The Big Ideas

by Malcolm Riddell

'Congress on China: Then and Now'

Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS)

CHINADebate

|

Scott Kennedy | Center for Strategic & International Studies
&

by
|
|
&
June 24, 2021
'Congress on China: Then and Now'
'Congress on China: Then and Now'
No items found.

Heading

Scott Kennedy | Center for Strategic & International Studies

BIG IDEA | ‘With the Senate voting on June 8, 2021, to adopt the United States Innovation and Competitiveness Act, it is safe to say that this is the most comprehensive action by Congress on China policy EVER.’
‘The language of the United States Innovation and Competitiveness Act is about a long-term competition with China as opposed to war with an enemy.’

‘With the Senate voting on June 8, 2021, to adopt the United States Innovation and Competitiveness Act by a vote of 68 to 32, it is safe to say that this is the most comprehensive action by Congress on China policy EVER.’

  • ‘The House of Representatives still has to consider the legislation, and it is likely that the contours of a final product will be changed.’

‘Nevertheless, this is a historic moment for two reasons:’

  1. ‘the scope of the legislation and’
  2. ‘the contrast with the last major congressional action on China just over 20 years ago when China was on the edge of entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).’

‘The Senate’s bill is not a singular strategic initiative designed and authored by a single legislator or within a single committee; instead, it pulls together multiple pieces of legislation and ideas from a large number of senators on different committees.’

  • ‘Many of these elements were originally introduced last year in the wake of the pandemic, which led to a large leap in introduced bills, only a few of which made it over the finish line in 2020.’

‘Although pieced together—and still unfinished—the bill adds up to a coherent strategic statement on China policy.’

  • ‘It includes a vision of the nature of the relationship—a strategic competition framed in ideological terms, between free-market democracies and a state-capitalist autocracy.’
  • ‘It puts forth broad policy goals on a wide range of issues and with respect to every part of the globe, from sub-Saharan Africa to the Middle East to the Arctic.’
  • ‘There is substantial attention to strengthening U.S. defenses on economic issues, dual-use technologies, and cyber. And, most prominently, it commits a historic level of spending—over $250 billion—for research and development (R&D), advanced manufacturing, and improving supply-chain resilience.’

‘This congressional effort on China is without a doubt unprecedented in scale and scope.’

‘There have been two other big moments when Congress weighed in on China policy in a major way that had a substantial effect on the substance and direction of U.S. policy.’

  • ‘In April 1979, Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act, providing a greater legal foundation than executive branch actions for unofficial U.S.-Taiwan relations, including U.S. military support.’
  • ‘And in 2000, Congress voted to give China permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status. The PNTR put a foundation under U.S.-China commercial relations and ushered in a period in which U.S. policy was centered around the goal of integrating China into the international system.’

‘Although major actions, these two still would pale in comparison to the Innovation and Competitiveness Act, should it become law.’

  • ‘This congressional effort on China is without a doubt unprecedented in scale and scope.’

What also comes through from the new measure is how Congress’s view of China has fundamentally flipped.’

  • This bill reconfirms the fact that the United States has abandoned a strategy of facilitating China’s integration into the international system with the expectation that such efforts would result in a more open, market-oriented Chinese economy, a more liberal political environment, and less aggressive activity internationally.’
  • There is an unsettled debate about whether the strategy was ever valuable or was ill-fated from the outset.’

‘The language of the bill is about a long-term competition with China as opposed to war with an enemy.’

  • ‘Congress has taken a hawkish turn, but it is still pursuing a multifaceted approach that does not foreclose the possibility that U.S.-China relations could eventually be stabilized and not devolve into violent conflict.’

CHINADebate

Malcolm Riddell
|

CHINADebate

|
&
|

'Are you tired of losing yet, America?'

As I write this, Taliban forces have entered Kabul and are reportedly occupying the Presidential Palace.
8/15/2021

Bloomberg

CHINADebate

|

|
&
|

'China Signals More Regulation for Businesses in Coming Years'

‘The State Council’s statement provides a guiding context to interpret current regulatory thrusts. The blueprint as an attempt by Chinese authorities to help investors understand the motives behind the regulatory push.’
8/15/2021

The Wall Street Journal

CHINADebate

|

George Soros
|
&
|

'Xi’s Dictatorship Threatens the Chinese State'

‘Mr. Xi is determined to bring the creators of wealth under the control of the one-party state.’
8/15/2021

CHINADebate

Malcolm Riddell
|

CHINADebate

|
&
|

Don't Say Xi Jinping Didn't Warn You

‘Global investors are shocked to have discovered that China is run by Communists.’
8/5/2021

Bloomberg

CHINADebate

|

Matthew Brooker | Bloomberg
|
&
|

‘Global investors shocked to have discovered that China is run by Communists.’

‘Global investors are shocked to have discovered that China is run by Communists.’
8/5/2021

Bloomberg

CHINADebate

|

|
&
|

'Shocked Investors Scour Xi’s Old Speeches to Find Next Target'

‘While China’s policy moves can feel ad hoc particularly to foreign investors, the changes are quite targeted on certain sectors.’
8/5/2021

The Wall Street Journal

CHINADebate

|

Greg Ip | The Wall Street Journal
|
&
|

'China Wants Manufacturing—Not the Internet—to Lead the Economy'

‘Social media, e-commerce and other consumer internet companies are nice to have. But in his view national greatness doesn’t depend on having the world’s finest group chats or ride-sharing.’
8/5/2021

Bloomberg

CHINADebate

|

|
&
|

'China Plans to Exempt H.K. IPOs From Cybersecurity Reviews'

‘China plans to exempt companies going public in Hong Kong from first seeking the approval of the country’s cybersecurity regulator, removing one hurdle for businesses that list in the Asian financial hub instead of the U.S.’
7/18/2021

The Wall Street Journal

CHINADebate

|

The Editorial Board | The Wall Street Journal
|
&
|

'Biden’s Warning on Hong Kong'

‘The pretense of Chinese and Hong Kong authorities is that their crackdown on the rule of law and dissent will have no effect on Hong Kong’s viability as an international center for trade and finance.’
7/18/2021

CHINADebate

CHINADebate

Malcolm Riddell
|

CHINADebate

|
&
|

Why the U.S. Lacks Leverage over China

During the celebration of the Chinese Communist Party’s Centennial celebration, Mr. Xi stood in the same place on the balcony facing Tiananmen Square where Mao Zedong stood when he announced the founding of the PRC; Mr. Xi wore a gray Mao suit, among a sea of blue western suits; and he centered himself right above the portrait of Mao, who is similarly attired.
7/18/2021

Foreign Affairs

CHINADebate

|

Kurt Tong | Asia Group
|
&
|

Hong Kong and the Limits of Decoupling

‘The United States’ inability to make China regret—much less reverse—its transgressions in Hong Kong suggests that financial separation, sanctions, and economic barriers are less reliable tools than many in Washington believe.’
7/18/2021

Nikkei Asia

CHINADebate

|

|
&
|

'I will aim for Mao's Status.'

‘There on the gate was Xi Jinping, Chinese president and party general secretary, in a gray Mao suit. Just below his feet was the portrait of Mao Zedong, also dressed in a gray Mao suit.’
7/18/2021

Financial Times

CHINADebate

|

|
&
|

'US warns companies of risk of doing business in Hong Kong'

“In the face of Beijing’s decisions over the past year that have stifled the democratic aspirations of people in Hong Kong, we are taking action,” said Antony Blinken, US secretary of state. “Today we send a clear message that the US resolutely stands with Hong Kongers.”
7/18/2021

CHINADebate

CHINADebate

Malcolm Riddell
|

CHINADebate

|
&
|

The Chinese Point of View

Here are a few of my thoughts on the importance of Wang Jisi’s ‘The Plot Against China.’ Yuen Yuen Ang’s ‘The Evolution of Chinese Corruption’ speaks for itself - but note especially how Mr. Xi's anti-corruption campaign could hurt China's economy. I have now lived long enough that when a friend complains about his or her spouse, I say to myself, ‘There are no doubt two sides to this story.’
7/4/2021

Foreign Affairs

CHINADebate

|

Wang Jisi | President of the Institute of International and Strategic Studies at Peking University
|
&
|

'How Beijing Sees U.S.-China Relations'

‘In Chinese eyes, the most significant threat to China’s sovereignty and national security has long been U.S. interference in its internal affairs aimed at changing the country’s political system and undermining the CCP.’
7/4/2021

Foreign Affairs

CHINADebate

|

Yuen Yuen Ang | University of Michigan
|
&
|

'How Corruption Powers China's Economy'

‘China has managed to sustain four decades of economic growth despite levels of corruption that even Xi has described as “grave” and “shocking.” Why does it seem to have bucked the trend?’
7/4/2021

Harvard Magazine

CHINADebate

|

Ed Steinfeld | Brown University
Tony Saich
|
Harvard Kennedy School of Government
&
|

'From Rebel to Ruler': Tony Saich on Chinese Communism at 100

‘At so many points during its century-long existence, the CCP appeared to be in its death throes, whether as a result of external attack or self-inflicted internal strife.’
7/1/2021