As part of negotiations with the House Freedom Caucus, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy agreed to establish a special select committee to investigate China’s economic and military threats to the U.S. The resolution to create the committee passed Tuesday in a 365-65 vote.
A total of 146 Democrats voted with Republicans, The New York Post reported. It will be headed by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), with seven GOP members and five Democrats.
“This is an issue that transcends political parties,” McCarthy said in a floor speech before the vote. “And creating the select committee on China is our best avenue for addressing it.”
Despite the bipartisan vote, Gary Bauer of the Campaign for Working Families tells AFN it’s concerning that 65 Democrats voted against it.
“They were all left-wing Democrats,” he says.
Where is China’s influence? It's literally everywhere
China’s past and present threats to the U.S. could fill up a book, which would be a disturbing read, since everything from Midwest farmland to Silicon Valley technology is a daily target of the power-hungry CCP that views the U.S. as its main enemy for global power.
With the blessing of the CCP, China’s billionaire businessmen use their power on Wall Street, which was the topic of a Bloomberg article just last week, and in Hollywood studios, where the studios know there is an audience in China for their films. The “Jurassic Park: Dominion” movie, for example, made 1 billion in yuan at the box office last year.
America’s university campuses and their weakly guarded research facilities make soft targets, too, which has come to light only in recent years. But where do you get the spies? China’s Ministry of State Security sends trained agents to the U.S. to study on American campuses. China also uses a program called the Thousand Talents Plan to find American researchers and scientists, who share their findings with the Chinese counterparts with the promise of under-the-table payments.
The secret-stealing success of Talents was acknowledged by a bipartisan U.S. Senate report back in 2020.
Back in September, a federal jury in Chicago convicted a Chinese national named Ji Chaoqun for spying for China and for attempting to recruit other Chinese nationals working for defense contractors. Ji came to the U.S. on a student visa in 2013 to study electrical engineering. He even enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves in 2016 through a special program for foreigners with special skills.
Back in 2018, now five years ago, the Trump administration launched a counter-offensive to China’s spy operations when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the “China Initiative” to fight Chinese espionage on U.S. soil. The successful “Chinese Initiative” program was scrapped by the Biden administration in February of 2022 under pressure from far-left groups that claimed it was racist and discriminatory against Chinese-Americans.
In his floor speech Tuesday, McCarthy said the United States spent decades welcoming China into the “global system” and in return the communist nation “exported oppression, aggression and anti-Americanism.”
“The era of trusting communist China,” McCarthy said, “is over."
But the influence of China is spread across Washington, D.C., too. Back in 2018, when the DOJ went after spies, a Daily Beast article described how U.S. politicians were lobbying for China or were affiliated with CCP-owned firms. The article named names, too, including former House Speaker John Boehner; former Nebraska congressman Jon Christenson; and former U.S. diplomat David Firestein, among many others.