Prime News, National and International, New Delhi, May 7:- US President Joe Biden has from time to time indicated that he wants to compete with China, not confront it. However, the passage of the Strategic Competition Act (SCA) of 2021 by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee (April 22) makes it clear that the US intends to push back China on a variety of issues, ranging from human rights to unfair economic practices.
The 21-1 panel vote sends ‘The Strategic Competition Act’ to the floor for a full chamber vote. Senator Bob Menendez, who introduced the bill said the overwhelming bipartisan vote for the legislative document made it “the first of what we hope will be a cascade of legislative activity for our nation to finally meet the China challenge across every dimension of power, political, diplomatic, economic, innovation, military and even cultural”.
The bill aims to implement a range of investments, including $655 million in Foreign Military Financing funding for the Indo-Pacific region and $450 million for the Indo- Pacific Maritime Security Initiative. It also expands the powers of the US Committee on Foreign Investment, which analyses international financial transactions,to pick up on any national security risks.The legislation also designates $10 million for the US State Department to promote democracy in Hong Kong and includes several measures, to boost the defence capabilities of Taiwan.
The legislation comes at a time when relations between the US and China have become increasingly strained. The US has attacked China over cyber-attacks, and intellectual property theft originating from China, human rights abuses against the Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang Province and crackdowns on pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. However, unlike former President Trump, who was willing to go to any extent against China, the present administration appears to be caught between Russia and China as its main adversary. Therefore, even though the latest Act has bipartisan support, by itself this will not stop China from rising as a global power with its domestic autocracy and external aggression.