Right Opinion

Game of Loans: China's World Bank Uyghur Scam

Tony Perkins · Dec. 13, 2019

There isn’t a civilized country on earth that wants any part of China’s chain of concentration camps. Certainly not this one. So imagine Americans’ shock when they find out that our tax dollars have been streaming across the ocean to help fund these modern torture chambers. The news has been especially horrifying to U.S. officials, who’ve poured more money than anyone into the World Bank — believing it was helping the needy, not an army of communist monsters.

The first flares went up in August, when American leaders got suspicious over a $50 million loan to China for its “technical and vocational training projects” in Xinjiang, home of the barbed-wire network of camps. The money started flowing in 2015, a while before the world had caught on to the terror and brutality taking place behind the high walls. For the last year, Chinese officials have insisted the prisons are just education centers, places where the Uyghurs and other religious minorities come to learn. Of course, we know now that was all a lie — and what really happens at the compounds are gang rapes, electrocutions, drug injections, organ harvestings, and medieval-era torture tactics.

Both parties started demanding answers. Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Congressman James McGovern (D-Mass.) fired off a letter to World Bank President David Malpass demanding an investigation. Then, when news broke that China was asking for more money — this time to perfect its facial recognition and surveillance weapons against the Uyghurs, the outrage exploded. First of all, President Trump railed, the World Bank shouldn’t even be lending money to China. It doesn’t need it! “China is the world's second largest economy,” Daniel Runde from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, points out. "It has $3 trillion in foreign currency reserves, runs its own global infrastructure bank­… and has received more than $60 billion in below-market-rate lending from the World Bank since 1981.“ If anything, China should be giving to the Bank — not taking!

But secondly, the audacity of these leaders — asking for the world’s help in its persecution campaign — is just astounding. Of course, no one really knew about the request because, as Axios points out, the procurement documents hadn’t been translated into English. Only Chinese staff could read them — until recently, when everyone’s worst fears were confirmed: this crackdown wasn’t just happening, it was getting worse. "Absolutely no mercy,” officials had ordered.

Although the World Bank rejected this latest grant, the other tens of millions of dollars of aid are still in play. “Money is fungible,” expert Gordan Chang warned on “Washington Watch.” “Once you put money… into that [Xinjiang] area, they can use it — or they can indirectly use it — for these evil purposes. And what China is doing…” Gordan insisted, “is a crime against humanity. We know people are dying in those facilities… So this is horrific. This is Third Reich-type stuff, as bad as what Germany did prior to the mass exterminations.”

If there is any comfort, Gordon explains, it’s that the World Bank president is traditionally an American — as is Malpass, who used to work for the Treasury Department. He has to understand the optics of U.S. dollars flowing straight into communist hands. “There is going to be more scrutiny,” Gordan warns, “and there will be restrictions. And people are actually calling for de-funding of the World Bank. De-funding won’t occur, but there will be, I think, probably less in the way of contributions to that institution.” Because, he went on, at the end of the day, “When you support China, even with the World Bank, proceeds are used for ‘good purposes.’ [But] that frees up money for China to use for building up its military or other things that people around the world would abhor.”

Just a few months ago, word leaked out that World Bank dollars had been used to buy $30,000 of tear gas for one of the partner schools in Xinjiang. What are we doing funding these things through the World Bank? “I don’t have an answer for that,” Gordon said somberly. “And I don’t think anyone does… These are things that no multilateral institution should be doing.”

At least on U.S. editorial pages, the story is creating an uproar. In the Washington Post, the staff came out firing. “The notion that U.S. public funds could be helping Beijing’s campaign against the Uyghur people, even indirectly, is scandalous. Yet it is the sort of accident that was waiting to happen as long as the World Bank continued to do business in Mr. Xi’s China.” Others bashed the country for pretending to be an international charity case. “As the largest shareholder in the World Bank, the United States should not have the taxpayer money it contributes to the bank used to fund a global competitor. China should be paying for its own development programs.”

Either way, President Trump is right. For the sake of the Uyghurs, American taxpayers, and millions of legitimately needy people, it’s time to stop underwriting this genocide — now.

Originally published here.

Students We Have Heard on High

About half of American college students have listened to their professors go on anti-Trump tirades. The other 54 percent might get their chance soon, thanks to the president’s executive order targeting anti-Semitism on U.S. campuses. In a lot of places, anti-Semitism is even rivaling the most acceptable form of intolerance in higher education: conservatism. And that’s exactly why this administration is pushing back.

“This is our message to universities: If you want to accept the tremendous amount of federal dollars that you get every year, you must reject anti-Semitism,” the president said at the White House. “It’s very simple.” Under the policy, the administration would make Judaism a “nationality,” so that it would fall under the Civil Rights Act. As CBN’s Emily Jones explains, “Religion is not included in that portion of the law so the definition of Judaism must be changed to include national origin for schools to be punished for not doing enough to stop anti-Semitism.”

Once the order goes into effect, anything anti-Semitic — like campus boycotts — would be grounds for banning funding. That would be a steep price for a lot of universities, who, as FRC’s report shows, are really struggling to combat this new wave of intolerance (if they’re trying at all). More than 1,700 incidents targeting Jews happened just between 2015-2017. “Most Americans,” we explain, “would be mortified to learn that the colleges and universities to which they pay a king’s ransom have become safe havens for an increasingly noticeable anti-Semitism that has produced an environment of bullying, intimidation, and fear for Jewish students and academics.”

To add insult to injury, FRC’s report goes on, “many watchdog groups of the Civil Rights era, most notably the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), have turned a blind eye to this emerging Jew-hatred that fashionably casts itself as a critique of the creation of the state of Israel as just another instance of Western imperialism.”

Dr. Alvin Rosenfeld, a renowned Holocaust scholar from Indiana University Bloomington, warned about this trend three years ago. “Anti-Semitism has become a serious threat once again…” saying that he had thought that after the demise of the Nazis and knowledge of the destruction they wrought, serious public Jew-hatred was unlikely to surface again in the West in any major way. “I was wrong… Anti-Semitism is on the rise again, and the situation on campuses seems especially acute… We cannot hope to stop it or overturn it immediately, but our goal is to open more eyes toward what is happening, to get more people to start paying attention to contemporary anti-Semitism and the role that hostility to Israel plays in generating it…” Hopefully, the president’s order will do exactly that.

Originally published here.

CBS Doesn’t Hold a Scandal to SPLC

You’d think that liberal news outlets would get tired of schlepping around the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) baggage. After a devastating year — one that saw all of SPLC’s top leadership resign over workplace sexism and racism — it seemed, at least for a while, that the media would stop propping up the disgraced anti-Christian cesspool of bigotry. Apparently not. At CBS, they’d rather take the word of an organization being sued by its own employees than a conservative victim of the SPLC’s labeling.

Even before March’s “reckoning” of SPLC, there were grumblings that the organization wasn’t what it was cracked up to be. After the group’s “hate map” inspired the gunman to storm into FRC, even the press started wondering if the group’s tactics were too reckless. “They’ve lost their way,” some outlets said. “They aren’t judging fairly,” “They’re biased, polarized, and unfair.” Then, the whole façade came crashing down in one spectacular wave. Thanks to former staffers, the world was getting a look inside the “poverty palace,” and the toxic workplace people called the stuff of “nightmares.”

That was just nine months ago. To CBS, it may as well have been a previous life. While the legal battle goes on between staff and leadership, and SPLC tries to rescue its reputation from the garbage, their reporters are pretending like nothing ever happened — giving the one-time civil rights group all the appearance of credibility. In a story about Fidelity Investments, one of the charitable funds that lets donors “grow their savings” and give to their favorite causes, CBS blasts the company for leaving conservative groups — who’ve been wrongly smeared by SPLC — on the list.

Organizations like FRC were listed as benefiting from the fund, despite, CBS explains, being “described as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.” When we were asked for comment, we explained that the labeling was reckless (so reckless that it led to a shooting here in 2012) and offered lengthy proof why SPLC is corrupt and shouldn’t be used as a source. CBS ignored all of it — instead devoting a lengthy paragraph to SPLC’s insistence that Fidelity’s policy was a “tragedy.”

PJ Media’s Tyler O'Neil read through CBS’s story in disbelief. Incredibly, he pointed out, “this CBS News article covering SPLC-inspired blacklisting efforts did not include one reference to [its] scandal or the many defamation lawsuits.” On Wednesday’s “Washington Watch,” he explained why sweeping SPLC’s corruption under the rug matters. This whole thing is “remarkable,” he said, especially “seeing how much of [FRC’s] statement was just cut off the record… Just so your listeners know, FRC sent in four paragraphs with good links [and] great documentation showing that there is this big scandal there that the SPLC co-founder was fired… And all of this was buried even though FRC went the extra mile and told CBS News that all this truth is out there.”

“It was worse than whitewash. Because if they had whitewashed the Southern Poverty Law Center and said, ‘Oh, there’s this scandal. And it’s nothing to be concerned about. The Southern Poverty Law Center is still reliable.’ That would be something. But it would not be anything as bad as what they did, because they mentioned FRC’s claim that the SPLC is corrupt and can’t be relied on as a source. And then they didn’t mention anything about any of the scandals. So they made FRC look foolish by including a claim that they were not willing to back up or give any of the evidence for.”

The hypocrisy is incredible. The media will dredge up decades-old “dirt” on conservatives — but the SPLC self-implodes from the inside nine months ago, and suddenly, they have amnesia. Why is CBS so intent on protecting a group without a scrap of credibility? Because — just like SPLC — they’re more interested in advancing an agenda than reporting the facts. And they wonder why Americans don’t trust the media…

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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