(Updates Jan 10 story with comment from Chinese overseas ministry)
By Patricia Zengerle
WASHINGTON, Jan 10 (Reuters) – The U.S. Residence of Reps voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to create a pick out committee on China, working with a single of its initial votes since Republicans took control to tension members’ drive to counter Beijing’s growing international influence.
The Residence voted 365 to 65 in favor of a resolution establishing the Select Committee on the Strategic Competitors Involving the United States and the Chinese Communist Celebration, which will investigate the concern and make plan recommendations.
All 65 of the “no” votes came from Democrats, some of whom reported they were being concerned the Republican-led panel would be as well partisan. But 146 other Democrats voted in favor.
Democratic Agent Jim McGovern, a co-chair of the Congressional-Govt Commission on China, a grouping of House users and senators which scientific tests China coverage, claimed he would vote to develop the decide on committee inspite of problems it may well be extremely partisan.
“We unquestionably don’t want it to transform into a position that perpetuates anti-Asian hate,” McGovern mentioned, citing previous rhetoric these kinds of as Republican previous President Donald Trump’s labeling of COVID-19 as “the China virus.”
Home Speaker Kevin McCarthy insisted the panel would not be partisan.
“You have my term and my motivation. This is not a partisan committee. This will be a bipartisan committee,” McCarthy stated in remarks urging the Dwelling to back the invoice.
He stated the committee would deal with difficulties these types of as bringing work opportunities back from China to the United States, securing intellectual house and bringing source chains back to the state.
Questioned for remark at a briefing on Wednesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin mentioned he hoped these concerned would glance at China and Sino-U.S. relations “objectively and rationally, from the standpoint of U.S. self-desire and the frequent interests of China and the United States,” and function with China to encourage mutual respect and cooperation.
There has been friction in U.S.-China relations about difficulties which includes the huge U.S. trade deficit, Chinese tension on Taiwan, and Beijing’s transparency about its managing of COVID-19, which first surfaced in that state.
The new committee will be chaired by Republican Representative Mike Gallagher. (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, added reporting by Liz Lee in Beijing Modifying by Jonathan Oatis and Alison Williams)