US Congress gears up to counter Chinese influence
Washington, Feb 20: Several top US Republican lawmakers have introduced more than a dozen bills in Congress to counter the growing Chinese influence in the country and to protect America's critical infrastructure.
The relations between the US and China are at an all-time low. The two countries are currently engaged in a bitter confrontation over various issues, including trade, the origins of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the communist giant's aggressive military moves in the disputed South China Sea and human rights.
The bills were introduced in Congress on Thursday.
Separately, Senator Rick Scott reintroduced the Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, sponsored by Congressman Guy Reschenthaler in the US House of Representatives, to protect Taiwan from Communist China's growing aggression.
The Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act further reinforces the US-Taiwan relationship and strengthens Taiwan's ability to resist Communist China's aggressive policies and military actions. China views Taiwan as a rebel province that must be reunified with the mainland, even by force.
Congressman Mark Green, who introduced five bills, said that Communist China's rise in military and economic power is one of the greatest security the US faces today. China's leaders are now asserting dominance diplomatically, informationally, militarily, and economically.
The Secure Our Systems Against China's Tactics Act prevents China from purchasing vulnerable American defence companies.
The China Technology Transfer Control Act stops China's military from acquiring sensitive technology and intellectual property. The China Debt Repayment resolution calls on China to repay USD1.6 trillion in sovereign debt owed to the American people.
It's past time we address the Chinese Communist Party's efforts to exert control in our economy, our educational institutions, and our military industrial base. From stealing sensitive intellectual property to preying on vulnerable American companies, China's communist leaders have pursued their ambitions at a steep cost to the American people, their own people, and the world," Green said.
"My bills take the swift action we need to protect America's critical infrastructure and bring our supply chains home. Our security and prosperity depend on it, Green said.
Congressman Jim Banks who introduced another five bills said that the greatest threat to American freedom and justice is the Chinese Communist Party.
China is our foremost military adversary, but it also seeks to infiltrate our economy, universities, digital infrastructure and intelligence agencies. Congress should be focused on safeguarding each of these American institutions from the Chinese regime, he said.
Stop Funding the PLA Act prevents US investments from flowing to China's military industrial base by requiring a Treasury Department-led effort to produce a list of PLA-linked companies in which American US individuals, entities, companies, banks and financial institutions cannot invest.
Placing restrictions on acquisitions by the People's Republic of China empowers the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) the body responsible for reviewing national security implications of foreign investments in US companies or operations to prevent predatory investments of American companies by the Chinese government.
A bipartisan bill was introduced in the House of Representatives to prohibit the importation of goods made with forced labour in China.
It was introduced today by Congressmen James P. McGovern, Chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China and Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, Chris Smith, Thomas R. Suozzi, Vicky Hartzler, Tom Malinowski, Mike Gallagher, and Jennifer Wexton.
The Uighur Forced Labour Prevention Act would create a rebuttable presumption that any goods made in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) are made with forced labour and prohibited from entering the United States unless clear and convincing evidence is shown to the contrary.
Congressman Ronny Jackson introduced the Opposing Business with Chinese Military Companies Act.
This legislative effort is a part of a broad push by the Republican Study Committee, the House's largest Republican caucus, aimed at carrying on President Trump's legacy of standing up to the Chinese Communist Party, a media release said.
In a related development, Congressmen Young Kim and Brad Sherman led a bipartisan effort to help Taiwan regain its status as an observer in the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Taiwan had observer status from 2009 until 2017 when its status was revoked due to pressure from the People's Republic of China.
The bill introduced by them would direct the Secretary of State to implement a strategy to restore observer status for Taiwan in the WHO and the WHO's decision-making body, the World Health Assembly (WHA).
Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee Ranking Member Congressman Greg Murphy, reintroduced the Intelligence on Nefarious Foreign Leaders Using Education Networks for Corrupt Enrichment (INFLUENCE) Act which aims to limit intellectual property theft by foreign nationals at colleges and universities.
We have evidence the Chinese government will stop at nothing to steal American secrets and intellectual property. To stop this, we need to take a closer look at foreign involvement in colleges and universities, which is where a large portion of American research takes place, Murphy said.