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### House Panel Clears Key Bills Targeting China’s AI Development and Hong Kong Offices

Additional legislation would bolster US cooperation with India, Japan and Australia as part of Wash…

The voting by the House committee highlights a strong bipartisan stance in Washington against Beijing, despite recent engagements between the Biden administration and Chinese officials. A bill presented by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Mike McCaul and Gregory Meeks, the committee’s ranking member, mandates American companies investing in Chinese firms involved in AI, quantum computing, hypersonics, and semiconductors to disclose such investments.

This legislation expands on the investment restrictions imposed by the Biden administration earlier this year, aiming to limit China’s access to technologies that could pose a threat to US national security. The bill emphasizes the prohibition of US investors from engaging in high-tech sectors crucial for the future, as stated by McCaul during a committee hearing.

Additionally, the House bill extends its scope to include investments in North Korea, the Russian Federation, and other nations of concern, besides Hong Kong and Macau. The bill on Hong Kong, sponsored by Republican congressman Chris Smith, requires the White House to reassess the diplomatic privileges granted to Hong Kong offices in the US, based on Beijing’s level of influence over the region.

Furthermore, the committee passed a bill advocating for enhanced cooperation between the US, India, Japan, and Australia, known as the Quad. This legislation aims to strengthen the Quad by facilitating dialogue among the member countries’ legislatures, acknowledging the group’s significance in maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

The Quad has been a focal point in US foreign policy, particularly in countering China’s influence. While the Biden administration emphasizes the group’s role in promoting regional stability, Beijing views it as a provocative alliance targeting China. The Strengthening the Quad Act underscores the importance of upholding democratic values, freedom of navigation, and resisting coercion in the region.

Moreover, the committee addressed human rights issues concerning Tibet and the Uygur population in Xinjiang. The proposed bills aim to counter disinformation from Beijing regarding Tibet and appoint a special coordinator for Uygur issues within the US State Department. These initiatives underscore the US government’s commitment to advocating for human rights and pressuring Beijing to address concerns related to detention facilities and re-education camps in Xinjiang.

The legislative actions taken by the House committee reflect a comprehensive approach to addressing national security, diplomatic relations, and human rights concerns in the context of US-China relations and regional stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Last modified: February 18, 2024
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