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US Senators Offer More Programs To Help Compete With China

More aid to Africa and Latin America, more funding for tech industries and a more robust US development bank were among the initiatives added on Wednesday to a landmark bill aimed at improving the capacity of states. United to compete with China. “The issues we face in foreign policy today, and perhaps throughout the 21st century, will be China, China and China,” said Jim Risch of Idaho, the commission’s senior Republican. Senate Foreign Relations, during the 2021 Strategic Competition Act hearing. “I cannot stress enough the importance of this bill.” Do you have questions about the main topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new curated content platform with explanations, FAQs, analysis and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. The legislation, which enjoys strong bipartisan support, represents an effort by Congress to bolster U.S. tools deemed necessary to counter Beijing and bolster U.S. capabilities as the two economic giants increasingly face each other as “competitors.” strategic ”. “China is a strategic competition – not because it’s what we want or what we’ve tried to create, but because of the choices Beijing has made and made,” said Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey. , chairman of the committee. “China today is a challenge to the United States and the international community in all dimensions of power – political, diplomatic, economic, innovation, military, even cultural – and with an alternative and deeply disturbing model of global governance. ” US lawmakers are planning a massive effort to counter China. The legislation is now expected to go to the Senate for debate and vote. Although it still has several steps to take before its enactment, the audience underscored its strong support and broad ambitions. Risch predicted he could end up with as many as 80 votes in the 100-seat Senate, an extraordinary level of support amid an era in Washington of deep partisan division. Even before Wednesday’s amendment, the bill was already 281 pages long and is almost certain to grow. A Pew Research poll in May 2020 found that nine in 10 Americans view China as a competitor or an enemy, rather than a partner. The bill as drafted would add new sanctions against Chinese officials accused of human rights violations in Hong Kong and Xinjiang; strengthen US ties with Taiwan; and try to further limit Beijing’s military operations and territorial claims in the South China Sea and beyond. The legislation follows a recent spike in military tensions involving the autonomous island of Taiwan, which China considers a renegade province, and in the waters around the Philippines. The bill would also spend US $ 10 million to “promote democracy” in Hong Kong and require a State Department report on how China is using Hong Kong’s unique status to circumvent US laws and guarantees. . Several senators cited Beijing’s policy towards the Uighurs in the far western region of Xinjiang to justify their unconditional amendments. Up to 1 million members of the predominantly Muslim community are held in camps there, according to civic groups and the United Nations, with some accounts accusing China of using torture, forced labor and sterilization. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has confirmed the Trump administration’s determination that the abuse constitutes genocide, although that language is not included in this bill. Beijing has called the camps employment and training centers, a claim that has sparked growing skepticism in the United States and Europe. In an effort to bolster its thesis, the Chinese Embassy in Washington – as the hearing began Wednesday morning – announced an online event titled “Xinjiang is a Wonderful Land.” The May program will include a 20-minute session on “The People of Xinjiang on Their Day-to-Day Work and Life”. An addition to the bill on Wednesday would include more effective programs to counter China’s financial aid, loans and persuasion campaigns in Africa and Latin America, with senators lamenting the inadequacies of US efforts in those regions. Ideally, senators said, this would also include attempts to speed up vaccine distribution to counter Beijing’s “vaccine diplomacy” around the world. The problems facing US companies looking to return home from China Another amendment would add funds to make the United States more competitive to counter Beijing’s attempt to establish supremacy in key technologies, as discussed in its Made in China 2025 economic plan. It is one of dozens of US efforts and proposals to make supply chains less dependent on China, strengthen US semiconductor capacity and invest more research funds in science and technology. “The best thing we can do is invest in ourselves first,” said Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, a close ally of President Joe Biden. But Coons also warned that state and federal funding is limited in the wake of the pandemic and its associated economic downturn, which would require “tough choices” on certain provisions of the Menendez-Risch legislation. Another new provision strengthens the US International Development Finance Corp. as it tries to compete with the Chinese Development Bank, which was instrumental in signing Beijing, the Belt and Road Initiative, a global infrastructure program. The proposed reforms include treating equity investments as loans and increasing the agency’s capital limit to $ 100 billion, from $ 60 billion. Senators acknowledged, however, that Chinese spending was leaving the United States in the dust. China’s development bank is more than 10 times the size of its US counterpart, while Beijing’s lending to developing countries totaled US $ 462 billion from 2008 to 2019, far more than Washington’s spending, has they declared. “American businesses need more tools to compete with China,” said Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey. “The United States is decidedly left behind.” Several amendments were not included in the bill, including one by Budget Falcons to cut funding to the National Science Foundation and the Inter-American Development Bank. Another sought to change the title of Americans working at the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto American embassy on the island, from “director” to “representative.” Some also questioned the effectiveness of some spending in the bill, including a proposed “anti-Chinese influence fund,” which is priced at US $ 1.5 billion over five years. Weifeng Zhong, a member of the Libertarian Mercatus Center, said he found it “refreshing” that “American policymakers recognize the growing importance of the US-Taiwan partnership.” However, he added, “many of the proposed uses of the fund are aimed at raising awareness among Americans of the nefarious influence of China – which they already are – while much-needed details of how policymakers could face it are still lacking. ” More South China Morning Post: US and EU Should Join Forces to Check China’s Influence in Africa, Indo-Pacific, Republican Senator Proposes Strategy to China in Africa “ doesn’t always work, ” UN candidate Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Biden, told senators that U.S. lawmakers recommend a multilateral approach to counter China. article US Senators Offer More Programs To Help Compete With China First Appeared On South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post, download our mobile app. Copyright 2021. 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