China panel chair sees ‘underappreciated’ continuity between Trump, Biden administrations on Beijing

Chairman Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., leads a special House committee dedicated to countering China holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), the chair of the House Select Committee on China, said on Wednesday that he sees an “underappreciated amount of continuity” between the Trump and Biden administrations on Beijing.

“I actually think there is an underappreciated amount of continuity between the Trump administration and some things that Matt Pottinger and H.R. McMaster have said on China, and some things that Jake Sullivan and Ely Ratner in Defense have said on China,” Gallagher said at Axios’ What’s Next Summit, naming several officials from each administration.

Gallagher praised the Biden administration on its recent basing agreements in Japan and the Philippines, as well as its export controls restricting China’s ability to purchase or produce advanced semiconductors.

However, the China panel chairman criticized apparent divisions within the current administration on Beijing that produce “chaos” in the U.S.’s policies.

“There is a wing that I think is more realistic that recognizes the nature of the competition that we’re in right now and the stakes,” Gallagher said. “Then, there is a wing that I think believes climate change is far and away our existential challenge and that therefore we need to cooperate with the [Chinese Communist Party] on climate change.”

“That division at times creates incoherence and results in us self-deterring or pulling some punches related to the CCP that I think are counterproductive,” he added.

Tensions between the U.S. and China have become increasingly strained in recent months, after a Chinese spy balloon spent a week traversing the country and the U.S. accused Beijing of considering providing lethal aid to Russia for its war in Ukraine.

China appears to be drawing closer to Russia to the West’s dismay, with Chinese leader Xi Jinping visiting Russian Vladimir Putin in Moscow last week.

As Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) appears likely to meet with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in California next week, Beijing warned the U.S. on Wednesday that it would take “resolute countermeasures” if such a meeting takes place.

Following former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) visit to Taiwan last August, China conducted large-scale military exercises around the self-governing island.

Tags Biden administration China China select committee Joe Biden Mike Gallagher Mike Gallagher Trump administration

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