Updated: Jan 13, 2021
God loves everyone. But not everyone loves God or his people. When considering the vast human rights abuses of the Chinese Communist government, one has to acknowledge that the Chinese people themselves are oppressed by the heavy hand of the Chinese Communist government.
As many of you know, I am not only a professional business person and an ordained minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ - I am also an elected state senator. It is important to me to stand up against those who do wrong, persecute others and defend the innocent who find themselves persecuted by abusive governments. I have a long history of calling out the abuses, intimidation and violence perpetrated by terrorists, radical Islamic extremist groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria, the Taliban in Afghanistan, white supremacist groups, the Antifa radicals, oppressive government regimes and in particular as of late the Chinese Communist government.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chinese Communist leader Xi Jinping
Most people who know me personally know that I completely trust God and put Him first in my life, my business and my role as a servant leader. Recently I took a strong stand against the abuses of the Chinese government on the floor of the Arkansas Senate and shared the comments in this brief clip:
Sen. Jason Rapert speaks out against the human rights abuses of the Chinese Communist Government.
Believe it or not, in taking a stand against the Chinese Communists, there are those who attack me for simply sharing the facts documented about the vast efforts of the Chinese Communists to manipulate people as they strive to dominate the Chinese people and take advantage of others around the world. I was recently called a “racist” for speaking out against the Chinese government human rights abuses. Why would anyone say such a thing? Am I against all Chinese people because I speak out against the Chinese Communists? Of course not. The person who made the statement calling me a racist is apparently an ethnic Chinese person in our community who does not know me personally at all. I vow to oppose those who persecute others, intimidate others, wage violence against others, torture others and even kill others NO MATTER WHAT THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN IS, WHAT NATIONALITY THEY ARE, WHAT RELIGION THEY ARE OR WHAT ETHNICITY THEY ARE.
Now for the facts about the abuses of the Communist Chinese Government. One of the flash points in the ongoing efforts by the Chinese government to influence public policy around the world has to do with their backing of Confucius Institutes on college campuses in the United States. I have generally been supportive of all educational exchange programs having helped exchange students before and in particular our ministry has even allowed a local church to host Chinese students at our ministry property. Our family loved having them there and would welcome them back again today. I happen to believe that most if not all of those students would be very happy that I have taken a stand against the human rights abuses of their government. Over the past few months I have been studying and educating myself on the human rights abuses of the Chinese Communist Government that have been testified to before Congress by the FBI, chronicled in human rights abuse reports by the U.S. State Department and reported on by news organizations around the world. I also recently communicated about this matter with U.S. Senator Tom Cotton - as you might know he too is very concerned. This has led me to find out that many colleges have been closing the Confucius Institute programs backed by the Chinese government on their campuses and I now believe Arkansas should close down the program at the University of Central Arkansas as well.
I have shared multiple articles and reports publicly over the course of several months and made comments on the Senate floor about Chinese Communist abuses. I have shared allegations that have been been reported and presented to me, and and cited articles and reports that are well documented. The U.S. government has reported on the human rights abuses of the Chinese communist government through the U.S. State Department. Here is a link to the report: https://www.state.gov/reports/2019-country-reports-on-human-rights-practices/china/
This is a passage taken directly from the report:
“During the year the government continued its campaign of mass detention of members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang). Authorities were reported to have arbitrarily detained more than one million Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Muslims in extrajudicial internment camps designed to erase religious and ethnic identities. Chinese government officials justified the camps under the pretense of combating terrorism, separatism, and extremism. International media, human rights organizations, and former detainees reported security officials in the camps abused, tortured, and killed detainees. Government documents, as published by international media, corroborated the coercive nature of the campaign and its impact on members of Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang and abroad.
Significant human rights issues included: arbitrary or unlawful killings by the government; forced disappearances by the government; torture by the government; arbitrary detention by the government; harsh and life-threatening prison and detention conditions; political prisoners; arbitrary interference with privacy; substantial problems with the independence of the judiciary; physical attacks on and criminal prosecution of journalists, lawyers, writers, bloggers, dissidents, petitioners, and others as well as their family members; censorship and site blocking; interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, including overly restrictive laws that apply to foreign and domestic nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); severe restrictions of religious freedom; substantial restrictions on freedom of movement (for travel within the country and overseas); refoulement of asylum seekers to North Korea, where they have a well-founded fear of persecution; the inability of citizens to choose their government; corruption; a coercive birth-limitation policy that in some cases included forced sterilization or abortions; trafficking in persons; and severe restrictions on labor rights, including a ban on workers organizing or joining unions of their own choosing; and child labor.
Official repression of the freedoms of speech, religion, movement, association, and assembly of Tibetans in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and other Tibetan areas, and of predominantly Uighurs and other ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang, was more severe than in other areas of the country. Such repression, however, occurred throughout the country, as exemplified by the case of Pastor Wang Yi, the leader of the Early Rain Church, who was charged and convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” in an unannounced, closed-door trial with no defense lawyer present. Authorities sentenced him to nine years in prison.”
How can you read all that and even utter one word in defense of the Chinese Communist government?
Even academics in higher education are raising concerns around the country. See here for yourself: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/01/09/colleges-move-close-chinese-government-funded-confucius-institutes- Many Confucius Institute programs have been closed as a result of the growing knowledge that the Chinese Communist Government has had ulterior motives all along. The article even reports that the FBI has testified before Congress about these problems. Why would anyone embrace the Confucius Institute program when so many others in academia acknowledge the program is troublesome?
Secretary of State Pompeo addressed the National Governors Association and spent a great deal of time warning them of the serious acts of espionage being conducted by the Chinese government including direct concerns with Confucius Institutes that are planted on campuses around the nation which are directly funded by the Chinese communists.
Here is an article about that meeting with Pompeo’s warnings well documented: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/feb/9/mike-pompeo-warns-china-threat-exploit-us-freedom-/
My concern is not with innocent Chinese students or those interested in learning about Chinese culture - my concern is the well documented abuses and manipulation being waged by the Chinese communist government to influence Americans and our policies from Washington, D.C. right down to the campuses in our communities.
Here is a passage from the article I just referenced:
“China is engaged in aggressive influence and financial operations inside the United States as part of Beijing’s program to obtain Western technology and influence American policies, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this weekend.
“At the end of the Cold War, America started to engage with China heavily,” he said. “We thought that the more we interacted, the more [China] would become like a liberal democracy, like us here in the United States. It didn’t happen, and you all know this.”
Here is another passage:
“In his remarks Saturday, Mr. Pompeo said he recently was invited to attend a meeting of governors by a Chinese government front group that promised “an occasion for exclusive deal-making.”
The meeting was co-hosted by the National Governors Association and a Chinese front group called the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship With Foreign Countries.
“Sounds pretty harmless,” Mr. Pompeo said. “What the invitation did not say is that the group I just mentioned is the public face of the Chinese Communist Party’s official foreign influence agency, the United Front Work Department.”
The United Front Work Department is an intelligence agency within the Communist Party of China in charge of foreign influence operations.
The secretary said he was familiar with the operations of the group from his time as CIA director and that the Chinese were seeking to co opt U.S. officials and business leaders by offering Chinese investments in their states, in pension funds or in industries related to sensitive national security matters.
“These aren’t hypotheticals,” he said. “These scenarios are all too true, and they impact American foreign policy significantly.”
Chinese diplomats are covertly attempting to coerce local governments into withholding support from rival officials from Taiwan.
In one case, a Chinese consul general in New York sent a letter to a speaker of the State Assembly telling him to “avoid engaging in any official contact with Taiwan, including sending congratulatory messages to the electeds, introducing bills and proclamations for the election, sending officials and representatives to attend the inauguration ceremony, and inviting officials in Taiwan to visit the United States.”
The pressure campaign was an attempt to force an elected American official to give up his right to freedom of speech.”
The United States has drawn a line in the sand and I believe all states and universities should heed their warning and guidance. Please read that entire article or better yet watch the speech for yourself: https://www.state.gov/u-s-states-and-the-china-competition/
One last passage quoting Secretary of State Pompeo which specifically articulates the ignorance some have about the dangers of these Confucius Institute programs:
“Of course, too, our public educational institutions are another arena of competition with China.
I know, governors, you don’t run these institutions on a day-to-day basis, but you often have impact on the people that do. The FBI director and I think the Attorney General, too, talked yesterday about something called the “Thousand Talents Plan.” It’s a plan to recruit scientists and professors to transfer the know-how we have here to China in exchange for enormous paydays.
The program has probably targeted campuses in your state. Indeed, the Department of Justice has indicted professors in my home state at the University of Kansas and at Virginia Tech and at Harvard.
A Texas A&M investigation reportedly discovered more than 100 academics participating in Chinese talent recruitment plans. Only five of them had declared that they were participating in this program.
And goodness knows what else we have not discovered.
There are indeed very credible reports of Chinese Government officials pressuring Chinese students – students studying right here in the United States of America – to monitor fellow Chinese students and to report back to Beijing.
One very prominent pro-democracy Chinese student on a college campus in the Northeast last year received death threats – death threats for exercising his right to free speech. The FBI became involved.
Make no mistake about it: We want talented, young Chinese students to come study in the United States of America. I see it at Wichita State University. These are wonderful young people. We ought to encourage them to be here. But they shouldn’t have to fear the long arm of Beijing, which often reaches out via groups like the Chinese Students and Scholars Association.
Look, that’s just one of many campus groups directly influenced by the Chinese Communist Party and its representatives right here in the United States.
Many of you are familiar with Confucius Institutes. Confucius Institutes purport to have the sole purpose of teaching Mandarin language skills and Chinese culture. A bipartisan Senate committee found last year in 2019 that the Chinese Communist Party controls nearly every aspect of the Confucius Institutes’ activities here in the United States.
Over the past few months, the University of Missouri, the University of Kansas, the University of Maryland have independently decided to close down their Confucius Institutes after conducting their own reviews, and schools in 22 other states are doing or have already done the same.
Sadly, China’s propaganda campaign starts even earlier than college. China has targeted K through 12 schools through its “Confucius Classrooms,” the CCP’s program to influence kids at elementary, middle, and high schools around the world.
Do you know that we have no ability to establish similar programs in China? I’m sure that doesn’t surprise you. President Trump has talked about reciprocity in trade. We should have reciprocity in all things. Today they have free rein in our system, and we’re completely shut out from theirs.“
Now I ask you - what person with any moral compass at all would want a program like that on an American college campus? Study China, visit China, learn all you can about China - I am totally supportive of independent and objective education. But I suggest Arkansas and Arkansas universities should refuse to partner with the Chinese Communist government which funds the Confucius Institute programs.
There are serious issues that warrant the immediate closing of Confucius Institute programs. I embrace and encourage research and academic study - but I do not believe partnering with Chinese communists really has anything to do with honest education and has everything to do with their covert attempts to influence American students as documented all across the country.
As as an ordained minister I believe in opposing evil in all forms. The Bible teaches us in the book of Ephesians to stand against evil in spiritual warfare.
“Finally, receive your power from the Lord and from his mighty strength. Put on all the armor that God supplies. In this way you can take a stand against the devil’s strategies. This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world. For this reason, take up all the armor that God supplies. Then you will be able to take a stand during these evil days. Once you have overcome all obstacles, you will be able to stand your ground. So then, take your stand! Fasten truth around your waist like a belt. Put on God’s approval as your breastplate. Put on your shoes so that you are ready to spread the Good News that gives peace. In addition to all these, take the Christian faith as your shield. With it you can put out all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Also take salvation as your helmet and God’s word as the sword that the Spirit supplies. Pray in the Spirit in every situation. Use every kind of prayer and request there is. For the same reason be alert. Use every kind of effort and make every kind of request for all of God’s people.”
Ephesians 6:10-18 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Ephesians%206:10-18&version=GW
The Chinese people are God‘s people just like everyone else. They deserve to have those who love God speak up for them, defend them against their oppressors and stand against the evil deeds of the Chinese Communist Government. As a man, as Christian, as an elected official and as a man of God - I choose to stand against evil no matter what anyone chooses to call me for doing so.
Sen. Jason Rapert, President and Founder of Holy Ghost Ministries