Chairman of New China Select Committee to Protestor: ‘Your Sign is Upside Down’

( – The first hearing of a new congressional select committee focused on China was briefly interrupted by two protestors on Tuesday night, as witnesses testified on the broad range of challenges posed to the U.S. by the Chinese Communist Party.

Former National Security Advisor  Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster was speaking about the importance of the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party when a woman jumped to her feet, yelling and holding a sign saying, “China is not our enemy.”

After she was ushered out McMaster continued, only to be interrupted again almost immediately when a man, who like the woman had been strategically seated behind the witness panel, stood up with a sign and began shouting about “saber rattling.”

“Your sign is upside down,” the committee’s chairman, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.) informed the man.

He turned it right side up – it said “Stop Asian Hate” – and he was also led out of the chamber. CODEPINK said the pair were acting on its behalf.


Before resuming his testimony, McMaster commented that the incident was indicative of the effect of the United Front Work Department, a CCP division that aims to influence individuals and organizations outside of China, including in overseas Chinese communities.

He added that the interruptions had “reinforced to some degree what you might call a bit of a curriculum of self-loathing that has taken hold in academia for many years. They reinforce, I think, the idea that America is the problem in the world – and only if America disengages, or in this case becomes more passive, that things will get better.”

Alliance for American Manufacturing president Scott Paul, also on the witness panel, offered another observation about the demonstrators.

“Those protestors have a right to an unlimited amount of free speech in the United States and to petition their government for the redress of grievances,” he said. “They have no such right in China. It wouldn’t be broadcast. Their voices would be silenced – perhaps permanently.”

When the House voted to establish the bipartisan committee in January, 65 mostly progressive Democrats voted against the initiative, with some expressing concerns that it would fan the flames of anti-China or anti-Asian sentiment.

As the hearing got underway on Tuesday, both Gallagher and the ranking member, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), addressed the issue.

Gallagher said the suffering of the Chinese people at the hands of the CCP since it came to power more than 70 years ago “should remind us at all times and in all the work that we do together, that we must constantly distinguish between the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese people themselves, who have always been the party’s primary victims.”

“We have no quarrel with the Chinese people or people of Chinese origin,” said Krishnamoorthi. “That’s why we should never engage in anti-Chinese or anti-Asian stereotyping or prejudice. Comments that question the loyalty of Asian-American members of Congress are completely unacceptable and must be rejected.”

Krishnamoorthi warned that the CCP wants to see xenophobia and stereotyping in America.

“The CCP is counting on us to be divided. We must rise to the occasion and prove them wrong.”


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