In an attempt to presumably hut Chinese President Xi Jinping’s feelings, the US House of Representatives is to vote on a “Name the Enemy Act.”
Introduced by Representative Scott Perry, Republican of Pennsylvania, the House bill would prohibit the use of federal funds for the “creation or dissemination” of official documents and communications that refer to the China’s leader as “president”.
The Name the Enemy Act would require that official US government documents instead refer to the head of state according to his or her role as head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
That is because Xi Jinping, apparently, holds three official titles, and that doesn’t include “president.”
They are: head of state (guojia zhuxi, literally “state chairman”); chairman of the central military commission; and general secretary of the CCP.
It is likely that Xi Jinping will lose no sleep over the US taking such a decision, but who knows, really?
The bill singles out China, despite the fact that presidents in numerous countries are either unelected or in power resulting from elections that are not considered free and fair.
Their turn just hasn’t come.
A spokesperson for Perry, who is on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, did not respond to a request for comment on the extent to which “communications” would include public statements and remarks by US officials.
This is part by something that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other officials have begun calling Xi Jinping “General Secretary” instead of “President.”
A White House report in May outlining Washington’s strategic approach to China used Xi’s party title exclusively. This is likely in relation to delegitimizing his authority when official statements are being propagated in media.
The bill “formalizes something that we’ve been taking note of in administration statements,” said Anna Ashton, head of government affairs at the US-China Business Council.
Perry’s bill comes amid strategic efforts by the Republican Party to increase criticism of the Chinese government, in an attempt to deflect blame for the COVID-19 crisis that’s befallen America, plus to shift focus towards the “true enemy” and away from any internal issues such as the on-going BLM protests.
“China’s blatant dishonesty towards the international community cost lives, and the CCP and [World Health Organization] must be held accountable for their failures,” Perry said back in May.
This is a more “harmless” bill, while Scott Perry is also a sponsor of a bill suggested by Republican Senator Ted Yoho, titled “To authorize the President to use military force for the purpose of securing and defending Taiwan against armed attack, and for other purposes.”
There’s really not much explanation needed there and why it could be a wrong idea that could easily backfire.
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