A group of 14 U.S. lawmakers submitted a bill to Congress asking the government to identify, analyze, and combat alleged efforts by the Chinese government to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic for nationalist gains.
The law, which was introduced by Congressman Jared Golden and sponsored by 13 other Congressmen to prevent China from exploiting COVID-19, would instruct the Director of the National Intelligence Service (DNI) to investigate the way in which the Chinese government intended has to use the COVID-19 pandemic to promote their interests at national level and to assess the risks to the United States.
It also calls on the DNI to provide policy-makers with the information they need to take and counteract Chinese action when needed and to report their findings to Congress.
"Since the beginning of COVID-19, there have been indications that China is using the pandemic crisis against Americans through cyber theft and the spread of misinformation," said Golden.
"We need to fully understand and respond to these threats. We are introducing the" Prevent China from Using COVID 19 Law "to collect and analyze important information that our country needs to protect the American people and businesses." said Golden.
The bill provides that the DNI, in coordination with the Defense, State and Homeland Security Secretaries, will assess the various ways in which the Chinese government has exploited or could exploit the Chinese pandemic to advance China's interests and interests the United States, its allies and the rule-based international order.
The assessment must be made available to Congress within 90 days and published in unclassified form on the DNI website.
"While we are struggling to save American lives and rebuild our economy, no country should be allowed to use the pandemic to its own advantage. China has reportedly done just that," said Congressman Torres Small, a co-sponsor of the law.
"This is a time when countries should come together to combat the spread of COVID-19 without exploiting supply chain failures or a lack of critical equipment such as masks, gloves, and clothing to promote their own national security interests, unacceptable, and the United States must be able to hold China accountable if it continues, "he said.
Legislation requires, among other things, that the DNI investigate, analyze, and report on the techniques used by the Chinese government to prevent or retaliate against nations that have sought to fully investigate China's role in the emergence and spread of COVID-19 The Chinese government's motivation for such efforts.
An investigation is underway into the Chinese government's activities, such as cyber theft, to acquire information and intellectual property related to COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccines.
The draft law also calls on the DNI to examine how the Chinese government intends to promote its foreign policy interests by providing economic aid or medical equipment to countries affected by COVID-19, and to what extent this aid will make recipient countries more likely to take positions that are relevant to China are cheap and harmful to the United States.
The way the Chinese government is using or planning to use the global disruption and distraction associated with COVID-19 to aggressively pursue long-term goals, including those related to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Xinjiang and territorial areas, is another issue on that Congressmen point out.
Relations between Washington and Beijing have turned downward since the outbreak of the novel corona virus. US President Donald Trump has questioned the handover of COVID-19 by the Asian power plant.
The two countries have also argued about China imposing a new national security law in Hong Kong, restrictions on American journalists, the treatment of Uyghur Muslims, and security measures in Tibet.