The new House China Select Committee is holding its first hearing Tuesday night, featuring testimony from former national security officials and others who can deliver a “concrete assessment” of the threat the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) poses to the United States.
Committee Chairman Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., invited former Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger; former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster; Chinese human rights advocate Tong Yi; and president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing Scott Paul to testify.
The hearing, titled “The Chinese Communist Party’s Threat to America” is set to begin at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday. The committee was created for the 118th Congress by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and was established with broad bipartisan support.
GALLAGHER USES CHINA’S ILLEGAL POLICE STATIONS ON AMERICAN SOIL TO SOUND ALARM ON THREAT TO US SOVEREIGNTY
Gallagher said his intention for the hearing will be to lead with a “human rights focus” and a “values-focused” agenda, which he said is an area of unity for both Republicans and Democrats on the committee.
“We want this committee to be bipartisan, so I think it is a natural theme for us to start with,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher said there would not be a “100% agreement on everything,” while acknowledging that there are “meaningful differences between the parties on aspects of this strategic competition.”
“But I do believe there is a center of gravity we can identify and build upon,” Gallagher said.
HOUSE CHINA COMMITTEE LAWMAKERS SAY SENDING DELEGATIONS TO TAIWAN COULD ‘IMPROVE THE CHANCES OF PEACE’
Tuesday’s hearing is the first of a series of hearings the committee will hold.
“We’re going to tease out the different dimensions of the CCP threat, all as part of this effort to answer the basic question of ‘why should your average Americans care about this competition and the threat posed by the CCP?’” Gallagher said.
“We will have a series of hearings that identifies constructive and immediate solutions to problems posed by the CCP that we can do now, even in a divided government over the next two years,” Gallagher continued.
Gallagher said competition with China should be seen as a “long-term marathon.” He said he and lawmakers on the panel would like to introduce “smart” and “forward-leaning legislation on China.”
The hearing comes amid heightened tensions between the United States and China.
The Energy Department, which was previously undecided on the origin of the pandemic, now joins the FBI’s stance that the coronavirus most likely spread due to a leak from a Chinese laboratory, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. The paper reported that a classified intelligence report recently provided to the White House and key members of Congress.
The lab leak theory, or the theory that the virus came from a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China, was widely dismissed as a conspiracy theory and “misinformation” by Democrats, major news outlets, scientists and social media companies in the early stages of the pandemic.
Earlier this month, a Chinese surveillance balloon transited across the continental United States over nuclear bases for nearly a week before being shot down off the coast of South Carolina.
Diplomatic communications channels are currently opened between Washington and Beijing, but China shut down communications with the United States military after then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan last year.
GALLAGHER ACCUSES BIDEN ADMIN OF BEING ‘DIVIDED’ ON WHETHER CHINA OR CLIMATE CHANGE IS TOP THREAT TO US
That visit prompted increased aggression by China in the South China Sea and led experts to predict a Chinese invasion of Taiwan by 2024.
Over the weekend, Gallagher hosted an event today at a former illegal CCP police station in downtown Manhattan. The FBI recently raided the location, but there are still others operating within the United States, Gallagher said, and dozens more around the world.
Gallagher told Fox News Digital he hopes to introduce legislation that would give the FBI more tools to go after the CCP threat “more aggressively.” FBI Director Wray has been sounding the alarm on China for months, saying Beijing poses the greatest national security threat to the United States.
Gallagher said he plans to work with the Biden administration to address the threat.
“I think we can find parts of the executive branch that we are aligned with and work with them, and where I disagree or where I feel like the White House is doing something that is undermining our posture with respect to the Chinese Communist Party, I feel I have a duty to speak out and be honest, not just to dunk on Biden, but hopefully to improve our policy,” Gallagher said.
“We all want America to win this competition, and that’s what it is all about.”