A bill has been introduced in Congress by a coalition of 14 US lawmakers calling on the government to recognize, examine and combat suspected attempts by the Chinese government to exploit the Covid-19 pandemic for nationalist gains. The ‘Preventing China from Leveraging Covid-19 Act,’ introduced by Congressman Jared Golden and co-sponsored by 13 other congressmen, will require the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to examine ways in which the Chinese government plans to capture the Covid-19 pandemic in order to advance its interests on the national stage and determine the risks to the US.
This also asks the DNI to provide lawmakers with information they need, when appropriate, to discuss and combat Chinese actions, and to report their findings to Congress. “We need to fully understand these threats and respond to them. We’re introducing the ‘Preventing China from Exploiting Covid-19 Act’ to gather and analyse important intelligence our country needs to protect American people and businesses,” Golden said.
After the advent of the novel coronavirus, ties between Washington and Beijing have spiraled downward. The handing over of Covid-19 to the Asian superpower has been challenged by US President Donald Trump. The two countries have also sparred China by imposing a new Hong Kong law on national security, restrictions on American journalists, persecution of Uyghur Muslims and security measures in Tibet.