First US House China select committee to focus on human rights

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A new US congressional select committee on competition with China will hold a first hearing focused largely on human rights on Tuesday night, as bilateral ties remained tense weeks after a suspected spy balloon flying over North America was shot down.

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“We want to lead with a human rights focused, values-focused agenda,” Representative Mike Gallagher, Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, told reporters on a call previewing the hearing.

He said he sees the hearing, the first of many over the next two years when the Republicans hold power in the House, as part of an effort to convince Americans about why they should care about competing with China, and to “selectively decouple” the US and Chinese economies.

Leading up to the hearing, Gallagher held three events to draw attention to rights concerns, including a rally on Saturday outside what US officials call an illegal Chinese Communist Party “police station” in New York.

Gallagher sent a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation last week seeking information about such alleged police outposts.

He said Monday he had not received a response, but expected FBI director Christopher Wray would brief the panel.

China denies operating “police stations” on US soil.

Additional events with rights activists were set for Monday night and Tuesday afternoon.

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