Washington DC [US], April 9 (ANI): In a bid to counter growing Chinese aggression, US lawmakers are planning to introduce legislation titled Strategic Competition Act of 2021 in the coming week that would put additional sanctions on Chinese officials and build closer ties with Taiwan.
The new legislation was negotiated with Committee Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and represents the first major proposal to bring Democrats and Republicans together in laying out a strategic approach towards Beijing - and assuring that the United States is positioned to compete with China across all dimensions of national and international power for decades to come, said the US Senate Committee on foreign relations.
Prominent US lawmaker Bob Menendez and Jim Risch said on Thursday that they would introduce the 'Strategic Competition Act of 2021' for debate by the committee on Wednesday, as quoted by the South China Morning Post (SCMP).
"I am incredibly proud to announce this unprecedented bipartisan effort to mobilise all US strategic, economic and diplomatic tools for an Indo-Pacific strategy that will allow our nation to truly confront the challenges China poses to our national and economic security," Menendez said.
The bill calls for sanctions against Chinese officials over human rights abuses in Xinjiang. Additionally, the bill would require them to produce a report on "the extent to which China uses the status of Hong Kong to circumvent the laws and protections of the United States". The law also earmarks USD 10 million to promote democracy in Hong Kong.
This law comes on the heel of rising tension between the two countries over issues including human rights violations, trade and China's military aggression.
Moreover, the bill also aims to void all restrictions on US officials' interaction with Taiwanese counterparts. It calls for additional efforts to strengthen military ties with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region, SCMP reported.
"The United States should design for export to Indo-Pacific allies and partners capabilities critical to maintaining a favourable military balance in the region, including long-range precision fires, air and missile defence systems, anti-ship cruise missiles, land-attack cruise missiles, conventional hypersonic systems, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, and command and control systems," the bill reads.
The Menendez-Risch legislation comes just weeks after Biden released a national security policy document that stresses the need for the US to shore up alliances with democratic countries and calls Beijing the "only competitor" that could challenge open international system. (ANI)