The US House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, newly formed in January, held its first committee hearing on February 28, 2023 with a focus on human rights. The prime-time evening hearing, a three-hour event, took place amidst rising tensions between the US and China.
“This is not a polite tennis match. This is an existential struggle over what life will look like in the 21st century – and the most fundamental freedoms are at stake,” Representative Mike Gallagher, Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), said as he opened the hearing.
Tuesday’s hearing had four witnesses: H.R. McMaster, former Republican President Donald Trump’s national security adviser; Matt Pottinger, former deputy national security adviser to Trump; Tong Yi, a human rights activist; and Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.
Pottinger advocated for the US government to work with American technology firms and help people in China to “punch holes in the great Chinese firewall.” “In the US, we need to face the fact that we have helped feed the baby dragon of the CCP until it has grown into what it now is,” said Tong Yi. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois, the committee’s top Democrat, stressed the need to “avoid anti-Chinese or Asian stereotyping at all costs.”
Earlier on February 25, Representative Gallagher and other committee members held a rally outside what US officials call an illegal Chinese Communist Party “police station” in New York.
The select committee, comprised of 13 Republican and 11 Democratic members, will not write legislations, but will draw attention on a range of issues related to China and make policy recommendations.