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China Lobbies US Companies To Oppose China Bills

November 22nd, 2021 15:19

Reuters is report­ing that Chi­na has been secret­ly lob­by­ing US com­pa­nies and busi­ness groups to fight Chi­na-relat­ed bills in the US Con­gress. Accord­ing to the Reuters investigation:

Novem­ber 12, 2021 Chi­na has been push­ing U.S. exec­u­tives, com­pa­nies and busi­ness groups in recent weeks to fight against Chi­na-relat­ed bills in the U.S. Con­gress, four sources famil­iar with the ini­tia­tive told Reuters, in let­ters to and meet­ings with a wide range of actors in the busi­ness com­mu­ni­ty.  Chi­na’s embassy in Wash­ing­ton had sent let­ters press­ing exec­u­tives to urge mem­bers of Con­gress to alter or drop spe­cif­ic bills that seek to enhance U.S. com­pet­i­tive­ness, accord­ing to the sources and the text of a let­ter sent by the embassy’s eco­nom­ic and com­mer­cial office seen by Reuters.  Chi­nese offi­cials warned com­pa­nies they would risk los­ing mar­ket share or rev­enue in Chi­na if the leg­is­la­tion becomes law, accord­ing to the text of the let­ter.  The sources said Chi­na’s request also left some indi­vid­u­als who received a let­ter con­cerned that they could be seen as vio­lat­ing the For­eign Agents Reg­is­tra­tion Act (FARA) if they lob­bied law­mak­ers on sim­i­lar issues in the future.

Read the rest here.

The Reuters inves­ti­ga­tion reveals that the let­ters sent by the Chi­nese embassy explic­it­ly asked US com­pa­nies to oppose both the US Inno­va­tion and Com­pe­ti­tion Act (USICA) and the EAGLE Act, two bills that seek to boost com­pe­ti­tion with Chi­na and fund much-need­ed semi­con­duc­tor production.

The US lob­by­ing attempts are the lat­est exam­ple of how Chi­na uses its embassies to threat­en West­ern com­pa­nies, aca­d­e­mics, or deci­sion-mak­ers to either sup­port pro-Chi­nese poli­cies or risk los­ing mar­ket share, fund­ing, or entry per­mits. We have exten­sive­ly cov­ered influ­ence efforts by Chi­nese embassies, including:

  • How they influ­ence expert dis­course through co-opt­ing local academics
  • How they issue direct threats against West­ern politi­cians and attack polit­i­cal lead­ers for their alleged anti-Chi­na bias
  • How they make up non-exist­ing sci­en­tists to sup­port China’s nar­ra­tives about the ori­gins of Covid-19