China hawks sharpen their talons at House committee listening to on CCP
China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday slammed the committee’s three-hour listening to, calling it “cold war thinking” tainted by “ideological bias,” and referred to as for U.S. lawmakers to “stop hijacking China-U.S. relations out of political self interest.”
The listening to, which coated subjects together with commerce theft, army confrontation, fentanyl provide, human rights abuses and extra, laid out a sweeping agenda of existential threats posed by Beijing. The committee is anticipated to be a focus in how bipartisan China coverage is developed over the following two years. Lawmakers mentioned they’re hoping to instill urgency in home policymakers, U.S. business and Chinese corporations, warning that the United States had underestimated Beijing.
“We may call this a ‘strategic competition,’ but this is not a polite tennis match. This is an existential struggle over what life will look like in the 21st century — and the most fundamental freedoms are at stake,” Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), chairman of the committee, mentioned in his opening remarks.
“Just because this Congress is divided, we cannot afford to waste the next two years lingering in legislative limbo or pandering for the press. We must act with a sense of urgency. Our policy over the next 10 years will set the stage for the next hundred,” mentioned Gallagher.
The committee’s high Democrat, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (Ill.), threw assist behind the committee however mentioned it should keep away from racist stereotyping — a nod towards earlier considerations by some on the left that it might stoke anti-Asian xenophobia. Despite these reservations, the vote to kind the committee was bipartisan, 365-65, with 146 Democrats becoming a member of Republicans in supporting the measure.
“We must recognize that the CCP wants us to be fractious, partisan and prejudiced. In fact, the CCP hopes for it,” Krishnamoorthi mentioned, referring to the Chinese Communist Party. “But what they don’t get is that the diversity of our view points and backgrounds is not a bug in America’s operating system,” he mentioned.
The bipartisan problem to Beijing comes amid a tense second in U.S.-China relations, simply weeks after the downing of a Chinese spy balloon upended plans for a high-level go to by Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Beijing. A brand new intelligence evaluation from the Energy Department pointing to a Wuhan, China, lab because the origin of covid-19 and a Biden administration warning to Beijing over potential arms gross sales to Russia have additionally stoked ire in China.
Last week, China’s Foreign Ministry launched its personal broad evaluation of the United States, describing Washington as a “hegemonic,” “bullying” and “abusive” drive in worldwide relations. “The United States has long been attempting to mold other countries and the world order with its own values and political system in the name of promoting democracy and human rights,” learn the assertion.
While lawmakers discovered frequent floor on the risk China poses, their coverage prescriptions differed. Gallagher and fellow Republicans described a “strategic decoupling” amid a century-defining “existential struggle” towards Chinese threats overseas and inside the United States. “The CCP has found friends on Wall Street, in Fortune 500 C-suites and on K Street who are ready and willing to oppose efforts to push back,” mentioned Gallagher, who mentioned he would prioritize releasing up a backlog of weapons to Taiwan amongst different measures.
Democrats in the meantime favored modifications to strengthen home coverage and funding in addition to steps to safeguard democratic buildings at house. Krishnamoorthi mentioned the committee ought to give attention to boosting competitiveness with China “through investments in technologies of the future, workforce improvement, and by fixing weaknesses in our economy such as in our supply chain and even our legal immigration system.”
In Beijing, officers talking earlier than and after the listening to mentioned there have been intense discussions since late final 12 months over how China’s leaders can climate a extra hawkish House underneath Republican management.
“This subject matter of this conference means nothing. It’s not based on fact. It’s confirmation of what we already know for some time — that bashing China is a dangerous trend in U.S. political thinking,” mentioned one Chinese official in Beijing, referring to the listening to. The individual spoke on the situation of anonymity given the sensitivity of the topic.
“But the Chinese side is prepared for a scenario where it has no partners,” mentioned the individual, referring to the U.S. Congress. “The Chinese side has always been prepared for that outcome, prepared for political manipulation in the United States.”
Analysts say China will in all probability be watching intently to see how the committee’s hawkish begin shall be translated into government motion or additional makes an attempt to include Beijing.
“All in all, I think the Chinese have already considered Congress a lost cause for China. There’s nothing they can do to improve the Congress’s action and … perceptions. That’s always been the case in their view,” mentioned Yun Sun, director of the China program on the Stimson Center in Washington.
Among those that testified at Tuesday’s listening to had been former nationwide safety adviser H.R. McMaster and former deputy nationwide safety adviser Matt Pottinger, each of whom served within the Trump White House and issued fiery warnings about the specter of Chinese army buildup and surveillance via social app TikTok.
“This committee can help the United States catch up in the competition with the CCP. It can do so by holding hearings to reveal the nature of the CCP aggression and what is at stake for Americans and citizens of the free world,” mentioned McMaster, who spoke about how for many years the United States had misjudged a rising China.
Midway although McMaster’s testimony he was interrupted by two demonstrators holding indicators, certainly one of which learn “China is not our enemy,” earlier than they had been escorted from the chambers.