US Will Use National Interests to Guide Course on China


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The State Department said it will continue using tools such as sanctions and export controls to protect U.S. national security in facing communist China.

WASHINGTON—The United States will use national security interests to shape its policy on communist China and will impose investment restrictions and sanctions when necessary, the State Department told The Epoch Times.

“We have made clear to the Chinese government—the Secretary has made this clear, the President has made this clear—that we will continue to take those actions when it is in our national security interest to do so,” department spokesperson Matthew Miller said during a Dec. 13 press briefing.

Mr. Miller was responding to a question from The Epoch Times regarding a bipartisan proposal by the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party that called for a “reset” on relations with China that put national security and U.S. values at the core of decision-making.

Around 150 policy recommendations from the committee include raising tariffs on China-made goods, restricting outbound investment to China, forcing divestment or banning foreign adversary-controlled social media platforms such as the China-owned app TikTok, remove “high risk” telecom vendors such as Huawei, and setting aside additional funds to offset harms from China’s economic retaliation on American workers.

While the State Department wouldn’t elaborate on its specific proposals, Mr. Miller noted that the administration has imposed restrictions on capital outflows as well as sanctions and export controls that “target specific sectors of the Chinese economy when we’ve seen inappropriate activities.”

“But at the same time, we want the ability to work with China both on issues of mutual concern between our two countries and on broader global issues, when it makes sense to do so,” he added.

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The Biden administration has described its China strategy as one of cooperation, competition, and confrontation.

To turn down the heat on bilateral tensions, top administration officials including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen have made trips to China to engage with their Chinese counterparts. Most recently, the two heads of state sat down together outside San Francisco for their first in-person meeting in a year, touching on issues such as military to military communications, fentanyl, and Taiwan.

But the lawmakers calling for cutting economic ties with China placed little hope that China’s communist regime will play by the rules.

“We spend a lot of time talking about the rules-based global order. But here, we have a pattern of rules-breaking by a country over the course of two decades that is undermining that very order,” Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), who chairs the House committee, told reporters during a press call.

He added that his report “represents an argument that we shouldn’t have wasted a day, let alone a decade, on that old bet.”

“It’s a strategy that, of course, involves tradeoffs. But I [it’s] think a strategy built on the recognition, if nothing else, that the status quo is not working,” he said.

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