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Sen. Cruz: ‘John Kerry Is The Customer Of The Year For Chinese Concentration Camps’

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) accused President Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry of being “the customer of the year for Chinese concentration camps” over Kerry’s push to import solar panels from China that had been created using forced labor in China’s concentration camps.

“John Kerry is the customer of the year for Chinese concentration camps,” Cruz tweeted.

Cruz included a video of a Fox News interview in which he discussed the Biden administration’s weakness to China.

“Joe Biden has shown weakness to China,” Cruz said, adding, “I introduced an amendment on the floor of the Senate to prohibit the Biden administration from importing any goods, and in particular electric vehicles or solar panels, made with slave labor in concentration camps in China. Every single Democrat except Joe Manchin voted against that.”

The Uyghur Forced Labor Act, which was first introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in January, would have imposed “importation limits on goods produced using forced labor in China, especially the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and imposes sanctions related to such forced labor.”

The legislation would have directed the Department of Homeland Security to “report to Congress a strategy for preventing the importation of goods produced in China using forced labor.”

The strategy would “contain certain information, including a list of entities working with the government in Xinjiang to move forced labor or Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, or members of other persecuted groups out of Xinjiang,” and U.S. Customs and Border Protection would “generally presume that goods produced by these entities and certain other entities, generally those sourcing material from Xinjiang or involved with Chinese government forced labor programs, are barred from importation into the United States.”

In response to Democrat resistance to the bill, Sen. Rubio released a statement in October, saying, “For weeks, rumors have swirled in Washington about President Joe Biden’s climate czar John Kerry and his opposition to taking concrete action against the Chinese Communist Party’s use of slave labor. Now, we may have an answer about his reluctance to take action: according to a new report, Kerry and his wife have at least $1 million invested in a Chinese investment group called Hillhouse China Value Fund L.P.”

“That fact alone raises serious questions as to whether Kerry can negotiate in good faith with Beijing on climate change, but it gets worse,” the statement continued.

“According to the report, Hillhouse is a ‘top shareholder’ in a Chinese technology company called YITU Technology, which was blacklisted by the Trump administration in 2019 for being complicit in the surveillance, detention, and repression of Uyghurs and others. In other words, Kerry appears to be profiting from slave labor.”

“Now it makes sense why he is actively working against my Uyghur Forced Labor Act, which would make it impossible for products made with slave labor in Xinjiang, China to be imported into the United States,” the statement added.

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International

State Department Orders Americans to Evacuate from Ukraine Embassy

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SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department has announced it will begin evacuating families and nonessential staff from Kyiv’s U.S. Embassy this week. The travel advisory was published Sunday, signaling U.S. fears that Ukraine could be on the verge of a Russian invasion.

If an invasion occurs, the State Department could be thwarted in its ability to get to and assist Americans. The Department of State wrote:

“On January 23, 2022, the Department of State authorized the voluntary departure of U.S. direct-hire employees and ordered the departure of eligible family members from Embassy Kyiv due to the continued threat of Russian military action…

…U.S. citizens in Ukraine should consider departing now using commercial or other privately available transportation options…the security conditions, particularly along Ukraine’s borders, in Russia-occupied Crimea, and in Russia-controlled eastern Ukraine, are unpredictable and can deteriorate with little notice. Demonstrations, which have turned violent at times, regularly occur throughout Ukraine, including in Kyiv.”

Axios reports Senior State Department officials told reporters on a briefing call that it was the “totality” of the Russian military buildup and threatening posture toward Ukraine over the last several months which led to the decision.

One official stated, “given that the President has said military action by Russia could come at any time, the U.S. government will not be in a position to evacuate U.S. citizens.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Friday with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva.

“We’re looking at what is visible to all, and it is deeds and actions, not words, that make the difference,” said Blinken, despite acknowledging that Lavrov had once again made an assurance that Russia has no intention of attacking Ukraine.

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China Warns Olympic Athletes Could Face Serious Consequences if they Speak Publicly on Human Rights

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Olympics

The 2022 Winter Olympic Games are prepared to begin February 4th in Beijing, but not without consequences. Chinese officials have issued a “warning” to all foreign athletes that they are “subject to certain punishment” if they speak “against the Olympic spirit.”

That “Olympic spirit” means politically speaking out about China. “Any behavior or speech that is against the Olympic spirit, especially against Chinese laws and regulations, are also subject to certain punishment,” said Yan Shu, deputy director-general of international relations for the Beijing Organizing Committee (BOC).

National Review notes the Chinese Party’s suppression of speech is well known and many are concerned with consequences and punishments for political speech because of strict local laws. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said the Olympic Charter Rule banning protesting at medal ceremonies would force athletes to follow “applicable public law.”

The Associated Press reports according to the IOC athletes can “enjoy freedom of speech” when speaking to journalists or posting to social media during the games. However, the committee expressed any measures that would protect athletes from Chinese persecution.

CBS Sports reports Global Athlete Group director general Rob Koehler suggested Olympians could suffer severe consequences if they criticize China, especially while in the country itself. “Silence is complicity and that’s why we have concerns,” said Koehler. “We know the human rights record and the allowance of freedom of expression in China, so there’s really not much protection” he added.

Last month White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the U.S. government delegation planned to boycott the Olympic Games over the Chinese government’s human rights abuses, including the presumed detention of tennis star Peng Shuai.

“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 winter Olympics and Paralympic Games given the PRC’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses. The athletes on team USA have our full support. We will be behind them 100 percent as we cheer them on from home. We will not be contributing to the fanfare of the games,” Psaki said.

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