In a press release on Dec. 23, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, spoke of a successful bipartisan bill collaboration to secure provisions to omnibus legislation that will help bring the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to justice.
President Donald Trump resisted a CCP virus relief bill that included Rubio’s provisions due to foreign spending. But Trump has since signed the bill and released a formal statement saying that he signed it “with a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed.” For signing the bill, Trump also made the House and Senate agree “to focus strongly on the very substantial voter fraud which took place in the November 3 presidential election.”
“I am proud of the important work we’ve accomplished with both my Democrat and Republican colleagues, including the critical provisions that were included in the year-end funding bill, to hold the Chinese government and Communist Party accountable. Bringing reciprocity to our dealings with China and ending the crimes of the CCP is the geopolitical challenge of this century and is the responsibility of democracies worldwide. I look forward to building upon my record of enacting laws that do just that,” Rubio stated.
The provisions that Rubio spoke of in his press release are as follows:
Tibet: Rubio’s Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2019 (S.2539) is included, which seeks to update and strengthen the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002. It addresses emerging human rights, religious freedom, and other challenges faced by the Tibetan people. The package also includes $18 million and the establishment of a U.S. consulate in Lhasa.
Telecommunications Security: The implementation of the Secure and Trusted Communications Network Act (P.L. 116-124) will be fully funded. This provides assistance to small, rural telecommunications operators to remove and replace Huawei and ZTE components from their networks.
Countering Chinese Influence Fund: $300 million will combat malign Chinese influence and promote transparency and accountability in projects associated with the People’s Republic of China’s debt-trap diplomacy and the Belt and Road Initiative.
Regional China Officers: Funding will be available to support public diplomacy activities of Regional China Officers posted at United States missions overseas, following consultation with the Senate and House Committees on Appropriations.
Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing: A full-time position at the State Department will be created to coordinate interagency action on IUU fishing, an activity of which China is the biggest offender.
Confucius Institutes: It requires Department of Education disclosure of foreign gifts and contracts related to Confucius Institutes.
Taiwan: The Taiwan Reassurance Act is included, a bill that Rubio is an original cosponsor. The act strengthens our relationship with Taiwan by requiring the Department of Defense to include Taiwan in bilateral and multilateral military exercises. It also requires a review of the Department of State’s guidance on diplomatic practices with Taiwan.
High-Risk Chinese Drones: Key reports will be included on the security of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and directs the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to regularly notify Congress of any security risks or challenges identified from any small UAS or UAS components.
“The 21st century will be defined by the U.S.-China relationship, and we must take action to address the imbalances in the relationship, as well as the systematic human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party,” Rubio stated.
By David Wagner