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March 16, 2023

King, Cornyn, Kaine Will Introduce Legislation to Create a China Strategy Commission to Confront Growing Competition

China Grand Strategy Commission would develop a whole-of-government approach for addressing range of challenges posed by China

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Angus King (I-Maine), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) are introducing bipartisan legislation to establish a commission tasked with developing a comprehensive whole-of-government approach for how the United States should address the economic, security, and diplomatic challenges posed by China. The proposed 2-year commission is modeled after the recent, successful Cyberspace Solarium Commission that was co-chaired by Senator King. The idea has been praised by top military leaders.

“At almost every turn, the United States is facing new challenges from an increasingly aggressive China. Our success over the next decade depends upon our ability to understand these challenges, deter a potential conflict, and maintain our position as leader of the Free World, ” said Senator King. “The China Grand Strategy Commission would harness the smartest public and private sector minds to study and evaluate our competition with China – ensuring a balance between avoiding unnecessary escalation and fully defending a rules-based international order. This commission won’t just put a report on a shelf to collect dust; it will develop an actionable strategy across the entire government. There is too much at stake to face this challenge without a comprehensive strategy that takes into account the current geopolitical landscape, the history and culture of China, and the current trajectory of its leadership. We simply cannot afford an ad hoc China policy that lacks long-term vision and coherence.”

“The Chinese Communist Party is increasingly aggressive and well resourced, and its ambitions paint an alarming picture for our economic and national security,” said Senator Cornyn. “Confronting threats from China is the greatest security imperative of our generation and a strategic, whole-of-government approach is the only way forward. The China Grand Strategy Commission will provide invaluable recommendations to guide our long-term approach toward China.”

“The U.S.-China relationship is the most consequential bilateral relationship of the century,” said Senator Kaine. “As Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party continue to pursue a more aggressive foreign policy, it’s vital the U.S. response is comprehensive and strategic. This bill is critical to helping us create a long-term, whole-of-government approach to manage this era of heightened competition and avoid escalation.” 

The China Grand Strategy Commission would develop recommendations over the next two years for a comprehensive grand strategy and whole-of-government approach with respect to the United States’ relationship with the People’s Republic of China for purposes of:

  • Ensuring a holistic approach toward the People’s Republic of China across all federal departments and agencies;
  • Defining specific steps necessary to build a stable international order that accounts for the People’s Republic of China participation in that order;
  • Providing actionable recommendations with respect to the United States’ relationship with the People’s Republic of China, which are aimed at protecting and strengthening United States national security interests.

The Commission would include 20 members total including two Co-Chairs chosen by Congress and the President, six members of the Executive Branch, two Senators, two House Members, and eight members of the private sector. The commission compliments existing efforts by the Congress to conduct oversight and leverage the work of current China commissions. The commission is based on action – its structure closely models that of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, which put forward more than 80 concrete recommendations for how to improve America’s national security in cyberspace – more than 85 percent of which are fully or partially implemented or on track for implementation.

A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senator King is recognized as a thoughtful voice on national security and foreign policy issues. In January, Senator King visited Kyiv to hold bilateral meetings with President Zelenskyy and his Ukrainian counterparts to ensure that American aid was being used efficiently with proper oversight.

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