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Congress Hold Hearings on China’s Quiet War

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The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability recently convened to spotlight the ongoing threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to the United States. The session, titled “Defending America from the Chinese Communist Party’s Political Warfare, Part I,” served as a critical platform to discuss and dissect the CCP’s multifaceted strategy to infiltrate and influence American institutions and systems.

The Expansive Threat Landscape

The hearing revealed the CCP’s deployment of a sophisticated and broad-reaching campaign targeting key American sectors. From military bases to tech hubs and from the agricultural heartlands to educational institutions, no sector remains untouched by China’s covert operations. This strategy, described by Chairman James Comer, aims to “infiltrate and influence every aspect of American society.” Comer’s statement underscored the CCP’s long-term goal: to shift the global power balance by weakening U.S. leadership and capabilities.

Detailed Accounts of Espionage and Influence

Expert witnesses provided chilling accounts of how the CCP’s actions compromise U.S. national security. Retired Brig. Gen. Robert Spalding highlighted that “we are in a new Cold War,” where the battlefield extends into the economic and informational realms. He detailed how China employs advanced communication tactics to “distort and manipulate the very fabric of our society,” undermining social cohesion and national security.

Retired Col. Grant Newsham echoed these sentiments, noting that China’s tactics include “embedding behind our lines, attacking us from the inside.” He detailed the multifarious methods—from cyberattacks to economic coercion—through which China exerts its influence, stressing the immediate need for recognition and action against these covert operations.

Congressional Oversight and Call to Action

The Oversight Committee articulated a strong commitment to enhancing the federal response to these challenges. There is a pressing need for federal agencies to recognize the breadth and depth of the CCP’s infiltration. As Chairman Comer pointedly remarked, “the threat from the CCP is grave. You must step up and recognize what the CCP is seeking to do to our country.”

Moreover, the committee emphasized the necessity of employing all available resources to thwart these threats effectively. This involves not only defensive measures but also proactive strategies to bolster American resilience and innovation.

Legislative Initiatives and Political Will

Amidst growing awareness of the CCP’s tactics, there is bipartisan support in Congress for implementing robust countermeasures. Recent moves, such as the proposed ban on TikTok, underscore the legislative focus on curtailing CCP’s influence. This app, popular among American youth, has been flagged as a potential tool for Chinese surveillance and propaganda, illustrating the subtlety of CCP’s approach to political warfare.

Future Directions and Public Engagement

The hearing concluded with a call for a comprehensive and informed response to China’s covert operations. The committee’s deliberations highlighted the importance of not only government action but also public awareness and participation in safeguarding national interests.

Chairman Comer’s reflection encapsulates this ethos: “The nation faces a real threat from CCP manipulation. It is a quiet, yet pervasive and dangerous threat that affects Americans every day.” His call to action, emphasizing the need for creative solutions and aggressive methods, resonates as a directive for the entire nation.

Conclusion

The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability has laid out a clear and pressing case for a united and robust response to the Chinese Communist Party’s subtle yet aggressive campaign to undermine U.S. power and influence. The battle may be largely invisible, but it is felt in every corner of American life, necessitating a comprehensive and strategic response at every level of society and government. Both Congress and the Biden Administration have been notably remiss in this area until now.

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