On September 24, 2015, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) proposed legislation that would rename the street across from Red China’s embassy after pro-democracy activist Liu Xiaobo. “This would be the street sign that the Chinese ambassador would look at each day,” Cruz said. “This would be the address that every piece of correspondence going into the embassy and coming out of the embassy would have written on it … the PRC officials will be forced to recognize the bravery of Dr. Liu and to acknowledge it dozens of times a day – day after day after day.”
To Cruz’s horror, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) took the floor to object:
I can only infer that it has political implications, because the President of China is due to arrive here tomorrow and, therefore, this would be passed today, moved out of committee without a vote in front of the Senate. I don’t think that is the way we should do business in this Senate. Maybe people don’t believe diplomacy makes a difference, but I do.
Cruz, visibly angry, came back to the Senate floor. “The presence of President Xi in this country is precisely the reason that we should stand in unanimity in support of human rights,” Cruz said, his voice escalating. “Dr. Liu is in a Chinese prison, and the senior Senator from California is standing and objecting to recognizing this Nobel laureate’s bravery, is standing and objecting because presumably it would embarrass his Communist captors. I, for one, think as Americans we should not be troubled by embarrassing Communist oppressors.”
This is nothing new for Feinstein, and those who are at the hands of Red China know it. Harry Wu, who spent 19 years in the Chinese Gulag and dedicated his life to exposing the Communists’ human rights abuses, said in a 2001 interview:
Congress gave me nice support — Sens. Helms and Paul Wellstone of Minnesota. When I met Sen. Wellstone, he said, “Harry, I don’t need a brief — just tell me what you want me to do.” But they were only some of the senators. Others took a stand for communist China based on family or business interests. For example, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), her husband is a board member of COSCO [The PLA’s Chinese Overseas Shipping Corporation] and he has other investments in China. You see, this is the kind of person [Feinstein] who is never interested in my work.
In 2010, Taipei-based reporter Jens Kastler wrote in Asia Times:
No US politician is believed to enjoy ties to China’s previous and present-day leaderships as close as Feinstein. During 30 years of frequent visits to Beijing, Feinstein developed friendships with Chinese officials as high-ranking as former president Jiang Zemin, former premier Zhu Rongji and Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai – now arguably a rising political star in the country.
Controversially, on most of her trips to China, Feinstein has been accompanied by her investment-banker husband Richard Blum, to whom Feinstein has been married since 1980. Blum has been reported by US media as having extensive business interests with China. Feinstein is often described as one of the most powerful women in US politics.
Apart from this, the strong proponent of closer US-China ties held a speech on the 21st anniversary of the 1989 crackdown in Tiananmen Square. Feinstein commented on the bloody protests in a way that strongly implied that she plays the role of being Beijing’s mouthpiece.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published June 6 , the senator sought to explain the killing of hundreds of reportedly unarmed demonstrators by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into relations in a way that put the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) leaders of that era into a favorable light. “It just so happens I was here after that and talked to Jiang Zemin and learned that at the time China had no local police. It was just the PLA. And no local police that had crowd control. So, hence the tanks.”
This wasn’t the first time Feinstein had outraged China’s dissidents and international human-rights activists. In the past, the California Democrat demanded the creation of a commission that would study the evolution of human rights in both the U.S. and China. The panel “would point out the success and failures [of] both Tiananmen Square and Kent State,” referring the incident in which four students were killed by Ohio National Guard gunfire during a 1970 anti-war demonstration.
(The Tiananmen Square massacre was a government-approved act of official mass murder. It was not “just the PLA” – it was ordered by the Politburo a month before the massacre. And Feinstein would have known it by 2010; the account of a dissenting Politburo member was published in The New York Times in 2009.)
Why should anyone be surprised that Feinstein had a Red Chinese spy on her staff? Given her fondness for what The New York Times once called the “Butchers of Beijing,” it’s a wonder how she ever served on the Senate Intelligence Committee at all, much less as its chairman.
Liu Xiaobo died last year in Chinese custody. The street across from the Chinese embassy still does not bear his name.