China Sanctions U.S. Senators For Criticizing China

130px-Mao_Zedong_portraitChina has a long and authoritarian history of suppressing free speech even though some academics now believe that it has been right all along on such suppression on the Internet.  Just when you thought China could not get more bold and outrageous in its anti-free speech actions, it surprises you.  This week China sanctioned Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz for criticizing its treatment of minority Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.

The two senators were listed by the Chinese government as targets of the “corresponding sanctions” with an array of others like Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. Now, mere political criticism of China is deemed to “seriously interfere in China’s internal affairs.” It is another example of how China would reshape free speech in areas as it seeks to expand its economic and political hold over areas like theAsia-Pacific area.

It’s not clear what the new sanctions against U.S. officials will entail.

China was outraged by the statement of the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that “The United States will not stand idly by as the CCP [Chinese Community Party] carries out human rights abuses targeting Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs and members of other minority groups in Xinjiang, to include forced labor, arbitrary mass detention and forced population control, and attempts to erase their culture and Muslim faith.”

One of the common aspects of state censorship is that officials become more obsessed and sensitive to criticism that it cannot silence, even from other countries.

The Atlantic published an article by Harvard Law School professor Jack Goldsmith and University of Arizona law professor Andrew Keane Woods calling for Chinese style censorship of the internet.  They declared that “in the great debate of the past two decades about freedom versus control of the network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong” and “significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing internet, and governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the internet is compatible with society norms and values.”

This is not the Internet censorship that Goldsmith and Woods so readily embraced but it is an example of implications of embracing China’s approach to dissenting opinions and actions.  Presumably, China already censors the views of both senators and these human rights organizations on the Internet as part of that “mature and flourishing internet.”

In the meantime, China continues to censor stories about Hong Kong and this week declared opposition polls a national security violation.

60 thoughts on “China Sanctions U.S. Senators For Criticizing China”

  1. Jonathan: Yes, there is “state censorship” in China. But in a state run economy, with capitalist elements, you have to applaud their herculean efforts, with a population of 1.4 billion, to successfully control the spread of the coronavirus. That has not happened here. Trump has allowed the capitalist private sector to deal with important elements of the crisis–and we know what has happened: Shortages of ventilators, testing equipment, testing kits, masks and other vitally needed supplies to fight the virus. And a vaccine? Trump has awarded billions in taxpayer money to private pharmaceutical companies to develop a vaccine–which is on the horizon, maybe. China didn’t let that happen. The state controlled everything because when you are fighting a pandemic central control is essential. Other countries have already developed and successfully tested their own vaccine. In tiny Cuba, another state run economy, they developed and tested their own vaccine (CIGB-258) with promising results. Cuba has 2,428 cases of COVID-19. 2,268 have recovered using their vaccine and there have been only 87 deaths. Why hasn’t Trump asked Cuba to share their experience to help speed the development of our own vaccine? We all know the answer. The answer is because Cuba is a “Communist dictatorship” and there would be an enormous blowback from Republican politicians should Trump ask the Cubans for help. You can hear it now: “The President is violating our embargo against Cuba!” Trump doesn’t want that, especially at a time when he is suffering from defections within his own party. So once again politics trumps public health and the US leads the world in coronavirus infections and deaths. It’s a sad commentary on our mixed up priorities. But I digress.

    On the issue of state censorship you say: “One of the common aspects of state censorship is that officials become obsessed and sensitive to criticism that it cannot control”. Before you point the finger at China consider what Trump has done. He has prevented Dr. Fauci from being interviewed on CNN to keep the public updated on the still spreading virus. That’s “state censorship”. Trump has sued the NY Times and the Washington Post to silence them. That’s also “state censorship”. Trump issued an executive order to prevent media companies from fact checking his tweets. That is also “state censorship”. Trump has prevented administration officials from testifying before Congress. That’s “state censorship”. Trump has pushed out or silenced anyone in the government who has criticized his policies. That is also “state censorship”. And on and on.

    The Trump is the poster child for a government that is “obsessed and sensitive to criticism that it cannot silence”. Your post is just another case of “the pot calling the kettle black” and trying to divert attention away from our own “state censorship”.

    1. Dennis, naif:

      “China….you have to applaud their herculean efforts, with a population of 1.4 billion, to successfully control the spread of the coronavirus. That has not happened here. Trump….”

      Thus revealing this is another “Orange Man Bad” script

      The fact is the CCP knew about the virus and utterly failed to contain it, lied, let it spread, bought up all the protective masks in order to profit, and is lying about the virus nonstop to this day

      First of all they are lying about their numbers. totally false and NOBODY seriously believes their figures except perhaps fools

      Second of all, as was speculated from the very first, it very well may have been an accidental lab escape of a gain of function lab modified virus.

      Now i realize they call that a conspiracy theory,

      Well, if it’s good enough for a virologist who won the NOBEL PRIZE for AIDS research, Luc Montainger, it’s good enough for me to take seriously as a possibility

      here even snopes admits Luc said this
      https://www.snopes.com/ fact-check/luc-montagnier-covid-created-lab/

      But dont worry: CCP won’t let anybody investigatge the Wuhan lab! WHO investigators NOT ALLOWED

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/coronavirus-wuhan-lab-who-visit-covid-19-china-a9614391.html

    2. TRUE CRIME/TERRORISM

      SUE CHINA

      China must be sued by all nations in the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.

      All nations in the UN must vote to override any and all vetoes.

      China must be sued in the U.S. under the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act.

      China committed a terrorist act by conducting wanton, unsafe virology with complete abandon and disregard for the welfare of all other nations in order to project an image of strength and global dominion.

      A perpetrator of DUI is subject to prosecution for combing two legal acts: Drinking and driving.

      China must be sued for combining two legal acts: Virology and providing for egress of viruses.

    3. “…you have to applaud their herculean efforts, with a population of 1.4 billion, to successfully control the spread of the coronavirus.”

      – DM
      _____

      China “…successfully controls…” the INFORMATION regarding “the spread of the coronavirus.”

      China successfully controls its EBITDA and all other economic accounting data.

      China successfully controls its enslaved workforce.

      China successfully controls its elections.

      China successfully controls its population.

      China successful controls the communist dictatorship in China.

      China successfully controls, with an iron fist, everything and everybody in China.

  2. Conversation among the Chinese Communist Party Leadership: ‘If the New York Times can sanction a sitting US Senator, so can we.”

  3. China was outraged by the statement of the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that “The United States will not stand idly by as the CCP [Chinese Community Party] carries out human rights abuses targeting Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs and members of other minority groups in Xinjiang, to include forced labor, arbitrary mass detention and forced population control, and attempts to erase their culture and Muslim faith.”

    Another case of the pot calling the kettle black.

    US Secretary of State Mike “Mount” Pompeo’s statement the height of hypocrisy.

    When erupting about human rights abuses Mount Pompeo completely ignores US history where the US government through centuries long acts of genocide decimated innumerable American Indians while destroying their cultures across the wide expanse of North America.

    https://oxfordre.com/americanhistory/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199329175.001.0001/acrefore-9780199329175-e-3

    Mount Pompeo then spewed forth more pyroclastic material on the issue of forced labor, arbitrary mass detention while at the same time US prisons at both the state and federal level allow corporations to exploit prisoners for profit.

    Italicized/bold text was excerpted from Black Economics found within a report titled Big businesses that benefit from Prison Labour:

    Though many people have no idea, United States federal prison labor, “produces 100 percent of all military helmets, war supplies and other equipment. The workers supply 98 percent of the entire market for equipment assembly services; 93 percent of paints and paintbrushes; 92 percent of stove assembly; 46 percent of body armor; 36 percent of home appliances; 30 percent of headphones/microphones/speakers; and 21 percent of office furniture. Airplane parts, medical supplies and much more: prisoners are even raising seeing-eye dogs for blind people.” Below are just some of the most recognizable, mainstream corporations who profit from prison labor.

    http://blackeconomics.co.uk/wp/big-businesses-that-benefit-from-prison-labour/

    A partial list of US corporations exploiting prison labor for profit:

    McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Walmart, Starbucks, Verizon, Victoria Secret, JC Penny, Kmart, American Airlines, Avis

    As for arbitrary mass detention – warehousing millions of non-violent persons in prison for having the temerity of ingesting a substance that government has arbitrarily decreed verboten surely meets that definition.

    The point is not whether the pot (ie US government) or the kettle (ie Chinese government) is better or worse – it is that both practice morally repugnant policies that treat human beings as chattel to be exploited, abused and murdered in pursuit of government priority’s du jour.

    Americans and Chinese have much in common with the leading common denominator being an abusive/exploitative government at home.

    “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.” ~ Edward Abbey

    1. genocide decimated innumerable American Indians while destroying their cultures across the wide expanse of North America.

      The only genocide is in your imagination.

      1. Pompeii talks about current wrongs. The left keeps digging up the past. The past is the past. It will never go away.

    2. Such a vacuous argument. It might have escaped you when making your unbalanced comparisons, that the Uyghurs were dealt with en mass and not for individual criminal offenses. Pompeo should say nothing because after all, he “completely ignores US history where the US government through centuries long acts of genocide decimated innumerable American Indians while destroying their cultures across the wide expanse of North America.”

      To whatever degree is factual and should define our current policy towards concentration cities in the 21st Century is a ridiculous proposition. With that as the rule, the only state representative that can speak with moral authority on the matter is the representative from Utopia.

  4. We can now add our voices to those of Saudi Arabia and the other Middle Eastern Nations that have similarly gone on record to protest the concentration of Uyghurs..oh wait, Saudi Arabia was one of 37 nations that signed a letter of support for China’s policy. 37 to 22..that’s ominous.

  5. “Just when you thought China could not get more bold and outrageous in its anti-free speech actions, it surprises you.”

    Surprised? No one should be.

    “The rattlesnake looked up at him and grinned, “You knew what I was when you picked me up.”

    1. Are you equally concerned — if not moreso — about favorite daughter Ivanka Trump and her many Chinese patents?

      1. What does that say about the media that I have to say, ‘What patents?’

        I try to keep up with the news as best I can, but I’ve missed this. I have heard about her fashion and class being lauded by Asian ladies but not much beyond that.

  6. Trump loves China’s leaders. Every time China says something so ridiculous as if it can do whatever it wants for whatever nonsensical reason: thousand year old maps, imprisoning them for their own safety, etc, Trump drools, why he can’t do that. Trump loves Putin, Erdogan, and all the despots. Trump, the closet despot; he owns lots of closets.

    1. I hate what Trump is doing to the Uyghurs. Trump did this and Trump did that. Trump loves Putin. Trump and Putin sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. Do you people ever listen to yourselves?

      1. George – as fast as they are rewriting history, I am not sure that Trump will even be included in history. 😉

  7. The Dems must be all gooey and wet, large orders of General Tso’s chicken tonight in the Pelosi house.

    1. Not at all. 37 countries including Saudi Arabia, Russia, many African countries, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Belarus, Myanmar, the Philippines, Syria, Pakistan, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, all signed a letter in support of the concentration of Uyghurs. Some of the human rights giants of our day.

      1. Turkey is not a signatory of that because Turks are vaguely related to Uighurs by blood and language.

        However Turkey is telling them to stfu

        https://www.npr.org/2020/03/13/800118582/i-thought-it-would-be-safe-uighurs-in-turkey-now-fear-china-s-long-arm

        Turkey has also desecrated one of the most singificant churches in Christendom, the Hagia Sophia, but changing its status from museum to mosque

        https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/12/world/hagia-sophia-mosque-pope-francis/index.html

        Erdogan, the socalled president who wants to be a Sultan, has no respect for Europe, Christianity, Greece, or his “NATO partners”

        Turkey has also occupied half of Cyprus illegally for decades.

        Turkey is belligerent to its own Arab neighbors and has an awful history of abusing non-Turks in Asia Minor, including Greeks, Armenians, Kurds, and Arabs.

        This poses a growing problem for the EU and America. Trump has handled the problem delicately. I wish I could offer a solution, but i can’t, because of NATO.

        Dismantle NATO perhaps? I had the thought, but it would probably cutting off the nose to spite the face. And literally perhaps shooting ourselves in the foot.

        This has gained him no respect from his haters, of course. Who themselves have no better solution and would only coddle Turkey more.

        Personally,. I like the old Greek paratrooper song which had words to the effect of “we will raise the Cross over the Hagia Sophia” again.
        And some other spicy lyrics, i can’t quite recall at the moment.
        Unfortunately, Greece and Europe are in a permanent demographic decline and cant muster the muscle.

  8. The china nation is Communist but also monoply capitalist. Look how many of their people come to America and buy mansions.
    I will no longer buy tools at our stores that are made in China. Buy American products!

    1. Unfortunately the good old US tools: Milwaukee, Porter Cable, Skil, etc, are all made in China or the parts are. China makes good stuff along with Krap. Now, Bosch and Hilti, some of them, are still made in Germany and Switzerland. Who knows were the parts are outsourced?

  9. Oh stop complaining. If we were to follow the wisdom of Book and his fellow travelers, the Chinese government determines what rights the people have. Certainly if 1.4 billion people wanted different rights, all they would need to do is elect a government that will grant them.

    1. Perhaps the best place to begin is by censoring The Atlantic. Medicine-taste of own.

      In Hollywood white writers and others who have gone all SJW for the last few years are losing work to less qualified minorities and are whining about it. It was a good idea for other people; not so much for them now that they are getting a portion on their plates.

      1. An amused student of Hollywood once offered that screenwriters often paint lurid portraits of American business. He noted that the experience most screenwriters have with businessmen are those employed by Hollywood studios, who are rife with corruption.

        Steve Sailer has been contending for some time that the entertainment business was shot through with patronage, favoritism, and heritable niches. I’m not sure anyone who works in that trade is a credible advocate of meritocracy.

  10. China is a Marxist/Maoist state. Censorship is a characteristic of Marxism. They’re doing the same thing Democrats would love to do in this country and are attempting to do through “canceling.”

      1. Marxism is political economics.

        Communism is a political ideology.

        Stalinism is a word that Trotskyites and anarchists like Noam Chomsky use to “distance” themselves from the failures of Communism. Is that you Brad?

        they also use the fancy sounding expression, “state capitalism”

        Stalin actually called his own version of communism, “socialism in one country.”

        Words have meaning

      2. Not really. You’re probably thinking of Stalinism.

        No, just about any regime inspired by Marxism is bad news for civil liberties. The only exceptions have been the old western European social-democratic parties, wherein the Marxism has been quite diluted. Of course, those places are now bad news for civil liberties, but it isn’t Marxism inspiring it. It’s diversicrat discourse. (The West Midlands Police have just arrested a 12 year old youth for sending an insulting tweet to a prominent soccer player. Feel more secure? Me neither).

  11. “Significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing internet.” It takes an utter fool to claim that China’s version of the internet is mature and flourishing. Why are universities so bent on hiring utter fools?

  12. China’s competing with Turkey to see which country can be the most egregious international as*hole. Iran would like the distinction, but they keep getting Stuxnetted.

  13. Glad that China continues to reveal it’s true character.

    Also glad that people like Messrs Goldsmith and Woods reveal their true character.

    Soon, we will all have to decide is we want American values or Chinese values.

    1. America has sanctioned so many foreign officials now it gets a taste. It may not matter to the US senators but long term, this tool has been overused and we are sowing the seeds of other countries finding alternatives to the SWIFT system.

      most of all China and Russia.

      some advantages can be pressed too much, and then they suddenly go away.

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