‘We Have to Stop Letting Our Adversaries Push Us Around’: Rep. McClain On ‘Stop CCP Act’

Unsatisfied with what they see as the Biden administration’s tepid response to Chinese Communist Party (CCP) human rights abuses and violations of trade commitments, a group of GOP lawmakers is pushing tough new legislative measures that would penalize top CCP officials and their relatives. The members of Congress sponsoring the “Stop CCP Act” are Lisa McClain (R-Mich.), House Armed Services Committee ranking member Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Jim Banks (R-Ind.), and RSC National Security and Foreign Affairs Task Force Chairman Joe Wilson (R-S.C.). The legislation would block visas and freeze the assets of CCP officials that make up the Party’s National Congress, its high-level decision-making body, and their families until the regime makes a number of concessions including stopping its repression of Uyghurs of western China, curbing its aggression toward Taiwan, respecting freedom of speech and other basic political and human rights in Hong Kong, and ending the theft of the intellectual property (IP) of U.S. companies. In an interview with NTD, an affiliate of The Epoch Times, McClain argued that the Biden administration simply has not taken a forceful enough stance on these issues, citing, in particular, the genocide of the Uyghurs and the IP violations. McClain also condemned in the strongest terms China’s efforts, as she put it, to “take over” Taiwan, an issue from which much of the world may have grown temporarily distracted amid the crisis over a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine. “If the administration is not going to be tough on China, then Congress needs to be, and I’m happy to lead that charge,” McClain told NTD. “Just look at the world and what’s happening right now,” McClain continued, in an allusion to the Ukraine crisis. “We have to show our adversaries, especially China, that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. And we have to stop letting our adversaries push us around.” The congresswoman expects that such a law would send a strong signal to the communist regime. “It has definitely touched a nerve, that is for sure. In fact, they came out with a statement and tweeted about it, I believe, on Saturday, saying they’re not happy with it,” McClain replied. She was referring to a Feb. 10 tweet by Hu Xijin, a former editor of CCP-controlled Global Times known for his hawkish remarks. “If the bill is passed, I am sure China will sanction all the members of the US Congress and all federal cabinet members, including the US President,” he wrote. But the possibility of retaliatory sanctions does not bother McClain, as she has no plans to travel to or invest in China. “So at the end of the day, yes, it’s touched a nerve, which tells me we’re on the right track, because we have their attention. And we are beginning to show some strength,” McClain said. When asked about what kind of reaction the bill has gotten both within the Republican Party and among Democratic Party rivals, and what kind of support is likely to materialize, McClain said that her colleague Rep. Rogers, who is likely to chair the Armed Services Committee next year, has gotten strong support. McClain said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) does not share the same will to get tough with China and that this makes significant progress on the passage of the bill unlikely in the short term. If the Republican Party can win back the House of Representatives in the midterm elections in November, the bill’s prospects will be significantly better, the congresswoman predicted. ‘Double Standards’ In the course of the interview, another timely topic arose: the professional fate of pro basketball star Enes Kanter Freedom, who played for the Boston Celtics until that team traded him to the Houston Rockets earlier this month. The Rockets then waived the player. Some believe that Kanter Freedom’s outspokenness on China issues played a role here. McClain signaled her concerns about the National Basketball Association (NBA), an industry that she said uplifts social justice causes domestically, while ostracizing a player that stands up to the communist regime’s abuses. “If you’re going to have a standard, let’s have a standard. But if it weren’t for double standards, the NBA would have no standards at all. If it doesn’t fit their narrative, they abolish it, and they penalize [Kanter Freedom],” said McClain, who also raised larger concerns about CCP involvement with Western organizations like the NBA. Fortunately, McClain said, large segments of the American public are growing more conscious about these issues. “I think what’s happening is the American people are waking up. The American people want traditional American values. They’ve seen what all this progressive, communist agenda is looking like and they don’t want it. So I say continue the fight,” she said. Finally, McClain expressed her agreement that the record-low ratings that the Winter Olympics in Beijing have garnered on NBC a

‘We Have to Stop Letting Our Adversaries Push Us Around’: Rep. McClain On ‘Stop CCP Act’

Unsatisfied with what they see as the Biden administration’s tepid response to Chinese Communist Party (CCP) human rights abuses and violations of trade commitments, a group of GOP lawmakers is pushing tough new legislative measures that would penalize top CCP officials and their relatives.

The members of Congress sponsoring the “Stop CCP Act” are Lisa McClain (R-Mich.), House Armed Services Committee ranking member Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Jim Banks (R-Ind.), and RSC National Security and Foreign Affairs Task Force Chairman Joe Wilson (R-S.C.).

The legislation would block visas and freeze the assets of CCP officials that make up the Party’s National Congress, its high-level decision-making body, and their families until the regime makes a number of concessions including stopping its repression of Uyghurs of western China, curbing its aggression toward Taiwan, respecting freedom of speech and other basic political and human rights in Hong Kong, and ending the theft of the intellectual property (IP) of U.S. companies.

In an interview with NTD, an affiliate of The Epoch Times, McClain argued that the Biden administration simply has not taken a forceful enough stance on these issues, citing, in particular, the genocide of the Uyghurs and the IP violations. McClain also condemned in the strongest terms China’s efforts, as she put it, to “take over” Taiwan, an issue from which much of the world may have grown temporarily distracted amid the crisis over a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“If the administration is not going to be tough on China, then Congress needs to be, and I’m happy to lead that charge,” McClain told NTD.

“Just look at the world and what’s happening right now,” McClain continued, in an allusion to the Ukraine crisis. “We have to show our adversaries, especially China, that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. And we have to stop letting our adversaries push us around.”

The congresswoman expects that such a law would send a strong signal to the communist regime.

“It has definitely touched a nerve, that is for sure. In fact, they came out with a statement and tweeted about it, I believe, on Saturday, saying they’re not happy with it,” McClain replied.

She was referring to a Feb. 10 tweet by Hu Xijin, a former editor of CCP-controlled Global Times known for his hawkish remarks. “If the bill is passed, I am sure China will sanction all the members of the US Congress and all federal cabinet members, including the US President,” he wrote.

But the possibility of retaliatory sanctions does not bother McClain, as she has no plans to travel to or invest in China.

“So at the end of the day, yes, it’s touched a nerve, which tells me we’re on the right track, because we have their attention. And we are beginning to show some strength,” McClain said.

When asked about what kind of reaction the bill has gotten both within the Republican Party and among Democratic Party rivals, and what kind of support is likely to materialize, McClain said that her colleague Rep. Rogers, who is likely to chair the Armed Services Committee next year, has gotten strong support.

McClain said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) does not share the same will to get tough with China and that this makes significant progress on the passage of the bill unlikely in the short term. If the Republican Party can win back the House of Representatives in the midterm elections in November, the bill’s prospects will be significantly better, the congresswoman predicted.

‘Double Standards’

In the course of the interview, another timely topic arose: the professional fate of pro basketball star Enes Kanter Freedom, who played for the Boston Celtics until that team traded him to the Houston Rockets earlier this month. The Rockets then waived the player. Some believe that Kanter Freedom’s outspokenness on China issues played a role here.

McClain signaled her concerns about the National Basketball Association (NBA), an industry that she said uplifts social justice causes domestically, while ostracizing a player that stands up to the communist regime’s abuses.

“If you’re going to have a standard, let’s have a standard. But if it weren’t for double standards, the NBA would have no standards at all. If it doesn’t fit their narrative, they abolish it, and they penalize [Kanter Freedom],” said McClain, who also raised larger concerns about CCP involvement with Western organizations like the NBA.

Fortunately, McClain said, large segments of the American public are growing more conscious about these issues.

“I think what’s happening is the American people are waking up. The American people want traditional American values. They’ve seen what all this progressive, communist agenda is looking like and they don’t want it. So I say continue the fight,” she said.

Finally, McClain expressed her agreement that the record-low ratings that the Winter Olympics in Beijing have garnered on NBC are not the result of the ongoing pandemic, but reflect a “moral boycott” on the part of viewers outraged at Beijing’s conduct in so many different spheres.

“The American people are waking up. They’re not buying these spins. They know what’s going on,” the congresswoman said.


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Michael Washburn is a New York-based freelance reporter who covers China-related topics. He has a background in legal and financial journalism, and also writes about arts and culture. Additionally, he is the host of the weekly podcast Reading the Globe. His books include “The Uprooted and Other Stories,” “When We're Grownups,” and “Stranger, Stranger.”


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Steve Lance is the host of Capitol Report, a political news show based in Washington D.C. aimed at providing a direct channel to the voices and people who shape policy in America. Capitol Report features all of the political news of the day with expert interviews and analysis.