Text: H.R.1811 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (03/18/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 1811 Introduced in House (IH)]

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116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 1811

    To require an unclassified interagency report on the political 
influence operations of the Government of China and the Communist Party 
  of China with respect to the United States, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             March 18, 2019

 Mr. Smith of New Jersey (for himself, Mr. Cuellar, Mrs. Hartzler, Mr. 
 Gallagher, Mr. Ratcliffe, Mr. Meadows, and Mr. Perry) introduced the 
following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, 
 and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be 
subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration 
  of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee 
                               concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
    To require an unclassified interagency report on the political 
influence operations of the Government of China and the Communist Party 
  of China with respect to the United States, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Countering the Chinese Government 
and Communist Party's Political Influence Operations Act''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Appropriate congressional committees.--The term 
        ``appropriate congressional committees'' means--
                    (A) the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;
                    (B) the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate;
                    (C) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the 
                Senate;
                    (D) the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and 
                Pensions of the Senate;
                    (E) the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate;
                    (F) the Select Committee on Intelligence of the 
                Senate;
                    (G) the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban 
                Affairs of the Senate;
                    (H) the Committee on Appropriations of the House of 
                Representatives;
                    (I) the Committee on Armed Services of the House of 
                Representatives;
                    (J) the Committee on Education and Labor of the 
                House of Representatives;
                    (K) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House 
                of Representatives;
                    (L) the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of 
                Representatives;
                    (M) the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence 
                of the House of Representatives; and
                    (N) the Committee on Financial Services of the 
                House of Representatives.
            (2) Political influence operations.--The term ``political 
        influence operations'' means the coordinated and often 
        concealed application of disinformation, press manipulation, 
        economic coercion, targeted investments, corruption, or 
        academic censorship. Such efforts are often intended--
                    (A) to coerce and corrupt United States interests, 
                values, institutions, or individuals; and
                    (B) to foster attitudes, behavior, decisions, or 
                outcomes in the United States that support the 
                interests of the Government of the People's Republic of 
                China or the Communist Party of China.

SEC. 3. STATEMENT OF POLICY.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
            (1) The Government of China and the Communist Party of 
        China employ a wide range of political, informational, and 
        economic measures to influence, coerce, intimidate, or 
        undermine the United States interests or the interests of 
        United States partners and allies.
            (2) The December 2017 National Security Strategy of the 
        United States of America states, ``Although the United States 
        seeks to continue to cooperate with China, China is using 
        economic inducements and penalties, influence operations, and 
        implied military threats to persuade other states to heed its 
        political and security agenda.''.
            (3) The political influence operations efforts of the 
        Government of China and the Communist Party of China have 
        received less scrutiny than similar efforts of the Government 
        of the Russian Federation, but given China's economic strength 
        and the growing apparatus being used to spread its influence 
        globally, efforts to promote its authoritarian ideal pose 
        significant and consequential long-term challenges to United 
        States interests and values.
            (4) The Government of China and the Communist Party of 
        China use overt and covert means to target the political and 
        economic elite, the media and public opinion, civil society and 
        academia, and members of the Chinese diaspora.
            (5) The Government of China and the Communist Party of 
        China employ an array of government entities, friendship and 
        exchange organizations, private entities and businesspeople, 
        and government-funded foundations, think tanks, educational and 
        other projects to carry out political influence operations, 
        which is often referred to as united front work.
            (6) These political influence operations violate national 
        sovereignty, and as such, are fundamentally different from 
        traditional efforts by states to shape international policy 
        debates and improve their public image through public diplomacy 
        and strategic communications campaigns.
            (7) The aims of the political influence operations of the 
        Government of China and the Communist Party of China are--
                    (A) to protect the political security of the 
                Chinese Communist Party, both within China and 
                globally;
                    (B) to domestically and globally promote the idea 
                that the Chinese Communist Party's political and 
                economic model is superior to the governments of 
                Western democracies; and
                    (C) to promote the interests of the regime 
                globally.
            (8) The political influence operations of the Government of 
        China and the Communist Party of China take advantage of the 
        open and democratic nature of the United States, including--
                    (A) constitutional protections for free speech and 
                a free press; and
                    (B) the desire of some individuals or institutions 
                to attract Chinese investment, gain access to Chinese 
                markets, or attain greater global influence.
    (b) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) the political influence operations of the Government of 
        China and the Communist Party of China are not ``soft power'' 
        intended to persuade, but ``sharp power'' intended--
                    (A) to penetrate or corrupt democratic countries 
                and undermine democratic institutions and freedoms;
                    (B) to foster attitudes, behavior, laws, and 
                policies favorable to the Government of China's 
                interest through disinformation, coercion, corruption, 
                and other means;
                    (C) to widen the scope of Chinese authoritarian 
                influence around the world, including--
                            (i) to suppress political opposition to the 
                        Chinese Communist Party; and
                            (ii) to violate the internationally 
                        recognized human and civil rights of Chinese 
                        citizens living in nations around the world; 
                        and
                    (D) to undermine the strength of American alliances 
                around the world; and
            (2) the American people need reliable and current 
        information--
                    (A) to identify the key institutions, individuals, 
                entities, and ministries that carry out such 
                operations; and
                    (B) to distinguish between malign political 
                influence operations intended to undermine core 
                American freedoms, democratic institutions, and 
                cultural, educational, business, and people-to-people 
                exchanges that may benefit the United States and China.
    (c) Statement of Policy.--It is the policy of the United States--
            (1) to clearly differentiate between the Chinese people and 
        culture and the Government of China and the Communist Party of 
        China in official statements, media, and messaging, and to 
        ensure that efforts to curtail Beijing's political influence 
        operations do not lead to the targeting of Chinese-Americans or 
        the Chinese diaspora;
            (2) to clearly differentiate between legal, internationally 
        accepted public diplomacy and strategic communications 
        campaigns and illicit activities to undermine democratic 
        institutions or freedoms;
            (3) to protect United States citizens and legal residents 
        from malign or coercive political influence operations;
            (4) to enhance cooperation and coordination with Australia, 
        Canada, New Zealand, Taiwan (officially known as the ``Republic 
        of China''), and Mongolia, whose governments and institutions 
        have faced acute pressure from the political influence 
        operations of the Government of China and the Communist Party 
        of China, and with other allies throughout the world;
            (5) to create strategies to ensure that countries in 
        Africa, the Western Hemisphere, Southeast Asia, and elsewhere 
        are aware of China's ``sharp power'' and provide needed 
        capacity to counter them effectively;
            (6) to implement more advanced transparency requirements 
        concerning collaboration with Chinese actors for media 
        agencies, universities, think tanks, and government officials;
            (7) to use various forums to raise awareness about--
                    (A) the goals and methods of the political 
                influence operations of the Government of China and the 
                Communist Party of China; and
                    (B) common patterns and approaches used by Chinese 
                intelligence agencies or related actors;
            (8) to require greater transparency for Confucius 
        Institutes, think tanks, academic programs, and nongovernmental 
        organizations funded primarily by the Government of China, the 
        Communist Party of China, or by individuals or public or 
        private organizations with a demonstrable affiliation with the 
        Government of China or the Communist Party of China that are 
        operating in the United States to register through the Foreign 
        Agents Registration Act of 1938 (22 U.S.C. 611 et seq.) or a 
        comparable mechanism;
            (9) to seek ways to increase Chinese language proficiency 
        among mid-career professionals that do not rely on funding 
        linked to the Government of China;
            (10) to ensure that existing tools are sufficiently 
        screening for the risk of Chinese influence operations; and
            (11) to create more flexible tools, as needed, with the 
        goals of--
                    (A) screening investments from the Government of 
                China or sources backed by the Government of China to 
                protect against the takeover of United States companies 
                by Chinese state-owned or state-driven entities; and
                    (B) protecting institutions or business sectors 
                critically important to United States national security 
                and the viability of democratic institutions.

SEC. 4. STRATEGY TO COUNTER ``SHARP POWER'' POLITICAL INFLUENCE 
              OPERATIONS AND TO PROTECT UNITED STATES CITIZENS.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of State, in coordination with all 
relevant Federal agencies shall develop a long-term strategy--
            (1) to carry out the policy statements set forth in section 
        3(c);
            (2) to effectively counter the ``sharp power'' political 
        influence operations of the Chinese Communist Party globally 
        and in the United States;
            (3) to ensure that United States citizens, particularly 
        Chinese Americans and members of the Chinese, Uyghur, and 
        Tibetan diaspora who are who are often the victims and primary 
        targets of malign political influence operations, are 
        protected;
            (4) to ensure that--
                    (A) the United States Government strategy to 
                protect the communities described in paragraph (3) is 
                clearly communicated by relevant Federal officials; and
                    (B) secure outlets are created for reporting on 
                intimidation and surveillance;
            (5) to ensure that Chinese nationals who are legally 
        studying, living, or working temporarily in the United States 
        know that intimidation or surveillance by the Government of 
        China and the Communist Party of China is an unacceptable 
        invasion of their rights while they reside in the United 
        States; and
            (6) to provide secure outlets for reporting on intimidation 
        and surveillance.
    (b) Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State, or an appropriate high-
ranking official, shall--
            (1) submit an unclassified report containing the strategy 
        required under subsection (a) to the appropriate congressional 
        committees; or
            (2) describe the strategy required under subsection (a) 
        through unclassified testimony before the Committee on Foreign 
        Relations of the Senate or the Committee on Foreign Affairs of 
        the House of Representatives.

SEC. 5. REPORT ON THE POLITICAL INFLUENCE OPERATIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT 
              OF CHINA AND THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CHINA.

    (a) In General.--Because it is important for American policymakers 
and the American people to be informed about the influence operations 
described in section 3, not later than 270 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State, in coordination with the 
Director of National Intelligence, and in consultation with the heads 
of relevant Federal departments and agencies, shall submit an 
unclassified report to the appropriate congressional committees that 
describes the political influence operations of the Government of China 
and the Communist Party of China affecting the United States and not 
more than 5 allies and partners most impacted by the Government of 
China's influence operations in their countries (as determined by the 
Director of National Intelligence), including efforts--
            (1) to exert influence over United States governmental or 
        nongovernmental institutions or individuals, or government 
        officials among United States allies and partners;
            (2) to coerce or threaten United States citizens or legal 
        permanent residents or their families and associates living in 
        China or elsewhere;
            (3) to undermine democratic institutions and the freedoms 
        of speech, expression, the press, association, assembly, 
        religion, or academic thought;
            (4) to otherwise suppress information in public fora, in 
        the United States and abroad; or
            (5) to develop or obtain property, facilities, 
        infrastructure, business entities, or other assets for use in 
        facilitating the activities described in paragraphs (1) through 
        (4).
    (b) Contents.--The report required under subsection (a) shall also 
include recommendations for the President and Congress relating to--
            (1) the need for additional resources or authorities to 
        counter political influence operations in the United States 
        directed by the Government of China or the Communist Party of 
        China, including operations carried out in concert with allies;
            (2) whether a permanent office to monitor and respond to 
        political influence operations of the Government of China and 
        the Communist Party of China should be established within the 
        Department of State or the Office of the Director of National 
        Intelligence; and
            (3) whether regular public reports on the political 
        influence operations of the Government of China and the 
        Communist Party of China are needed to inform Congress and the 
        American people of the scale and scope of such operations.
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