ICYMI: McCaul, Leader McCarthy, China Task Force Members Roll Out 2020 Report on Combatting the CCP’s Malign BehaviorBlog
Washington, DC — Today House Foreign Affairs Committee Republican Leader Michael McCaul (R-TX) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) held a press conference on the newly released China Task Force report. The result of months-long investigations and meetings with over 130 leaders, the report addresses the growing threat of the CCP and includes over 400 recommendations for Congress and the administration.
China Task Force Chairman Michael McCaul’s remarks as delivered:
“Thanks for your contribution to the task force. I also want to thank Leader McCarthy for standing up the task force, having the vision to deal with the threat that we face today as a nation. It’s truly been an honor.
“As the Leader said, this was supposed to be bipartisan. This was a policy exercise, not a political one. And this report will shape our foreign policy towards China for years to come. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. This is an American issue first and foremost. And I want to thank all the China Task Force members standing up here today from 11 committees of jurisdiction, working together across jurisdictions. It’s never an easy thing to do in Congress, but we brought it together, and we came up with 400 recommendations, nearly 200 legislative recommendations, and two-thirds of those are bipartisan — all in this final report that I have here today.
“This isn’t the first time in my career that I have experienced espionage from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In 1996 when I was a young federal prosecutor at the Department of Justice public integrity section, there were reports coming in that China was trying to influence our elections. Sound familiar? And I was assigned to the campaign task force and prosecuted the Johnny Chung case. He pled guilty, and then he started to cooperate. And it was probably the most fascinating prosecution that a young guy at that time could have had. And that’s because the investigation revealed the fact that China aerospace and the director of Chinese intelligence conspired to obtain military technology and satellites from the United States. Long story short, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) deposited money in Chung’s Hong Kong bank account that he used to then influence the 1996 election.
“This is not [the first] time a foreign power has attempted to influence our presidential election, and it certainly will not be the last. But it gave me great insight into the way the CCP operates. It’s been 20 years since then, but that story could easily be a headline today because the threat from Chairman Xi’s Chinese Communist Party largely remains the same. However, today it’s more aggressive, it’s more expansive, it’s more sophisticated, and it’s better resourced. For decades they have stolen our intellectual property in what NSA Director Admiral Keith Alexander said [was] one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history.
“For years and years, we tried to bring the PRC into the family of nations as a friend, as an ally. But as Secretary Baker recently told me, it just did not work. Recently, the Houston consulate of China was shut down after they got caught stealing biomedical research from MD Anderson in my home state while at the same time attempting to steal the COVID vaccine, using it as a hub for espionage — stealing our vaccine so they can save the world from the very virus that they brought to the world. That is why this China Task Force report is so important. It focuses on our foreign policy with the CCP — whether it’s our military posture with China, to countering their Belt and Road Initiative, to condemning their human rights violations, to supporting the protesters in Hong Kong and threatened countries like Taiwan, to countering the CCP’s hundred-year marathon for global and military dominance. And for decades the United States and its allies have been asleep at the wheel, until COVID-19. COVID created an awakening experience for the American people, and the sleeping giant has finally awoken. [The CCP] took what could have been a local outbreak, as Whip Scalise said, covered it up and hid the evidence, and it turned into a global pandemic.
“One of the biggest takeaways from the report has been the vulnerability of our supply chain with China. When the United States and our allies called for an independent investigation into the origins of the pandemic, the CCP weaponized their control of the supply chain, threatening to withhold vital supplies from the United States. We must protect critical supply chains, including medical supply chains, and important technologies like advanced semiconductor chips. That’s why we focused a big part of this report on how we can protect our critical supply chains including medical supplies and important future technologies. We must take steps to protect these critical supply chains. We simply cannot afford to wait any longer. Our national security depends on it. The CCP is the greatest, long-term threat to the interests of the United States of America.
“You know my father’s generation fought in World War II. I grew up in the Cold War. My children, they experienced 9/11 and most of us in this room did. But now the greatest challenge for this generation is the CCP. It is a generational struggle. And this is a generational document that will guide the Congress for many years to come.
“So again, I want to thank Leader McCarthy [who] worked so hard on this. I really want to thank the ranking members of all the committees of jurisdiction. And I want to thank the members of the task force for their very hard work over the last several months to put this together on time. And I want to thank the staff that worked tirelessly over the weekends and late at night. Even as late as last night, Caroline Campbell was working until probably 3 o’clock in the morning to get this done. Thanks to all of the staff.
“This is a true appeal to the patriotism of American businesses and Americans across this country to wake up to the CCP.”
Read the China Task Force’s full report here.