China has been advocating for U.S. executives, companies, and business groups to oppose legislation in the U.S. Congress that pertains to China, four sources aware of the initiative told Reuters.
Letters from China's embassy in DC have called upon executives to push U.S. lawmakers to change or ditch certain pieces of legislation that aim to bolster American competitiveness, the outlet reported, citing the text of a letter it had viewed and the unnamed sources.
Here's more from the outlet:
Sweeping legislation to boost U.S. competition with China and fund much-needed semiconductor production, known as the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), passed the Senate with bipartisan support in June. A related bill in the House of Representatives called the Eagle Act, which is more strictly policy focused, has stalled as Congress has been preoccupied with other domestic initiatives.
The language in the letters, which Reuters determined were sent separately to a wide number of people, explicitly asks companies to oppose USICA and the Eagle Act.
Beijing sees the measures, which take a hard line toward China on human rights and trade issues, as part of a U.S. effort to counter the country's growing economic and geopolitical might.
The rise of communist China on the world stage poses a threat to America's ongoing global military and economic dominance.
"We sincerely hope you ... will play a positive role in urging members of Congress to abandon the zero-sum mindset and ideological prejudice, stop touting negative China-related bills, delete negative provisions, so as to create favorable conditions for bilateral economic and trade cooperation before it is too late," the Chinese embassy declared in a letter sent this month, according to Reuters.
"The result of those China-related bills with negative impacts will not be that the interests of U.S. companies will be protected while those of Chinese companies will suffer. It is only going to hurt everyone," the letter read. "Promoting a China-free supply chain will inevitably result in a decline in China's demand for U.S. products and American companies loss of market share and revenue in China."
Two sources noted that similar ideas were communicated during meetings with Chinese embassy staff, according to Reuters.
The outlet reported that a "source said the approach appeared geared at getting companies to delay the legislative process rather than block the bills entirely."
When asked earlier this week whether China or climate change poses a bigger threat, John Kirby, assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs, said they "are equally important," though he also noted that the U.S. Department of Defense considers China its top pacing challenge.
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