China’s Soft Power has Grown, and its Influence in the United States is Startling. 

Rep. James Comer (R-Kentucky), chair of the House Oversight Committee, spoke with the media on Sunday and labeled China a problem due to the country’s theft of intellectual property, its sway in the academic world, and its control of popular social media sites like TikTok. 

A media outlet reported what Comer had said; China is still stealing American patents and intellectual property and manipulating the dollar’s value. It is widely thought that China maintains a sizable academic presence and a sizable spy ring within America’s research universities, through which they continue to steal valuable intellectual property. 

What is Soft Power?

Regarding politics, soft power is the capacity to persuade rather than force others to do what you want. Soft power is the ability to influence someone’s opinion by appealing to their sense of taste. Non-coercion is a distinguishing characteristic of soft power, and its currency consists of things like cultural production, political ideology, and international policies.

He claimed that the Biden administration had yet to show much courage in confronting China thus far. Biden’s decision to shoot the balloon down in the Atlantic after it had flown over every military base, including his own Fort Campbell, Kentucky, is shocking. Further, the United States issues with China go much beyond the balloons’ ability to spy on them. 

According to what Comer has informed the press, the Chinese military is constantly expanding. They’re pushing on with Belt and Road Initiative globalization efforts to establish a preeminent position in international trade and finance. The situation is problematic for America, and a leadership that will take a tough stance against China is needed. 

Including shipping, energy, and train projects, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a multi-trillion dollar infrastructure initiative that connects China to 100 countries. China would increase its global clout by investing in these projects, connecting East Asian and Western trading routes. 

In 2017, President Xi Jinping stated that the goal of this campaign was to construct a new platform for international cooperation to create new drivers for shared growth by facilitating policy, infrastructure, commercial, financial, and people-to-people connectivity. 

Proving that China’s power is not restricted to physical objects, TikTok, a social media website created in China, has over 1.5 billion users. 

Comer claims that a year or two ago, TikTok officials testified to Congress saying that none of the data TikTok collected ever left the United States. Still, it has since been shown through whistleblowers and media sources that some of that data did move back to China. Because of this information, ByteDance can track locations via TikTok, a significant issue for high-ranking government officials. 

Comer expressed his concern about the development in tensions between China and the United States, adding that the United States would not want Chinese criminals to be aware of the whereabouts of government leaders. This is why more states are banning TikTok. 

Comer was then questioned about his oversight responsibilities and whether he would investigate Jared Kushner’s ties to the Saudis.

According to Comer, Joe Biden is being investigated; Biden is on record saying he was unaware of his son’s business dealings throughout his presidential campaign. Americans would be appalled to learn how much money the Biden family has taken in from China, even though he claims he had nothing to do with them and reaped no benefits. 

Legislative action is necessary, he said. As a result, the Biden probe is crucial, and this problem has a legislative fix that can have bipartisan support. While Democrats criticized Kushner’s international business connections, Republicans are likely more concerned with those of the entire Biden family. 

Increasing the disclosure rules in the United States requires a clear understanding of what is and is not permitted and the implementation of stringent ethical regulations. As a result, this inquiry is crucial for preventing the situation from worsening. 

When discussing potential laws to establish a limit on the involvement of families of high-ranking government officials in international business with opponents, Comer indicated his belief that it would apply to everyone. He continued by saying it must be fixed before it worsens in the next administration.