Congressman Barr, an original House China Task Force member and current member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation, spoke on the House floor in support of the measure.
Washington, D.C.— U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY), a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee voted today in favor of establishing a Select Committee on China. Congressman Barr delivered remarks on the House floor in support of the measure. His full speech is available by clicking here and is transcribed below:
“The Chinese Communist Party is intent on replacing the United States as the world's preeminent economic, military, and technological power. They have a sophisticated plan to challenge American hegemony and leverage every possible avenue to finance their goals. Defending against these advances is one of the most significant geopolitical challenges of a generation.
“So today the house, led by speaker Kevin McCarthy, is voting to establish a select committee on China to do just that. This Select Committee will examine the threats from the Chinese communist party with a fine-tooth comb and expose them for the American people and for the whole world to fully understand. In addition, we will develop concrete solutions for how we can better position the United States to prevail in this competition and ensure that the 21st century is led by the United States and defined by a rules-based international order.
“The stakes are high and the CCP's list of offenses against the norms of international order are long. From violating an international treaty and dismantling Hong Kong’s civil liberties, egregious zero tolerance COVID-19 restrictions in mainland China that led to mass protests with brutal crackdowns from CCP authorities. Oppressing ethnic minorities, persecuting Uighurs and Tibetans, conducting increasingly belligerent provocations on land, air, and in cyberspace. Using debt-trap diplomacy through the Belt and Road Initiative to assert colonial dominance over lesser developed countries. Engaging in economic warfare through unfair trade practices. The theft of $600 billion of intellectual property from American businesses each year through the forced transfer of technology. Threatening through military, economic and diplomatic coercion the democracy in Taiwan. And last year, and the year before, the threat from the CCP came into focus when the CCP silenced doctors, corrupted the World Health Organization to spread disinformation, cover up substandard biosecurity at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, leading to a deadly virus becoming a global pandemic killing millions, devastating the global economy, and giving the CCP the opportunity to weaponize the global supply chain against the West.
“But many Americans may not be aware that Beijing’s malign activities are fueled in part by unwitting American investors. In 2020, $120 billion of US foreign direct investment flowed into China from American businesses and investors. Mr. Speaker, the United States is the economic envy of the world because we possess a capitalist free market economy, the deepest, most competitive liquid capital markets on planet earth and this empowers individual investors and businesses to make decisions for themselves. But we cannot allow Wall Street, banks, asset managers, global equity index providers to fuel the rise of the CCP military and surveillance companies hellbent on targeting Americans.
“These companies pose an imminent and growing threat to American national security and the security of our allies and that's why I will be reintroducing the Chinese Military and Surveillance Company Sanctions Act of 2021 in the 118th Congress. Legislation that uses the economic power of the United States through OFAC to sanction Chinese companies that threaten US national security.
“I commend speaker McCarthy for following through on his promise to create the select committee, for naming congressman Mike Gallagher chairman of the committee who has been a fighter on the front lines and will do a great job leading this committee.
“I will close with this: Every president from Harry Truman to George H.W. Bush understood the need to confront the threat from the Soviet Union and defend the United States and our principles against communism. Because of that bipartisan commitment and because of the strength and vitality of the American system our nation was victorious in the Cold War. We must come together again as Republicans and Democrats to confront this generational challenge. I yield back.”