WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today introduced three bills aimed at protecting Americans from the schemes of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which routinely spies on American citizens and bullies American businesses.
“Communist China’s ambition is to eclipse America’s economy and erase our freedoms, and it plays the long game. China’s government pressures U.S. businesses to read from its communist song sheet while planting its state-owned factories on American soil. Meanwhile, the CCP spies on our citizens and steals our innovation. It’s time to take specific, decisive steps to protect Americans and their businesses from the CCP’s attacks, and that’s what these bills do,” said Kennedy.
Kennedy’s package includes the Combatting Chinese Propaganda Act, WeChat No More Act and Exposing China’s Belt and Road Investment in America Act.
Combatting Chinese Propaganda Act
The Chinese Communist Party often pressures U.S. companies to speak and act against their own interests and against American liberties. The Combatting Chinese Propaganda Act prohibits companies that do business in the U.S. from making public statements that reflect the propaganda of the Chinese Communist Party.
Whether a company is U.S.- or foreign-owned, the Combatting Chinese Propaganda Act would prohibit companies operating in America from taking actions that are either against their fiduciary interests or at the bidding of China’s government.
The legislation would also make it illegal for companies to provide China’s government with the personal information of Chinese dissidents.
WeChat No More Act
WeChat has direct connections to the CCP, and the company spread pro-China misinformation with the goal of influencing the American public during the 2016 election. The platform censors topics like the #MeToo movement and Chinese public health scandals.
The WeChat No More Act would prohibit federal officials, federal employees and Members of Congress from downloading WeChat on government devices, with limited exceptions, including intelligence or cybersecurity activities.
This legislation is critical to America’s national security as WeChat is the most popular messaging application in China, with more than one billion users. As a result, people outside of China often depend on WeChat to communicate with those inside China’s borders.
Exposing China’s Belt and Road Investment in America Act
While the Chinese government keeps its domestic markets largely insulated from foreign influence, it regularly invests in the U.S. and other countries under the “greenfield” model. Firms fully owned by China’s communist regime are increasingly buying land, building factories and taking advantage of state and local tax breaks on American soil.
The goal of such state-operated enterprises is to siphon assets, technological innovation and influence away from U.S. businesses in order to expand the global presence of the Chinese Communist Party.
The Exposing China’s Belt and Road Investment in America Act would put Chinese greenfield initiatives under the review of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). CFIUS would review these investments for national security purposes. The bill would extend CFIUS jurisdiction to cover greenfield investments made by entities under the control of the Chinese government. The legislation would also make it mandatory for greenfield investments to file a declaration with CFIUS if China’s government has a substantial interest in the investment.