(CNSNews.com) – A Chinese Communist Party newspaper hit back Thursday at the establishment of a House select committee on the challenges posed to the U.S. by the CCP, accusing Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) of emulating his namesake who led Senate investigations into allegations of communist infiltration in the federal government in the 1950s.
The name ‘McCarthy’ represents a segment of Washington’s ugly history, a sinister wind of the Cold War, and a product of occasional outbreaks of the malady of the American system,” Global Times said in an editorial. “Across 70 years, the U.S. has gone from one ‘McCarthy’ to another.”
“Not only do the two [Speaker McCarthy and Sen. Joe McCarthy] share the same surname, but they are also highly similar in terms of discourse style, political posture, anti-communist logic and ideological color,” the CCP mouthpiece added.
It also criticized the lawmaker named to head the committee, saying Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.) was “well-known for his anti-China stance.”
The House on Tuesday passed a resolution to set up a bipartisan “Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party” in a 365-65 vote. All 65 “no” votes came from Democrats.
The committee aims to examine security, economic, and technological challenges posed by China’s ruling party. Issues raised on the House floor ahead of the vote touched on wide ranging matters including supply chain concerns, intellectual property theft, human rights abuses rising to the level of “genocide” in Xinjiang, threats against Taiwan, and the CCP’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, including alleged attempts to obscure the origins.
Gallagher said the committee would aim to “expose the CCP’s coordinated, whole-of-society strategy to undermine American leadership and American sovereignty.”
“We spent decades passing policies that welcomed China into the global system. In return, China has exported oppression, aggression and anti-Americanism,” McCarthy said during the debate. “Today, the power of its military and economy are growing at the expense of freedom and democracy worldwide.”
“There is bipartisan consensus that the era of trusting communist China is over.”
Global Times said in the editorial the new committee “will definitely try every means to make trouble out of nothing, magnify small matters and seek every opportunity to create noise in China-U.S. relations.”
“This will further shape the negative perception of China among the American public and elites and poison the cooperation environment between China and the U.S.,” it added.
During the debate some Democrats raised concerns about risks of stoking anti-Asian sentiment, including in the United States. Gallagher stressed that the committee would focus on the CCP and its policies and actions – not on the Chinese people.
“At every step along the way” he said, it would ensure that “we are drawing a distinction between the party and the Chinese people, with whom we have no quarrel and who are often the primary victims of CCP aggression and repression.”
In contrast to Global Times’ fiery response, the Chinese foreign ministry’s reaction to the committee’s establishment was restrained and formulaic.
“We hope the relevant U.S. politicians view China and the China-U.S. relations in an objective and reasonable light, proceed from the U.S.’s own interests and the common interests of China and the U.S., head toward the same direction with China and promote the development of the China-U.S. relations based on mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation,” said spokesman Wang Wenbin.
Commenting Wednesday on the formation of the select committee, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the administration will continue to work with Democrats and Republicans in Congress on the “top priority” issue of “out-competing China.”
“Under President Biden we are more prepared to outcompete China, protect our national security, and advance a free and open Indo-Pacific than ever before,” she told reporters. “Many of our efforts we have been pursuing are bipartisan, underscoring the alignment at home on the key issue.”
President Biden met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali in November, and agreed to resume cooperation in a number of areas, including climate, which Beijing had suspended in response to then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last summer.
Biden and Xi “agreed to empower key senior officials to maintain communication and deepen constructive efforts,” the White House said at the time.
As one outcome of that meeting, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is due to visit China early this year, his first visit as secretary of state.
When he does, he will interact with a new Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister Qin Gang, who since the summer of 2021 has served as China’s ambassador in Washington, and was named by Xi at the end of 2022 as the next foreign minister.
Both as ambassador and in earlier roles at the foreign ministry, Qin earned a reputation as an outspoken and sometimes combative defender of CCP policies.
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