US Senate passes key bill to combat Chinese competitiveness

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AUSTIN, TX - JUNE 08: Texas Governor Greg Abbott signs Senate Bills 2 and 3 at a press conference at the Capitol on June 8, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Governor Abbott signed the bills into law to reform the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and weatherize and improve the reliability of the state's power grid. The bill signing comes months after a disastrous February winter storm that caused widespread power outages and left dozens of Texans dead. Montinique Monroe/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Montinique Monroe / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

PTI

Washington

The US Senate has passed a major legislative package aimed at improving the country’s economic competition with China and holding its Communist government accountable for predatory tactics.

The important anti-China bill was passed by the Senate with 68-32 votes. It is considered a major political victory by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer who had made it a top priority.

The US Innovation and Competition Act invests more than USD 100 billion of taxpayer funds to solidify the United States’ leadership in scientific and technological innovation critical to national security and economic competitiveness.

It will also strengthen the security of essential supply chains, and US ability to solve supply-chain disruptions during crises.

Additionally, the bill increases funding for National Science Foundation activities.

“Passing this bill — now called the US Innovation and Competition Act — is the moment when the Senate lays the foundation for another century of American leadership. Let me say that again: this bill could be the turning point for American leadership in the 21st Century,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.

This legislation will go down as one of the most significant, bipartisan achievements of the US Senate in recent history, the senior Democratic Senator said.

“Around the globe, authoritarian governments believe that squabbling democracies like ours can’t unite around national priorities. They believe that democracy itself is a relic of the past, and that by beating us to emerging technologies, many of them will be able to re-shape the world in their own image,” he said.

The ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) has made no bones about its desire for global economic dominance through whatever means necessary. They’ve actively worked to buy up, influence, spy on and steal American innovation, Senator Chuck Grassley said.

This bill will help the US stop foreign governments from stealing our research and innovation, so that American taxpayer-funded research will be used to create jobs for hard-working Americans, Senator Rob Portman said.

Meanwhile, Beijing has denounced the bill calling it a thinly veiled attack on China’s political system and an attempt to hinder its development.

The Foreign Affairs Committee of China’s ceremonial legislature, the National People’’s Congress, issued a scathing statement on Wednesday expressing its “strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition” to the US Innovation and Competition Act.”

“This bill seeks to exaggerate and spread the so-called ‘China threat’ to maintain global American hegemony, using human rights and religion as excuses to interfere in China’s domestic politics, and deprive China of its legitimate development rights,” the statement said.

“No force should expect that China will swallow any bitter fruit that harms China’s sovereignty, security or development interests,” it said. It echoed language used by President Xi Jinping, who has adopted an aggressive foreign policy that responds harshly to any perceived attacks on China’s reputation.