US Lawmakers Issue Dire Warnings on China Competition

Rob Garver

VOA FILE – In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a Chinese honor guard unfurls the Chinese national flag during a flag-raising ceremony to mark the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China held at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Oct. 1, 2022.

In the space of 24 hours this week, a pair of U.S. House committees held hearings exploring the impact of China’s aggressive use of economic power against the U.S. and its allies, and considered measures the U.S. might take to counter Beijing’s efforts.

More than half a dozen witnesses told lawmakers about the ways China uses its economic might to coerce smaller countries into providing favorable trade arrangements and to force businesses that want to operate in China to surrender intellectual property, which is then provided to Chinese-owned competitors.

Other witnesses testified that China’s economic policies are part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s broader ambition to turn China into a globally dominant economic player that will ultimately outweigh the United States on the world stage.

One of the witnesses, Robert Lighthizer, who served as U.S. Trade Representative under former President Donald Trump, captured the tone of both hearings when he said, “It is not an exaggeration to say that the Chinese Communist Party has been waging an economic war against the United States for decades.”

VOA asked the Chinese Embassy to reply to the allegations detailed in the hearings but did not receive a response.

However, last week, when Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin was asked about G-7 countries’ complaints about Chinese economic coercion, he turned the accusation back on the U.S, saying, “If any country should be criticized for economic coercion, it should be the United States. The U.S. has been overstretching the concept of national security, abusing export control and taking discriminatory and unfair measures against foreign companies. This seriously violates the principles of market economy and fair competition.”

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About Joel Cholo Brooks 14504 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.
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