DHARAMSALA, 15 Nov: A bipartisan congressional commission of the US government has recommended against referring to China’s Xi Jinping as “president” and instead to call him by his party title, “general secretary.”
“China is not a democracy, and its citizens have no right to vote, assemble, or speak freely. Giving General Secretary Xi the unearned title of ‘President’ lends a veneer of democratic legitimacy to the CCP and Xi’s authoritarian rule,” read the 2019 report to Congress of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission released on Thursday.
The congressional China watchdog has stated in its report that China’s “repressive” policies at home have forced them to stop referring to Xi Jinping as China’s president.
“If there were glimmers of political opening in China, they have been firmly extinguished. It is for this reason that this year the Commission made the decision to start referring to Xi Jinping using the title by which he derives his authority: General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party,” the commission said in its report.
“As we look ahead to the future of U.S.-China relations, Congress should bear this promise in mind while not forgetting the people of Xinjiang, Tibet, and elsewhere who are displaced, abused, harassed, or threatened to make way for the CCP’s global ambitions,” it added.
The recommendation by the commission has already been set in motion by some officials in the US before the commission’s report according to a report on the Wall Street Journal.
It noted that the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has described Xi as “General Secretary” in an October speech while Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) used the same title in an op-ed for The American Interest in May.
The 12-member commission chaired by Carolyn Bartholomew has also recommended that the U.S. must gird itself for a prolonged strategic competition with the world’s second-largest economy as ‘China continues to ignore the letter and the spirit of its World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments.’
Carolyn Bartholomew, a former Chief of Staff, Counsel, Legislative Director, and Foreign Policy Advisor to U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi also chaired the commission in 2007, 2009 and 2017.