Foreign Policy

Bipartisan action needed to counter Chinese influence

This is the fourth and final op-ed in a series focusing on the threats China poses to the United States.

Over 200 years ago, renowned French military commander and emperor Napoleon Bonaparte warned European nations to “let China Sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world.” Though many experts throughout the years questioned China’s ability to industrialize, grow its middle class, and expand its global influence, it cannot be denied that China has reached superpower status today.

Some would ask how this impacts the American people and why it matters. In fact, there have been other global superpowers that have existed while America has also. From the British Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries to the Soviet Union in the 20th century, America has endured and been able to protect democracy for quite some time.

However, it is important to understand how the Chinese Community Party (CCP) represents a different type of threat than America has faced before.

Rather than overtly challenging America and its allies, the Chinese are using deceptive trading practices, debt trap diplomacy, and bully tactics to expand their global reach. They are making developing countries on every continent cultivate a dependency on the Chinese that they cannot escape.

The truth of the matter is this: America has worked to build a global system of governance and rules-based order with the goals of spreading democracy, advancing human rights, and improving health outcomes in the developing world.

Having served for many years as the chairwoman of the Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees all foreign assistance, I can tell you that when America makes critical investments in the developing world, we do so because we want to help these nations and want to see their people thrive. This prevents extremist organizations from gaining a foothold, grows economies for the working class, and makes our world a better place.

The CCP, on the other hand, is going into these same countries with huge amounts of capital and deceptive agreements. They have no commitment to the principles of human rights or freedom. They are in it to advance their influence, slowly but surely, and push out America and its allies. I encourage you to look at a recent report from the Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee titled, “China Regional Snapshot: Exposing the CCP’s Global Malign Influence.” In this, there are countless examples of how the CCP is slowly gaining control over critical infrastructure in every region.

Many in Congress are acting on these threats. Earlier in this series, I explained how Congress has taken important steps to protect our medical supply chain, retain our edge in technology advancement, and build up our military to deter China.

This week, the China Task Force, led by my friend and fellow Texan, Rep. Michael McCaul, released its final report after months of investigating all aspects of Chinese influence. This report includes over 400 recommendations that Congress and the administration can act on to protect America’s place in the world for decades to come. This report reflects a thorough, serious study of these issues, and we should act on these as quickly as possible.

Regardless of who wins election in November, all Americans should understand how critical it is that we respond to this threat with one voice. We must stand up to the CCP to protect developing nations from falling into debt traps, ensure international organizations uphold global rules and standards for all countries, and advance freedom and democracy for all.

Granger represents the 12th District of Texas and is Republican leader on the House Appropriations Committee.

Tags China-US relations Chinese Communist Party Chinese influence Michael McCaul

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