Congress' Bipartisan Focus on China
March 6, 2023
For all the partisanship in Washington, the legacy of this 118th Congress is “set to be defined by an unprecedented focus” on China, Axios writes.
Why it matters: China is one issue that will unify both parties on Capitol Hill on a consistent — and meaningful — basis.
- A new House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (established by a bipartisan vote of 365-65) held a 3-hour prime-time hearing last week on the "overall threat" posed by the Chinese Communist Party.
The big picture: Leaders of the Select Committee, Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), “don't agree on several aspects of U.S.-China policy. But they've made a point of showing unity on their mission: protecting U.S. economic and technological interests while focusing on China's government, not its people,” Axios reports.
Lawmakers on the House Financial Services Committee separately last week approved 10 bipartisan bills to rein in China’s economic power. The legislation would:
- Scrutinize financial institutions that serve senior Chinese officials,
- Target Chinese manufacturing of synthetic drugs,
- Commission a Treasury Department report on the global economic risks associated with China’s financial sector,
- Encourage Taiwan’s membership in the International Monetary Fund,
- Exclude China from the G-20 and other global organizations if it threatens Taiwan’s security.
The Senate Banking Committee also held a hearing last week that concluded the U.S. must strategically apply sanctions and export controls to respond to Russian aggression and rising economic threats by China.
- Senators, concerned by recent Chinese purchases of agricultural property near U.S. military bases, agreed that the Secretary of Agriculture should be made a permanent member of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
Yes, but: the legislation stops short of major intervention into China's economy, such as restrictions on U.S. investment.
Go deeper: a brief summary of Tuesday’s primetime hearing; click here for a 4-minute video the Select Committee used to frame the issue; and watch the full 3-hour hearing.
- Bipartisan lawmakers warn of China threat at select committee’s first hearing - CNN
- House select committee hearing paints China as a strategic antagonist - CBS News