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Sen. Cruz Condemns Jailing of Chinese Journalist Who Documented Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak, Vows to Reintroduce Sanctions Bill Against Chinese Medical Censorship

‘The consequences of this censorship continuing are deadly - not just for those in China but for Americans and people around the world’

December 30, 2020

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HOUSTON, Texas - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today issued the following statement in response to reports that China will jail journalist Zhang Zhan for four years, in retaliation for Zhan's efforts in early 2020 to document the emergence and spread of COVID-19, and announced his intention to reintroduce the "Ending Chinese Medical Censorship and Cover Ups Act," legislation to sanction Chinese officials involved in the ongoing suppression of medical experts, journalists, and political dissidents trying to disseminate medical information:

"In the early days of the pandemic, the Chinese Communist Party did everything it could to cover up the severity of the outbreak, from lying about the origin of the virus and how it was being transmitted, to destroying evidence, to silencing the brave whistleblower doctors, scientists, journalists, and activists who tried to warn the world and prevent a global public health crisis. Had the CCP acted responsibly, there's a very real possibility the coronavirus could have been contained as a regional outbreak. Almost a year later, the CCP is continuing and deepening its repression of those whistleblowers.

"The consequences of this censorship continuing are deadly - not just for those in China but for Americans and people around the world. That's why at the start of the next Congress I will reintroduce a version of my bill from the 116th Congress, the Ending Chinese Medical Censorship and Cover Ups Act, legislation to impose visa bans and asset blocks on those who punish or censor Chinese citizens for reporting accurate information about a disease. COVID-19 went global because of this sort of malign behavior, and it is imperative that those who conduct it are held accountable."

Sen. Cruz has been leading the charge in the Senate to fundamentally reassess the U.S.-China relationship and counter Chinese censorship in the wake of the CCP coronavirus coverup.

In May, Sen. Cruz first introduced the "Ending Chinese Medical Censorship and Cover Ups Act" after he delivered remarks on the Senate Floor highlighting the acute need to counter Chinese propaganda and hold China accountable for the types of medical and political censorship that helped fuel the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Additionally, since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Sen. Cruz has:

  • Led efforts to end U.S. dependence on China for rare earth elements and other critical minerals by introducing the Onshoring Rare Earths or ORE Act, legislation that would establish a supply chain in the U.S. for minerals used to manufacture defense technologies and other high-tech products.
  • Introduced the Blocking Evasive Attempts to Manipulate Signals or BEAMS Act, legislation to prevent the CCP from exploiting Federal Communications Commission (FCC) loopholes to propagandize to Americans from radio stations in Mexico or Canada, including through stations entangled with Chinese state-owned media outlets such as Phoenix TV. This legislation resulted in the Trump Administration blocking the license to these stations.
  • Introduced the Stopping Censorship, Restoring Integrity, Protecting Talkies or SCRIPT Act, legislation cutting off Hollywood studios from assistance they receive from the Department of Defense if those studios censor their films for screening in China.
  • Introduced the Sanctioning and Highlighting Authoritarian Medicine and Eugenics or SHAME Act, legislation sanctioning CCP officials for systematic ethnic cleansing, including through forced abortions and other coercive population control measures in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Sen. Cruz's leadership against the CCP's human rights atrocities and political oppression led to his being repeatedly sanctioned, something he calls "a badge of honor."

READ: Sen. Cruz on FoxNews.com: China Is Expanding Its Malign Influence All Over the World

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