House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calf.) on March 21 suggested the Democrat-controlled Senate should create its own China-focused committee, not unlike the select China committee that the Republican-controlled House inaugurated this session.
“I would hope that the Senate would create a similar committee,” he said.
McCarthy made the comments alongside his colleagues Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah and Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa) during a press conference at the House GOP retreat in Florida.
The Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party was created on Jan. 10 of this year. It’s chaired by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.). Its ranking member is Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.)
Hinson is also a member of that committee.
The Republicans spent much of the press conference talking about their concerns with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its record of intellectual property theft, close coordination with Russia, and other moves aimed at undermining American power and sovereignty.
They also discussed its history of human rights abuses.
Owens said Republicans’ biggest priorities in this Congress are “debt, China, and education.”
The recent Chinese spy balloon incident, Hinson said, “did escalate this situation for the American people, about the spy operation and the espionage operation that the Chinese have in our country.”
McCarthy noted that the balloon incident led to a moment of bipartisan cooperation among legislators.
“100 percent of Congress voted on a resolution against the CCP,” he said.
He said that his China committee was created in a bipartisan manner, in coordination with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.)
“We kept the size of the committee between Republican and Democrat very close,” he said.
The committee is made up of 13 Republicans and 11 Democrats.
McCarthy suggested that recognition of the China threat across parties should animate any similar efforts by the Senate.
“This is not a place that’s gonna be partisanship. This is a place that’s really thinking, ‘How do we speak with one voice, educate the American people, stop the dependency on China, and stop the atrocities and things that they do?'” he added.
Congress’s China Worries Mount
Congress’s previous attempts to reckon with China include the Congressional-Executive Committee on China.
It came into being thanks to H.R. 4444, which established normal trade relations with the country. That bill came as China was seeking admission to the World Trade Organization (WTO), a milestone in its growth and closer association with the United States.
Members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence have increasingly emphasized the risk China poses.
In a March 5 press release, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said the United States has “never had a potential adversary like China.”
He also outlined the possible threat from TikTok, which President Donald Trump tried to ban during his administration.
“The kind of videos you see would promote ideological issues. If you look at what TikTok shows to the Chinese kids, which is all about science and engineering, versus what our kids see, there’s a radical difference,” Warner said.
On Feb. 9, Warner and the committee’s vice chair, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), wrote Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen asking her to use authorities she already possesses to curb the flow of American money and tech to the People’s Liberation Army.
“It is widely known that the PRC’s Military-Civil Fusion (MCF) program targets technological advancements in the U.S., as well as university and research partnerships with the U.S., for the PRC’s military development. U.S. technology, talent, and capital continue to contribute—through both lawful and unlawful means, including theft—to the PRC’s development of critical military-use industries, technologies, and related supply chains,” their letter states.
They asked her to coordinate with the Department of Defense and other agencies to identify and address companies connected to the People’s Liberation Army and other parts of China’s military-industrial complex.
From The Epoch Times