The era of trusting China is over. That was the message from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy as he announced the creation of a new Select Committee on China Competition. The bipartisan committee was voted in overwhelmingly on Tuesday, showing that both Republicans and Democrats no longer trust the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
“We spent decades passing policies that welcomed China into the global system. In return, China has exported oppression, aggression and anti-Americanism,” McCarthy said. “Today, the power of its military and economy are growing at the expense of freedom and democracy worldwide.”
McCarthy was joined by House Democrats in expressing their concerns over the CCP’s actions. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., the top Democrat on the House Rules Committee, said he was worried about some aspects of the committee, including whether it would only focus on military competition with China, and whether it would fuel anti-Asian hate.
“President [Donald] Trump repeatedly mislabeled COVID with racist language,” McGovern said. “Such rhetoric coincided with spikes in hate-based acts of violence and discrimination against people of Chinese or Asian origin across our country. This language has no place on this committee or anywhere in Congress.”
McCarthy assured Democrats that the committee would not devolve into partisan posturing and said that he wants Republicans and Democrats to build a strategy together to help America face a rising China.
“The threat is too great for us to bicker with ourselves,” he said.
The mission of the committee is to “investigate and submit policy recommendations on the status of the Chinese Communist Party’s economic, technological, and security progress and its competition with the United States.” It is being established after the growing realization in the U.S. that China is America’s most immediate economic competitor and military threat.
McCarthy said the committee will investigate “how to bring back hundreds of thousands of jobs that went to China and win the economic competition.” The House Speaker also promised Democrats that the committee will focus on finding bipartisan solutions and will not be used for partisan posturing.
The bipartisan vote in favor of the Select Committee on China Competition shows that the U.S. is taking the challenge of a rising China seriously and is committed to finding a way to protect American interests in a complex geopolitical landscape. With both Democrats and Republicans on board, the committee has the potential to make a real difference in the battle against China.
Erica Carlin is an independent journalist, opinion writer and contributor to several news and opinion sources. She is based in Georgia.