Draft US Senate Bill Reportedly to Order Washington to Prevent Beijing’s Hegemony in Indo-Pacific

The bill also stipulates that the US federal budget must be spent in accordance with the “strategic imperative” to compete with China.

A draft of a new bill that is expected to hit the US Senate floor, reportedly outlines the necessity to coordinate the federal government’s activities in a way to effectively engage in “strategic competition” with China and prevent the Asian state from establishing a hegemony in the Indo-Pacific region, Reuters reported. The bill, called the “Strategic Competition Act of 2021”, is a result of a bipartisan effort and is scheduled to be discussed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on 14 April, Reuters reported citing an anonymous Senate aide.

The reported bill has not yet been registered in Congress’ online database.

The alleged 283-page bill also suggests a number of moves that the White House must undertake in order to compete with China and counter its “expanding global influence”. According to Reuters, the bill instructs every federal department to appoint one official, who will coordinate the body’s policies with a broader US policy of strategic competition with China. The draft legislation also reportedly demands that the federal budget should be aligned with the same policy.

The reported bill’s draft also includes proposed foreign policy measures to achieve the stated goal. The document namely instructs the White House to encourage foreign allies to undertake more efforts in “balancing and checking the aggressive and assertive behaviour” of China, Reuters claims, citing the obtained document.

Washington Makes Competition With China Cornerstone of Its Foreign Policy

The report of the draft legislation comes as tensions continue between Beijing and Washington under President Joe Biden following several years of a trade war and imposition of economic measures by former POTUS Donald Trump and his team.

The US under Biden named confronting Beijing on a number of issues one of its priorities. Washington outlined its intent to oppose alleged human rights violations in China, the country’s purported involvement in cyberattacks and intellectual property theft on US territory and its actions in the South China Sea during the recent US-China summit in Alaska. At the same time, the White House expressed readiness to cooperate with Beijing in the areas, where it believes the two countries’ “values” align with each other, such as climate change.

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