- China ripped into the US over a new global competition bill that aims to undermine Beijing’s goals.
- China characterized the bill as “full of Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice.”
- The bill would pour $250 billion into research and development to make the US more competitive with China.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
China on Wednesday issued scathing criticism of a bipartisan bill designed to make the US more competitive with Beijing on the global stage by pouring billions into research and development.
The Foreign Affairs Committee of China’s National People’s Congress in a statement denounced the bill as “full of Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice.”
“It slanders China’s development path and its domestic and foreign policies,” the statement added, per The Washington Post.
The US Innovation and Competition Act, which passed in the Senate on Tuesday, would provide $250 billion to invest in an array of research and development areas – ranging from space exploration to computer chips – to help challenge China’s growing economic and military strength. The bill also earmarks $300 million for the explicit purpose of countering China’s political influence.
President Joe Biden supports the bill, but it still has to pass in the House.
Biden has made countering China’s expanding influence across the globe a top foreign policy priority, framing it as part of a broader battle between democracy and autocracy.
“We’re in competition with China and other countries to win the 21st century. We’re at a great inflection point in history,” Biden said during his first address to Congress in late April.
The Biden administration has also increasingly criticized China over human rights abuses, issuing sanctions against Chinese officials in March over what Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced as the “genocide” of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
Even before Biden won the 2020 election and took office, top experts warned that the US and China were on the brink of a new Cold War akin to what was seen between the US and Soviet Union during the 20th century. In a veiled message to Biden in late January, Chinese leader Xi Jinping warned against the consequences of a new Cold War.
“To build small circles or start a new Cold War, to reject, threaten or intimidate others, to willfully impose decoupling, supply disruption or sanctions, and to create isolation or estrangement will only push the world into division and even confrontation,” Xi said at the time.
Meanwhile, Blinken has pushed against labeling the escalating competition between Washington and Beijing as such.
“I resist putting labels on most relationships, including this one, because it’s complex,” Blinken said during an interview with the Financial Times in early May. “And as I said, if you look at it, we’ve seen unfortunately in recent years the government in Beijing acting more repressively at home and aggressively abroad. And when I look at the relationship, I see adversarial aspects. I see competitive aspects. I see cooperative aspects – all three.”
Bonnie Chan, a fellow with the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, recently told Insider that the US-China competition does not fit the profile of a “Cold War” quite yet.
Chan said there’s “no doubt” it qualifies as a “great power competition,” but it’s “not exactly” a Cold War up to this point.
“The intensity of China’s territorial conflicts, as well as the level of US involvement on the other side of the conflicts, are not high enough to warrant the Cold War characterization,” Chan said, while adding that the interconnectedness of the US and Chinese economies also makes it difficult to say the competition has reached the same scale as the Cold War.
“There was a lot less economic cooperation between the two blocs during the Cold War,” Chan said. “Today, the supply chains of most goods span across regions. There are segments of the economy where China is striving to achieve independence, such as semiconductors. But for most other segments, both the US and China are dependent on each other for suppliers and buyers. It is difficult to envision a significant degree of economic decoupling other than in limited sectors.”