On Friday Republican Congressional Representative Chris Stewart, who represents Utah’s 2nd district, published an op-ed discussing China’s influence on corporate America and how it poses a threat to American national security. The piece also describes the House Intelligence Committee’s “investigation into the extent of China’s malign influence activities against corporate America.”
Rep. Stewart began the op-ed stating the obvious, pointing out that “China’s ultimate strategic goal is becoming the world’s preeminent superpower – economically, militarily, diplomatically and technologically” and that they are “actively work[ing] to shape our public opinion.” He then dropped the central thesis: “American companies are deeply entangled in this effort, wittingly and unwittingly.
“That’s why my Republican colleagues on the House Intelligence Committee and myself launched an investigation into the extent of China’s malign influence activities against corporate America.” Stewart wrote. “The aim of our investigation is to raise public awareness of China’s grip on American corporations, and, more importantly, answer some critical questions.”
He continued, explaining some of the central questions the investigation would focus on.
“How are U.S. companies vulnerable to Chinese theft? How does China influence U.S. businesses and to what end? What role does China play in our supply chain and what vulnerabilities does this create? This investigation is ongoing, but one answer is already clear: China is using corporate America to influence our government and public opinion. The preliminary findings confirm many of our fears.”
Stewart then explained the numerous abuses the Chinese have levied towards American business, claiming that “U.S. businesses are being manipulated into sharing key technologies with China,” allowing “Beijing access to sensitive intellectual property.” According to Stewart, these actions benefiting China-based firms and the Chinese Communist Party alike, all at the expense of American industry. He went on to point out that the “effort is only accelerated by the fact that CCP members serve as board members and senior executives in many U.S. firms.”
The op-ed continued, with Stewart boldly saying “This is not just about China stealing America’s intellectual property, penetrating our markets and exploiting our national security, though. This is a campaign to manipulate the hearts and minds of the American people.”
He went on to explain the investigation is not a matter of discovering if China is influencing America, but rather “a matter of how severely they are manipulating our businesses and culture for their own benefit.”
The Utah Representative concluded the op-ed imploring action from the American people, saying “If our business leaders don’t open their eyes, recognize the gravity of this situation, and prioritize American interests, we will all suffer the consequences of an ever-empowered Chinese Communist Party.”
The entire piece can be found here.