US Senators Call for Coordinated Strategy in Confronting China

US Senators Angus King (I-Maine)

A bipartisan group of US senators called for a coordinated American approach toward China that would combine initiatives under a “China Grand Strategy Commission” incorporating the executive and legislative branches as well as representatives from business.

The commission would be asked to define steps to build a “stable international order” that includes China, even as it offers recommendations to strengthen US national security.

Decrying what they describe as the haphazard approach that the US has taken toward China policy, Senators Angus King, a Maine independent, John Cornyn, a Texas Republican and Virginia Democrat Tim Kaine are among more than a dozen lawmakers signing on as sponsors of the measure.

“We simply cannot afford an ad hoc China policy that lacks a long-term strategy,” King said in a statement.

Lawmakers have criticized both the Biden and Trump administrations for inconsistencies on matters of China policy, from trade to the defense of Taiwan.

The new commission would be modeled on the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, which was created to seek consensus on a strategic approach to defend the US “against cyber attacks of significant consequences.” King serves as co-chairman on that panel.

An earlier model was the Solarium Project begun in 1953 by President Dwight Eisenhower with the goal of achieving consensus on how to best confront the rise of the Soviet Union.

The 18-member China commission, which the group says it hopes to enact as part of the fiscal 2023 defense spending bill, would include six members from the executive branch, two senators, two House members and eight members from the private sector