House Votes to Establish Select Committee on China

On January 10, the House of Representatives established a new Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party. The Committee, which will have bipartisan membership and will be chaired by Mike Gallagher (R-WI), is authorized to hold public hearings and “to investigate and submit policy recommendations on the status of the Chinese Communist Party’s economic, technological, and security progress and its competition with the United States.” However, the Committee will not have legislative authority, meaning it will not have the authority to develop or consider legislation.

The establishment of the Committee is another indication of the growing sentiment among Members of Congress prioritizing strategic competition with the Chinese government as an extension of national security policy. This sentiment has welled over into the scientific community over the past few years – most notably, with the emphasis on research security and targeting conflicts of interest of scientists with ties to the Chinese government (see previous COSSA coverage), which is likely to continue as a priority for the Committee. It is also expected that the Republican members may use the Committee’s jurisdiction to hold hearings to raise concerns about China’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic in a public setting.

COSSA will continue to provide updates on the Committee actions impacting the scientific community as necessary.


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