Congressional Republicans Call For Rejection Of China Cooperation Agreement

A number of congressional Republicans sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken this week asking the Biden administration not to renew a science and technology partnership agreement with Beijing.

The letter states that the Biden administration should “not renew the Agreement Between the United States and the People’s Republic of China [PRC] on Cooperation in Science and Technology (STA),” which is expiring Aug. 27.

The representatives argued that Beijing “has previously leveraged the STA to advance its military objectives and will continue to do so.” 

According to the letter, such partnerships “could have developed technologies that would later be used against the United States,” including the Chinese spy balloon which entered American airspace earlier this year.

The members of Congress also asserted that there were “very concerning reports” that China had utilized research intended for agriculture “for analyzing satellite and drone imagery for irrigation management.” 

The Republicans said that it “should come as no surprise that the PRC will exploit civilian research partnerships for military purposes to the greatest extent possible.”

The letter was signed by ten House Republicans, including Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI)and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY). Gallagher is the chairman of the House Select Committee on China 

The Republicans’ letter comes as the Biden administration received considerable criticism over its China relations approach.

Earlier this month, a group of Republican senators sent a letter to the White House, requesting a tougher approach to the People’s Republic.

The senators criticized the president’s handling of the Chinese spy balloon which transited over the United States earlier this year prior to being shot down off the coast of South Carolina. 

“While four months have passed since a Chinese surveillance balloon was allowed to fly across the United States, your administration has yet to provide the American people a full accounting of how this spy platform was allowed to traverse across sovereign U.S. territory, what the balloon carried and what it collected during its mission,” the letter said.