Banks, Johnson and Wilson Introduce the Countering Chinese Propaganda Act

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Washington, September 17, 2020 | comments

WASHINGTON – Today, Republican Study Committee’s (RSC) Budget & Spending Task Force Chairman Jim Banks (IN- 03), RSC Chairman Mike Johnson (LA-04), and RSC National Security & Foreign Affairs Task Force Chairman Joe Wilson (SC-02) introduced the Countering Chinese Propaganda Act. This legislation, based upon the recommendations from the Republican Study Committee (RSC)’s The RSC National Security Strategy  (click here to view the full report),authorizes sanctions against the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-  a hostile wing of the CCP that engages in political warfare campaigns to make supreme the ideology of communism and to spread discord among enemies of the party. 

The United Front has led aggressive campaigns of subversion and espionage especially on U.S. college campuses through the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) and Chinese-language centers called Confucius Institutes. The United Front has also funded a number of think tanks in Washington D.C., and co-opted business leaders to squash criticism of China. Despite this information, there is currently over a hundred United Front organizations that openly operate in the United States.

By placing the United Front under U.S. sanctions, the organization will no longer be able to access the U.S. financial system and would be blocked from receiving visas to travel to the U.S. and openly work to undermine U.S. national security.  

This legislation will do the following:

  • Creates new mandatory sanctions on entities, like the United Front, from spreading malign disinformation on behalf of a foreign government or political party.
  • Requires the Secretary of State to examine whether or not the United Front Work Department of the CCP meets the criteria to be sanctioned under this new authority, and to be sanctioned under authorities for entities engaged in cyber-attacks and violators of human rights under the Global Magnitsky Act 

“The Chinese Communist Party’s disinformation campaign targets our classrooms, our news outlets, our social media platforms—they even want to our rewrite our Bibles to include ‘socialist characteristics.’ The CCP has taken advantage of our open society for far too long. We need to fight back,” said Banks.

“Our nation’s greatest threat, the Chinese Communist Party, has a weapon on U.S. soil. This weapon is not just active, but it has over 100 affiliated organizations in our nation today--the United Front,” said Johnson. “This organization suppresses freedom of religion and human rights in their own country and is actively working to spread malign disinformation in ours. We must act now to sanction this organization and prohibit its operations in the U.S. That is why we recommended that this hostile wing of the CCP be sanctioned in our National Security Strategy and why we are introducing this bill today.”

“More Americans need to know about the United Front Work Department of the CCP and their goal of political warfare,” said Wilson. “I was grateful to propose designating this malign wing of the CCP as part of the Republican Study Committee National Security and Foreign Affairs Task Force report last June and I am grateful to support this crucial legislation which would do just that and protect American national security. Communist party operatives engaged in subversion, espionage and human rights abuses should not be able to access the U.S financial system and operate freely in the U.S.”

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