Congressional report calls for ‘reset’ of economic ties, warns US investors of supporting China’s defense industry.
By Chris Taylor for RFA
December 13, 2023
China's foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning attends a press conference in Beijing, China July 26, 2023.
Beijing on Wednesday blasted a U.S. congressional committee report accusing the Chinese Communist Party of pursuing a multi-decade campaign of economic aggression aimed at hollowing out the American economy, calling it “dedicated to attacking and smearing China.”
The report further accused the party, often called the CCP, of “military-civil fusion,” and warned U.S. investors against “unwittingly” supporting China’s defense industry, emerging technology companies, and human rights abuses.
Tuesday’s report by the House Select Committee on the CCP called for a “reset” of economic relations with Beijing aimed at ensuring that China abide by its trade commitments.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told reporters at a press conference in Beijing that the report was “full of prejudice and hostility and can be said to be completely irrational.”
The report comes amid increasing tensions between the world’s leading superpowers, despite attempts by the U.S. to defuse the tensions with a barrage of diplomatic missions and China’s recent back downs on what was formerly called “wolf-warrior diplomacy.”
Last month, U.S. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met in San Francisco and agreed to restore military communications and to cooperate on better terms.
It’s unknown whether the select committee’s recommendations will be taken up in Washington, but the strong language suggests that frictions are from over between the two economic titans.
'Gravediggers of capitalism'
One Taipei political source who asked to be anonymous because of the delicacy of the issue said that China was likely to continue to roll back outright hostility to the United States and that the committee report was unlikely to have much impact.
“The ‘wolf warrior’ days are over but Xi is not going to outright admit it,” agreed Wu’er Kaixi, a Tiananmen Square student leader and exile, as well as Taiwan parliamentary representative of human rights. “They’ll protest, of course, but it will just be words.”
The U.S. report accused the CCP of pursuing economic policies aimed at fulfilling Xi’s directive to be the ‘gravediggers of capitalism.’”
The party has “employed extensive mercantilist and coercive policies to hollow out the American economy and displace American workers and has wielded extensive subsidies at unprecedented levels and market access – in what the former director of the National Security Agency called ‘the greatest transfer of wealth’ in history.”
American investors, the report added, have “wittingly and unwittingly” supported China’s “defense industry, emerging technology companies, and human rights abuses.”
The report accused China of not living up to its responsibilities upon accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001 and of “undermining” and “impairing” benefits the U.S. and the world expected from improved trade relations with China.
Edited by Mike Firn and Malcolm Foster.