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Amid Rising Global Tension, Groups Caution Congress From Finalizing Bill That Would Exacerbate U.S.-China Antagonism and Promote Militarism at Home and Abroad

Contact: Johanna Kichton, press@peoplesaction.org, 202.660.0605

WASHINGTON, D.C.—A coalition of more than thirty global justice organizations led by Justice is Global, Win Without War, and Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft today sent a letter to congressional leadership urging them to finalize a version of the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) that does not lead to more U.S.-China antagonism. While acknowledging the value of provisions that would support domestic manufacturing and science, as well as concerns around increasing authoritarianism in China, the letter points out critical changes needed to avoid exacerbating nationalism and security competition and proposes measures to encourage cooperation and uphold human rights. 

“Urgent global challenges, such as climate change, pandemics, and growing economic inequality, can be confronted only through international cooperation,” Justice is Global Director Tobita Chow said. “Cooperation between the U.S. and China is particularly crucial. U.S. policymakers must recognize this reality rather than unnecessarily deepening international divisions through a strategy of zero-sum competition and containment.”

“There are very real challenges to work out between the United States and China,” Win Without War President Stephen Miles said. “But the maximally aggressive approach that dominates the foreign policy establishment today won’t get us there. ‘Combating China’ has simply become a convenient excuse for pushing a corporate, militarist agenda that, in reality, actively undermines national security and human rights in the United States and China alike. We need a new approach, not a new Cold War.”

“As written, the foreign policy provisions of USICA will only move Washington and Beijing further along the path of a zero-sum ‘new cold war’ between our nations,” Quincy Institute Advocacy Director Marcus Stanley said. “By demonizing China, this approach inevitably stigmatizes Americans of Chinese descent and cuts off opportunities for beneficial cooperation between the two most powerful nations on earth in key areas of global concern like climate change, maintaining peace, and promoting economic development.”

The letter calls on congressional leaders to finalize a bill that:

  • Rejects a competitive, zero-sum rivalry framework;
  • Excludes policies that would lead to the profiling of people of Chinese descent or promote an arms race with China;
  • Eliminates policies that would inflame tensions in the Taiwan Strait;
  • Focuses on U.S.-China cooperation to provide universal global public goods and reform the global economy;
  • Supports human rights in China; and
  • Creates enforceable human rights controls on U.S. arms sales and military aid. 

The full text of the letter may be found here

The supporting organizations include Justice is Global, Win Without War, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, American Friends Service Committee, Campaign for Peace Disarmament and Common Security, Center for International Policy, Committee for a SANE U.S.-China Policy, Common Defense, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker – Washington, D.C., Environmentalists Against War, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, Indivisible, Institute for Policy Studies, New Internationalism Project, InterReligious Task Force on Central America, MADRE, NAKASEC, National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, OPAWL – Building AAPI Feminist Leadership, Peace Action, Peace Action New York State, Peace Action W.I., Randolph Area Peace & Justice Coalition, V.T., Rising Voices, RootsAction, United for Peace and Justice, Upper Hudson Peace Action, Women Cross DMZ, Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND), World BEYOND War, and Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation.

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Justice is Global is a project of People’s Action to win a more just and sustainable global economy and defeat rightwing nationalism. People’s Action is a national network of 40 state and local grassroots, power-building organizations in 30 states, united in fighting for justice. We operate the largest progressive rural organizing project in the country. People’s Action and its member organizations coordinated one of the biggest distributed organizing programs in rural areas this election season.

The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft is an action-oriented think tank that promotes ideas which move U.S. foreign policy away from endless war and toward vigorous diplomacy in the pursuit of international peace.

Win Without War is a diverse network of activists and national organizations working for progressive foreign policy in the United States.

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Press Contact
Johanna Kichton

(202) 660-0605

About People’s Action

People’s Action is a national network of 38 state and local grassroots, power-building organizations united in fighting for justice. Our organization recently released a vision for a national Homes Guarantee that has already prompted major legislation from champions including U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib. We operate the largest progressive rural organizing project in the country. Prior to endorsing Sen. Bernie Sanders for president, we completed a national forum series that The Nation called “the most in-depth, people-powered forum” of the 2020 cycle.”

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