Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence Subcommittee Chair Pfluger Opening Remarks During CCP Threats Hearing
WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence Chairman August Pfluger (R-TX) delivered the following opening remarks today at the CTI Subcommittee hearing examining the numerous threats the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) poses to the U.S. homeland, and what actions must be taken to mitigate the threat to U.S. homeland equities.
Excerpts and highlights below from Subcommittee Chair Pfluger:
“Despite years of attempts by the United States to develop a productive, fair, and honest relationship with the People’s Republic of China, America has been met with dishonesty and aggression. The PRC government, run by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), has deceived and manipulated us at every turn, committing espionage in our homeland and working to overturn the global rules-based order.
“On January 28th, a Chinese surveillance balloon entered U.S. airspace and spent the next 8 days traveling over the majority of the continental U.S. This Chinese surveillance balloon was a brazen display of espionage in the U.S. homeland, but it is ultimately one of many ways the CCP is working to exploit our vulnerabilities. Today, we must take the conversation beyond the balloon and discuss all the avenues the CCP is threatening U.S. homeland security.
“A majority of the threats China poses to U.S. homeland security are occurring below the threshold of traditional conflict. We need to be cognizant of these threats and generate multifaceted solutions to deter them.
“These threats are already directly affecting American citizens. MD Anderson Cancer Center, one of the nation’s top hospitals for cancer care in my home state of Texas, ousted several scientists from the center in 2019 who had ties to China.
“Additionally, the CCP is exploiting the open nature of American academia to steal vital research and development. Confucius Institutes, marketed as mechanisms to promote Chinese language and culture, have been used by the CCP to recruit American talent to support Military-Civil Fusion, monitor Chinese nationals studying at American universities, and have faced allegations of visa fraud.
“Today, I am reintroducing with Chairman Green and Congressman Wenstrup the ‘DHS Restrictions on Confucius Institutes and Chinese Entities of Concern Act,’ which passed out of this Committee with bipartisan support last Congress. This bill works to close Confucius Institutes, and any other programs with the same goal, operating in the U.S. It also holds American universities accountable and ensures they prioritize their students’ educations and right to free speech above partnerships with Confucius Institutes that require universities to censor curriculums in favor of CCP ideology.
“In addition to threats to American IP and academic freedom, the CCP is targeting U.S. cybersecurity and critical infrastructure and undermining our economic security. Moreover, illicit fentanyl, fentanyl analogues, and related precursor chemicals are predominately sourced from the PRC and Mexico. These poisonous drugs continue to fuel the tragic fentanyl crisis in our homeland. I am eager to discuss these challenges and much more during today’s hearing.
“Let me be clear to anyone who is listening at home or abroad: This conflict is not with individual citizens of the PRC – this conflict is with the CCP, an authoritarian regime that commits genocide against its own people, censors free speech across the globe, and aims to end democracy as we know it.
“This hearing is the first step of many this subcommittee and the greater Committee on Homeland Security intend to take to confront the threats stemming from the CCP that target our homeland security. We will meet CCP aggression with strength, its deception with unflinching truth, and its attempts at exploitation with justice. We look forward to bipartisan cooperation this Congress as we all seek effective solutions to combat the pervasive threats posed by the CCP to U.S. homeland security.”