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Year-end report: “CCP brings cancer to the world” The United States Congress emphasizes continuous resistance to China

Data photo: The U.S.-China flag flies on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., with the Capitol in the background
Data photo: The U.S.-China flag flies on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., with the Capitol in the background

CAPITOL HILL — Looking back on 2022, while the atmosphere in Washington politics is often deeply divided by party variety, the Democratic and Republican parties in Congress can almost always quickly build consensus on one issue: addressing the China challenge.

U.S.-China relations have declined since 2017 and are still at a historic low. In a recent interview with the media, several members of Congress from both parties said in a recent interview with the media about the changes in U.S.-China relations that China’s behavior in the military, economic and diplomatic fields in recent years has raised their concerns.

“Basically [because] they see us as real adversaries and their very aggressive nature in the Pacific, and it’s clear that they’re building their military power in an aggressive way,” said Senate Armed Services Committee member Sen. Mike Rounds, R-SD) told the media.

Lowndes said the United States had to respond more forcefully in the face of such a menacing Chinese Communist government.

“We have to be able to protect our interests and those of our allies,” Lownds continued, “and they are very aggressive in developing offensive weapons, not only in the air, land, and sea but also in cyber and space.” ”

Republican U.S. Sen. Kennedy. John Kennedy, R-LA), in an interview with the media, bluntly said that the CCP is the source of many problems.

“I think it’s great to Chinese people, [but] I think the Chinese Communist Party brought cancer to the world,” Senator Kennedy said. “I want the Chinese Communist Party to understand that the United States does not want a cold war or a hot war with China, but we want China to be a responsible member of a stable world system.”

This view is echoed by Democrats. Democratic U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Chris Van Hollen, D-MD) said the trends under Xi Jinping were worrying.

“What we’re seeing is that under Xi Jinping, China has become more aggressive, more repressive of basic human rights in places like Hong Kong, and more threatening rhetoric against Taiwan, which is very worrying,” Van Hollen said.

“You know, China is using a centralized system to gain an unfair economic advantage around the world,” Van Hollen added, “and I think that’s why there are so many proposals [related to China].” ”

One Chinese bill after another

Looking back over the past 12 months, tensions between the world’s two largest economies have intensified as Washington and Beijing diverge sharply on a wide range of issues, notably trade, human rights, and Taiwan.

On economic and human rights issues related to China, the attitudes and positions of the two parties in Congress are basically the same, and Republicans are also more actively concerned about the ideological and coronavirus traceability issues between the United States and China.

Although the content of legislative measures often differs, both the Democratic and Republican parties advocate that the United States must unite to meet the China challenge at this time.

Since the beginning of the current Congress in 2021, there have been more than 400 bills in the Senate and House of Representatives relating to the theme of countering China, of which at least 120 have bipartisan support.

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Although the number of bills introduced is huge, not many have actually been passed by Congress. Still, these discussions often shape the direction of U.S. policy toward China.

“We’ve ignored China for too long, and now we’re trying to catch up,” said Sen. Cornyn, Republican of the Senate Intelligence Committee. John Cornyn, R-TX) told the media, “I think we’re just getting started. ”

Senator Cornyn and Sen King, an independent, nonpartisan senator in the Sen. Angus King, I-ME) co-sponsored draft legislation calling for the creation of a new China Grand Strategy Commission, which would develop a complete set of “whole-of-government” guidelines that would integrate government ministries and agencies over the next two years.

Although the proposal ultimately failed, it sparked a bipartisan discussion among members of Congress about coordinating U.S. policy toward China.

“The purpose of [the bill] is to bring together a group of people with ideas, including members of Congress, the private sector, and academia, to discuss a larger long-term strategy to deal with China, to understand their history, culture, and their government,” Senator Kim told the media.

He went on to say, “My thinking is that the way we approach China now is a bit piecemeal, we have military competition, we have trade issues, we have high-tech issues, so there are many issues, and what I want to do is a more holistic consideration, a big strategy.” ”

Foster American technology and block Chinese high technology

In August, Congress passed the CHIPS and Science Act after months of deliberations, which contains the core of the National Critical Capability Defense Act and much-watched investments in U.S. semiconductor manufacturing.

The CHIP Act will provide $52.7 billion in U.S. semiconductor manufacturing and research and development to counter China’s massive subsidies to the chip industry. The National Critical Capabilities Defense Act will establish a vetting mechanism for U.S. companies’ outbound investment, with the aim of restricting U.S. companies from investing in Chinese technology companies.

In October, the Commerce Department unveiled a broad set of export controls, including one that banned the supply to China of certain semiconductor chips made using American tools anywhere in the world, significantly expanding Washington’s efforts to slow Beijing’s technological and military advances.

Leaders of both parties in Congress praised the move. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, said in a written statement: “These restrictions on the transfer of technology to advanced manufacturing in the United States are absolutely necessary, but we need to do more to stop the Chinese Communist Party from cheating and stealing technological dominance.” ”

The National Defense Authorization Act for the fiscal year 2023, passed just this month, also mentions increasing U.S. power to compete with China on the global front.

Previously, Schumer also repeatedly called for more investment to strengthen the US scientific and technological strength to counter China’s economic threat.

“For decades, I’ve pushed Republican and Democratic administrations to take a tough stance on China and maintain a tough stance because power is the only way to win over the Chinese Communist Party,” Mr. Schumer said

Both the Biden administration and congressional Democrats have advocated tough measures such as restrictions on the export of technology products to China, which has also won the support of Republicans

“I think we have to legislate in that spirit, and I support President Biden’s approach to cut China off from our technology industry,” Kennedy said, “President Xi has a track record of stealing our intellectual property, bullying countries that disagree with him, using China’s economic power to pressure others, and suppressing the freedoms of his own people.” ”

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Sen. Jim Rish, the Republican leader of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Jim Risch, R-ID) said in a written statement on Dec. 23 that China’s diplomatic priorities for next year will remain focused. “There’s a lot more to do,” he said. ”。

“To advance and protect the interests of the United States and its allies, we must focus on countering the China challenge on all its faces,” Senator Rishi said.

The “China Committee” of the new National Assembly continues to resist China

It is foreseeable that the “tough card on China” will still greatly dominate the foreign policy discussions of the new Congress next year. The House of Representatives is expected to form a committee dedicated to China.

The results of this year’s midterm elections show that Republicans will take control of the House of Representatives in the new Congress that takes office on January 3 next year. Republicans will have 222 seats in the House of Representatives, winning more than half of the 218 seats. Democrats have 212 seats.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, has said he will run for the new Speaker of Congress. Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, said in an interview with U.S. media last month that if he is elected speaker, he will set up a “Select Committee on China” to focus on helping the United States develop policies to address China’s challenges.

McCarthy named Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher from Wisconsin. Mike Gallagher, R-WI) leads the new China Affairs Committee.

Rep. Gallagher told the media that the new committee’s priority is to explain to the American people why the China challenge is real and urgent.

“We want to link China’s geopolitical concerns to the daily lives of the American people and show why China is the greatest challenge of our time,” Gallagher said.

Gallagher said several Democrats have expressed interest in joining the new committee, but he declined to provide any names.

The two parties are highly upset

When talking about the most pressing issues between the United States and China in 2022, Congressman Gallagher, who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and Intelligence Committee, pointed out that the most urgent thing at present is “short-term deterrence on the Taiwan issue.”

“We have entered the window of greatest danger,” Gallagher said, “and we must ensure that we seek hard power in every way we can — west of the international date line and around Taiwan — to prevent the People’s Liberation Army from doing stupid things.” ”

After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, visited Taiwan in August, security tensions across the Taiwan Strait instantly rose.

“They (China) are trying to establish some kind of new normal,” Ms. Pelosi said at a news conference after returning to Washington from a trip to Asia.

Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in early August was the highest-ranking U.S. dignitary in 25 years of U.S. visits, and China immediately held a large-scale live-fire military exercise around Taiwan and launched four missiles over Taiwan, which was regarded as the most provocative act against Taiwan in decades.

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Despite the tension between the two sides of the strait, parliamentarians from both parties visited Taiwan one after another to show their support for Taiwan. According to Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry, including Pelosi, a total of 37 members of both parties from the US Senate and House of Representatives visited Taiwan in 2022, the most in recent years. More than half of them came after Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

The most recent group to arrive in Taiwan was held Dec. 17-22 by Republican U.S. Rep. Kuang. John Curtis, R-UT) led a delegation to the U.S. Congress that included three other representatives.

Republican U.S. Senator Lownds, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, stressed to the media that Congressional concerns about Taiwan have been reflected in the National Defense Authorization Act just passed this month.

The $858 billion annual defense spending includes large-scale military aid to Taiwan on a larger scale than ever before.

The bill would authorize the United States to provide $2 billion a year in unreimbursable military assistance to Taiwan through the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program from 2023 to 2027, with a total of $10 billion over five years. The bill also authorizes direct foreign military financing loans of up to $2 billion to Taiwan.

However, in the new fiscal year government consolidated appropriations bill passed by Congress on Friday (December 23), the bill that provides $1.7 trillion in government spending ultimately did not include Taiwan’s gratuitous military assistance provisions, only listing the authorization of the US State Department to provide Taiwan with $2 billion in “military financing” loans that need to be repaid within 12 years.

House Speaker Pelosi responded when asked that the expenditure on uncompensated military aid to Taiwan was not included in the negotiated appropriation bill, stressing that the United States support for Taiwan’s defense is beyond doubt.

“I’m not very clear about the part of the article you’re talking about, but our commitment to Taiwan and supporting their self-defense capability is clear,” Pelosi said.

Lowndes said he believes there will be more bills next year to support Taiwan’s defense capability.

“A lot of things will depend on how China behaves, and as long as they continue to show more offensive capability, yes, we’ll respond,” Mr. Lowndes said.

China’s Foreign Ministry expressed “strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition” to the National Defense Authorization Law on December 24, saying it “exaggerates the China threat” and “violates the one-China principle.” The Chinese People’s Liberation Army immediately held a military exercise in the sea and air space around Taiwan on the 25th. Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense confirmed on the 26th that Chinese military aircraft sent a total of 71 sorties to disrupt Taiwan, setting a record for the number since this year.

Republican U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy told the media that the United States has emphasized “pivot by America to the Indo-Pacific” in recent years, and the security situation in the Taiwan Strait is one of the cores of this strategy.

“I can tell you what the first step is, which is to make sure that Taiwan can choose its own destiny and has enough ammunition to do so,” Mr. Kennedy said.

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