By Chris Fry
On January 10 Reuters reported that:
The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to create a select committee on China, using one of its first votes since Republicans took control to stress members’ desire to counter Beijing’s growing international influence.
The House voted 365 to 65 in favor of a resolution establishing the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, which will investigate the issue and make policy recommendations.
The committee will expose the Communist Party of China’s “coordinated whole of society strategy to undermine American leadership and American sovereignty,” its new chairman, Wisconsin GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher, said on the House floor, according to a January 13 CNBC report.
This direct attack on the Communist Party of China indicates that Wall Street is threatened not just by the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) astounding economic growth, but more importantly, its socialist foundations. The Communist Party of China, through the economic planning by the state apparatus, has managed to force both nationalized and capitalist-owned corporations to keep prices for the people in check, as well as continue its growth and its plans to entirely eliminate poverty.
Already the lifespan of the Chinese people exceeds that of the U.S. population, which is declining.
This success contrasts with the continuing sky-high inflation affecting not only the U.S. but also its junior imperialist partners in Europe and Asia. And the interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve, the central committee of the finance capital, already is wreaking crushing blows to the developing economies in the “Global South.”
Wall Street’s most faithful minions in Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court hope to use the rate hikes and massive military budget to establish an austerity regime on the workers and oppressed here even sharper than that used on us during the Great Recession. Already leaders in the House are calling for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to be put on the chopping block.
This in turn threatens to awaken a new wave of class struggle here. And with the sharp contrast with the socialist PRC able to weather this impending economic storm, the ruling class hastens to muster all its racist, sexist, and anti-LGBTQ+ bigotry tools to blunt any resistance by the workers and oppressed.
That is the purpose of this new House Committee, which majorities of both political parties voted to set up and participate in.
Asian people targeted
In the aftermath of Trump’s racist rhetoric, including calling the Covid-19 disease the “China virus”, as well as the U.S. breaking the “one China” policy regarding Taiwan and parades of U.S. and allied warships cruising just off the China coast, many within the U.S. Asian community fear that this new committee will spark a wave of racist attacks.
As a January 20 article in Roll Call reports:
The committee’s membership list has not yet been announced, nor have initial topics for public hearings been described. Still, the sheer formation of the panel has sparked fresh concerns among some Democrats who voted against its establishment, as well as some within the Asian American community, about how the panel could potentially be used to spread anti-Chinese and anti-Asian paranoia and discrimination.
“I have concerns with the potential direction that Republicans could take this select committee, including using this platform to promote policies and language that endanger Chinese Americans and people of Asian descent living in the U.S.,” Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., who is the vice chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said in a statement.
“We have two years of solid evidence during the pandemic when people got really mad at random Asian Americans and even Latinos who had the misfortune of looking Asian and beat them to a pulp or shoved them into subways shouting, ‘Go back to where you came from. This virus is your fault,’” said Frank Wu, a prominent member of Chinese American civic organizations.
Rep. Andy Kim, who is Korean American and voted to establish the China select committee, said in an interview that he has heard from “many Asian Americans around this country” who have called him in recent weeks to say they are “really terrified about what direction” the new select committee might take, fearing it could lead to a new “witch hunt.”
How far the imperialist establishment is ready to impose its austerity measures is not yet clear. But what is key to remember is that, in this unfolding struggle by the workers and oppressed, any military adventure against the PRC and/or any racist attacks against the Asian community must be fought against by our class.