Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein praised China Thursday as a country “growing into a respectable nation” and cautioned against holding the country accountable for the coronavirus pandemic.
“We hold China as a potential trading partner, as a country that has pulled tens of millions of people out of poverty in a short period of time, and as a country growing into a respectable nation amongst other nations. I deeply believe that,” Feinstein said during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting Thursday, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The California senator added that stripping China of the country’s foreign sovereign immunity would be a “huge mistake,” noting that if China is held accountable for the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the United States may also be held accountable, the Washington Free Beacon reports.
Her support for China comes despite the country’s continuing human rights violations.
A June AP investigation found that the Chinese government is using forced abortions, birth control, mass detentions, and imprisonment to dramatically lower the birthrates of Uighur Muslims and other minorities while encouraging other populations to produce more children.
Drone footage has also captured blindfolded and chained Uighurs kneeling before they are forced onto trains, the Beacon notes.
In response to the footage, Xinjiang authorities told CNN in an October 4, 2019 statement that “cracking down on crimes in accordance with law is the common practice of all countries.”
“Xinjiang’s crackdown on crimes has never been linked to ethnicities or religions,” the statement said. “Transporting inmates by judicial authorities (is related) to normal judicial activities.”
And on Wednesday, an ESPN investigation found that coaches at the NBA’s training academies in China allegedly physically abuse players and fail to provide proper training and education for players. The investigation was based off complaints from American coaches at three different academies.
Feinstein formerly was found to have an alleged spy working in her office relaying information to Chinese intelligence services. The Daily Caller News Foundation identified the individual as Russel Lowe, who worked for Feinstein for 20 years, “attended Chinese consulate functions for the senator” and had been fired in 2014.
Feinstein had said that Lowe did not have access to “sensitive information or legislative matters” though he was listed on Feinstein’s payroll as an “office director” in 2013, according to records maintained by the Sunlight Foundation, the the DCNF previously reported.
“Five years ago the FBI informed me it had concerns that an administrative member of my California staff was potentially being sought out by the Chinese government to provide information. He was not a mole or a spy, but someone who a foreign intelligence service thought it could recruit,” Feinstein said in a statement following requests for comment from the DCNF in 2018.
“The FBI reviewed the matter, shared its concerns with me and the employee immediately left my office,” she said. “He never had access to classified or sensitive information or legislative matters. The FBI never informed me of any compromise of national security information.”
Story cited here.