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China Strategic Competition Committee explores threats from Beijing in first hearing

Chinese human rights advocate Tong Yi spoke of the Chinese Communist Party's efforts to suppress internal dissent.

Published: February 28, 2023 7:18pm

Updated: February 28, 2023 7:52pm

The House Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party held its first hearing Tuesday evening, during which witnesses asserted that Beijing seeks to undercut American interests and impose its influence on a global level.

Former Trump administration national security officials Matthew Pottinger and H.R. McMaster spoke early in the hearing, attempting to debunk narratives depicting China as a benign international actor.

Chinese human rights advocate Tong Yi then spoke of the Chinese Communist Party's efforts to suppress internal dissent, citing recent COVID-19 lockdowns and her own experiences in Chinese detention.

"We have helped to feed the baby dragon of the CCP until it has grown into what it now is," Tong said, lamenting that American commercial activity has fueled Chinese industry and consequently, enabled its tyrannical repression.

"It did not have to be this way," she said.

Aside from security and human rights concerns, some witnesses addressed trade issues, including shortfalls in American supply chains that have forced the import of Chinese products.

"America became too dependent on China for many essential goods," said Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul. "The CCP certainly doesn't deserve the same trade status as our allies and partners."

Digital espionage became a focal point of the hearing, with Pottinger addressing the social media platform TikTok, a video-sharing app owned by the Beijing-based ByteDance, which has come under fire over the potential for CCP access to U.S. user data.

McMaster also spoke of a prospective Chinese invasion of Taiwan, advocating for "hard power" to make the island "indigestible" and convince the CCP that its forces could not take control of it.

"We have to build our defense capabilities," he declared.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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