WASHINGTON, DC – Representative Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation, today chaired the first Subcommittee hearing of the 117th Congress. The hearing, titled “America’s Way Forward in the Indo-Pacific,” explored challenges and opportunities for U.S. policy in the Indo-Pacific, including competition with China, North Korea, and human rights and rule of law in the region.
“The Indo-Pacific is the most consequential region for American foreign policy, with enormous challenges but also great opportunities,” said Chairman Bera. “From increased aggression in the South and East China sea, to the use of coercive trade measures, China is the greatest geopolitical challenge we have faced in decades. Today’s discussion helps lay the foundation for the Subcommittee to build a robust and enduring Congressional response to China, a priority for this Subcommittee moving forward. The Asia Subcommittee will also address the backsliding of democracy in the region, including the military coup in Burma, and North Korea’s proactive actions that threaten regional stability and security.”
Chairman Bera continued: “The Indo-Pacific also holds significant promise and opportunity for the United States, in large part because of the friendship and partnership of our regional actors and organizations. When working with our friends across the region, we can be a force multiplier on things such as COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and equitable distribution, combatting climate change, and advancing freedom and prosperity. I look forward to working with Ranking Member Chabot and the Subcommittee Members to rebuild and strengthen our partnerships across the Indo-Pacific that yields security and economic benefits for both the American people and our friends in Asia.”
Expert witnesses included Richard N. Haas, President of the Council on Foreign Relations and Former Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State, Randall G. Schriver; Chairman of the Project 2049 Institute and Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs; and Nadège Rolland Senior Fellow for Political and Security Affairs at the National Bureau of Asian Research.
Chairman Bera opened the hearing by noting the dramatic rise in hate crimes against Asian-Americans over the last year, including the recent deadly shooting in Atlanta, Georgia.
“We have witnessed a disturbing rise in hate crimes against Asian-Americans, crimes that tear at the very fabric of what makes this country so strong,” said Chairman Bera. “Not only does diversity, inclusion, and respect for human rights make us stronger at home, but also abroad, As elected leaders, we have a duty to be mindful of our language and to distinguish between the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese and Chinese-American people.”
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