McCarthy Announces 'China Task Force' to Take On Chinese Threat
Democrats refuse to join task force to investigate China's coronavirus cover-up
Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has announced a new "China Task Force" that will investigate the threat from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The new task force, made up of members of the House of Representatives, will look into China’s alleged mishandling and cover-up of the coronavirus outbreak.
"We have learned more about COVID," McCarthy said during his Thursday press conference.
"And one thing has become very clear: China’s cover-up directly led to this crisis.
“The stakes are too high to sit idly by, which is why today I’m announcing the Republican-led China task force.”
The GOP House leader revealed that the task force will be made up of only Republican members after Democrats refused to join.
"I invited the Democrats to join with us," McCarthy told reporters.
"There was one moment in time they said yes.
"A few months ago they said no,” McCarthy added.
"Today I am announcing the formation of the China Task Force,” McCarthy wrote in a statement.
"Whether it is due to the tangle of politics or a stagnating lack of will, our country has neglected the warnings, signs, and even direct threats from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for far too long.”
The announcement comes as the world has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic that originated in Wuhan, China.
The severity of the global crisis is in part due to China’s attempts to cover it up in the early days.
China’s decision to stop domestic travel while allowing international flights to leave Wuhan for other countries is also believed to have played a devastating role.
China’s lies about the severity of the coronavirus and the outbreak left the world ignorant of what was coming and unable to prepare.
McCarthy highlighted some of China’s actions during the pandemic:
- Hid the severity of the virus and manipulated statistics, leaving the world reeling from a global pandemic
- Still refuses to allow international experts to investigate or share viral samples with the scientific community
- Forced the disappearance of whistleblowers
- Is carrying out a comprehensive propaganda campaign to spread misinformation
- Leveraged its supply chain monopoly for global influence
McCarthy says the purpose of the task force is to counter “the full stack of Chinese threats” that America faces from China.
According to McCarthy, the task force will focus on:
- Influence operations targeting the U.S. and foreign governments and civil society, including think tanks, higher education, business, and media outlets.
- Export control regimes and foreign investment screening mechanisms in the United States, and efforts to coordinate and harmonize these regimes with partners.
- Chinese economic coercion of governments and businesses in the United States and partner countries, including through the monopolization of critical supply chains.
- China’s role in the origin and spread of COVID-19.
- China’s use of U.S. institutions to educate and train its citizens who then use their training to damage the national security of the United States.\
- Chinese efforts to gain the technological advantage (in areas including 5G, AI, quantum computing, and other emerging technologies that may or may not have military applications).
- Chinese efforts to attain leadership positions and change norms at international organizations and standard-setting bodies.
The task force will have a comprehensive report ready by October 30, 2020, McCarthy announced.
The team will make recommendations for how the United States needs to confront the threats from the Communist nation.
Democrats were originally set to join the bipartisan task force.
But on the day before the launch, February 24, and as the coronavirus was spreading worldwide, Democrats “bailed on the project,” according to The Washington Post.
Dear @RepMcGovern, the facts are that Dem leadership had agreed to be part of this China Task Force but then pulled out one day before the announcement in February. Both parties have politicized the China issue, but this time your side walked away from bipartisanship. https://t.co/Wdc92vAKCw— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) May 7, 2020
“Since Democrats delayed participating in a bipartisan group meant to address pressing national security issues, Republicans are stepping up to execute on our original plan,” McCarthy concluded.
“That said, this is not a partisan issue and we invite our Democrat colleagues to join us.”
The effort will be led by House Foreign Affairs Ranking Member Michael McCaul.
The task force will also include the following Republican representatives:
- Liz Cheney
- Darin LaHood
- Guy Reschenthaler
- Elise Stefanik
- Andy Barr
- Adam Kinzinger
- Michael Waltz
- Anthony Gonzalez
- Mike Gallagher
- Denver Riggleman
- John Curtis
- John Joyce
- Jim Banks
- Chris Stewart