GOP Stands Firm Against Biden’s Potential Plan With China

Republican members of the House of Representatives are expressing their concerns over President Biden’s potential agreement with China. The agreement in question involves the U.S. lifting human rights sanctions against China in return for cooperation on controlling fentanyl trafficking. The Republicans, led by Rep. Young Kim, Rep. Michael McCaul, and Rep. Mike Gallagher, have voiced their opposition in a letter addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

The letter references a Wall Street Journal report that suggests Chinese officials are seeking the lifting of certain economic penalties related to human rights abuses by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In return, Beijing would assist in curbing the flow of fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid that has wreaked havoc across the U.S. The Republicans have warned that if the negotiations continue in this direction, they may introduce legislation to prevent the administration from bypassing Congress.

The Republicans have also highlighted the fact that China’s Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science was added to the Department of Commerce’s Entity List in June 2020 due to its involvement in human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. They argue that the CCP is attempting to link unrelated issues as a negotiation tactic and to use diplomatic engagement as a reward for perceived ‘good behavior.’

The letter also points out the alarming statistics related to fentanyl overdoses in the U.S. According to the Center for Disease Control, over 105,000 Americans died of drug overdoses, with 66% of those deaths related to synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, in the 12-month period ending in October 2021. The Drug Enforcement Agency identifies the People’s Republic of China as the primary source of fentanyl-related substances trafficked into the United States.

The Republicans have criticized the Biden State Department for its approach to handling China, accusing it of prioritizing engagement and future meetings over taking competitive action. They express concern that the Biden Administration continues unproductive meetings with the PRC while not producing any results.