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Sunday, March 26th, 2023

House Homeland Security Committee introduces bills targeting Chinese influence

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Republicans leading the House Committee on Homeland Security recently introduced several bills to target perceived Chinese influence, funding of Chinese entities, or utilization of Chinese drones.

Following a hearing last week titled, Confronting Threats Posed by the Chinese Communist Party to the U.S. Homeland, members introduced the DHS Restrictions on Confucius Institutes and Chinese Entities of Concern Act and the Unmanned Aerial Security (UAS) Act.

The former was introduced by U.S. Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX), chairman of the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence. Under its purview, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would be forbidden from providing taxpayer funds to American universities hosting a Chinese Confucius Institute or affiliated with designated Chinese entities of concern. Eligibility would be restored if ties were subsequently severed.

“The House Homeland Security Committee is taking the threat China poses to our Nation extremely seriously,” Pfluger said. “In addition to surveillance through our skies, ports, and in our cell phones, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is infiltrating American university campuses with “Confucius Institutes” which allow the party to engage in espionage, steal our intellectual property, intimidate Chinese dissidents, promote communist propaganda, and funnel information back to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Under no circumstances should American taxpayer dollars be used to enrich the CCP or the PLA. Congress must ensure taxpayer dollars are cut off from these programs for good.”

Separately, Committee on Homeland Security Vice Chairman Michael Guest (R-MS) also reintroduced the UAS Act to deny China the skies. Under this legislation, DHS would be prohibited from providing financial assistance for, entering into, or renewing contracts for drones manufactured in China or other nations deemed adversaries of the United States.

“The Department of Homeland Security utilizes drones for critical missions, and it is imperative that we trust the technology we are using,” Guest said. “It is well known that the Chinese Communist Party has stolen our technology and information in the past. That’s why this legislation is so important. It would help mitigate security risks by ensuring drones used by the Department of Homeland Security are not manufactured by our adversaries – including those manufacturers influenced by the CCP.”