The congressional China Task Force released a 141-page report on Wednesday outlining 82 key findings about the threat that the Chinese Communist Party poses to the United States and making 430 policy recommendations on how the U.S. needs to respond.
The task force was led by Republicans — despite being in the minority in the House of Representatives — because Democrats refused to participate. Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden, who declared during last night’s debate that he is “the Democratic Party,” has repeatedly downplayed the threat that China poses to the U.S. and recently refused to call China an “opponent” during a CNN town hall.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy forged ahead with the task force, despite receiving no help from Democrats, putting 15 Republicans on the Committee who represent 11 other committees of the House of Representatives.
The Committee focused on investigating six CCP-related challenges that the U.S. faces, including Ideological Competition, Supply Chains, National Security, Technology, Economics and Energy, and Competitiveness.
“After months of virtual and socially distanced, in-person classified and unclassified briefings, the CTF drafted this report with 82 key findings and more than 400 forward leaning recommendations,” the Committee said in a statement. “The CTF prioritized recommendations that have bipartisan support and have already moved forward in the legislative process. As a result, well over half of the legislative recommendations are bipartisan and more than one-third have passed either the House or the Senate. This report is the blueprint for bipartisan actions Congress and the Administration can take now to address the greatest national and economic security challenge of this generation.”
Key findings from the report include:
- Ideological Warfare—Key Finding: The CCP seeks to denigrate democracy and overturn the post-Cold War consensus that democratic governance is the preeminent route to liberty and prosperity. In its place, it seeks to champion socialism with Chinese Characteristics as a legitimate form of government and spread its authoritarian model across the developing world.
- U.S. Diplomatic Resources—Key Finding: Successive administrations have announced plans to “pivot” to, “re-balance” towards, or otherwise prioritize the Indo-Pacific since 2013. Backed up by the 2017 National Security Strategy and the 2018 National Defense Strategy, there is bipartisan consensus that the Indo-Pacific is the U.S.’ prevailing foreign policy and defense priority for the foreseeable future. Despite this, the allocation of diplomatic resources for the region has failed to reflect this strategic priority.
- Malign Influence & United Front Work—Key Finding: Using covert, coercive influence to advance its interests inside other countries is an intrinsic part of the CCP’s nature. The CCP’s United Front Work Department (UFWD) cultivates and controls pervasive networks of affiliates around the world. Through overseas “United Front Work,” the CCP has gained effectively unchallenged direction over vast swaths of the world’s Chinese diaspora organizations and Chinese-language media, providing infrastructure for corruption, political interference, and malign influence.
- Human Rights—Key Finding: Human rights are a dimension of the free world’s competition with the CCP, no less than security or economics. At home, the CCP is the world’s most accomplished human rights abuser, depriving 1.4 billion human beings of their fundamental rights. Internationally, the CCP is advancing its revisionist definition of human rights that substitutes collective material advancement for individual liberties. The CCP’s threat to human rights extends far beyond its domestic borders, threatening the national security of the U.S. and its our like-minded partners. The CCP is perfecting, modeling, and distributing a system of repression that empowers authoritarian regimes like itself and degrades the values on which democracy is built.
- Global Corruption—Key Finding: The CCP channels corruption as a tool of domestic control and geopolitical advantage. The U.S. and likeminded democracies remain among the most attractive destinations for kleptocrats to stash their ill-gotten gains, hide assets from the dictators they prop up, and escape the authoritarian system they help build. Globally, and especially in the developing world, the CCP deploys strategic corruption, using bribes and kickbacks for geopolitical advantage.
- Environment/Conservation—Key Finding: The CCP is preying on the international community’s prioritization of climate change, posturing itself as an essential partner to collect undue credit and discourage nations from responding to malign CCP behavior. The CCP claims a self-interested, hollow, and revisionist definition of environmental leadership, in which the CCP gains geopolitical clout for empty gestures while wreaking global environmental havoc for its own advantage.
- International Organizations—Key Finding: To advance its own interests, the CCP is undertaking a concerted strategy to subvert the U.S. built, post-WWII international system to its ideological and geopolitical advantage. The CCP seeks to install its handpicked personnel in key positions and redefine the norms the UN was built to preserve. A U.S. counterstrategy, in partnership with its key allies, should push the CCP to change its behavior and stop its efforts to revise the UN, while demonstrating the strength of democracies and reasserting democratic values, human rights, and the rule of law.
- Information Statecraft—Key Finding: The CCP is undertaking massive global efforts to control information and its means of transmission in order to cement its power, conduct propaganda and disinformation campaigns, promote its geopolitical objectives, and build its “discourse power,” or its ability to conduct ideological warfare. The CCP seeks to control information, the technologies and platforms that transmit information, and the laws and norms that govern information to advance an authoritarian information model that acts as a transmission vector for authoritarianism.
- Ideological Allies—Key finding: The U.S.’ extensive networks of allies and security partners, based on common principles, is an asymmetric advantage over the CCP. These allies and partners are awakening to the CCP threat, and the U.S. should amplify and reinforce defenses of shared values and national sovereignty in the face of CCP aggression.
- Ideological Allies—Key Finding: Taiwan is a critical focal point in the free world’s confrontation with the CCP, and under a more direct threat of CCP armed aggression than any other U.S. partner. In Xi Jinping’s words, the forced annexation of Taiwan is “critical to the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” and is the CCP’s overarching objective to overcome the PRC’s colonial legacy. Xi has implied that he aims to control Taiwan during his rule.
- U.S. Defense Industrial Base—Key Finding: The CCP represents a significant and growing risk to the supply of materials and technologies deemed critical to U.S. national security, and U.S. dependency on the CCP has created gaps and vulnerabilities in the industrial base that must be eliminated. Greater transparency and U.S. understanding of the CCP’s penetration into the U.S. defense industrial base is required.
- Sensitive and Strategic Materials—Key Finding: The CCP is seeking to control global sensitive and strategic materials, upon which U.S. national security, economic growth, and energy independence are on dependent on. The U.S. must secure the U.S.’ critical supply of sensitive and strategic materials in order to reduce its reliance on the CCP.
- Semiconductors—Key Finding: The PRC is the largest market for semiconductors in terms of consumption and has ambitious goals for the continued development of its domestic semiconductor industry. The U.S. should encourage trusted vendors to invest in new, advanced semiconductor fabrication in the U.S. and with trusted allies and partners.
- Supply Chain Diplomacy—Key Finding: The CCP’s massive subsidies and statedirected predatory industrial policies have undermined critical supply chains, and in some cases hollowed out critical industries in the U.S. and other countries. The U.S. response so far has been too slow and reactive; it has failed to establish a threat-specific supply chain strategy and expand partnerships with allies, likeminded nations, and the private sector to shift key supply chains to affordable and more secure locations while maximizing the competitiveness of U.S. industries producing these products.
- Health, Medical Supply, and Pharmaceutical Security—Key Finding: The PRC is actively developing, producing, and controlling the most important medical and pharmaceutical products, leaving physical and economic health in the U.S. vulnerable to the CCP’s priorities. Additionally, U.S. supply chains for certain medical and pharmaceutical products have become too reliant on the PRC, undermining our medical and national independence. To mitigate the PRC’s dominance in the medical supply chain, it is imperative that the U.S. develop market-based incentives without imposing sweeping government mandates or controls in order to increase U.S. domestic manufacturing and cooperation with trusted allies and partners.
- Health, Medical Supply, and Pharmaceutical Security—Key Finding: The CCP uses a full range of policy tools to incentivize or mandate more influence over the medical and pharmaceutical industry. Allowing supply chains for key medical products to be concentrated in the PRC is much riskier than sourcing from otherwise affordable and more secure partners or encouraging domestic production. Changing U.S. tax incentives to relocate such key supply chains back to the U.S. will be instrumental for the U.S. to compete with the PRC in this market.
- Defense—Key Finding: The CCP is rapidly developing a military force capable of winning regional conflicts and is expanding its military footprint globally. The PRC has set benchmarks for completing military modernization by 2035 and becoming a world class military by 2049, which could complicate U.S. military operations in a contingency or conflict.
- Defense—Key Finding: The PRC has large quantities of ground-based missiles due in large part to not being party to the recently terminated Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The PRC is now the leading theater range missile power with both dual conventional and nuclear delivery capabilities.
- Defense—Key Finding: The CCP has been modernizing its nuclear forces steadily since 1996, increasing the quantity of its arsenal as well as improving quality. The CCP’s nuclear stockpile, currently publicly estimated to be in the low 200s, is expected to at least double over the next decade. The PRC is developing or modernizing its air, sea, and land-based nuclear capabilities in pursuit of a “nuclear triad” and has also emphasized the need for lower yield weapons. U.S. military nuclear modernization, meanwhile, has lagged.
- Defense—Key Finding: The CCP is using electronic warfare, counter-space, and cyber capabilities to disrupt, paralyze, or destroy U.S. operational capabilities and early warning, navigation, and communication systems. Additionally, the CCP is using emerging technologies, including hypersonics, robotics, quantum computing, AI, and machine learning to gain operational advantages against the U.S.
- Defense—Key Finding: The CCP’s approach to funding security requirements and its military has been deliberate and substantial. Its increased military spending has allowed for steady, sustainable expenditure growth and qualitative improvements throughout the PLA. By contrast, U.S. defense budget uncertainty and underfunding continue to gravely undermine military readiness and lethality.
- Defense—Key Finding: The CCP’s ability to escalate using conventional and nuclear capabilities across multiple domains, as well as its gray-zone tactics between peace and war, pose novel challenges to U.S. military strategy and operational concepts and could constrain U.S. options to respond in potential contingencies or conflicts.
- Defense—Key Finding: The CCP’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea, East China Sea, and Taiwan Strait highlight Beijing’s intentions to use coercive actions and force, if necessary, to advance its territorial objectives in the Indo-Pacific region.
- Defense—Key Finding: The CCP is expanding its global security footprint through the acquisition and leasing of ports, airfields, and critical information and technology infrastructure around the world. These efforts pose a threat to global U.S. military operations.
- Allies and Partners— Key Finding: Allies and partners are force multipliers and are fundamental for deterrence, peace, and stability. Upholding these relationships through exchanges of information, bilateral or multilateral military exercises, and coordination in security cooperation efforts is in the U.S.’ national interest.
- Space and Cyberspace Capabilities—Key Finding: The CCP is looking to become a space superpower. The PRC now launches more satellites than any other nation in the world. The CCP has integrated management over cyberspace, space and electronic warfare under the PLA’s Strategic Support Force. The CCP’s intent is to reduce the effectiveness of U.S. and allied militaries by reducing U.S. competitive technological advantage.
- Space and Cyberspace Capabilities—Key Finding: While U.S. military power has so far deterred CCP military aggression below the threshold of the use of military force, malign CCP cyber activities have continued with few consequences. Left unchecked, these activities threaten the security of classified information, the ability of our weapons systems to perform their intended missions, and more.
- Critical Infrastructure and Cyber Security—Key Finding: The threat the CCP poses to U.S. critical infrastructure is real and growing. Lifeline sectors, including defense, energy (electricity, oil, natural gas, nuclear), financial services, transportation, telecommunications, and water are critical to national security. The U.S. must prioritize efforts to elevate and monitor security concerns and test its response. Mitigation measures must be continuous, adaptative, and forward-looking.
- Critical Infrastructure and Cyber Security—Key Finding: A resilient cyber ecosystem is essential for reducing the risk of a significant attack on military and critical infrastructure systems and the open economy
- Counterintelligence and Illicit Activities—Key Finding: U.S. prosecutions of CCP economic espionage and theft of U.S. trade secrets have risen sharply over the past several years, requiring greater resources.
- Chinese Surveillance Activities—Key Finding: The CCP is using social-media platforms and mobile applications to collect information on Americans, which threatens U.S. national and economic security.
- Counterintelligence and Illicit Activities—Key Finding: Greater collaboration and information sharing with allies and partners is critical to effectively and efficiently respond to security threats and challenges posed by the CCP and hold the CCP responsible for its track record of malevolent actions against the U.S. and other nations.
- Intellectual Property (IP) Theft—Key Finding: The CCP seeks to overtake the U.S. as the global leader in technology through IP theft, industrial espionage, and other hostile acts, which are conducted through official state actions as well as unofficial/covert state actions and policies that incentivize malign activity by non-state actors in the PRC.1
- Intellectual Property (IP) Theft—Key Finding: The CCP seeks to damage or destroy the value of the IP of U.S. businesses, thereby inflicting economic harm to the U.S., while simultaneously enabling PRC firms to profit from the theft of that IP. Moreover, the CCP seeks to disrupt the U.S. economy by exploiting the IP systems of the U.S. to give PRC firms an edge over U.S. competitors, such as by raising costs or creating obstacles for U.S. businesses.
- Immigrant Visas for CCP Members—Key Finding: CCP Members seeking to engage in illicit conduct in the United States have utilized, and will continue to utilize, programs and loopholes in U.S. immigration law and policy in order to enter the country, remain here long-term, and eventually become U.S. citizens.
- Immigrant Visas for CCP Members—Key Finding: The Immigration and Nationality Act does not specifically prevent members of the CCP from using the U.S. immigration system to gain a foothold in the United States.
- Illicit Fentanyl—Key Finding: Illicit fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances are predominately sourced from the PRC and Mexico. These lethal drugs continue to fuel the U.S. opioid crisis. In 2016 and 2017 alone, more Americans died from opioid overdoses than U.S. servicemember deaths in the entire Vietnam War. Strikingly, deaths involving synthetic opioids such as fentanyl from 2017 to 2018 rose by 10 percent and accounted for 67 percent of opioid-involved deaths in 2018.
- Research Security—Key Finding: The CCP is engaged in a whole-of-society effort to target and extract information and technology from U.S. institutions of higher learning, research institutions, and businesses. Lax security around sensitive technology research and the desire of U.S. institutions of higher learning for additional sources of funding allow the CCP to take advantage of U.S. educational systems and research institutions.
- Election Security and Domestic Influence—Key Finding: The CCP has attempted to interfere in past elections and continues to influence election dynamics and outcomes.
- Domestic Influence Campaigns—Key Finding: The CCP uses a broad variety of influence mechanisms to advance its interests in the U.S., and particularly in Washington, D.C. These include both overt and covert efforts to corrupt U.S. interests, institutions, and individuals through lobbying and funding for key think tanks, events, and programming.
- Domestic Influence Campaigns—Key Finding: The UFWD operates in the U.S. to advance CCP interests in American society, without a concerted federal response, or even meaningful public awareness of UFWD activities and affiliate organizations.
- Emerging Technologies—Key Finding: As the CCP pursues an aggressive plan to become the world’s leader in AI by 2030, U.S. leadership in the development and adoption of AI underpinned by democratic U.S. values, is imperative to national and economic security.
- Emerging Technologies—Key Finding: The U.S. and the CCP are in a global race for deployment of 5G wireless technology. The CCP seeks to increase its global power by building 5G infrastructure domestically and abroad to dominate standard-setting, technological development, and the global supply chain. The U.S. must promote private and public cooperation on rapid 5G deployment by private industry for consumer services and innovation, economic growth, and national security.
- Emerging Technologies—Key Finding: Quantum information science and technology is poised to redefine the next generation of scientific and technological breakthroughs. The U.S. must accelerate efforts to secure leadership in the quantum sector as the CCP invests heavily in quantum technologies and threatens to shift the balance of global power through the next quantum revolution.
- Emerging Technologies—Key Finding: The U.S. must continue to lead in the development of autonomous vehicles (AV). The CCP is using knowledge it is gaining by on-road testing in the U.S. to plan how to dominate the autonomous transportation sector in the decades ahead. U.S. leadership in the growing AV ecosystem is critical to domestic job creation and retention and the long-term health of our economy.
- Emerging Technologies—Key Finding: The U.S. must continue to develop and deploy enabling technologies for cybersecurity and grow the cyber workforce to support those technologies as the CCP presents a persistent cyber threat to the U.S.
- Emerging Technologies—Key Finding: The CCP’s biotechnology industry has been growing rapidly in the past decade as part of a CCP strategy to challenge the U.S.’ global dominance in the bioeconomy. The U.S. must lead the safe development of new and emerging technologies in the biological sciences to drive economic growth, improve public health, protect the food supply, and prevent new biological threats.
- Emerging Technologies—Key Finding: U.S. leadership in advanced manufacturing across industrial sectors is imperative to put the U.S. on the leading edge of new products, processes, and services, as the CCP seeks to move up the value chain away from its traditional reliance on mass production of low-end goods to more high-tech manufacturing.
- Emerging Technologies—Key Finding: The U.S., in coordination with its allies, must bring like-minded nations into a multilateral consortium for enabling the private sector to develop alternatives to PRC companies, like Huawei, and build a trusted allied network for sharing critical R&D as well as IP.
- Emerging Technologies—Key Finding: The Administration should work with its allies and private industry to continue shaping the standards and the future international governance of emerging e-technologies, to counter the CCP’s efforts to dominate and manipulate international standards setting bodies.
- Space Exploration and Technologies—Key Finding: As the CCP seeks to attract international partners to support its own space exploration goals and expand its influence, the U.S. must maintain its presence in low-Earth orbit, return U.S. astronauts to the Moon, chart a future path for human exploration of Mars, and maintain a steady commitment to space science missions. U.S. civilian space exploration efforts impact and aid multiple national interests, including the economy, national security, scientific advances, and diplomacy.
- Space Exploration and Technologies—Key Finding: As the PRC seeks to foster a new domestic commercial space industry under the influence and control of the CCP, the U.S. must maintain free-market principles and streamline regulations to provide a stable and attractive environment for private investment and operations. The U.S. must also protect private sector interests against the theft of IP, the exploitation of space science collaborations, and the manipulation of PRC investment to ensure the viability of this nascent and promising domestic industry.
- Space Exploration and Technologies—Key Finding: The growth of orbital debris in Earth’s orbit from defunct satellites, spent rockets, and other human-made debris threatens civilian, commercial, and military activity in outer space.
- Privacy Risk and Consumer Protection—Key Finding: The CCP does not share the same set of values, including a respect for the privacy of its own citizens, as the U.S. and other nations. The CCP has a record of using official government resources and companies with CCP affiliations to compromise the data of people around the world. The U.S., not the CCP, should lead the world in developing practices and technologies that impact consumer privacy and establish new norms for the protection of data and digital commerce.
- Privacy Risk and Consumer Protection—Key Finding: The Administration’s “Clean Network” initiative is further safeguarding the nation’s assets by shining a light on threats to citizens’ privacy and companies’ most sensitive information that may be vulnerable to intrusion by the CCP. By promoting internationally accepted digital trust standards, the program can continue to expand the coalition of trusted partners, and in doing so adjust to the rapidly changing technology and economics of global markets.
- Setting a Positive Agenda and Advancing U.S. Trade and Commercial Interests—Key Finding: The PRC’s trade and economic policies are based on flouting international norms and aggressively seeking an advantage, particularly where there are no rules. Its unfair trade practices pose particular challenges because they systematically undermine fair competition and create damaging global overcapacity through grossly distorting subsidization, IP theft, forced technology transfer, localization policies, and the use of state-owned enterprises to outcompete U.S. companies and their workers.
- Setting a Positive Agenda and Advancing U.S. Trade and Commercial Interests—Key Finding: The CCP’s survival depends on accelerating and deepening the PRC’s economic integration with the rest of the world. The PRC seeks to shift the global center of economic and investment activity to Beijing by dominating global markets through unfair advantage and outright theft of technology and IP while protecting its own market from competition. Working with allies to address the PRC’s barriers and strengthening economic ties and the economic rule of law with U.S. allies will provide a crucial counterweight to the PRC.
- Setting a Positive Agenda and Advancing U.S. Trade and Commercial Interests—Key Finding: The PRC has abused its membership in the WTO to its advantage, meeting obligations only on its own terms, blocking consensus on new disciplines, claiming developing country status with entitlement to “special and differential treatment” even though it meets objective tests to be considered a developed country, and disregarding transparency requirements to shroud its barriers.
- Setting a Positive Agenda and Advancing U.S. Trade and Commercial Interests—Key Finding: The CCP is attempting to reshape international norms, standards, and trade networks through BRI. It is leveraging these predatory loans and economic dependencies to give its companies an unfair advantage in third countries, create leverage for future political concessions and military access to infrastructure, and co-opt countries for their votes at international bodies.
- Setting a Positive Agenda and Advancing U.S. Trade and Commercial Interests—Key Finding: The CCP is acting against the fundamental goals of IFIs through its disregard for the rule of law, human rights, and international norms. These behaviors, combined with Beijing’s establishment of alternative lending institutions, undermine a rules-based financial system and disadvantage countries that need special financial support.
- Setting a Positive Agenda and Advancing U.S. Trade and Commercial Interests—Key Finding: The CCP’s aggressive efforts to develop, expand, and dominate long-term nuclear energy relationships with other nations is a geostrategic and economic threat to the U.S. Without a robust and comprehensive approach to nuclear energy, the U.S. risks ceding global competitiveness to the PRC’s state-owned enterprises that will undermine its national security interests and decrease its own technological and industrial capabilities in the long term while resulting in an increase to proliferation and safety risks.
- Setting a Positive Agenda and Advancing U.S. Trade and Commercial Interests—Key Finding: The CCP is looking for alternatives to a U.S.-driven Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) market. The U.S. should continue to lead in the investment and innovation in this sector and drive the international market for this resource.
- Setting a Positive Agenda and Advancing U.S. Trade and Commercial Interests—Key Finding: The U.S. must maintain its energy independence and security as a net exporter of oil and gas for national security and economic prosperity, particularly in terms of pushing back on the CCP’s BRI. The U.S. must also ensure supply chains associated with domestic oil and gas companies are secure and protected.
- Setting a Positive Agenda and Advancing U.S. Trade and Commercial Interests—Key Finding: It is critical that the U.S. continue to enhance the security of its energy grid, particularly its bulk-power system (BPS). The U.S. should ensure that BPS equipment from foreign adversaries that pose security risks is not acquired, transferred or installed here in the U.S.
- Protecting U.S. Industries and Technology from Malign Influence—Key Finding: Existing multilateral export control regimes, such as the Wassenaar Arrangement for conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies, are too cumbersome to keep pace with rapidly evolving technological innovations. The CCP is exploiting weaknesses in the international system, including inconsistent licensing policies among Wassenaar members, to gain access to cutting-edge technology that strengthens its military and surveillance state to the detriment of U.S. national security and foreign policy interests.
Continue reading the rest of the key findings here.
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