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Congress Is Relentless in Combatting Influence by China

The Chinese Communist Party is under intense scrutiny for infiltrating the US.

Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability James Comer (R-KY) and Chairman of the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Mike Gallagher (R-WI) had a busy week. The latter released findings of an investigation that had been in the works for several months on the scourge of China flooding the US with deadly fentanyl. Comer’s committee, in the meantime, heard testimony on the persistent and profound influence of the CCP throughout the United States in nearly every walk of life.

China Tries to Undermine America With Fentanyl

Both committees strongly conveyed that it is dangerously naïve for Congress, American businesses, universities, and citizens to see the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as merely a zealous competitor in global commerce. The PRC is a pervasive threat militarily, economically, and within the American day-to-day social fabric. Gallagher’s committee, in a press release, explained the PRC-sponsored fentanyl epidemic, revealing:

“The fentanyl crisis is one of the most horrific disasters that America has ever faced. On average, fentanyl kills over 200 Americans daily, the equivalent of a packed Boeing 737 crashing every single day…The PRC, under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is the ultimate geographic source of the fentanyl crisis. Companies in China produce nearly all of illicit fentanyl precursors, the key ingredients that drive the global illicit fentanyl trade.”

During the April 16 hearing on the CCP-backed fentanyl crisis, former US Attorney General William Barr; former Chief of Operations, Drug Enforcement Administration, Ray Donovan; and RAND Corporation senior international and defense researcher David Luckey testified on the PRC’s involvement in the devastatingly lethal fentanyl plague facing the US. Comparing the death toll from fentanyl overdoses to the “bloodiest single year of World War II,” former AG Barr, in his opening statement, explained: “We lost 106,000 troops killed in action. In short, we are now sustaining year-in-and-year-out a casualty rate from drug overdoses that exceed the death toll we suffered in a World War.”

Donovan observed that “The PRC directly subsidizes the exports of 97% of fentanyl precursors and deadly fentanyl analogues and other synthetic narcotics that are illegal under its own laws.” In His written testimony, David Lucky pointed out: “Additionally, DHS (Department of Homeland Security) could promote additional technological solutions to enhance border screening of cargo and vehicles at ports of entry.” Stopping the flow of the deadly fentanyl will be a challenge under the best of conditions. The current Biden open border policies will not help.

Chairman Comer’s hearing the following day focused on the extent to which the PRC has intruded into the US through overt actions and a continuous barrage of disinformation calculated to weaken US cultural mores and institutions. Comer explained:

“The CCP’s methods are unconventional and may be hard to recognize. But its destructive ambitions to manipulate American minds, conduct espionage, steal intellectual property and trade secrets, bring fentanyl into our country, and many, many other nefarious influence operations are actively being pursued right under our noses.”

The hearing had an unexpected subtext, as the minority members’ witness, Professor Timothy Snyder of Yale, was not in attendance to shed light on the danger of CCP political warfare against the US. Instead, he was a shill for the Democrats who wanted to talk about what they pushed as a Republican failure to support Ukraine funding.

Raskin Does Beijing’s Work

The direction the minority members would take during the hearing was clear from the opening remarks of Ranking Member Jamie Raskin (D-MD). Raskin sought to divert the conversation from the subject of China toward emphasizing how menacing Russia’s President Putin is in leading the unprovoked invasion and brutal assault on Ukraine. He wanted to talk about how Republicans were not supporting funding for Ukraine’s defense. As important a subject as this might be, it was not the topic of the hearing. Ironically, Raskin’s statement was an excellent example of a CCP disinformation campaign to divert attention from what the CCP is doing in the US.

Whereas the other expert witnesses stayed on topic for the most part, Snyder went so far in his written testimony as to dredge up shades of the totally discredited Russian collusion hoax against former President Donald Trump. Again, Snyder’s focus on diverting the discussion with non sequiturs was just what one would expect from a PRC disinformation campaign. Look at the way Snyder minimized one of the most significant CCP threats to American security – China’s most effective data gathering capability targeting Americans – the social media platform TikTok. “While ByteDance/TikTok is important, it is less so than Twitter and Facebook,” Snyder asserted. That is, of course, false. The CCP does not own Twitter and Facebook. The CCP does own TikTok.

However, it was just another example of the minority members’ attempt to deflect the conversation from the threat of China. Comer and Gallagher are on the front lines fighting the good fight against America’s most significant near-peer national security threat. Killing Americans with fentanyl and attempting to destroy the American culture is the CCP’s objective. Congress must stay relentless in stopping the CCP threat.

The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliate.

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