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House Select Committee Republicans Criticize Administration's China Approach

House Select Committee on China Republicans wrote to President Joe Biden, asking him to make human rights and military demands of Chinese President Xi Jinping when they meet at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which will happen Nov. 15-17.

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The members say that while they appreciate the administration's "strengthened semiconductor export controls and new restrictions on outbound investment," they feel that the administration is prioritizing engagement over sanctions or pressuring China to curtail military brinkmanship or spying.

They released the letter publicly Nov. 9.

"For over two years, your team has not sanctioned a single PRC or Hong Kong official for the erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy. For nearly two years, your team has not added a single entity to the Treasury Department’s Non-SDN Chinese Military-Industrial Complex Companies List. For close to two years, your administration has not sanctioned a single PRC official for genocide in Xinjiang. Shockingly, your administration has sanctioned more PRC entities for illegal fishing than it has for genocide in Xinjiang. Your administration has also reduced the annual number of PRC entities added to the Department of Commerce’s Entity List compared to the previous administration, even while our tech competition with the PRC has grown in importance. While your administration’s public position on competition and cooperation with the PRC has remained the same, it is clear that competitive actions have been sacrificed to advance aimless, zombie-like engagement," they said.

The committee members complained that China is not increasing market access for U.S. exports as it promised in the phase one trade deal, and said "Beijing has taken no action to stem the flow of deadly fentanyl precursors to North America."

They asked Biden to insist on hostage releases, political prisoner releases and other actions, but also told him to tell Xinping to "suspend the 'mutual pairing assistance' programs in Xinjiang, which is a key program in the PRC’s forced labor programs in Xinjiang."

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China's co-chairs also asked Biden to raise the issue of specific political prisoners. They wrote: "In addition, we ask that you instruct the Secretary of State to compile a list of individuals who are detained unjustly in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and who have family members who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The PRC government and its security forces use intimidation and other tactics to coerce family members abroad into silence. Even in the United States, they fear speaking up for their relatives who are detained in modern-day concentration camps. We ask that your Administration be their voice both in seeking regular contact with their family members and to allow them the freedom of speech, religion, and movement guaranteed by international law."