Apple, Cisco and other US companies with deep ties with China are trying to address Beijing’s “suppression of human rights and democracy,” one of President Joe Biden’s key aides in the Senate said Thursday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” increasing the pressure.
Sen. Chris Koons, D-Del. The comments come two days after his chamber passed a bipartisan bill to boost US competition with China.
Koons compared US-China relations to the “decoupling” of the US from the former Soviet Union during the Cold War.
While US trade ties are now far stronger with China than with the USSR, Koons said there is “some gradual distance” between the two economic superpowers.
Koons, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also said it was becoming increasingly difficult to ignore Chinese conduct in his own country and around the world.
Koons criticized what he called the “Great Firewall of China”, which the government uses to “shut down the Internet in China and require censorship and use it to coordinate surveillance and repression of its people.”
Koons also noted that both Biden and the Trump administration called China’s treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang province a genocide.
Companies that are trying to build and operate in both countries are facing “increasingly difficult questions in the West about how you can facilitate the suppression of human rights and democracy by the Chinese in China and elsewhere around the world.” What are you doing to help?” Koons said.
Asked what those companies should tell China right now, Koons replied: “Stop stealing our intellectual property.”
“They force you to transfer technology to your Chinese operations and then openly steal from you,” he said. “They are competing with us in vaccine diplomacy and in fighting for the next generation of technology.”
Coons praised the $250 billion technology and manufacturing bill specifically aimed at preparing the US to better compete with China. The legislation, called the US Innovation and Competition Act, passed the Senate on Tuesday with rare bipartisan support.
Bill’s large investments in semiconductors, 5G, quantum computing and other industries “make it more likely that the United States and our closest allies are ahead of the curve rather than the curve in next-generation technologies, which are dual to both civilian and military.” Use for,” Koons said.
Koons said competitive China would involve “coordinating our investments in new technologies.”
He urged US allies not to use Chinese telecom giant Huawei because of security concerns, citing the example of then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“What a lot of our colleagues said was, ‘Okay, that’s interesting. What’s your option?’ And there was no American option,” Koons said.
“We need to invest with China to be competitive for this century.”
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