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Senate Committee Passes China’s Strategic Competition Bill; backs strengthened security ties with India | India News

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WASHINGTON: A powerful Senate committee overwhelmingly passed China’s key strategic competition bill that, among other things, supports the QUAD group and enhances the security partnership with India.
Known as the “Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, the quad group comprises the United States, India, Australia, and Japan. Representatives from the four member countries have met regularly since its establishment in 2007. Top leaders from the four countries celebrated a historic virtual summit hosted by President Joe Biden last month.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, after a three-hour debate and several amendments, voted 21-1 to pass the Strategic Competition Act on Wednesday.
The United States must reaffirm its commitment to the Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership with India and further deepen bilateral defense consultations and collaboration with the country, says bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Jim Risch and Senior Fellow Bob Menendez. and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. .
Urges the United States government, in close consultation with India, to identify areas where it can provide diplomatic and other support, as appropriate, to India’s efforts to address the economic and security challenges posed by China in the region.
The two lawmakers described the legislation as an unprecedented bipartisan effort to mobilize all of America’s strategic, economic, and diplomatic tools for an Indo-Pacific strategy that enables the U.S. government to effectively compete with China and the challenges it poses to its security. national and economic. for decades to come.
An amendment proposed by Senator Edward Markey and passed seeks to establish a QUAD Intra-Parliamentary Working Group to connect lawmakers from the United States, Japan, Australia and India. Markey is chair of the Asia Pacific subcommittee.
“The Quad Inter-Parliamentary Group will help our four countries diversify cooperation on issues beyond their traditional defense approach, such as offering alternatives to the China Belt and Road in the Indo-Pacific and delivering on a promise to provide more than 1,000 million Covid-19 vaccines to the region, “he said.
The bill reinforces the United States ‘diplomatic strategy to address the challenges posed by the Chinese government and reaffirms the United States’ commitment to its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world and calls on the United States reaffirm your leadership within international organizations and other multilateral forums.
Renews the United States’ commitment to allies and partners by prioritizing security assistance for the Indo-Pacific region and strengthens U.S. diplomatic efforts to address the challenges posed by China in the Western Hemisphere, Europe, Asia, Africa, Middle East, the Arctic and Oceania.
The Indo-Pacific is the region of greatest significance for US foreign policy. China is embroiled in highly controversial territorial disputes in the South and East Seas of China. Beijing has also made substantial progress in militarizing its artificial islands in recent years.
Beijing claims sovereignty over the entire South China Sea. But Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have counterclaims. In the East China Sea, China has territorial disputes with Japan.
The bill seeks to invest in universal values, authorizing a wide range of human rights and civil society measures, including supporting democracy in Hong Kong and imposing sanctions regarding forced labor, forced sterilization and other abuses in Xinjiang.
It focuses on countering and tackling China’s predatory international economic behavior and includes measures to track down intellectual property infringers, Chinese government subsidies, monitor Chinese use of Hong Kong to circumvent US export controls, and track the presence of Chinese companies in the US capital markets.
It directs the United States to provide technical assistance to countries working to counter foreign corrupt practices and debt relief to the poorest countries that have requested tolerance due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The bill calls for greater coordination and cooperation with arms control allies in the face of China’s military modernization and expansion and requires reports on Chinese ballistic, hypersonic glide and cruise missiles, conventional forces, nuclear, space, cyberspace. and other strategic domains.
It also seeks a detailed description of the United States’ diplomatic efforts with Pakistan regarding matters relevant to China, including Beijing’s investments in Pakistan through the Belt and Road Initiative.
Speaking to the Senate a day earlier, Senator Jim Inhofe said the United States needs to increase investment in national defense to deter Chinese aggression. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army, he said, has been expanding its network of ports and strategic bases around the world, from Djibouti to Pakistan, Cambodia and Sri Lanka.
“Last year, China began to pursue the territory of India, which has resulted in the death of dozens of Indian soldiers. They have continuously harassed Japan and Taiwan in the air and at sea, their fishing fleets have terrorized small Pacific island nations. 200 Chinese ships are guarding a reef in the South China Sea claimed by the Philippines, “Inhofe said.

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