China's Military, Tech And Economic Advances Under Scrutiny As US House Of Representatives Creates New Panel

Swarajya Staff

Jan 11, 2023, 12:40 PM | Updated 12:42 PM IST

Chinese President Xi Jinping
Chinese President Xi Jinping

The United States House of Representatives on Tuesday (10 January) voted to create a new committee to assess the military, economic and technological challenges posed by China.

The resolution creating the committee was passed with bipartisan support, with 365 representatives voting in favor and 65 against.

During the voting, 146 Democrats joined 219 Republicans to pass the measure.

The committee will focus on the Chinese Communist Party’s economic, technological and security advances, as well as strategic competition between Beijing and Washington. 

The select committee, called 'Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party', will be led by Republican representative Mike Gallagher, and will consist of seven Republicans and five Democrats.

The panel will hold public hearings and present policy recommendations at the conclusion of its investigation.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy hailed the establishment of the panel.

"Here’s the good news: There is bipartisan consensus that the era of trusting communist China is over,” McCarthy said Tuesday on the House floor.

The new panel is the latest signal of growing bipartisan concern in US over increasing military might of China as well as deepening skepticism over trade with Beijing.

China panel chair Gallaghar's agenda for the committee includes examining ways to beef up US military posture, end dependencies on China in supply chains, curtail theft of US intellectual property and highlight Beijing’s authoritarian state, reports Politico.

“It is time to understand the urgency of the threat. It is time to reclaim our economic independence in key areas,” Gallagher said.

“The select committee will expose the [Chinese Communist Party]'s coordinated whole-of-society strategy to undermine American leadership and American sovereignty while working on a bipartisan basis ... to identify long-overdue, commonsense approaches to counter CCP aggression," he added.

One of the issue that is expected to capture the panel’s attention soon is what to do about TikTok, the Chinese-owned video-sharing app with more than 80 million users in the US.

Gallaghar along with Democratic congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi had on Monday (9 January) wrote to ESPN, demanding that the sports network log out of its relationship with TikTok, after the Chinese social media giant sponsored the halftime shows on recent college football bowl games.

TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, is required by Chinese law to share user data with the Chinese Communist Party.

Gallagher, Krishnamoorthi, and US Senator Marco Rubio had recently introduced legislation to ban TikTok from operating in the United States, citing the grave national security risk the app poses.

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