Murphy Sets Sights On China’s Influence Campaign in Latin America, Caribbean

April 13, 2021 by TWN Staff
Chinese president Xi Jinping listens during the closing session of the National People's Congress. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON – Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., is pressing for a comprehensive assessment of China’s efforts to expand its presence and influence in Latin America and the Caribbean and how these efforts could undermine American interests.

Under the auspices of a new bill Murphy has authored, the State Department, Defense Department, National Security Council and other members of the intelligence community would prepare a “holisitic assessment” of the situation and brief Congress on “America’s strategy to counter China’s more malign activities in this vital region.”

“China’s self-serving efforts to project power in South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico — a region of great importance to the United States — have the potential to threaten our national security, our economic prosperity, and our democratic values,” Murphy said in a written statement.

“As America and China compete across nearly every functional and geographic domain, it is critical for U.S. policymakers to understand what China is doing in the region and to have an effective strategy in place to counter China’s aggressive conduct and to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its actions,” she said.

Policymakers have expressed growing concern about China’s diplomatic, military, intelligence, and economic actions in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In recent testimony to Congress, Admiral Craig Faller, the commander of Florida-based U.S. Southern Command, said China is engaged in a “full-court press” in the region and that U.S. influence is “eroding.”

The assessment required by Murphy’s bill, the Assessing China’s Presence and Influence in Latin America and the Caribbean Act, would have both an unclassified and a classified section.

It would examine, among other things:

  • countries in the region with which China maintains the closest relationships and in which it is making significant investments or loans, funding infrastructure projects, or providing foreign assistance;
  • China’s relationship with the governments of Venezuela and Cuba;
  • China efforts to exploit the region’s natural resources, including oil, natural gas, and rare earth metals;
  • Chinese military assets and activities, its sale or transfer of defense equipment, and its role in transnational crime and drug trafficking in the region;
  • whether Chinese investments in the region could have military applications, enable China to intercept U.S. communication, or otherwise threaten U.S. national security;
  • China’s COVID-19 “vaccine diplomacy” in the region and the conditions it attaches to such assistance;
  • the degree to which China has used its influence to build leverage over countries in the region and to coerce those countries into supporting China’s foreign policy goals;
  • the specific actions taken by China in the region that present the greatest threat to United States’ interests.

For a one-page summary of the bill, click here. For the text of the bill, click here.

In The News

Health

Voting

Geopolitics

China Rejects Hacking Charges, Accuses US of Cyberspying
Geopolitics
China Rejects Hacking Charges, Accuses US of Cyberspying

BEIJING (AP) — China on Tuesday rejected an accusation by Washington and its Western allies that Beijing is to blame for a hack of the Microsoft Exchange email system and complained Chinese entities are victims of damaging U.S. cyberattacks. A foreign ministry spokesman demanded Washington drop... Read More

US, Allies Accuse China of Backing Cyber Attacks Worldwide
Cybercrime
US, Allies Accuse China of Backing Cyber Attacks Worldwide
July 19, 2021
by Dan McCue

The United States, NATO and several allies collectively called out China on Monday for a series of malicious cyber- and ransomware attacks, including a March attack that exploited a flaw in Microsoft's Exchange Server. Monday’s announcement, which followed a conference call with White House reporters Sunday... Read More

U.S. Names China, Ethiopia, Myanmar In Genocide Prevention Report
Geopolitics
U.S. Names China, Ethiopia, Myanmar In Genocide Prevention Report
July 13, 2021
by Daniel Mollenkamp

A report from the U.S. voiced concern over ongoing human rights abuses, which the U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, at a press conference on Monday characterized as an attempt to apply international pressure to stop atrocities. In the 2021 Wiesel report, the country’s annual atrocity... Read More

Top US Commander in Afghanistan Relinquishes Post
Military
Top US Commander in Afghanistan Relinquishes Post

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan relinquished his position at a ceremony in the capital Kabul on Monday, taking the United States a step closer to ending its 20-year war. The move came as Taliban insurgents continue to gain territory across the... Read More

Biden Says US War in Afghanistan Will End August 31
White House
Biden Says US War in Afghanistan Will End August 31

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Thursday said the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on Aug. 31, saying "speed is safety" as the United States seeks to end the nearly 20-year war. "We did not go to Afghanistan to nation build," Biden said... Read More

Big Tech Industry Group Criticizes Hong Kong’s Vague Data Rules
Technology
Big Tech Industry Group Criticizes Hong Kong’s Vague Data Rules
July 6, 2021
by Dan McCue

An industry group representing Google, Facebook and other Internet companies warned Hong Kong’s government that changes to the city’s data-protection laws could dramatically curb the companies’ ability to provide services to it. The problem, the letter says, is vaguely worded rules that the Singapore-based Asia Internet... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top