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The threat of a belligerent China on U.S., Idaho businesses

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Jim Risch

While the world has been rightly focused on containing the COVID-19 pandemic that originated in Wuhan, China, the Chinese Communist Party has taken the opportunity to become increasingly belligerent on the international stage. In just a few short months, the CCP has voided Hong Kong’s autonomy guaranteed by an international treaty, expanded its internment of Uyghurs Muslims in western China, and engaged in an aggressive campaign to sow false information in response to the legitimate criticism the CCP has received for its role in the COVID-19 pandemic. China’s communist leadership is actively working to impose its interests on the world, and with each passing month, it becomes an increasingly serious and grave threat to democratic societies everywhere. They must be stopped and we must be the ones to lead it.

Although these activities have significantly increased in recent months, they are not new. For decades, the CCP has made strategic moves to strengthen its foothold on the international stage and consolidate domestic power. We now know the extent to which the CCP conducted a sweeping program of espionage and cyber theft to steal intellectual property and research developed at American universities and national labs funded by U.S. taxpayers. The CCP has similarly stolen trade secrets, and encouraged state-owned businesses to do so, profiting from the successes of American companies by any means possible. These activities have affected Idaho companies as well, evidenced by the now well-known and well-documented incident whereby spies for a Chinese state-owned company stole memory chip technology developed by Micron Technologies, patented it, then brazenly sued Micron for patent infringement in Chinese courts.

The CCP has also clearly demonstrated its insistence on stamping out any dissent that threatens to undermine its political agenda. We witnessed this during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic as the Chinese government silenced those who raised the alarm about the real and devastating effects of the emerging coronavirus. The CCP intentionally misled international organizations like the World Health Organization about what was known and suspected about the virus, while jailing reporters and outspoken Chinese citizens to stem the flow of critical and life-saving information.

China is the single most significant threat facing the United States, and we must act swiftly to protect our sovereignty and push back against China’s increasingly dangerous conduct. Last month, I proposed the first comprehensive bill to put us on a stronger path to compete with China. The STRATEGIC Act will introduce tough new measures aimed at leveling the playing field to safeguard American interests and strengthen and sustain U.S. leadership for decades to come. Additionally this year, I have sponsored bipartisan legislation to crack down on the CCP’s efforts to steal American taxpayer-funded research and intellectual property, and bipartisan bills to counter China’s attempts to control the global supply chains for critical minerals and semiconductors, which are central to U.S. national security.

As Idahoans and Americans, we must continue to prioritize our core values of liberty and freedom and promote the free market system that helped the United States and the rest of the world develop and prosper. The CCP’s decisions and actions affect not only Idahoans, but all U.S. citizens, and pose a real threat to safety, security and freedom within our own borders. I will continue to protect Idaho’s people, businesses, universities, and laboratories from the aggressive pursuits of the Chinese Communist Party, and will keep working to ensure that America is positioned to defend against an increasingly hostile and authoritarian China in the decades to come.

U.S. Senator for Idaho Jim Risch is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. To learn more about his legislation to compete with China, the STRATEGIC Act, visit www.risch.senate.gov .

About Sen. Jim Risch

2 comments

  1. Jim,
    Thank you for your statement. What you say about China is absolutely true. The TSA has stopped Chinese Nationals at our borders with (undeclared) bio-agents in their luggage on multiple occasions. Any of these could have unleashed a wave of sickness and death across the US. Instead, it occurred in China and spread to the rest of the world. This, too, may have been intended as China has an abundance of population and has never been remorse about killing their own people. This is a new form of warfare that isn’t even being discussed. Stay vigilant.

  2. Gee, much of this article sounds like the authoritarian we have in the White House. Voided American’s constitutional rights to peacefully assemble by deploying unidentified secret police. Interning immigrants at our southern border, separating families and locking up children. Aggressive campaign in sowing disinformation? That’s rich, the lies coming from the White House look like the tote board at a Jerry Lewis Telethon; constantly becoming greater. What are we up to now? I lost count after 15,000 that have been documented.

    Senator Risch, no doubt China is a bad actor and will need to be dealt with through sanctions but also diplomacy. I would turn your attention to the home front and do what the people of Idaho elected you to do; protect and support the interest of the people of Idaho instead of cowering to a want-to-be dictator. By your inaction solely because you crave power, you have allowed an inmate to run the asylum.

    This version of the Republican party is not the one I grew up with and shame on your for claiming to be one. Your silence and inaction makes you and all members of the Republican party an accomplice to standing we not only have on the world stage but the allow Civil War-like separation of the country. You know the actions of the man in the White House are wrong but rather than holding him accountable, your mindset is one of, “don’t say anything, we don’t want to upset dad.”

    China is a problem but the man you embrace is a greater danger and the sad thing…you know it.