Here's How the U.S. Should Counter China

By Rep. Kevin Hern in Newsweek

Under President Donald Trump, the America First agenda maintained peace through strength.

Rather than putting America First, the Biden administration says its goal is "competition" with China, as if our security is merely a game. White House officials refuse to say that it's in our national interest to counter the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), instead placing climate change at the center of their national security strategy.

Under Xi Jinping, Beijing is perpetuating a genocide against Uyghur Muslims, committing crimes against humanity on Tibetan Buddhists, and has transformed Hong Kong from a stronghold of freedom into a police state. China also seems poised to invade Taiwan in the near future, sending more than 1,700 planes into Taiwan's air defense zone in 2023 alone.

It's not just a problem for Asia: the CCP is already on American soil. President Joe Biden may not take the CCP threat seriously, but I do.

I recently introduced the Countering Communist China Act, a wide-reaching bill designed to counter the CCP's influence in all aspects of American life, strengthen our military preparedness to meet the CCP threat head-on, and protect Americans from the deadly fentanyl crisis fueled by the CCP and aided by cartels in Mexico.

The first step is eradicating the CCP's malign influence in our education system, politics, and even Hollywood.

China has poured nearly $18 million into the American K-12 education system, according to a recent report, and has installed pro-Beijing Confucius Institutes in universities across the nation. This money comes with strings attached—the schools can't teach anything that paints China in a negative light.

Can you imagine American film studios in the 1960s and '70s censoring their movies at the request of the Soviet Union? That's exactly what's happening today with today's Hollywood studios. And in our nation's capital, the CCP funds think tanks, which send their experts to testify in congressional committee hearings or give quotes in the press.

All these efforts on U.S. soil are led by the CCP's United Front Work Department, founded by Mao Zedong. He called it a "magic weapon" to bring victory to communism over democracy.

Former secretary of state Mike Pompeo banned visas for known agents of the United Front, but there is more to be done. My legislation confronts the CCP's influence campaign, imposing sanctions on the United Front and prohibiting any United Front funding from flowing into the U.S. It also requires think tanks and nonprofit organizations to disclose any CCP funding and prohibits paid lobbying for the CCP or its affiliates.

Xi Jinping is taking advantage of freedoms in our private sector that he refuses to grant his own people—notably, China's military-civil fusion ensures that all Chinese companies contribute to the development of their military.

In recent years, the U.S. has sent nearly a trillion dollars to China, our chief economic competitor. If that's not concerning enough, American venture capital firms are investing billions in Chinese companies that funnel directly to China's government and military.

We're essentially allowing Wall Street to finance our own destruction.

It would be impossible to completely decouple our economy from China's without massive, worldwide consequences. However, that should not hinder us from remodeling our economic relationship with China. My bill imposes sanctions on Chinese companies involved in the CCP's military-civil fusion, thereby prohibiting Americans from doing business with such companies. It also requires outbound investment reviews on certain sectors to cut off any American capital going to fuel China's military growth.

Unfortunately, China is able to harm American civilians even without relying on its military. Thanks to Biden's border crisis, over 25 tons of fentanyl have entered through the Southern border, more than enough to kill every American.

Much of the fentanyl in our country originated in China. Mexican cartels process and manufacture China's precursor chemicals into synthetic opioids, which are then smuggled across the border.

China is exporting a weapon of mass destruction into our country, killing thousands of Americans every year.

Shutting down the border would go a long way toward preventing fentanyl deaths, but our bill goes a step further and allows Americans who have lost a loved one to sue CCP officials and uses sanctions to freeze the assets of those individuals.

The Countering Communist China Act is bold, but necessary. It's incumbent upon Congress to safeguard America's future, restore President Trump's peace through strength, and implement maximum pressure on the CCP.

Our relationship with China must change, and fast, to protect American sovereignty.