Yesterday, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) announced that Rep. Mike Gallagher (WI-08) will chair the China Select Committee.
In their op-ed below, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Mike Gallagher build upon the work of the China Task Force and lay out their vision for the China Select Committee under a Republican majority in the House.
December 8, 2022
The greatest threat to the United States is the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). America spent decades pursuing policies that welcomed China into the international system. But since then, instead of embracing freedom or becoming a responsible stakeholder, Beijing has flouted international norms while exporting totalitarianism, aggression, and ideological control.
To win the new Cold War, we must respond to Chinese aggression with tough policies to strengthen our economy, rebuild our supply chains, speak out for human rights, stand against military aggression, and end the theft of Americans’ personal information, intellectual property, and jobs. We must recognize that China’s “peaceful rise” was pure fiction and finally confront the CCP with the urgency the threat demands. To do that, House Republicans will establish a Select Committee on China in the new Congress.
Here’s the good news: when the threat is dire, Americans have a proud history of coming together. There is bipartisan consensus that the era of trusting Communist China is over. Two years ago, House Republicans proposed to create a bipartisan China Task Force. Sadly, Democrats refused to participate, but the Task Force released a comprehensive blueprint built on bipartisan proposals on how to confront the CCP. The establishment of the Select Committee on China will build on the work first laid out by that China Task Force, and it will do it in a bipartisan way.
The first step is to restore our supply chains and end critical economic dependencies on China. In 2021, the U.S. imported a quarter of its antibiotics from China. India, a key producer of generic drugs, depends on China for 80% of the underlying active pharmaceutical ingredients–demonstrating that even ostensibly friendly sources of lifesaving drugs oftentimes ultimately trace back to China. Meanwhile, in 2019, approximately 90% of the world’s rare earth metals, alloys, and permanent magnets were produced in China. The Select Committee will expose our dangerous dependence on China and advance policies to build secure sources for critical supply chains, either in the United States or in partnership with like-minded allies. It will also work to prevent trillions of American dollars and millions of American retirees from financing Communist genocide and military modernization by developing policies to prohibit state and local pension funds—the same entities evangelizing for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investments—from investing in China. Our goal will be to promote overwhelming economic superiority. When we have a strong economy, we are safer.
Confronting China is also about deterring aggression on the world stage, both military and economic. Taiwan and other allies increasingly find themselves in the crosshairs of military aggression by the CCP. Meanwhile, the CCP advances its Belt and Road Initiative to ensnare other countries into its debt trap diplomacy that only benefits the CCP. Further, the CCP engages in unfair trade practices and actively seeks to steal intellectual property from the United States and others. We cannot afford to misread the CCP’s intentions. The Select Committee will make the urgent case for aiding Taiwan in its self-defense and build relationships with our other Indo-Pacific allies. As China uses its growing economy to modernize its military, we must also develop new weapons and stockpiles to project power, preserve our global influence, and protect our forces, including in space and cyberspace. Further, we will look at how the United States and freedom-loving countries can work together to push viable alternatives to the Belt and Road Initiative. The time-tested formula for victory—while deterring war— as President Reagan proved, is peace through strength.
In addition, winning the new Cold War with China requires defending our domestic institutions. The Select Committee will demonstrate how the CCP uses “United Front Work” and authoritarian tactics to cultivate foreign elites and silence criticism of CCP atrocities, as well as shed light on ongoing CCP interference and influence campaigns in a way the American public can easily understand. The Select Committee will expose how the CCP uses lobbying at the local, state, and federal level to advance CCP dogma against our interests and provide recommendations for fixing our weak lobbying laws.
Finally, the Select Committee will investigate the CCP’s attempts at infiltrating our academic institutions and the rise and proliferation of Confucius Institutes in the United States as organs of the CCP, as well as how the CCP or affiliated entities purchases land in the United States to the detriment of our national and economic security We also will seek to shine a light on the CCP’s security services operating in the United States, especially how the CCP attempts to intimidate and spy on Chinese citizens and Americans here in the United States. In doing all this, the Select Committee will take care to distinguish between the Chinese people and the regime that oppresses them.
In the aftermath of the 20th Party Congress earlier this fall, General Secretary Xi Jinping is more emboldened than ever to pursue his aggressive agenda aimed at the pilfering of the American economy, the destruction of our international leadership, and the subversion of our institutions. At the same time, recent large-scale anti-regime protests reveal the fundamental insecurity of Xi’s authoritarian rule. Through the Select Committee on China, the House will stand with all those in China oppressed by the regime while advancing policies that both deter war this decade and set the long-term path for victory in this new Cold War.