U.S. House Republicans are unhappy with the Biden administration’s vague stance toward the Chinese government on the pandemic investigation of the New Coronavirus, a Chinese Communist virus.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told “Fox News Sunday” on Sunday (June 20) that China faces “international isolation” if it does not cooperate in a proper investigation, but some members of Congress would like to see the White House take more direct action.
In a statement issued Monday (June 21), Republican Rep. Rob Wittman said it was past time for vague threats and cheap talk, and that if the Biden administration “really wants to get to the truth” about what role China (the Chinese Communist Party) played in the origins of the New Coronavirus (COVID-19), then “it’s time to get to the bottom of it. If the Biden administration “really wants to know the truth” about what role China (CCP) played in the origin of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), then “they must be sure that there will be real consequences if the Chinese do not allow a free and fair investigation of the Wuhan Institute of Virus Research.
Wittman and Rep. Elise Stefanik (D-N.Y.) last week co-sponsored the World Deserves to Know Act, which would impose sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act on Chinese Communists who restrict free speech and imprison pandemic whistleblowers and journalists. Sanctions.
The bill would propose sanctions against Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Communist Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and Ma Xiaowei, head of the Chinese Communist National Health Commission, including blocking transactions involving U.S. property, denying access to U.S. visas, and revoking existing visas.
Wittman said they are skeptical that international pressure to censure the CCP will be effective and believe action against individual officials would be a more appropriate route.
“The Chinese economy is highly intertwined with the rest of the world. Diplomatic pressure is at best a superficial layer,” he said. “We have to apply targeted economic pressure, i.e., sanctions, on key players within the Communist Party. That’s exactly what the World Should Know Act does, and I hope the Biden administration realizes we have to take a similar approach.”
Bill sponsor Stefanik said, “The World Should Know Act is the latest step in holding Chinese Communist Party officials accountable.”
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) offered his own outline of how the United States should respond to the Chinese Communist Party.
“Evidence continues to show that the Chinese Communist Party is deliberately withholding information and lying about what it knows to be true about the virus,” McCarthy said in a letter to fellow Republicans Monday morning, adding that President Biden “has not used any of his broad authority to hold China [the CCP] accountable “
McCarthy cited efforts by Republican House members, including a new bill introduced by Wittman and Stefanik, which proposes a multi-pronged approach to dealing with the Chinese Communist Party.
In addition to sanctions and visa restrictions, McCarthy introduced measures such as declassifying intelligence, banning the National Institutes of Health from funding research in “malicious foreign countries” including China, continuing investigations, relocating the 2022 Olympics (currently scheduled to be held in Beijing), and stripping China of its sovereign immunity and allowing families of those killed by the new coronavirus to to sue the Chinese Communist government.