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US House introduces bill to tackle China’s ambitions

The bill mandates a review to assess Chinese companies listing on US financial markets

Proposed legislation runs parallel to Senate attempt as officials list competition with Beijing among greatest strategic challenges

(AF) The US bid to tackle growing technological competition from China took a further step on Tuesday with sweeping legislation introduced to the House of Representatives, underscoring bipartisan agreement to rein in Beijing’s ambitions.

Gregory Meeks, a New York Democrat, brought the bill – Ensuring American Global Leadership and Engagement Act, or EAGLE Act – to the House as chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

The proposed legislation – and a similar bill working through the Senate – are the clearest indications that Joe Biden’s administration will to an extent continue the former Trump presidency’s efforts to counter China, with officials repeatedly listing competition with Beijing among their greatest strategic challenges.

The 470-page bill introduced by Meeks addresses a range of issues, including increased investment to promote manufacturing, trade, work with allies and partners and re-engagement with international organisations.

“The US must coordinate closely with allies and partners to compete effectively with [China], including to encourage allies and partners to assume, as appropriate, greater roles in balancing and checking aggressive [Chinese] behaviour,” the legislation said.


Meeks intends to work with Republicans on the legislation, in the hope of committee passage as soon as next month. The measure would then be combined with legislation being considered by other House committees, and eventually combined with the Senate bill.

The proposed bill also would cover human rights issues, such as the recognition of the treatment of China’s Uighur Muslim minority as genocide.

Last month, Meeks listened to testimony from Uighur activists after saying it was important for the Congress to listen to personal experiences due to an information blackout in Xinjiang.

“In particular, the Chinese authorities have been preventing reporters, researchers and field visitors from going to Xinjiang,” Meeks said.

The House bill also includes provisions to increase US support for Taiwan and pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong. And it mandates a review to assess Chinese companies listing on US financial markets, including whether they have contributed to human rights violations.

However, the EAGLE Act also calls for cooperation with China in areas of common interest, especially climate change.

With reporting by Reuters

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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