Politics Getting lost on China: Congress offers cheap talk
White House condemns China’s ‘dangerous’ rejection of investigation into Wuhan lab
The White House condemned China's rejection of a follow-up World Health Organization investigation into COVID-19’s origins, with the United States saying it was “deeply disappointed" — but not proposing punishment — after China said it would block further scrutiny of the Wuhan lab. © Provided by Washington Examiner Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, said last week the WHO-China report released earlier this year identified five main areas for further study, including increased scrutiny of the lab.
China is the most important global challenge to the United States. We're botching it. Congress is only part of this problem and, to their credit,from want meaningful responses to China's predatory economic behavior, human rights repression, and international aggressiveness. But the process has produced long bills that are largely political statements, with only a few useful elements. They should be scrapped, in favor of much shorter documents with a small number of powerful actions.
Already passed by the Senate, the(USICA) started as a welcome boost to research funding. Barriers to Chinese acquisition of that research were proposed, correctly. But the final version of the bill is a 2,376-page monster, 2,000 pages of which could disappear with no loss to anything except the amount of empty rhetoric.
China appears to be expanding its nuclear capabilities, US researchers say in new report
China is building a second field of missile silos in its western deserts, according to a new study, which researchers say signals a potential expansion of its nuclear arsenal and calls into question Beijing's commitment to its "minimum deterrence" strategy.Identified via satellite imagery, the new missile base in China's Xinjiang region may eventually include 110 silos, said the report released Monday by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS).
One component of USICA is an initially separate bill titled the Strategic Competition Act. At least four-fifths of itsalso could disappear with no impact. The ratio of fluff to content is worse in the House equivalent, known as the ( ) Eagle Act. Setting priorities and taking costly action on China is difficult, even a bit scary. It's much less stressful to announce a vague "sense of Congress" on dozens of issues, hiding the fact that Congress isn't doing anything about them.
There are two costs to taking the easy road here: 1) failing to do nearly enough now and 2) probably failing to do nearly enough later. On the latter, pro-China industries such as finance see these bills, if passed, as an opportunity to declare the China fight won thanks to American "toughness." The actual outcome would be the opposite. A year from now, it will be harder to pass legislation because of the midterm elections. And if midterms result in split control of Congress, it may be harder to act in 2023.
Amid crushing floods in China, officials focus not on climate change, but on control
Henan adheres to a familiar formula in Xi Jinping's China: Authorities turn tragedy into triumph, while controlling victims' narratives.Chen Yuanqiu lived nearby. He had witnessed the flood and knew that during rush hour the tunnel could be clogged with hundreds of cars. The government said that only six people had drowned. But rumors in chat groups suggested that bodies were being taken out of the tunnel in secret.
That would open the door to years more of China harming U.S. interests. Despite concerns about loss of jobs, loss of technology, repression in Xinjiang, future aggression in Taiwan, violations of U.S. law, and so on, American investment in China almost certainlyand is rising. An "almost" is needed because the Department of the Treasury are the top recipient of American funds, obscuring the true amount going to China. The first step in fixing an addiction is admitting to it.
There are members of Congress, again from, who want to keep American investors from supporting Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping's agenda. But none of the giant bills moved in the Senate or the House take any action to do so - thousands of pages to improve American competitiveness against China, and none considers that the U.S. is funding Chinese competitiveness.
China Sends Sharp-Tongued Diplomat as Ambassador to U.S.
China dispatched a veteran diplomat known for pushing back against Western criticism to serve as its next ambassador to the U.S., an appointment that suggests Beijing is bracing for a period of prolonged tension with Washington. © Bloomberg China Sends Sharp-Tongued Diplomat as Ambassador to Washington Qin Gang, 55, who most recently served as vice foreign minister, arrived in the U.S. Wednesday to fill the post vacated last month by long-time ambassador, Cui Tiankai, according to a statement from the Chinese Embassy. He told a press briefing that he would work “to safeguard the foundation of China-U.S.
Like investment, technological advance can span economics, security and politics. In the USICA, the Senate recognizes this and attempts to both advance American technology and protect it from China. But no penalties are given for Americans ignoring the protections, much less for Chinese recipients of illegally acquired research. And the Househave almost no protections. Beijing will pilfer American technological progress, to drive American companies out of business. Again.
Supply chains are a third element of Sino-American competition crossing issue lines. The COVID-19 pandemic provided overwhelming incentive to limit Chinese participation. The USICA funds new semiconductor factories here but allows China in the supply chain for the plants. A supply chain provision copies theand administrations in doing nothing of consequence and the new American jobs could be hostage to Beijing. The Eagle Act offers $15 million to help companies move out of China, when $15 billion would be a start.
UK's HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier pictured in South China Sea
The South China Sea has been a hotbed of naval activity this week as a British aircraft carrier strike group, an American surface action group, and forces from China's People's Liberation Army have all staged exercises in the contested waterway. © 1st Lt. Zachary Bodner US Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 conducts flight deck operations onboard the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in the South China Sea on July 27.
China's rise definitely, but the U.S. is not doing our part. There are multiple good ideas which have lost out, so far, to posturing. China must be progressively, but entirely, cut out of supply chains that Congress deems critical. Severe punishments must be put into law and enforced for theft of U.S. research and trade secrets. American investment should not be allowed to support criminal entities or those helping to undermine our interests and values.
These steps and others require only a few bills, only a few pages long. And they don't all have to be adopted and implemented immediately. What is needed immediately is willingness to take action that changes the Sino-American relationship. Otherwise we'll be talking about all the same ugly problems in 2024.
Derek M. Scissors is a senior fellow at the, where he focuses on Asia economic relations. He is chief economist of the and author of the .
Once a tool for diplomacy, table tennis now viewed by China as so much more .
Fifty years ago, the simple game of table tennis helped mend the frayed relationship between China and the U.S. Today, the game that gave rise to “ping pong diplomacy” is still played by millions in China — and the medals captured at the Tokyo Olympics and in other international championships remain a source of national pride. But as China has turned its gaze increasingly outward and established itself as a true world economic power, table tennis is getting some serious competition — from other sports. After the 1949 Communist Revolution, “the reason table tennis became so popular in China [is] simple.