The Washington Post

The House China committee is off to a promising start

The panel’s first prime-time hearing was refreshing­ly bipartisan and productive.


IT IS all too rare these days to see House members working across the aisle with a shared — and serious — sense of purpose. So we should applaud even tentative signs that it’s still possible. The first prime-time hearing of the House committee on China took place Tuesday night in the same grand room where the committee investigat­ing the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol gathered last year. If that insurrecti­on was part of the gravest internal threat facing America, the committee on China is examining what might be the most significan­t internatio­nal threat.

The House created this panel in January on a bipartisan vote of 365-65. By and large, its members struck a cooperativ­e tone, and a sense of urgency, at the first hearing. “Just because this Congress is divided, we cannot afford to waste the next two years,” said Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-wis.), the committee’s chairman. Rep. Raja Krishnamoo­rthi (Ill.), the panel’s ranking Democrat, added: “We must recognize that the [Chinese Communist Party] wants us to be fractious, partisan and prejudiced.”

The 24 members covered a range of topics during the three-hour hearing, from Taiwan, trade and Tiktok to a special emphasis on human rights. In a telling indicator of how closely the panel’s endeavor is being watched in Beijing, China’s hypersensi­tive Foreign Ministry issued a blistering statement accusing the panel of operating with a “zero-sum Cold War mentality.”

Code Pink protesters heckled former national security adviser H.R. Mcmaster as he delivered his opening statement. Apparently lost on the activists was that they could not protest this way in Beijing. Democracy tends to be messy and often quarrelsom­e. But we hope the promising and productive early signs coming from this committee continue. And that the rest of Congress takes note.

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