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Congress forming new committee to take on China threats

Xi Jinping speaks to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct. 28, 2017. (Ma Zhancheng/Xinhua/Zuma Press/TNS)
December 31, 2022

When the new Congress meets in January, it’s going to set up a committee dedicated to overcoming and spreading awareness of threats posed by China’s rising power.

Led by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), the Select Committee on China will inform people of the Chinese Communist Party’s growing power and put forward ways to contain it amid a “new Cold War,” according to an op-ed co-written by Gallagher and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the expected next House Speaker.

China has come to be considered a top rival superpower over recent years as its economy booms, influence in world affairs expands, and President Xi Jinping imposes increasingly authoritarian rule. In the U.S., concern is growing over its longstanding claim to the island of Taiwan and the international reach of CCP censorship and surveillance.

In a Fox News interview, Gallagher described the CCP as “our foremost threat in the world today.”

The new committee will focus on separating supply chains from China, gearing up the military, stopping corporate espionage and theft, and exposing “the CCP’s techno-totalitarian” state, according to a press release.

“We need to reduce our economic dependency on China, and we need to make sure that we are surging hard power west of the International Dateline in defending Taiwan in particular,” he said. “We also need to understand how China is trying to corrupt and subvert our domestic institutions and make sure that they are not allowed to do that going forward.”

Gallagher told the Washington Examiner he hopes to bring the committee’s hearings out of Washington, D.C., and keep them from being boring. He hopes to “get creative” with a “series of field hearings,” discussing issues where they are most relevant.

The committee will build on the “China Task Force,” which did similar work in 2020 and consisted entirely of Republican representatives. It’s unclear whether Democrats will be appointed to the new China committee, but that’s what Gallagher hopes.

“We want the Democrats to nominate serious, sober people to participate, because defending America from Chinese Communist Party aggression should not be a partisan thing,” he said on Fox News.

Gallagher served seven years on active duty with the Marine Corps and deployed twice to Iraq, according to his bio. He has two master’s degrees – including one from the U.S. intelligence community’s official National Intelligence University – as well as a PhD in international relations from Georgetown University.

He currently serves on three committees: the House Armed Services Committee, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

His northeast Wisconsin district, which he has represented since 2017, includes his hometown of Green Bay.