Speaker McCarthy selects Chris Smith to chair bicameral, bipartisan China Commission
Smith vows to ‘ramp up scrutiny of those who are aiding and abetting the Communist regime’
Tapped by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to chair the influential Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) today vowed the bicameral panel, under his leadership, will “aggressively counter the transnational repression of Xi Jinping’s brutal dictatorship and ramp up scrutiny of those who are aiding and abetting the Communist regime.”
“The CECC has been instrumental in advancing critical legislation—including two laws I coauthored, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act and the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act—to hold the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to account for its heinous atrocities,” said Smith, who has chaired 76 congressional hearings on human rights abuses in China.
“I thank Speaker McCarthy for his serious commitment to countering the Chinese Communist threat, and I am honored to continue my extensive legislative work to promote human rights as Chairman of the Commission,” Smith said.
Smith, who has served four prior terms as CECC Chairman as well as four terms as Ranking Member, said he would build on his relentless, long-running work to combat China’s egregious human rights violations, which includes:
· Offering the first amendment ever in 1984 to a foreign aid bill to deny funding to organizations such as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) that are complicit with China’s forced abortion and involuntary sterilization policies;
· Combating Xi Jinping’s war on religion and persecution of religious believers;
· Authoring the 2020 legislation—and securing a historic first recorded vote in the House—on allowing US citizens the right to sue the Chinese government for its large-scale misrepresentation campaign during the coronavirus pandemic;
· Chairing the first-ever congressional hearing in 2004 on the complicity of big tech in the CCP’s suppression of its own people;
· Investigating the Communist regime’s gendercide and its forced abortion policies resulting in tens of millions of “missing girls” in China;
· Exposing the Communist regime’s exploitation of children in Africa—especially the labor trafficking of more than 40,000 children in the Democratic Republic of Congo—as part of its quest for cobalt and lithium to power the “Green Economy”;
· Ensuring the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (PL 117-78) that he coauthored is faithfully implemented to the fullest extent of the law; and
“Ever since President Clinton delinked human rights and trade with China nearly three decades ago, most US politicians and corporations have enabled the Chinese Communist Party through unfettered engagement and trade without serious human rights protections,” said Smith, a longtime vocal opponent of granting China preferential trade treatment.
“For far too long, the vast majority in Congress and certainly in the business community and foreign policy establishment have bought into what James Mann rightfully called ‘the China Fantasy,’ naively believing that if you just trade more with a dictatorship, then somehow it will matriculate into a democracy,” Smith said.
“It was not true then, and it's not true now,” said Smith, who has been targeted with sanctions by the Chinese government and banned from China for his relentless advocacy and legislative work to promote human rights. “The CCP has only become more powerful as countless innocent victims suffer while the Communist regime largely gets a pass for its gross human rights violations.”
“Now more than ever, we must boldly stand up to the Chinese Communist Party and its ultimate desire for global dominance before it’s too late,” Smith said.
Established in 2000, the congressionally-mandated Commission—which is made up of members of the House and Senate along with presidential appointees serving in the Administration—is charged with monitoring China’s compliance with international human rights standards, encouraging the development of the rule of law in China, and establishing and maintaining a list of victims of human rights abuses.