MIL-OSI USA: Congresswoman Claudia Tenney Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Counter Malign Chinese Influence Abroad

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-22)

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-22), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced the bipartisan China Watcher Act to establish a “China Watcher Program” at the US Department of State. The program would commit resources and personnel to monitoring and combating the People’s Republic of China’s malign influence across military, economic, and political sectors in foreign nations. 

“China has aggressively ramped up its malign activities across the globe and today poses one of the most significant national security and economic threats to the United States. I’m introducing the China Watcher Act so we can better monitor China’s dangerous activities and be prepared to counter incoming threats across numerous sectors. China has gone unchecked for too long, and it’s time for the United States to take decisive action. I thank Ranking Member McCaul and my colleagues across the aisle for their strong, bipartisan support of this legislation.”

“Under the Chinese Communist Party, the People’s Republic of China is engaged in malign activities across every region of the globe. This challenge is unlike any other and requires a worldwide strategic view. The State Department was right to establish a dedicated team to monitor PRC malign activity, and I’m proud to cosponsor this bill to authorize the effort and ensure Congress’ oversight responsibilities are fulfilled,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul.

Background on the China Watcher Act:

Directs the Secretary of State, in coordination with the Department of Defense, to implement a “China Watcher Program” within the State Department to:

  • Monitor and combat the People’s Republic of China’s malign influence across military, economic, and political sectors in foreign nations

  • Strengthen the capacity of the United States government to engage with foreign nations as well as regional and international military, economic, and political organizations and institutions to better coordinate policy regarding the PRC’s malign influence. 

  • The program would place Foreign Service Officers in select diplomatic and consular posts abroad to engage both Chinese and third-country nationals, including host governments and non-government entities, on issues related to China’s harmful influence. 

  • Directs the Secretary of State to prioritize foreign nations in which Chinese influence has been historically significant and in which US interests are vulnerable to China’s influence. 

  • Requires that each diplomatic and consular post with a China Watcher Program would produce an annual report outlining the steps it has taken to advance the mission, trends, and analysis, including the nature and extent of Chinese foreign direct investment in key sectors. 

Joining Tenney in introducing the legislation are House Foreign Affairs Ranking Member Congressman Michael McCaul, Reps. Albio Sires (NJ-08), Ronny Jackson (TX-13), Dean Phillips (MN-03), Peter Meijer (MI-03), Tracey Mann (KS-01), and Brian Babin (TX-36). 

Full text of Tenney’s bill can be found here. 

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