WASHINGTON – Nearly two dozen Republican lawmakers are calling on President Joe Biden to engage with allies on emerging technologies such as 5G networks and artificial intelligence in light of China’s advances.
Senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, Mike Rogers, senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Mike McCaul, and senior member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, Frank Lucas, signed a letter to Biden calling him called for alliances to be maximized in order to “counter China’s vision of technical authoritarianism and protection of our own economic and national security interests.” “
Rep Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., Headed the January 27 letter signed by 23 Republicans of the House.
The message to Biden signals a path for bipartisan cooperation just days after Secretary of State Antony Blinken shut down British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s efforts to forge a D-10 group of democracies – South Korea, India and Australia and the G-7 seemed to support nations – to work together on 5G and compromised supply chains.
In his confirmation hearing last week, Blinken said: “The starting point is bringing together the countries concerned, the digital democracies, in a suitable forum.”
“I don’t want to minimize the challenge. We obviously have disagreements between democracies on a lot of deep questions about the use of technology, so we need to do some work to get our own collective house in order,” he said.
Under pressure from President Donald Trump, Western allies agreed to ban Chinese tech giant Huawei from their 5G networks and assert a spying risk, which the company has denied. Since then, the European Union has signed a long-promised investment deal with China last month, despite public concerns from the new Biden administration.
The Republican legislature, who referred to Johnson in his letter, recommended addressing the subject of China’s tech authoritarianism through the G7 and NATO – but also expanding the commitment to allied democracies and establishing and accepting new international groups that support the democratic Dedicate cooperation in technology field.
They also called for an allied network to be built to encourage collaboration between companies in Allied states to scale emerging technologies and the US to help allies set up government agencies like the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, to review foreign investments and prevent the transfer of allied technologies.
McCaul, chairman of the House’s Republican-only China Task Force, urged Biden to prioritize investments in domestic next-generation semiconductor die manufacturing in his anticipated infrastructure plan. McCaul has sponsored laws to increase funding for basic research.
“We need to work with our allies to ensure that our supply chain is secure and that the future of technology is safely out of the hands of the US [Chinese Communist Party]”Said McCaul in a statement.
Democratic lawmakers have also sounded the alarm about China’s development of new technologies. Following a report last month that Huawei was testing AI software that can detect Uighur minorities and alert the police, Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, the new chairman of the Senate’s External Relations Committee, tweeted:
“A shocking reminder that #China continues to violate the ethical development of new technologies. The US must work with our allies to ensure the proper use of the digital domain, which is based on the values of openness, stability, security and the protection of human rights. “