The United States (US) has formed a congressional select committee to study and report on the competition with China. The committee’s formal name is “Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the United States and Chinese Communist Party”. The committee is composed of a total of 24 members, 11 democrats, and 13 republicans. In the very first meeting of this committee, a great amount of time was spent on the discussion about the level of competition China is giving in the semiconductor industry. The committee highlighted the pace at which China is progressing in the technology sector.
POSSIBLE REASONS FOR COMMITTEE FORMATION AND MEETING’S HIGHLIGHTS
Though the committee was formed in January 2023, its first meeting comes at a time when only a few days back the US shot down an apprehended Chinese spy balloon that was seen flying over North America. Tussles and tensions between the US and China have been aggravated over the years. Causes are plenty. Firstly, China’s policy on Covid-19 handling made almost every country frustrated. The US is also concerned about China’s actions in Hong Kong and its aggressive stance towards Taiwan aimed at the complete annihilation of its culture.
The hearing of the meeting was opened by Mike Gallagher, who is the Republican chairman of the Committee. He minced no words and termed the ongoing tussle with China as an existential struggle and asserted that fundamental freedoms are threatened. In the meeting a lawmaker from Illinois, Raja Krishnamoorthi opined that for the past thirty years, democrats and as well as republicans considered the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as posing no threat. He highlighted that a hypothesis was made that investment and trade would consequently give rise to democracy and a more secured Indo-pacific region. But what happened is the complete opposite. He went on to stress that the United States has no intention to start a war, be it hot or cold, with China, rather deterrence of aggression and establishment of peace is intended.
Chinese media expressed an apprehension that such a step would further nose-dive Sino-US relations. China sees this attempt to fuel the ‘China Threat Theory’, which in the view of Chinese officials is absurd. Interesting to note here is that certain opponents amongst Democrats expressed that such a committee would give rise to anti-Asian sentiments. The first meeting of this committee was also disrupted by two protesters holding placards to voice out their concerns that China was not their enemy and that hating Asians should be stopped.
The committee’s major objective is to pressurize China to refrain from exerting a threat to other countries. Such a committee is bound to exert pressure on the Biden administration too to take a concrete and sturdy stance on China. Would the Biden administration buckle under the pressure of the committee? The answer to this would be conveyed by observing and analysing the stance taken by the Biden regime towards China in the near future.