Senate Passes Bipartisan China Competition Bill, Draws Criticism From Chinese Communist Party
Do you support or oppose the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act?
What’s the story?
- The Senate on Tuesday approved a broad package aimed at improving America’s technological competitiveness and checking China’s geopolitical ambitions, which drew a swift rebuke from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
- The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act cleared the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 68-32 and contains about $250 billion in funding for technological research and incentives for the domestic production of semiconductors, in addition to provisions aimed at boosting America’s geopolitical standing relative to China.
- In response to the Senate’s passage of the bill, the foreign affairs committee of the National People’s Congress ― China’s ceremonial legislature that is controlled by the CCP ― criticized the bill.
- The CCP committee said provisions in the bill that aim to punish China’s human rights abuses against Uyghur minorities, support democracy in Hong Kong, and support Taiwan’s autonomy amid threats by China are “purely China’s internal affairs and absolutely no foreign interference will be tolerated.” It added:
“This bill seeks to exaggerate and spread the so-called ‘China threat’ to maintain global American hegemony, using human rights and religion as excuses to interfere in China’s domestic politics, and deprive China of its legitimate development rights… No force should expect that China will swallow any bitter fruit that harms China’s sovereignty, security or development interests.”
- While neither party in the U.S. Senate was completely satisfied with the version of the bill that advanced from the chamber on Tuesday, the chamber’s Democratic and Republican leaders each spoke to the significance of the package and the bipartisan work that went into it.
- Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) remarked that the margin of the vote was “an overwhelming display of bipartisan support”, which he noted is a “rarity on a major bill in this Senate.” He also emphasized the importance of the package, adding:
“I believe that future generations will look back on this competition bill as the turning point for American leadership in the 21st Century.”
- Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that the bill in its current form is an “imperfect approach to an extremely consequential challenge” and added:
“One thing this legislation did demonstrate extremely well, however, was that the rules of the Senate don’t stand in the way of bipartisan legislating… Needless to say, final passage of this legislation cannot be the Senate’s final word on our competition with China. It certainly won’t be mine.”
What’s next for the bill?
- The bill now heads to the House, where it’s unclear whether the package will be considered as one bill or as several through a more piecemeal approach.
- Politico reported that the bipartisan leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee have been negotiating about the text of the proposal, and a markup hearing could occur in the next few weeks.
- Whenever the House finishes its work on its version of the bill, it would then either head back to the Senate for renewed consideration or go to a bicameral conference committee composed of bipartisan lawmakers who would be tasked with hashing out the differences between the two bills before the package receives its final votes in both chambers.
- U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (S. 1260) - “Bolstering U.S. Economic & Geopolitical Competitiveness to Counter the Rise of China”
- Senate’s China Competition Bill Aims to Bolster U.S. Support for Taiwan - Are You in Favor?
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Dong Fang - Voice of America via Wikimedia / Public Domain)
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