China threat to US demands ‘urgency,’ head of new House panel declares

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China threat to US demands ‘urgency,’ head of new House panel declares


Caitlin Doornbos

February 28, 2023 7:25pm 



WASHINGTON – The chairman of a special House committee dedicated to countering Chinese threats to the US warned Tuesday night that Beijing has sought to pit Americans “against each other to undermine our country.”

“Just because this Congress is divided, we cannot afford to waste the next two years lingering in legislative limbo or pandering for the press,” Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) said in his opening remarks. “We must act with a sense of urgency.”

The prime-time debut of the panel, officially known as the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, came as threats to national security from the Asian power dominate headlines.

On Feb. 4, the US shot down a Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina after it traveled across the continental US for the preceding week, hovering over sensitive military installations along the way. Meanwhile, a Sunday report revealed the Department of Energy now believes COVID-19 leaked from a Chinese lab.

Beijing also continues to be the focus of suspicion over its threats to invade Taiwan and its claims over the South China Sea.

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI)
“We must act with a sense of urgency” regarding countering Chinese threats to the US, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher said in his opening remarks.

Meanwhile, diplomatic and military-to-military communications are increasingly frayed. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken canceled his scheduled visit to Beijing earlier this month over the spy balloon incursion.

A week later, Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe ignored Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s call after the balloon shootdown. The two last spoke on Nov. 22 while attending a meeting of defense ministers in Cambodia, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

In his opening statement, Gallagher, a former Marine who served in Iraq, cited a 1991 book by Chinese academic and Communist Party leader Wang Huning.

“[Wang] wrote a book called ‘America Against America’ — a critique of the internal conflict he found at the heart of American society,” he said. “‘America Against America’ also describes the strategy that Wang, [Chinese President] Xi Jinping and the CCP have pursued in the years since — pitting Americans, who they believe are greedy and factional, against each other to undermine our country.”

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