The White House’s efforts to lead the world’s most crucial bilateral relationship were undermined on Tuesday when the GOP-led House voted overwhelmingly to form a committee to probe the Biden administration’s China policy.
While Republicans and Democrats are still at war on many domestic issues, the headline panel on U.S.-China “strategic rivalry” is a rare area of cooperation. Having been elected speaker on January 7, this was Kevin McCarthy’s first significant victory.
“Our policies that have been in place for decades have actively encouraged China’s participation in international affairs. And in exchange, China has spread tyranny, hostility, and anti-American sentiment over the world “The statement was made by McCarthy during a heated discussion on the House floor. The time for blindly trusting Communist China is passed, according to politicians of both parties.
The Republican from California, who reflected Congress’s growing mistrust of Beijing’s intentions, urged his Democratic colleagues to help keep the committee nonpartisan in its pursuit of protecting American interests.
My sincere intention is for us to unite in our efforts to address the problems we face. There’s too much at stake to argue amongst ourselves.
The group, to be chaired by Wisconsin Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher, has been given broad authority to investigate all aspects of President Joe Biden’s policy toward China. It says it will give the White House counsel on everything from economic policy and export limits for advanced technologies to the military’s stance in Asia.
The committee’s work in the run-up to the next election will be a litmus test for the president’s legislative agenda and his ability to strike a middle ground between the executive branch’s cautious diplomatic outreach to China and the legislature’s hawkishness toward China’s long-ruling Communist Party. Now that he has secured his own norm-breaking third term in power, in October 2022, Chinese President Xi Jinping is trying to mend strained ties with the United States’ capital.
White House and the Chinese foreign ministry both ignored requests for comment before the articles were published.
“It is time for a united front against the Chinese Communist Party’s aggressiveness, and the Select Committee on the CCP was established today with an overwhelming bipartisan majority. The next step is to fill the committee with serious representatives from both camps who are ready to get to work immediately “As Gallagher put it in a statement to the media.
Earlier, on the House floor, the Republican congressman had urged his colleagues to present a “united face” in the legislature. To avoid alienating the Chinese people, who are typically the major targets of CCP aggression and repression, we must be careful to distinguish between the party and the people at every turn.
The rhetoric is similar to that of previous Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whose attempt to differentiate the Chinese populace from the Chinese governing party prompted Beijing’s fears of a regime transition.
On Tuesday, the House voted 365 to 65 in favor of the measure, with the support of 146 Democrats. A rise in anti-Asian American sentiment similar to that seen in the 1980s, amid another struggle with a major economy, was a major source of worry.
Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chairwoman Judy Chu (D-CA) pleaded with the panel to avoid “an open invitation to deal in obvious xenophobic and anti-China sentiments that we know ends in physical violence against Asian Americans.”
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), the leading Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also voted nay.