by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence will begin a major inquiry into the threat from China this week in a shift from its past attention on Russian subversion.
The committee will hold a series of hearings, both open and in secret, examining threats posed by China in the military sphere, economic and industrial realm, technology arena, and Beijing’s significant influence operations against the United States, said committee aides.
The new inquiry is being directed by Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R., Calif.) and is supported by Republicans and Democrats.
“These hearings are meant to highlight the many challenges China poses to our national security through its aggressive territorial claims, unfair trade policies, espionage and cyber-attacks, and through other means,” Nunes told the Washington Free Beacon.
“Our focus in the first hearing is to look at the military advances, quantitative and qualitative, and how it connects to China’s broader strategy for force projection and influence,” said one committee aide.
China is seeking to dominate the international order through a combination of infrastructure investment in the developing world and a network of overseas port facilities and military bases.
The inquiry will examine China’s future plans and intentions and help educate both government and the private sector to the dangers.
“The concern is not the snapshot of where the Chinese are today, but where they’re headed,” the aide said. “It takes a long time for us to shift and realize that we have a real threat.”