President Joe Biden said on May 3 that the Chinese regime is trying to influence the outcome of legislation aimed at bolstering U.S. competitiveness against Beijing.

“Fundamentally, this is a national security issue. This is one of the reasons why the Chinese Communist Party is lobbying folks to oppose this bill,” Biden said. “And it’s an issue that unites Democrats and Republicans. So, let’s get it done.”

The House version of the bill was passed in February, in a mostly party-line 222–210 vote. In the following month, the Senate bill was passed in a 68 to 28 vote, with 27 of the 28 senators who voted against it Republicans. The legislation is known as the COMPETES Act, with one of the key provisions being to provide billions to support the U.S. semiconductor industry.

Biden made the remarks in Troy, Alabama, during a tour of a plant belonging to U.S. defense giant Lockheed Martin. The rest of his remarks focused mainly on the Ukraine war.

To make his case about the need to have the legislation, Biden pointed to how a single Javelin anti-tank missile needed 200 semiconductors. Ukrainian forces have used the missiles to fight back against the Russian invasion.

“That’s why we are making it as hard as we can for Russia to get a hold of semiconductors and advanced technologies that it could use to upgrade its military during this conflict, and why we’re taking steps to make it easier to source what we need here in the United States during a global semiconductor shortage,” Biden said.

Now, the two chambers of Congress will start conference negotiations to reconcile differences between the bills before a final version can be sent to the president’s desk.

The Epoch Times has reached out to the White House for comment.

The Chinese regime has publicly criticized the legislation. In February, Zhao Lijian, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, accused the United States of engaging in “hegemonic and bullying practice” through the legislation, when asked to comment on how the House bill was passed.

Some Republicans have voiced concerns about the bill, saying they fail to address challenges posed by China.

On May 3, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) issued a statement saying the COMPETES Act has many shortcomings.

“The COMPETES Act is a perfect example of how a broken Washington tries and fails to solve problems,” he stated.

“Instead of combatting the threats posed by [Chinese leader] Xi Jinping and the evil Communist Chinese Party, the COMPETES Act recklessly wastes $250 billion we don’t have on Green New Deal policies, like the UN Green Climate Fund, wild handouts to universities partnering with Communist China and tech companies making record profits,” he added.

According to Scott, the bill would provide $8 billion on the U.N. Green Climate Fund. He said that the bill also fails to hold China accountable for the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Reckless government spending like this fuels inflation. With prices skyrocketing and CPI at a 40-year high, American families can’t afford more failed policy and reckless spending from a broken Washington,” he stated. “I won’t stop fighting to defeat this bad bill.”



Frank Fang is a Taiwan-based journalist. He covers news in China and Taiwan. He holds a master’s degree in materials science from Tsinghua University in Taiwan.

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