Rep. Gallagher: We Have a Chinese Communist Party Problem
Congressman Mike Gallagher today joined House Republican Leadership for their weekly press conference. In his remarks, he acknowledged the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, where the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) killed countless civilians, and called out the CCP for its growing oppression at home and aggression abroad. You can watch the congressman's remarks above, or read them below.
It’s my second stakeout so I’m honored to be back. I think Liz invited me back because she wanted me to give a boring lecture on Cold War history, so I figured I’d oblige her.
In 1946, in his famous Long Telegram, Wisconsin’s George Kennan argued that the Soviet Union was “committed fanatically to he belief that in order to preserve their own power they had to break the international authority of America.” Dealing with this threat, in Kennan’s view, would be the “greatest task our diplomacy has ever faced.”
Today, I would argue, we face a similar strategic challenge and thirty years after the atrocities in Tiananmen, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has only grown more repressive at home and aggressive aboard in their attempts to break our international authority.
I would argue the free world faces a threat unlike anything seen since Keenan’s time.
What we are seeing today in Xinjiang Province, for example, where General Secretary Xi Jinping has over a million Uyghurs Muslims confined in concentration camps, where they face beatings and torture with no legal recourse. What we are seeing there is not just an abomination, but a preview of things to come. The Chinese Communist Party is using Xinjiang to perfect its totalitarian surveillance state, to succeed where their Soviet predecessors failed.
Beyond shining a light on the atrocities in Tiananmen, beyond shining a light on the atrocities in Xinjiang, beyond imposing harsh sanctions on the individuals responsible, and beyond cutting off the flow of U.S. technology that enables these repressive systems, I think our most difficult task is simply to stay true to our own values, because the American vision of equality, liberty, and rule of law, in my opinion, provides a self-evident contrast to the dystopian future offered by the Chinese Communist Party.
If we instead abandon those values and try to out China, China—going further down the road of the government control, socialism, and tech-enabled utopianism—we will lose. As Kennan put it in 1946: “the greatest danger that can befall us in coping with this problem of communism, is that we shall allow ourselves to become like those with whom we are coping.”
Finally, let me be clear, I do not believe we have a China problem. I believe we have a Chinese Community Party problem. And I actually think in many ways, at least on the Arm Services Committee, which I’m proud to be a member of, that this is an area of strong bipartisan agreement which is why we should all be alarmed when leading Democratic presidential candidates suggest otherwise, that the Chinese Communist Party does not present a threat to our interest and those of our allies.
Today, 30 years after the massacre in Tiananmen, this should remind us that type of thinking is naïve. It is dangerous and today should remind us that we need to stand strong and send the Chinese Communist Party where it belongs, on the ash heap of history.