Americans are waking up to China’s totalitarian threat to its own people and to the world, says a veteran of conservative politics, and it’s past time for greedy corporations to be held accountable for doing business with an enemy of our country.
China’s literal enslavement of its Muslim citizens was raised last week at a March 10 hearing by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. The commission not only discussed the Uighurs, who are routinely rounded up and imprisoned for their ethnicity, but commissioners also pointed out that U.S.-based companies, despite evidence of abuses, continue to do business with China and benefit from forced labor.
Gary Bauer, who sits on the commission, tells One News Now the hearing gave members an opportunity to challenge major corporations on evidence that imprisoned Uighurs are working in their factories.
“They ought to close those factories,” Bauer says. “Bring them home to the United States, where we still have millions of unemployed Americans.”
Decades of documented abuse
Using China’s imprisoned citizens to benefit U.S.-based corporations is well-documented and goes back decades. During the 1990s, a “60 Minutes” crew filmed a whistleblower who returned to his former job undercover, risking arrest and more prison time to expose the abuse.
More recently, in 2014, a BBC News crew filmed abuses in an iPhone factory outside Shanghai, where an undercover reporter was required to work 18 days in a row without a day off.
Apple’s abuses, in fact, had already made headlines in 2010 when overworked and exhausted Chinese workers committed suicide at Foxconn, an Apple supplier.
In just the last year, Newsweek, Forbes, The Washington Post, BBC News, and The New York Times reported that imprisoned Uighurs (pictured at right) are working in China-based plants owned by Nike, Amazon, and Apple. Although they denied doing so, those corporations lobbied Congress to weaken a bill that sought to ban U.S. companies from relying on forced labor in China, Business Insider reported late last year.
The bill, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, overwhelmingly passed the House in 2020 but got stalled in the U.S. Senate. A bipartisan group of U.S. senators re-introduced the bill earlier this year.
“As the Chinese Communist Party is committing egregious human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, including genocide and crimes against humanity, there is no excuse to turn a blind eye,” Sen. Marco Rubio, a main co-sponsor of the bill, said in a statement.
Unless the House bill is successfully weakened, such an effort by Republican lawmakers likely causes internal troubles for the party, famous for its close ties to Big Business. The lobbying effort last year to weaken the bill included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Retail Federation, too, the Business Insider story, citing lobbying disclosure forms, stated.
Bauer: China got worse, not better
Speaking to CBN News about the commission’s hearing on China, Bauer pointed out that U.S. lawmakers naively believed that increasing trade with China would encourage the country’s communist leaders to loosen their grip on their own people. That is why, he said, China was given the “Most Favored Nation” status, a coveted trade agreement, during the 1990s.
“What we’re seeing over the last 20 years,” Bauer told the news network, “is trade with China is changing American corporations and making them lobbyists, in many cases, for communist China.”
Bauer tells One News Now he posed a “simple question” during the hearing.
“Given that Communist China is an adversary of the United States, given their violations of human rights,” Bauer asks, “why is any American company building their factories in Communist China?”
While those mega-corporations show no signs of closing their China-based factories, a Gallup poll released just days ago found that 45% of Americans view China as our greatest threat. That number is more than double that same poll from last year, Fox Business reported.
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.