World

It’s Time to Get Serious about the People’s Republic of China

A paramilitary policeman stands guard at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, in 2013. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)

As the Chinese Communist Party commemorates its 71st anniversary of seizing power, Americans increasingly recognize a simple fact: The fundamental character of the Communist regime has never changed and will never change.

Despite promising reforms for decades, the CCP is no closer to allowing political freedom than it was at Tiananmen Square in 1989. The brutal crackdowns in Hong Kong, the systematic attempt to destroy the Uyghur culture in Xinjiang, and the relentless assault on the sovereignty of neighboring nations all testify to a stubborn truth: The People’s Republic of China remains a ruthless, one-party dictatorship.

We’ve seen what happens when American politicians and businesses ignore this reality. It isn’t good.

For more than 40 years, previous administrations pursued a policy of accommodation towards the PRC. President Obama welcomed a strong PRC, claiming it was “a positive good” and “ultimately translates into more American jobs.” The tradeoff was simple: We bend to their wishes, they reform.

But the optimistic prognostications proved wrong. By accommodating them, we were changed by the CCP, not the other way around. America hemorrhaged millions of manufacturing jobs, the CCP and its companies stole billions through intellectual-property theft, and the PRC’s military presence expanded across three continents.

If this policy of unprincipled engagement continues, the United States stands to lose the future to today’s Communist superpower. It’s time to confront their global malign ambitions head on.

House Republicans on the China Task Force have put forward policies to end America’s dependence on the PRC while protecting Americans’ safety and well-being. Our comprehensive recommendations mobilize strategic U.S. government action in six areas: ideological competition, supply chains, national security, technology, the economy and energy, and competitiveness.

Without question, we must strengthen our military, and stop both CCP theft and its influence operations here at home. We begin by giving the Department of Defense the resources it needs to modernize the force and close the capability gap in specific areas, such as research and development. We also focus on providing the Department of Justice the resources it needs to investigate and prosecute visa fraud.

Beyond strengthening our national-security capabilities, we must also fortify our position on the commanding heights of the economic battlefield. Our plan doubles research and development funding for artificial intelligence and quantum computing across the federal government over the next two years, and ensures that both international 5G standards and the fabrication of advanced semiconductor chips are led by America. But just as American companies need to understand the stakes, CCP-affiliated companies need to face consequences. That is why our plan protects homegrown innovation by imposing sanctions on PRC entities that engage in industrial spying, including hacking U.S. researchers who are developing a vaccine for COVID-19.

But there is perhaps no more urgent strategic undertaking than breaking the CCP’s supply-chain monopoly. The coronavirus pandemic exposed our dependence on the PRC for medicine, personal protective equipment, and technology. That must end. Our plan increases U.S. manufacturing and builds supply-chain resiliency through full expensing on a permanent basis for all U.S. investment and restores domestic-production tax credits.

And while solidifying our domestic strength, we must courageously address moral wrongs. Recent satellite images of desecrated mosques in Xinjiang remind us of an old truth: “In keeping silent about evil . . . we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future.” We have a responsibility to speak clearly about the CCP’s human-rights abuses and those aiding them. Our plan calls for the Trump administration to determine whether the CCP’s attacks on Uyghurs constitute genocide, a label that brings serious foreign-policy ramifications. We also call for disclosure requirements for movies and sports that are approved by CCP censors or partner with CCP-controlled entities.

The China Task Force’s blueprint reverses the failed consensus on the CCP and responds to urgent threats to our safety, security, and self-sufficiency. It makes more than 400 recommendations, including over 170 legislative proposals. Nearly two-thirds of these proposals are bipartisan, and more than one-third have already passed the House or the Senate. It is not only the most thorough congressional report on China in history, but is also realistic and achievable.

The CCP has launched a coordinated campaign across government and society, exploiting our institutions to eradicate them. It seeks to replace the American Dream with the Chinese Dream. The United States cannot afford to underestimate the CCP’s ambitions or accommodate its rise any longer. To secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity, we must adopt our own comprehensive and forward-leaning strategy.

We’ve done this before. We overwhelmed the Axis powers with an “Arsenal of Democracy,” overtook early Soviet advances in space and were the first to put a man on the moon, and overcame a massive Soviet military buildup by rebuilding our economy and investing in cutting-edge technology. In each instance, private and public sectors were not afraid or ashamed to work together to advance our national interests while keeping their necessary separation. We should take a similar path today.

Kevin McCarthy represents California’s 23rd district and is currently the Republican Leader in the U.S. House of Representatives. Michael McCaul represents Texas’s tenth congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

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