In the first hearing of the newly formed House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, committee chair Rep. Mike Gallagher said the U.S. is in an “existential struggle” with the CCP “over what life will look like in the 21st century.”
“We must act with a sense of urgency. I believe our policy over the next ten years will set the stage for the next 100. We cannot allow the CCP’s tech power dystopia to prevail,” Gallagher, Wisconsin Republican, said in his opening statement in Tuesday’s prime-time hearing.
“For much of the past half-century, we tried to win the CCP over with honey, with engagement,” Gallagher stated. “But that era of wishful thinking is over.”
He continued: “The CCP has found friends on Wall Street, on K Street, in Fortune 500 C-suites, [and] in the public health community, who are ready and willing to oppose our efforts to push back. This strategy has worked well in the past, and the CCP is confident it will work again. Our task on this committee is to ensure that it does not.”
Related: Navy intelligence chief: ‘China blindness’ led to stolen tech strategic disaster, February 28, 2023
The committee approved the following bills on Tuesday night:
• The “Taiwan Conflict Deterrence Act of 2023,” to activate certain sanctions against Chinese leaders and their families if Beijing acts against Taiwan.
• The “Preventing the Financing of Illegal Synthetic Drugs Act,” to study illicit financing in drug trafficking to stop the flow of fentanyl of Chinese origin into American communities.
• The “Taiwan Non-Discrimination Act of 2023,” to require the U.S. to advocate for Taiwan’s membership at the International Monetary Fund.
• The “Chinese Currency Accountability Act of 2023,” To require the Treasury Secretary to oppose an increase in the weight of China’s currency in the group of currencies influencing the value of Special Drawing Rights.
• The “China Exchange Rate Transparency Act of 2023,” to require the U.S. Director at the IMF to advocate for transparent disclosure of China’s exchange rate policies.
• The “PROTECT Taiwan Act,” to require the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Secretary and the Securities and Exchange Commission to exclude Chinese representatives from certain international proceedings if Taiwan is invaded.
• The “China Financial Threat Mitigation Act of 2023,” to require the Treasury Secretary to report on global economic risks from China.
Gallagher said he would like the committee to work as a bipartisan unit in addition to building upon the investigations Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas did when he was in charge of the China Task Force when the GOP was in the minority.
“We may call this a strategic competition, but it’s 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,” Gallagher said on Tuesday. “The CCP is laser-focused on its vision for the future, a world crowded with techno-totalitarian surveillance states where human rights are subordinate to the whims of the party.”
“For the time being, it’s still up to us to decide if that’s the future we want for our children, but it won’t be for much longer. Time is not on our side.”
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