Dharamsala, HP, India - We all belong to the 7 billion human beings. Mentally, emotionally and physically we are the same, so we should each contribute as best we can to making humanity better and happier. We should try to make this 21st century different from the 20th century, a period spoiled by violence, a time when brilliant scientists dedicated themselves to improving weapons.
Indian-born American author and public speaker Deepak Chopra and 45 close friends met His Holiness the Dalai Lama this morning. His Holiness welcomed them saying: “We’ve met a few times before, but now I’m happy to be able to welcome you here, my spiritual brothers and sisters, to what has been my home for the last nearly 60 years.
“In today’s world, despite extensive material development, we face all kinds of problems. Natural disasters are beyond our control, but fighting and killing are things we could put a stop to. However, we pay too much attention to material goals and not enough to human values like love. Many of the problems we face are of our own creation and yet scientists tell us that basic human nature is compassionate. They also tell us that cultivating a compassionate attitude is good for our physical health, while constant anger and fear undermine our immune systems.
“We don’t give enough weight to inner values. We see other people in terms of ‘us’ and ‘them’. Even religious practitioners do this. We distinguish between our country and their country. Young children don’t care about such distinctions. If other children smile and play, they’re happy to be with them. It’s only when we get older that we begin to stress secondary differences between us. We need to look deeper and appreciate that we are all the same in being human. And I believe we have a responsibility to share the importance of warm-heartedness.”
“Since we last met in New Jersey,” Deepak Chopra interpolated, “it has become clear that many ailments are a result of inner inflammation and that meditation is a means of calming it down.”
“I appreciate the work you do.” His Holiness responded, “We all belong to the 7 billion human beings. Mentally, emotionally and physically we are the same, so we should each contribute as best we can to making humanity better and happier. We should try to make this 21st century different from the 20th century, a period spoiled by violence, a time when brilliant scientists dedicated themselves to improving weapons. The outbursts of fighting and killing we see here and there today are a consequence of that old way of thinking that problems can be solved through the use of force. Instead, we should acknowledge our different interests and ideas and make this a century of dialogue.”
In answering questions from the group, His Holiness explained that just as we can’t assert that one medicine is best for everyone, because what is required will depend on the patient’s age, condition and ailment, we can’t state that a particular religious tradition is best. Different people may find different traditions and practices more effective for them. Tibetans follow the Nalanda Tradition which means they study the works of various masters and he indicated the figures depicted in paintings hanging around the room. They analyze and investigate contrasting points of view, which deepens their understanding. For the individual, His Holiness added, the important thing is to find a practice that helps tackle the destructive emotions.
Asked to name a world leader he admired, His Holiness mentioned Mahatma Gandhi, who, despite his sophisticated education, returned to India where he dressed like an ordinary Indian and promoted ahimsa or non-violence during the freedom struggle. He also acknowledged Rajendra Prasad, first President of India and Willy Brandt who maintained contact with the Soviet Union even during the Cold War.
Invited to explain how to be compassionate while being wronged, His Holiness recommended recognizing that we are all just human beings. He declared that he’d found such an approach of immense help in his own life. Whoever he meets he feels is just like him, someone he can regard as a brother or sister. When he thinks of Chinese officials in Tibet who have imposed hardship on Tibetans, he reminds himself that they too are human beings. As social animals, human beings depend on the community in which they live, which is why His Holiness emphasizes the importance of remembering the oneness of humanity.
He went on to discuss non-violence and what a waste it is to dedicate talent and resources to developing, manufacturing and selling weapons. He recounted a meeting of Nobel Peace Laureates in Rome and being shocked by a description of the consequences should nuclear weapons be used. He immediately suggested that a timetable be set for their elimination, but nothing happened. Nevertheless, he said, it is essential not to give up the effort, not only on the level of leaders and organizations like the UN, but on an ordinary public level too.
“As brothers and sisters we must take action,” he said, “to bring about a peaceful world step by step.”
In the face of modern education’s predominantly material goals His Holiness recommended adding to instructions about physical hygiene advice about emotional hygiene and ways to tackle destructive emotions. Children can be taught to recognize that anger and fear ruin our peace of mind, while other destructive emotions disrupt family harmony. He noted that the ancient Indian understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions remains relevant and helpful on a practical level today.
“In the early 20th century,” His Holiness added, “scientists only showed interest in learning about the brain as distinct from the mind. Gradually, some of them have come to recognize that there are different levels of mind—sensory waking consciousness, the consciousness of the dream state, the subtler awareness of deep sleep and so forth. Some meditators have experienced these different levels of mind in meditation, while scientists have begun to see how they affect the brain.
“In schools we need to teach not only about physical fitness, but about mental fitness too. In general, modern India pays too little attention to this kind of understanding, but I am committed to encouraging a revival of ancient Indian knowledge in this country. I am convinced that India is the only country that can combine modern education with ancient Indian knowledge of the mind and emotions and share it with the wider world.”
haramshala, India — Tibetan President Dr Lobsang Sangay on Thursday thanked U.S. President Donald Trump for bravely signing into new law the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 2018, which will impose a strong visa ban on Chinese communist authorities who deny U.S diplomats and other officials, journalists and other citizens access to Tibet.
The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act is now law, signifying a more vigorous interest by the United States in Tibet and the Tibetan people. This law marks a new era of US support for Tibetans and a challenge to China’s discriminatory policies in Tibet. Following unanimous passage by both the House and the Senate, President Donald Trump signed it on December 19, 2018.
The legislation calls for American diplomats, journalists and ordinary citizens to have equal access to the Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan areas as their Chinese counterparts enjoy in the US.
The new law will require the U.S Department of State to report to the Congress annually regarding the level of access Chinese authorities granted U.S. diplomats, journalists, and tourists to Tibetan areas in China. The law also seeks to promote access to Tibet for U.S. diplomats and other officials, journalists and other citizens by denying U.S. entry for Chinese officials deemed responsible for restricting access to Tibet.
Welcoming the historic legislation on Thursday, President of the Central Tibetan Administration Dr Lobsang Sangay said, “The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Law will not only make the perpetrators of human rights violations accountable but also bolster institutional and diplomatic engagement on Tibet. Again I thank the US Congress for passing the landmark bill and International Campaign of Tibet and everyone who contributed to making this a reality.”
“This is a very courageous step and sends the right message of hope and justice to Tibetans in Tibet. On behalf of six million Tibetans I extend profound appreciation to the President for signing the bill into law,” President said.
The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) and in the Senate by Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.). On 25 July this year, the bill was approved unanimously by the House Judiciary Committee and was passed by the entire House two months later. On 28 November, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved the bill and it passed the full Senate on December 11, 2018.
Under the new law, the State Department shall report to Congress annually, identifying individuals who were blocked from U.S. entry during the preceding year and a list of Chinese officials who were substantially involved in the formulation or execution of policies to restrict the access of U.S. diplomats, journalists, and citizens to Tibetan areas.
This campaign created new dynamics on the ground, which the leadership of Tibet's government-in-exile can now encourage political leaders in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and countries in Europe who are calling for a similar reciprocal access to Tibet law for the citizens of their respective countries.”
Tokyo, Japan – "What distinguishes the human beings on our planet is that we can communicate with each other—we can convey a sense of the oneness of humanity. If we develop peace of mind within ourselves, I believe we can make the 21st century an era of peace,"the spiritual leader of Tibet Saturday told a crowd of thousands in Tokyo, saying: "We must heed the ways of achieving inner peace."
Worshipful or merely curious or somewhere in between, they gathered by the thousands the Hibiya Open-Air Concert Hall in Tokyo, a ninety year old theatre surrounded by trees Saturday for the simplest of reasons: to hear the spiritual leader of Tibet give a free talk on leading a life of kindness and happiness. Half the 2800 strong audience sat in the sun, the other half in the shade, on November 17, 2018.
“Brothers and sisters,” His Holiness began, “it’s a great honour for me to have the opportunity to share my views and experiences with you. Wherever I go I emphasize that all 7 billion human beings are physically, mentally and emotionally the same. Everybody wants to live a happy life free from problems. Even insects, birds and animals want to be happy.
“What distinguishes us human beings is our intelligence. However, there are occasions when we use it improperly, as, for example, when we use it to design weapons. Animals like lions and tigers that live by attacking and eating other animals have sharp teeth and claws, but human beings’ nature and teeth are more like those of a deer. We use our intelligence to fulfil our desires, to which, compared to those of other animals, there seems to be no limit.
“Right here and now we are sitting together in peace and pleasure, but at this very moment, in other parts of the world people are killing each other.
“As I said, devising ever more lethal arms is a poor use of human intelligence and the worst are nuclear weapons. You Japanese have actually been victims of nuclear attack and know what the consequent suffering is like. I’ve been to both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On my first visit to Hiroshima I met a woman who had been through it and survived and I saw the watch in the museum that had stopped at the instant of the explosion and was half melted by the heat. So, instead of using our intelligence to create joy, the result has sometimes been fear.
“Here in the 21st century we should make an effort not to repeat the errors of the last century with its endless series of wars. Historians suggest that 200 million people died of violence during this period. It’s time to say, ‘Enough’. Let’s make the 21st a century of peace and compassion on the basis of the oneness of all 7 billion human beings alive today.
“Over-emphasizing difference of nationality, religion or race culminates in feelings of ‘us’ and ‘them’—division. We must remind ourselves that at a deeper level all human beings are the same. We all want to live a happy life and to be happy is our right. Throughout the universe are sentient beings seeking peace and happiness. What distinguishes the human beings on our planet is that we can communicate with each other—we can convey a sense of the oneness of humanity. If we develop peace of mind within ourselves, I believe we can make the 21st century an era of peace. We must heed the ways of achieving inner peace.
“There are no natural boundaries between human beings on this earth, we are one family. At a time of increasing natural disasters, climate change and global warming affect us all. We have to learn to live together, to work together and to share what we have together. The way we make problems for ourselves is senseless. We will achieve genuine peace in the world if we pursue demilitarization, but we need a sense of inner disarmament, a reduction of hostility and anger, to start with.
“A mother gave birth to each one of us and lavished us with care and affection, but once we go to school our education system fails to nurture this sense of loving-kindness. It’s aimed instead at fulfilling material goals. We need to re-introduce to education such inner values as warm-heartedness. If we could be more warm-hearted we’d be happier as individuals, contributing to happier families and wider communities too.
“Human beings are social animals. What brings us together is love and affection—anger drives us apart. Just as we employ physical hygiene to protect our health, we need emotional hygiene, the means to tackle our destructive emotions, if we are to achieve peace of mind.
Geneva – President Dr Lobsang Sangay, Central Tibetan Administration gave the keynote address at the Geneva Forum – 2018: Forum on Human Rights Situation in Regions under the PRC. The forum was jointly organised by the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and Office of Tibet Geneva, four days ahead of China’s third cycle of Universal Periodic Review (UPR), says a report by Tenzin Dechen, Communication Officer, Sikyong Office.
The panel sessions included experts, activists, and academics from all over the world discussing the challenges and the solutions for the UN human rights institutions in holding China accountable for its gross human rights violations given China’s economic power.
President Sangay began by pointing out the futility of the last 20 years where the world has actively engaged with China through business. He said, “They hoped that with economic development, the middle class in China will grow and assert more freedom and democratic rights which will ultimately change China to a democratic system. But it did not happen.”
He further said, “Some advocated that by rewarding China, Chinese leaders will behave according to international norms. After much discussion, the Most Favored Nation title was given to China, with the hope that it will become more liberal, which did not happen. Similarly, China was given the honour of hosting the Olympics with the condition that human rights in China should improve. But this also did not happen.”
On the human rights front, President Sangay said that some experts have recommended that naming and shaming China and Chinese leaders will not be effective and that a quiet diplomacy should be practised to save Chinese leaders’ faces as well as actually improve the human rights conditions in China.
He lamented, “So many countries have fallen in China’s bilateral human rights dialogue trap.” He recalled talking with some of the diplomats engaged in these dialogues for the last twenty years.
“The diplomats realised that these dialogues are essentially fruitless, and the yearly monologues don’t result in anything substantive. In fact, the human rights situation has become bad to worse and some countries are now beginning to feel buyer’s remorse. They have now realised the sinister design of the Chinese government.”
President Sangay then touched on incidences of the Chinese government’s growing influences in countries such as Norway, Australia, the US and Switzerland. “These countries are feeling buyer’s remorse. Example, Australia after realising that Chinese engagements does not pertain only to economics but also influences politics as well as academic freedom has proposed a bill in their Parliament restricting foreign interferences in Australia. Similar debates are going on in New Zealand as well.”
He urged other countries as well to re-examine and revisit their engagements with China. President Sangay cautioned that China is determined to bring a new world order with the Chinese Communist Party on top of the pyramid.
“China is rigorously promoting “Socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era” on the international stage. This is President Xi Jinping’s mantra.” Further clarifying, he said, “Socialism with Chinese characteristics means no democracy, one-party dictatorship, and no human rights.”
President Sangay concluded his speech by asking, “If the United Nation’s Human Rights Council cannot make China accountable for human rights violations, then who will? Irrespective of the outcome of the UPR, we have to make sure to hold China publicly accountable through this Forum. We have speakers on Mongolia, Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong, respectable academics, and human rights specialists on China. I leave it to the experts now to make recommendations making the Chinese government accountable. He ended, “Unless we transform China, China will transform us.”
Washington, DC — 'America had hoped that economic liberalisation would bring China into greater partnership with us and with the world. Instead, China has chosen economic, political and military aggression and as well as its propaganda tool to against USA. In recent years, it has taken a sharp U-turn toward control and oppression,' US Vice President Mike Pence said, criticising the Beijing’s homeland and foreign policy at Hudson Institute.
US President Pence also bravely and strongly raised the current ongoing repressive policies in occupied Tibet, saying "Beijing is also cracking down on Buddhism. Over the past decade, more than 150 Tibetan Buddhist monks have lit themselves on fire to protest China’s repression of their beliefs and culture.”
Remarks delivered by President Mike Pence on the administration’s policy towards China at Hudson Institute on October 4, 2018:
Thank you, Ken, for that kind introduction. To the Members of the Board of Trustees, to Dr. Michael Pillsbury, to our distinguished guests, and to all of you who, true to your mission, “think about the future in unconventional ways” – it’s an honor to be back at the Hudson Institute.
For more than half a century, this Institute has dedicated itself to “advancing global security, prosperity, and freedom.” And while Hudson’s hometowns have changed over the years, one thing has held constant: You have always advanced that vital truth, that American leadership lights the way.
And today, I bring greetings from a champion of American leadership, at home and abroad – the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump.
From early in this administration, President Trump has made our relationship with China and President Xi a priority. On April 6th of last year, President Trump welcomed President Xi to Mar-A-Lago. On November 8th of last year, President Trump traveled to Beijing, where China’s leader welcomed him warmly.
Over the course of the past 2 years, our President has forged a strong personal relationship with the president of the People’s Republic of China, and they’ve worked closely on issues of common interest, most importantly the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula…
But I come before you today because the American people deserve to know… as we speak, Beijing is employing a whole-of-government approach, using political, economic, and military tools, as well as propaganda, to advance its influence and benefit its interests in the United States.
China is also applying this power in more proactive ways than ever before, to exert influence and interfere in the domestic policy and politics of our country.
Under our administration, we’ve taken decisive action to respond to China with American leadership, applying the principles, and the policies, long advocated in these halls.
In the “National Security Strategy” that President Trump released last December, he described a new era of “great power competition.” Foreign nations have begun to “reassert their influence regionally and globally,” and they are “contesting [America’s] geopolitical advantages and trying to change the international order in their favor.”
In this strategy, President Trump made clear that the United States of America has adopted a new approach to China. We seek a relationship grounded in fairness, reciprocity, and respect for sovereignty, and we have taken strong and swift action to achieve that goal.
As the President said last year on his visit to China, “we have an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between our two countries and improve the lives of our citizens.” Our vision of the future is built on the best parts of our past, when America and China reached out to one another in a spirit of openness and friendship…
When our young nation went searching in the wake of the Revolutionary War for new markets for our exports, the Chinese people welcomed Americans traders laden with ginseng and fur…
When China suffered through indignities and exploitation during her so-called “Century of Humiliation,” America refused to join in, and advocated the “Open Door” policy, so that we could have freer trade with China, and preserve their sovereignty…
When American missionaries brought the good news to China’s shores, they were moved by the rich culture of an ancient but vibrant people, and not only did they spread faith; they also founded some of China’s first and finest universities…
When the Second World War arose, we stood together as allies in the fight against imperialism… And in that war’s aftermath, America ensured that China became a Charter member of the United Nations, and a great shaper of the post-war world.
But soon after it took power in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party began to pursue authoritarian expansionism. Only five years after our nations had fought together, we fought each other, on the mountains and in the valleys of the Korean Peninsula. My own father saw combat on those frontlines of freedom.
Not even the brutal Korean War could diminish our mutual desire to restore the ties that for so long bound us together. China’s estrangement from the United States ended in 1972, and soon after, we re-established diplomatic relations, began to open our economies to one another, and American universities began training a new generation of Chinese engineers, business leaders, scholars, and officials.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, we assumed that a free China was inevitable. Heady with optimism, at the turn of the 21st Century, America agreed to give Beijing open access to our economy, and bring China into the World Trade Organization.
Previous administrations made this choice in the hope that freedom in China would expand in all forms – not just economically, but politically, with a newfound respect for classical liberal principles, private property, religious freedom, and the entire family of human rights… but that hope has gone unfulfilled.
The dream of freedom remains distant for the Chinese people. And while Beijing still pays lip service to “reform and opening,” Deng Xiaoping’s famous policy now rings hollow.
Over the past 17 years, China’s GDP has grown 9-fold; it has become the second-largest economy in the world. Much of this success was driven by American investment in China. And the Chinese Communist Party has also used an arsenal of policies inconsistent with free and fair trade, including tariffs, quotas, currency manipulation, forced technology transfer, intellectual property theft, and industrial subsidies doled out like candy, to name a few. These policies have built Beijing’s manufacturing base, at the expense of its competitors – especially America.
China’s actions have contributed to a trade deficit with the United States that last year ran to $375 billion – nearly half of our global trade deficit. As President Trump said just this week, “we rebuilt China” over the last 25 years.
Now, through the “Made in China 2025” plan, the Communist Party has set its sights on controlling 90% of the world’s most advanced industries, including robotics, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence. To win the commanding heights of the 21st Century economy, Beijing has directed its bureaucrats and businesses to obtain American intellectual property – the foundation of our economic leadership – by any means necessary.
Beijing now requires many American businesses to hand over their trade secrets as the cost of doing business in China. It also coordinates and sponsors the acquisition of American firms to gain ownership of their creations. Worst of all, Chinese security agencies have masterminded the wholesale theft of American technology – including cutting-edge military blueprints.
And using that stolen technology, the Chinese Communist Party is turning plowshares into swords on a massive scale…
China now spends as much on its military as the rest of Asia combined, and Beijing has prioritized capabilities to erode America’s military advantages – on land, at sea, in the air, and in space. China wants nothing less than to push the United States of America from the Western Pacific and attempt to prevent us from coming to the aid of our allies.
Beijing is also using its power like never before. Chinese ships routinely patrol around the Senkaku Islands, which are administered by Japan. And while China’s leader stood in the Rose Garden of the White House in 2015 and said that his country had “no intention to militarize the South China Sea,” today, Beijing has deployed advanced anti-ship and anti-air missiles atop an archipelago of military bases constructed on artificial islands.
China’s aggression was on display this week, when a Chinese naval vessel came within 45 yards of the USS Decatur as it conducted freedom-of-navigation operations in the South China Sea, forcing our ship to quickly maneuver to avoid collision. Despite such reckless harassment, the United States Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows and our national interests demand. We will not be intimidated; we will not stand down.
America had hoped that economic liberalization would bring China into greater partnership with us and with the world. Instead, China has chosen economic aggression, which has in turn emboldened its growing military.
Nor, as we hoped, has Beijing moved toward greater freedom for its people. For a time, Beijing inched toward greater liberty and respect for human rights, but in recent years, it has taken a sharp U-turn toward control and oppression.
Today, China has built an unparalleled surveillance state, and it’s growing more expansive and intrusive – often with the help of U.S. technology. The “Great Firewall of China” likewise grows higher, drastically restricting the free flow of information to the Chinese people. And by 2020, China’s rulers aim to implement an Orwellian system premised on controlling virtually every facet of human life – the so-called “social credit score.” In the words of that program’s official blueprint, it will “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven, while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step.”
And when it comes to religious freedom, a new wave of persecution is crashing down on Chinese Christians, Buddhists, and Muslims…
Last month, Beijing shut down one of China’s largest underground churches. Across the country, authorities are tearing down crosses, burning bibles, and imprisoning believers. And Beijing has now reached a deal with the Vatican that gives the avowedly atheist Communist Party a direct role in appointing Catholic bishops. For China’s Christians, these are desperate times.
Beijing is also cracking down on Buddhism. Over the past decade, more than 150 Tibetan Buddhist monks have lit themselves on fire to protest China’s repression of their beliefs and culture. And in Xinjiang, the Communist Party has imprisoned as many as one million Muslim Uyghurs in government camps where they endure around-the-clock brainwashing. Survivors of the camps have described their experiences as a deliberate attempt by Beijing to strangle Uyghur culture and stamp out the Muslim faith.
But as history attests, a country that oppresses its own people rarely stops there. Beijing also aims to extend its reach across the wider world. As Hudson’s own Dr. Michael Pillsbury has said, “China has opposed the actions and goals of the U.S. government. Indeed, China is building its own relationships with America’s allies and enemies that contradict any peaceful or productive intentions of Beijing.”
China uses so-called “debt diplomacy” to expand its influence.Today, that country is offering hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure loans to governments from Asia to Africa to Europe to even Latin America. Yet the terms of those loans are opaque at best, and the benefits flow overwhelmingly to Beijing.
Just ask Sri Lanka, which took on massive debt to let Chinese state companies build a port with questionable commercial value. Two years ago, that country could no longer afford its payments – so Beijing pressured Sri Lanka to deliver the new port directly into Chinese hands. It may soon become a forward military base for China’s growing blue-water navy.
Within our own hemisphere, Beijing has extended a lifeline to the corrupt and incompetent Maduro regime in Venezuela, pledging $5 billion in questionable loans that can be repaid with oil. China is also that country’s single largest creditor, saddling the Venezuelan people with more than $50 billion in debt. Beijing is also corrupting some nations’ politics by providing direct support to parties and candidates who promise to accommodate China’s strategic objectives…
And since last year, the Chinese Communist Party has convinced 3 Latin American nations to sever ties with Taipeiand recognize Beijing. These actions threaten the stability of the Taiwan Strait – and the United States of America condemns these actions. And while our administration will continue to respect our One China Policy, as reflected in the three joint communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act, America will always believe Taiwan’s embrace of democracy shows a better path for all the Chinese people.
These are only a few of the ways that China has sought to advance its strategic interests across the world, with growing intensity and sophistication. Yet previous administrations all but ignored China’s actions – and in many cases, they abetted them. But those days are over.
Under President Trump’s leadership, the United States of America has been defending our interests with renewed American strength…
We’ve been making the strongest military in the history of the world stronger still. Earlier this year, the President signed into law the largest increase in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan – $716 billion to extend our military dominance in every domain.
We’re modernizing our nuclear arsenal, we’re fielding and developing new cutting-edge fighters and bombers, we’re building a new generation of aircraft carriers and warships, and we’re investing as never before in our Armed Forces. This includes initiating the process to establish the United States Space Force to ensure our continued dominance in space, and authorizing increased capability in the cyber world to build deterrence against our adversaries.
And at President Trump’s direction, we’re also implementing tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods, with the highest tariffs specifically targeting the advanced industries that Beijing is trying to capture and control. And the President has also made clear that we’ll levy even more tariffs, with the possibility of substantially more than doubling that number, unless a fair and reciprocal deal is made.
Our actions have had a major impact. China’s largest stock exchange fell by 25% in the first 9 months of this year, in large part because our administration has stood up to Beijing’s trade practices.
As President Trump has made clear, we don’t want China’s markets to suffer. In fact, we want them to thrive. But the United States wants Beijing to pursue trade policies that are free, fair, and reciprocal.
Sadly, China’s rulers have refused to take that path – so far. The American people deserve to know that, in response to the strong stand that President Trump has taken, Beijing is pursuing a comprehensive and coordinated campaign to undermine support for the President, our agenda, and our nation’s most cherished ideals.
I want to tell you today what we know about China’s actions – some of which we’ve gleaned from intelligence assessments, some of which are publicly available. But all of which is fact.
As I said before, Beijing is employing a whole-of-government approach to advance its influence and benefit its interests. It’s employing this power in more proactive and coercive ways to interfere in the domestic policies and politics of the United States.
The Chinese Communist Party is rewarding or coercing American businesses, movie studios, universities, think tanks, scholars, journalists, and local, state, and federal officials.
Worst of all, China has initiated an unprecedented effort to influence American public opinion, the 2018 elections, and the environment leading into the 2020 presidential elections…
To put it bluntly, President Trump’s leadership is working; and China wants a different American President.
China is meddling in America’s democracy. As President Trump said just last week, we have “found that China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 [midterm] election[s].”
Our intelligence community says that “China is targeting U.S. state and local governments and officials to exploit any divisions between federal and local levels on policy. It’s using wedge issues, like trade tariffs, to advance Beijing’s political influence.”
In June, Beijing circulated a sensitive document, entitled “Propaganda and Censorship Notice,” that laid out its strategy. It states that China must “strike accurately and carefully, splitting apart different domestic groups” in the United States.
To that end, Beijing has mobilized covert actors, front groups, and propaganda outlets to shift Americans’ perception of Chinese policies. As a senior career member of our intelligence community recently told me, what the Russians are doing pales in comparison to what China is doing across this country.
Senior Chinese officials have also tried to influence business leaders to condemn our trade actions, leveraging their desire to maintain their operations in China. In one recent example, they threatened to deny a business license for a major U.S. corporation if it refused to speak out against our administration’s policies.
And when it comes to influencing the midterms, you need only look at Beijing’s tariffs in response to ours. They specifically targeted industries and states that would play an important role in the 2018 election. By one estimate, more than 80% of U.S. counties targeted by China voted for President Trump in 2016; now China wants to turn these voters against our administration.
And China is also directly appealing to the American voter. Last week, the Chinese government paid to have a multipage supplement inserted into the Des Moines Register – the paper of record in the home state of our Ambassador to China, and a pivotal state in 2018. The supplement, designed to look like news articles, cast our trade policies as reckless and harmful to Iowans.
Fortunately, Americans aren’t buying it. For example: American farmers are standing with this President and are seeing real results from the strong stands that he’s taken, including this week’s U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, where we’ve substantially opened North American markets to U.S. products – a great win for American farmers and manufacturers.
But China’s actions aren’t focused solely on influencing our policies and politics. Beijing is also taking steps to exploit its economic leverage, and the allure of China’s large domestic market, to advance its influence over American corporations.
Beijing now requires American joint ventures that operate in China to establish “party organizations” within their company, giving the Communist Party a voice – and perhaps a veto – in hiring and investment decisions.
Chinese authorities have also threatened U.S. companies that depict Taiwan as a distinct geographic entity, or that stray from Chinese policy on Tibet. Beijing compelled Delta Airlines to publicly apologize for not calling Taiwan a “province of China” on its website. It also pressured Marriott to fire a U.S. employee who liked a tweet about Tibet.
Beijing routinely demands that Hollywood portray China in a strictly positive light, and it punishes studios and producers that don’t. Beijing’s censors are quick to edit or outlaw movies that criticize China, even in minor ways. “World War Z” had to cut the script’s mention of a virus originating in China. “Red Dawn” was digitally edited to make the villains North Korean, not Chinese.
Beyond business, the Chinese Communist Party is spending billions of dollars on propaganda outlets in the United States, as well as other countries.
China Radio International now broadcasts Beijing-friendly programming on over 30 U.S. outlets, many in major American cities. The China Global Television Network reaches more than 75 million Americans – and it gets its marching orders directly from its Communist Party masters. As China’s top leader put it during a visit to the network’s headquarters, “The media run by the Party and the government are propaganda fronts and must have the Party as their surname.”
That’s why, last month, the Department of Justice ordered that network to register as a foreign agent.
The Communist Party has also threatened and detained the Chinese family members of American journalists who pry too deep. And it has blocked the websites of U.S. media organizations and made it harder for our journalists to get visas. This happened after the New York Times published investigative reports about the wealth of some of China’s leaders.
But the media isn’t the only place where the Chinese Communist Party seeks to foster a culture of censorship. The same is true of academia.
Look no further than the Chinese Students and Scholars Associations, of which there are more than 150 branches across American campuses. These groups help organize social events for some of the more than 430,000 Chinese nationals studying in the United States; they also alert Chinese consulates and embassies when Chinese students, and American schools, stray from the Communist Party line.
At the University of Maryland, a Chinese student recently spoke at her graduation ceremony of what she called the “fresh air of free speech” in America. The Communist Party’s official newspaper swiftly chastised her, she became the victim of a firestorm of criticism on China’s tightly-controlled social media,and her family back home was harassed. As for the university itself, its exchange program with China – one of the nation’s most extensive – suddenly turned from a flood to a trickle.
China exerts academic pressure in other ways, too. Beijing provides generous funding to universities, think tanks, and scholars, with the understanding that they will avoid ideas that the Communist Party finds dangerous or offensive. China experts in particular know that their visas will be delayed or denied if their research contradicts Beijing’s talking points.
And even scholars and groups who avoid Chinese funding are targeted by that country, as the Hudson Institute found out firsthand. After you offered to host a speaker Beijing didn’t like, your website suffered a major cyber-attack, originating from Shanghai. You know better than most that the Chinese Communist Party is trying to undermine academic freedom and the freedom of speech in America today.
These and other actions, taken as a whole, constitute an intensifying effort to shift American public opinion and public policy away from the America First leadership of President Donald Trump. But our message to China’s rulers is this: This President will not back down – and the American people will not be swayed. We will continue to stand strong for our security and our economy, even as we hope for improved relations with Beijing.
Our administration will continue to act decisively to protect American interests, American jobs, and American security.
As we rebuild our military, we will continue to assert American interests across the Indo-Pacific.
As we respond to China’s trade practices, we will continue to demand an economic relationship with China that is free and fair and reciprocal, demanding that Beijing break down its trade barriers, fulfill its trade obligations, and fully open its economy, just as we have opened ours.
We will continue to take action until Beijing ends the theft of American intellectual property, and stops the predatory practice of forced technology transfer…
And to advance our vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific, we’re building new and stronger bonds with nations that share our values, across the region – from India to Samoa. Our relationships will flow from a spirit of respect, built on partnership, not domination.
We’re forging new trade deals, on a bilateral basis, just as last week, President Trump signed an improved trade deal with South Korea, and we will soon begin negotiating a historic bilateral free-trade deal with Japan.
And we’re streamlining international development and finance programs, giving foreign nations a just and transparent alternative to China’s debt-trap diplomacy. To that end, President Trump will sign the BUILD Act into law in the days ahead.
And next month, it will be my privilege to represent the United States in Singapore and Papua New Guinea, at ASEAN and APEC. There, we will unveil new measures and programs to support a free and open Indo-Pacific – and on behalf of the President, I will deliver the message that America’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific has never been stronger.
To protect our interests here at home, we’ve strengthened CFIUS – the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States – heightening our scrutiny of Chinese investment in America, to protect our national security from Beijing’s predatory actions.
And when it comes to Beijing’s malign influence and interference in American politics and policy, we will continue to expose it, no matter the form it takes. And we will work with leaders at every level of society to defend our national interests and most cherished ideals. The American people will play the decisive role – and in fact, they already are…
As we gather here, a new consensus is rising across America…
More business leaders are thinking beyond the next quarter, and thinking twice before diving into the Chinese market if it means turning over their intellectual property or abetting Beijing’s oppression. But more must follow suit. For example, Google should immediately end development of the “Dragonfly” app that will strengthen Communist Party censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers…
More journalists are reporting the truth without fear or favor, and digging deep to find where China is interfering in our society, and why – and we hope that more American, and global, news organizations will join in this effort.
More scholars are speaking out forcefully and defending academic freedom, and more universities and think tanks are mustering the courage to turn away Beijing’s easy money, recognizing that every dollar comes with a corresponding demand. We’re confident that more will join their ranks.
And across the nation, the American people are growing in vigilance, with a newfound appreciation for our administration’s actions to re-set America’s economic and strategic relationship with China, to finally put America First.
And under President Trump’s leadership, America will stay the course. China should know that the American people and their elected representatives in both parties are resolved.
As our National Security Strategy states: “Competition does not always mean hostility.” As President Trump has made clear, we want a constructive relationship with Beijing, where our prosperity and security grow together, not apart. While Beijing has been moving further away from this vision, China’s rulers can still change course, and return to the spirit of “reform and opening” and greater freedom. The American people want nothing more; the Chinese people deserve nothing less.
The great Chinese story-teller Lu Xun often lamented that his country “has either looked down at foreigners as brutes, or up to them as saints, but never as equals.” Today, America is reaching out our hand to China; we hope that Beijing will soon reach back – with deeds, not words, and with renewed respect for America. But we will not relent until our relationship with China is grounded in fairness, reciprocity, and respect for sovereignty.
There is an ancient Chinese proverb that tells us that “men see only the present, but heaven sees the future.” As we go forward, let us pursue a future of peace and prosperity with resolve and faith…
Faith in President Trump’s leadership, and the relationship that he has forged with China’s president…
Faith in the enduring friendship between the American people and the Chinese people…
Faith that heaven sees the future – and by God’s grace, America and China will meet that future together.
Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.