Republican lawmakers are pushing for sanctions on Chinese communist party officials over China’s “duplicitous, ineffective, and cruel” response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Republican representatives Jim Banks of Indiana, Dan Crenshaw of Texas, and Lance Gooden of Texas sent a letter Monday to Secretaries Mike Pompeo and Steven Mnuchin asking that Global Magnitsky Sanctions be imposed on seven Chinese Communist Party Officials.
The letter accuses Chinese officials of human rights abuses as well as both negligent and hostile behavior contributing to the pandemic.
“We believe their actions violated the 2005 International Health Regulations, the human rights of their citizens, and basic principles of fairness and responsibility in international relations,” the congressmen wrote in the letter.
The move comes after a report published by China’s Global Times Thursday in which unnamed analysts warn that four U.S. Congress members will be put on China’s sanctions list, including Republican Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Tom Cotton of Arkansas.
The report also highlights a number of other prominent Republican politicians who have criticized China’s mismanagement of coronavirus information, including Crenshaw, Banks, and Gooden.
“The Chinese regime’s open threat to interfere in American elections is just the latest of many aggressive, hostile actions,” Banks said in a statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “It is desperate to avoid responsibility, so it has reverted to desperate tactics. I’m neither surprised nor intimidated–I’m encouraged.”
Sanctioning these Chinese Communist Party officials is “a common sense step and within the original intent of the Magnitsky Act – punishing those who conduct gross human rights abuses and benefit from corruption,” Crenshaw said in a statement provided to the DCNF.
“Unlike the CCP’s threats to sanction me, and other Members of Congress, we have a leg to stand on,” Crenshaw added. “The communist regime concealed vital information and allowed this pandemic to spread, which cost countless American lives and livelihoods. Now it is time for them to face the consequences.”
Gooden emphasized that these officials are “directly responsible for downplaying the virus and suppressing the voices of those who rang the alarms.”
“Such egregious violations of global human rights are exactly the kind of thing we should be using this authority to address,” the representative said in a statement provided to the DCNF.
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