (TWSRT) and the Taiwan Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (TAMRT). On Dec. 23 last year, the TAMRT posted on Facebook screenshots of a letter it received from the ISRRT, informing it that the two groups’ membership names would be changed from “Taiwan - TWSRT” and “Taiwan - TAMRT” to “Chinese Taipei - TWSRT” and “Chinese Taipei
‘NO MORE’: Pompeo’s decision was not rushed before the change of administration, but was the result of a long review of Taiwan-US ties, a US assistant secretary said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday announced that the US Department of State is voiding long-standing restrictions on how US diplomats and others have contact with their counterparts in Taiwan, just a little over a week before US president-elect Joe Biden is sworn in. Pompeo instructed executive branch agencies to consider “all ‘contact guidelines’ regarding relations with Taiwan ... to be null and void.” “For several decades the State Department has created complex internal restrictions to regulate our diplomats, service members, and other officials’ interactions with their Taiwanese counterparts,” Pompeo said in a statement. “The United States government took these actions
CONTACTS TRACED: The doctor and his nurse girlfriend, who also tested positive, have only mild symptoms, but their cases have led to hundreds of people being tested The first case of a doctor contracting COVID-19 after treating an infected patient was one of two locally transmitted cases and two imported cases reported by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday. The second local case, No. 839, is the doctor’s girlfriend, a nurse who works at the same hospital. Case No. 838, a man in his 30s, is a doctor in a hospital in northern Taiwan that has been treating COVID-19 cases, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. He was in a negative-pressure isolation ward where one of the confirmed patients was staying
DEPARTURE CEREMONY: Guam’s governor hailed the US’ move to end restrictions on contacts with Taiwanese officials, saying it would help the territory build ties with Taipei A humanitarian charter flight, carrying dozens of people who had either been stranded on Guam and Saipan amid border closures or were in need of medical treatment, arrived in Taiwan at 5:25pm yesterday. The flight, operated by China Airlines Ltd (中華航空), landed at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport with 47 passengers and 13 crew aboard. Five of the passengers had applied to local hospitals for treatment of tumors, heart arrhythmia or other conditions, and were approved by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, while four more are family members, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the spokesman