China under the leadership of Communist party leader and authoritarian Xi Jinping has the goal of being the leading economic and military power in the world. We’ve seen this with its aggressive expansion in the South China Sea and East China Sea, and China has consistently increased its military budget since Xi took power in 2013. China’s history of intellectual property theft from American businesses and the American military has been well documented for several decades, and China’s “one belt, one road” initiative takes advantage of developing nations by offering financial opportunities with caveats that require the host nation to pledge or give up things like rights to critical natural resources or strategic locations. We’ve seen these “debt traps” in Africa, SE Asia, and even in our own backyard in South America.

Over the past three decades, the United States and our allies around the world have given the Communists in China plenty of opportunities to be a constructive participant in the world order, but frankly, we’ve seen that China has no desire to follow these norms. This was proven true with the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus. We will never know how many lives would have not been lost around the world had China taken the outbreak of Coronavirus seriously from the beginning.

I have used my position as the Lead Republican on the House Financial Services Subcommittee for National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy, to reign in some of China’s economic levers. The House passed my bill, the Ensuring Chinese Debt Transparency Act, which pushes for greater transparency of financing provided by China to another country through our international financial institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund. This bill will allow developing countries greater transparency about the costs of doing business with China before they agree to financial help from the Communist government. Further, in response to the current pandemic, I have introduced the Securing America’s Vaccines for Emergencies (SAVE) Act, which would require the president to develop a strategy under the Defense Production Act to better secure the critical supply chains for our medicines, vaccines, personal protective equipment, and medical devices.

Finally, it’s becoming more apparent to the world that China is a pervasive abuser of human rights and religious freedom, the protection of which is a foundational principle of American foreign policy. It is in that regard that President Trump recently signed two bills into law related to this issue. The first, is the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, which imposes sanctions on individuals responsible for human rights abuses against China’s Muslim Uyghur population. The video evidence of China putting Muslim Uyghurs on trains is shocking and the comparison to Nazi Germany putting Jews on trains during the Holocaust is undeniable. The second bill President Trump has signed into law is the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which imposes sanctions on those responsible for failing to preserve Hong Kong’s autonomy. President Trump has already used the power he was given in these bills to sanction Chinese companies and members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

It is important that now, more than ever, that we continue to work with our allies to hold the CCP accountable for its aggressive conduct while at the same time recognizing the critical need to engage the people of China.