Blackburn, Sullivan, Merkley Lead Bipartisan Group of Senators in Warning CCP Against Violent Crackdown on Protesters
December 5, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), members of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), along with Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), chair of the Congressional Executive Commission on China, led a bipartisan letter with nearly half of their Senate colleagues to the Chinese ambassador to the United States warning the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of the consequences of a violent crackdown on peaceful protesters. Demonstrations have erupted across China in response to the CCP’s severe measures restricting freedoms to contain rising COVID-19 infections.
“The protests in China are a signal to the world that people will only tolerate authoritarianism for so long before they break,” said Senator Blackburn. “While the Chinese people peacefully protest, my colleagues and I are concerned with the Chinese Communist Party’s history of suppressing anyone and anything that goes against their goal of total control. We stand with the brave freedom fighters in China and warn President Xi and his regime against taking any violent action to squelch this cry for more liberty.”
“There are historic and heroic protests by the Chinese people pushing back on Xi Jinping’s dictatorial rule and calling for more freedom. Unfortunately, the response of most world leaders has been tepid at best,” said Senator Sullivan. “The United States Senate has a long and distinguished bipartisan history of speaking up for the Chinese people when they are threatened with communist brutality—and for Taiwan. This bipartisan letter continues this important Senate tradition of standing up for courageous, peaceful protesters who are risking their lives simply because they want more freedom.”
“The historic protests in China are showing the Chinese Communist Party just how courageous the people of China are,” said Senator Merkley. “The freedom of expression and of assembly are fundamental rights protected under international law, and like all other countries, China has an obligation to respect these universal rights. The protestors in China are sending a very important message, and the Chinese authorities need to listen to the people, not suppress their voice, their courage, or their pursuit for more freedom.”
The letter is also signed by Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), John Kennedy (R-La.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho).