POLITICS U.S. House China panel holds first hearing after lawmakers push seven bills targeting Beijing
On Tuesday night, a House committee that is examining economic competition between the U.S. & China will hold its first hearing. This follows a day of Capitol Hill maneuvers that aimed to hold Beijing responsible for recent national security violations.
In January, shortly after Republicans won the House majority, the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States of China Communist Party was established. The inaugural event is scheduled for primetime at 7. ET comes as the Senate and the House of Representatives renew their focus on China following the U.S. downing of a surveillance balloon for the CCP earlier in the month.
Rep. Mike Gallagher, Chair of the Committee, stated that the hearing will focus on human rights.
According to a copy of Gallagher’s opening remarks that was reviewed before the hearing, “We may call it a’strategic contest,’ but this not a polite match of tennis,” Gallagher (R-Wis.) will state in his opening remarks. “This is an existential battle over how life will look in the 21st Century — and the most fundamental freedoms.
The U.S. government has taken action against TikTok, a popular social media platform. Monday’s announcement by the House Foreign Affairs Committee was to support legislation that would give the president the power to ban TikTok, a Chinese-owned app. TikTok has over 1 billion users.
TikTok has been in the crosshairs of lawmakers since former President Donald Trump suggested using executive powers in 2020 in order to ban the app due to security concerns.
After the U.S. military downed the Chinese spy ball that was drifting across the U.S. a month ago, the Biden administration sanctioned six Chinese aerospace firms.
Gallagher and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), a ranking member of the select commission, called the balloon a violation of American sovereignty in a joint statement.
The move by the administration prompted several bills to be introduced in order to strengthen U.S. security against China. The House Financial Services Committee passed seven of the 10 bills Tuesday that addressed China and Taiwan. They would still have to pass the full House of Representatives and the Senate before becoming law. However, the speed and volume of anti-China bills that are moving through the lower chamber indicates a growing gap between Washington and Beijing.
The following bills were approved Tuesday by the House panel:
To activate sanctions against Chinese leaders and their families in the event that Beijing acts against Taiwan, there is the “Taiwan Conflict Deterrence Act of 2023”.
“Preventing the Finance of Illegal Synthetic Drugs” Act to examine illicit financing of drug trafficking in order to stop the flow fentanyl from China into American communities.
To require the United States to support Taiwan’s membership in the International Monetary Fund, the “Taiwan Non-Discrimination Act of 2023” was passed.
The “Chinese Currency Accountability Act” of 2023 to require that the Treasury Secretary oppose any increase in China’s currency weight in the group currencies that influence the value of Special Drawing Rights.
The “China Exchange Rate Transparency Act of 2023” requires the U.S. Director of the IMF to promote transparency in China’s exchange rate policies.
The “PROTECT Taiwan Law” requires the Federal Reserve, Treasury Secretary and Securities and Exchange Commission not to include Chinese representatives in certain international proceedings in the event of Taiwan’s invasion.
To require the Treasury Secretary’s reporting on global economic risk from China, the “China Financial Threat Mitigation Act of2023” was passed.
Tuesday’s testimony was also questioned by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.
In opening statements, Sen. Sherrod brown, D-Ohio (chair of the committee), stated that “The Chinese government made their aims clear: To dominate advanced technology and global supply chains.” “The civil-military-fusion policy of the ‘Chinese Communist Party” erases the distinction between military and commercial use of finished goods, and the technologies that go into them.
Gallagher will repeat these statements at the Tuesday night hearing.
Gallagher will speak out about the U.S.’s previous economic approaches. Gallagher said that “The CCP laughed in our naivete, while they took advantage off our good faith.” The Select Committee won’t allow the CCP and its associates to complacency us or manipulate us into submission.
Matthew Pottinger, ex-Deputy National Security Advisor of the United States; former U.S. NSA H.R. McMaster, Yong Ti (a Chinese human rights advocate) and Scott Paul (president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing) are set to testify at this hearing.