House Republicans Move to Cripple China's Growing Military

Landmark report calls for blacklisting of companies tied to PLA

The U.S. Capitol /
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September 30, 2020

The Congressional China Task Force unveiled a legislative proposal Wednesday to cripple China’s military industrial base by blacklisting any company tied to Chinese armed forces.

After months of closed-door interviews with policymakers, experts, and military officials, the task force presented multiple proposals, including a boycott of companies known to aid China's military. The goal is to economically isolate the People's Liberation Army (PLA), one of the primary instruments of China’s expanding influence.

The report also calls for major increases to the U.S. defense budget to "modernize our nuclear triad and conventional weapons, [and] develop cutting-edge capabilities to counter China in space and cyberspace," Rep. Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.), the China Task Force's deputy chair, told the Washington Free Beacon.

Lawmakers and congressional sources told the Free Beacon the task force's findings should serve as a wake-up call for the American public about the pressing threat China poses.

The report includes nearly 200 legislative proposals that officials hope will undermine China's growing military and ensure the United States has the resources for any potential conflict. The task force, which Congressional Democrats boycotted and labeled a "distraction," hopes the report will serve as a template for GOP leaders as they push a range of policies meant to undermine China.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas), the China Task Force's lead member, said financial blacklists would force American companies to divest from China’s military and its supporting industries.

"We cannot allow the Chinese Communist Party’s military aggression and ambitions to go unchecked on the world stage," McCaul said. "It is critical that we are not unwittingly benefitting the Chinese Communist Party’s military, and there are several recommendations in the report that will help accomplish that goal."

"We shouldn't be using our capital to support companies that are building weapons aimed at the United States," a congressional aide on the task force told the Free Beacon. "As an investor, is it a good long-term strategy to invest in these types of companies when they have a very high potential to come under U.S. government sanctions in the future?"

Along with the blacklists, GOP lawmakers are also considering a proposal to require any companies tied to China's military sector to divest.

The recommendations are meant to identify and address Beijing's fusion of military, business, and politics, according to a senior congressional aide who worked on the report.

China currently boasts the largest navy in the world, rapidly expanded amphibious capacity, and significant leaps in its space and communications technologies. These developments point toward Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s ultimate goal—replacing the United States as the world's foremost military, economic, and technological power by 2049.

The task force report contains a comprehensive list of key military investments the United States must make to maintain its edge over China, including defense budget growth of at least of 3-5 percent each year. Congressional leaders also say the United States must forward deploy troops in the Indo-Pacific region and partner with allies to help push back Communist forces.

Published under: China