On Tuesday, President Joe Biden accused the Chinese government of trying to interfere in negotiations over a broad China competition bill that would boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing.
This is a national security issue. The Chinese Communist Party is lobbying people to oppose this bill, Biden said Tuesday in Troy, Alabama. It is an issue that unites Democrats and Republicans. Let's get it done. He spoke about the long-stalled legislation by citing the more than 200 semiconductors needed to manufacture a Javelin antitank missile, which has been deployed by Ukrainian forces against Russian invaders, during a tour of a Lockheed Martin Corp. plant.
Biden's comments, made during remarks that focused chiefly on the war in Ukraine, were the most critical of China's Communist Party.
The Senate and House could begin the formal conference process soon so that the two chambers can reconcile their different versions of the measure, which is intended to strengthen competition with China. The final passage is still months away.
Members of both parties support $52 billion in the legislation for domestic semiconductor manufacturing but disagree on other provisions.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington has been seeking meetings with administration officials, congressional offices, think tanks and companies to gather information about the bill and what provisions are likely to make it to the president's desk, people familiar with the meeting requests said. The administration officials have declined the requests, as have many of the congressional offices, according to the people.
An embassy spokeswoman didn't respond to a request for comment.
The White House didn't provide any more details about the president's accusation.
The president often cites past conversations with Chinese President Xi Jinping in which he challenged Xi's view that democracies can't deliver for their people.
After 15 months in office, the White House has yet to articulate a comprehensive China strategy, including what it will do with respect to economic disputes. U.S. officials have been deliberating on the issue of tariff reduction, new trade probes and the enforcement of former President Donald Trump's phase one trade deal for months.
The Republicans believe that the lack of a strategy that separates the Biden team from Trump's policies presents a vulnerability for Democrats in the November midterm elections.
Biden Team splits on new rules for U.S. investments in China.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to outline the administration's policy on China in a speech on Thursday morning, but people familiar with the plans said it is not expected to lay out any new initiatives or details on the economic front.
Biden's team is at odds over what to do with hundreds of billions of dollars in existing tariffs on Chinese goods, and has differing views about whether and how hard it is to scrutinize U.S. investments into China.
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