Three U.S. House representatives sent a letter to the Trump administration, proposing new sanctions to place on senior Chinese officials for their violations of the human rights and acting irresponsibly in international relations over their cruel response to the CCP Virus ( coronavirus) outbreak.
In the letter dated Monday, May 18, Reps. Lance Gooden (R-Texas), Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) and Jim Banks (R-Ind.) called on the administration “to apply Global Magnitsky Sanctions” to multiple Chinese individuals and entities for “their complicity in human rights abuses and the harm they’ve inflicted on the United States and our allies.”
The lawmakers said they believe Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials “violated the 2005 International Health Regulations, the human rights of their citizens, and basic principles of fairness and responsibility in international relations” following their “duplicitous, ineffective, and cruel response to the outbreak of COVID-19 [CCP Virus].”
According to the lawmakers, Chinese officials in Wuhan detained, interrogated, and reprimanded eight doctors for spreading rumors of the CCP Virus and detained multiple “citizen journalists” for reporting the virus in the early stages of the outbreak.
In January, the CCP’s National Health Organization directed all of its research institutions to destroy existing samples of the CCP Virus or transfer them to approved testing sites, as well as deny the virus was transmissible between people despite having contrary evidence.
The CCP has also spread harmful and misleading propaganda about the origin of the virus, accusing the U.S. military of manufacturing and importing the virus to Wuhan. Its diplomats have threatened a nationwide boycott of American goods to discourage independent medical investigation into the virus.
In February, the CCP relocated tens thousands of Uyghur laborers to temporarily shuttered factories in the Hotan Prefecture, exposing them to the risk of the virus infection.
“All of these baffling and damaging decisions harmed Chinese citizens and the rest of the world, encouraged the spread of COVID-19 (CCP Virus), and hindered governments around the world from crafting an effective pandemic response,” the lawmakers wrote.
“The result has been tens of thousands unnecessary American deaths and substantial economic damage,” they continued, urging Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to utilize the authority granted in the Global Magnitsky Act to sanction CCP officials.
The officials named in the letter include the deputy mayor of Wuhan and Director of Wuhan Municipal Health Commission Chen Yongxin, Wuhan Public Security Bureau Li Yilong, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, National Health Commission Minister Ma Xiaowei, Hotan District Industry and Information Bureau Deputy Director Zhang Wei, Xinjiang Autonomous Region Politburo member Chen Quanguo, and Hikvision Chairman Chen Zongnian.
The Global Magnitsky Act allows the U.S. government to freeze the funds of foreign officials held in U.S. banks in addition to preventing them from obtaining visas.
According to The Hill, the letter came after a CCP state-run media outlet reported Beijing plans to impose “severe consequences” on a handful of U.S. Republican lawmakers who have been critical of the communist regime and spearheaded legislation on the matter.