A multi-ethnic coalition against the Communist Party of China convened at an event Sunday in Washington, DC, urging Americans to join their efforts against Beijing’s illegal territorial claims, affecting over half a dozen countries.
The rally featured masked and socially distant participants holding up signs against illegal Chinese claims and the Communist Party’s human rights atrocities against Uyghurs, Tibetans, and other ethnic minorities, and was in part organized by the group Overseas Friends of BJP USA, which is allied with India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. India and China experienced their deadliest border clash in over four decades on June 16, triggered by Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops attacking their Indian counterparts when confronted over why they had pitched tents on the Indian side of the Himalayan border.
Chinese officials later claimed that the Galwan Valley where the brawl occurred was Chinese territory, an allegation India vehemently disputed.
In addition to its claims over India, Beijing claims most of the South China Sea, including territory legally under the sovereignty of Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and also parts of the East China Sea under Japanese control, and parts of Tajikistan and Bhutan. The indigenous peoples of Tibet and East Turkestan (Xinjiang), officially provinces of China, also disavow Chinese claims over their land.
Across the globe, the governments of Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina have all complained that Chinese fishing boats have violated the sovereignty of their waters. A fleet believed to be of hundreds of Chinese ships is currently threatening Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Activist Adapa Prasad, at the protest representing the group, noted that Chinese officials have increased pressure on their neighbors to hand over territory that never belonged under Chinese control.
“They are intimidating Bhutan, today they are claiming Tajikistan’s mountains … even Russia, they claim Vladivostok belongs to them,” Prasad noted, “So this is an expansionist policy of communist China apart from their stealing and lying, backstabbing, whatever those evil policies they are perpetrating right now.”
Vietnamese activist Matt Truong told the Hindustan Times that he joined the protests because the Vietnamese people suffer under the same communist repression as the Chinese and that communist ideology is a threat that binds together many global people, creating a responsibility to show solidarity.
“With all the Vietnamese that came to the United States due to communism … when I was invited … I said I’ve got to come, and in the future, I will also invite the larger Vietnamese communities… our common threat is communism, not the Chinese people – communism,” he asserted.
China claims Vietnam’s Paracel Islands in the South China Sea and has sunk multiple Vietnamese ships for the crime of fishing in sovereign Vietnamese waters, causing a rift between the two communist allies.
The protest also highlighted human rights violations within China’s borders.
“China’s Communist party has infringed on the religious rights of the Uyghur community and violated human rights of people of Hong Kong,” another protester, Puneet Ahluwalia of the Proud American Political Action Committee, told the Press Trust of India (PTI).
The Uyghur people of East Turkestan have suffered perhaps the most extreme human rights atrocities of those under Chinese rule. Currently, the U.S. government believes that the Communist Party is keeping between 1 and 3 million ethnic Uyghurs in concentration camps throughout Xinjiang, forcing them to worship dictator Xi Jinping, abandon their Islamic faith, and engage in slave labor. Survivors of the camps say those inside endure extreme torture, including rape, and evidence suggests many are primed for live organ harvesting. Some women who have escaped have later found that, while in the camps, Communist Party doctors sterilized them without their consent or implanted contraceptive devices.
In Hong Kong – a nominally autonomous part of China – Beijing recently passed a so-called “national security” law that makes essentially all dissent against communism illegal. Those found guilty of crimes such as “subverting state power” or “secessionist” thoughts face a minimum of a decade in prison. On Monday, nearly 200 police officers raided the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily‘s offices and arrested its owner, Jimmy Lai, and several staffers on charges of having violated the new law.
Prasad hinted at the protest that a much larger assembly against China would be planned for October.
The protest followed a similar action by different Indian-American groups in July. The Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) and Students for a Free Tibet, among others, organized a rally at Times Square in New York City that month urging Americans to join the growing “boycott China” movement in India following the Galwan Valley massacre.
“It is a growing movement and we want our fellow Americans to echo the sentiment,” FIA chairman Ankur Vaidya told Breitbart News at the time. “We strongly believe there is a methodical traction being gained (by China) in their unstoppable greed to do whatever it takes to topple us.”
The Indian government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has implemented a series of policies in the past two months to sever the Indian economy from the Chinese one as much as possible, most dramatically banning dozens of Chinese-made mobile phone applications such as Tiktok and Weibo, which experts believe pose a security threat to users. All Chinese companies must, by law, hand over any requested user private data to the Communist Party. Modi’s government has also increased efforts to limit Chinese imports and encourage Indian manufacturing.
“There is nothing wrong in imports that would spur production and create job opportunities and it can be done definitely. However, imports that could not bring benefits like employment opportunities and support growth would not help self-reliance and the Indian economy,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in June, lamenting that China is even importing iconic Indian products such as idols of the Hindu god Ganesha.
“But today, why [are] even Ganesha idols imported from China. Why … can’t we [India] make a Ganesha idol from clay?” she asked.