TikTok aside, Congress has its eye on the U.S. money going into China

A jogger runs by the U.S. Capitol as the deadline to avert a partial government shutdown approaches at the end of the day on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 30, 2023.

Ken Cedeno | Reuters

BEIJING — The U.S. Congress increasingly has its eye on American capital that’s allegedly funded China’s military development, indicating that greater scrutiny on U.S. investments into China may outlast presidential terms and become part of law.

After a few false starts in 2023 that never ended up blocking U.S. investments into certain Chinese industries, some in the House of Representatives are still pushing ahead.

“I do think Congress needs to step up and legislate an enduring solution to this problem, because otherwise, we’re going to ping pong back and forth between different administrations and different executive orders, or different regulators saying different things,” Mike Gallagher, chairman of the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, said in a statement to CNBC this week.

“I think, at least in advanced technology sectors, we need to cut off the flow of funds. We can’t afford to keep funding our own destruction,” said Gallagher, who is also chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Cyber, Information Technologies, and Innovation, and on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The House Select Committee on the CCP, established in January last year, led the legislative act to essentially ban TikTok in the U.S. if its Chinese parent ByteDance doesn’t sell the popular social media app. The bill passed the House last week, and now must pass the Senate if it is to become law.

Former House Speaker McCarthy on Congress' TikTok bill, Pres. Biden's SOTU address and 2024 race

The House select committee in February also published a report alleging U.S. venture capital firms invested billions “into PRC companies fueling the CCP’s military, surveillance state and Uyghur genocide.”

It is unclear how aware U.S. firms were of such links, if any. Beijing has denied accusations of genocide.

Similar research detailing the links between U.S. capital, venture firms in China and Chinese tech startups has started making its rounds in major media outlets since late 2023.

The study was produced by “Future Union,” which describes itself as a “bipartisan advocacy organization designed to fuse private sector capitalism and forward thinking leaders to address a new wave of emerging technology and security challenges facing the U.S. and its allies.”

“In order to ensure that those competing and leading technologies have the opportunity to excel, capital is a critical element,” the report said. “As such, we need to return to a level of accountability and fidelity to the rule of law that made our capital markets and private sector the envy of the global system.”

Future Union also published a list of what it considers the top venture investors in technology and defense that are “advancing America’s interest through explicit action.”

Little else about the advocacy group’s background is…

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