Recommends Specific Actions That Can Help Deter a Chinese Crackdown
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Twenty-six members of the Committee on the Present Danger: China today sent President Donald Trump an open letter concerning the crisis in Hong Kong—and how the United States might both exhibit its solidarity with the former British colony’s people and discourage the Chinese Communist Party from acting to deprive them of their autonomy and freedoms.
The letter to the president reads in part:
We write to you at a critical moment for freedom and American interests in the Far East. As you know, the people of Hong Kong are struggling to preserve the liberties and autonomy that the People’s Republic of China promised to respect when the territory ceased to be a British colony. We have an opportunity to help them do so….
Under the direction of the Chinese Communist Party, the Hong Kong government has chosen to ignore the demands of the people, evidence that Hong Kong’s civil liberties are no longer respected and that what is left of its autonomy is in extremis.
In short, the CCP has broken its promises under the agreement signed with Britain at the time of the 1997 handover.
The CPDC signatories concluded:
Therefore, Mr. President, we believe it is in the vital interests of the United States to take now the following steps:
1. Immediately sanction the following officials:
- HK Chief Executive Carrie Lam
- Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng
- Secretary for Security John Lee
- Commissioner of the Hong Kong Police Stephen Lo
- Director of Hong Kong Liaison Office Wang Zhimin
The sanctions should include, but not be limited to, prohibiting their entry into the United States and freezing the assets in this country, if any, of the relevant individual (or organization). This could be done in accordance with the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.
2. Immediately and publicly support the five demands of the Hong Kong protestors.
3. Demand the CCP abide by and implement the terms of the Sino-British Joint Declaration Agreement signed in 1984.
4. Serve notice that, if the PRC does indeed use its People’s Armed Police or People’s Liberation Army units—whether in uniform or in undercover capacities—against the protestors in Hong Kong, you will take the following actions:
- Issue an Executive Order suspending the U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act on the grounds that, per 22 U.S.C. §5722, you are authorized to do so if you determine that Hong Kong’s autonomy is not sufficient to distinguish it from the People’s Republic of China; and
- Rescind Hong Kong’s status as a “Preferential Trading Partner.”
Among the signatories on the open letter were a number of former senior U.S. government officials, subject matter experts on Communist China, business leaders, and human rights and religious freedom activists, including: CPDC Chairman Brian Kennedy, CPDC Vice Chairman and former Assistant Secretary of Defense (Acting) Frank Gaffney, former Chief Strategist to President Trump Steve Bannon, former Director of the Strategic Defense Initiative Ambassador Henry Cooper, former Secretary of the Air Force (Acting) Tidal McCoy, former CIA Chief of Station Bradley Johnson, Drs. Anders Corr, Bradley Thayer, Peter Pry and Arthur Waldron, Chinese dissidents Dr. Lianchao Han, Dr. Jianli Yang and Pastor Bob Fu; and Captain James Fanell, U.S. Navy (Ret.) and Colonel/Dr. Lawrence Sellin, U.S. Army (Ret.)