U.S. Sen. Angus King is co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill that would create a commission charged with developing cohesive strategies for dealing with China.

Sens. King, I-Maine, John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, announced Thursday that they plan to introduce legislation to establish the China Grand Strategy Commission.

Sen. Angus King AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

The proposal would give 20 commission members two years to come up with a “whole of government” strategy for federal departments and agencies to follow when dealing with China, with an eye toward protecting and strengthening U.S. economic, diplomatic and national security interests.

“At almost every turn, the United States is facing new challenges from an increasingly aggressive China,” King said in a statement. “Our success over the next decade depends on an ability to understand these threats, deter a political conflict, and maintain our position as leader of the Free World.”

King, co-chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, said the commission would include experts from both the public and private sector. Members would study and evaluate U.S. dealings with China to ensure a balance between avoiding unnecessary escalations and defending a rules-based international order, King said in a release.

“There is too much at stake to face this threat shortsightedly. We simply cannot afford an ad hoc China policy that lacks long-term vision and coherence,” King said.


King said the commission would be modeled after the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, which has come up with more than 80 recommendations for protecting U.S. national security in cyberspace. Most of those recommendations have been fully or partially implemented, according to King.

“The Chinese Communist Party is increasingly aggressive and well resourced, and its ambitions paint an alarming picture for our economic and national security,” Cornyn said in a statement. “Confronting threats from China is the greatest security imperative of our generation.”

General Glen VanHerck, commander of the U.S. NorthCom and NORAD, said during a recent hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the commission’s greatest benefit would be to provide “a clear-eyed assessment of the current state of the world and our shifting position in it.”

“This Commission can, must, think past administration and election cycles to make non-partisan, long-term plans and strategies that will endure past cultural shifts and administration changes,” VanHerck said.

Tensions between the two nations have been escalating. The U.S. military shot down a high-altitude Chinese balloon on Feb. 4 that U.S. officials say was conducting surveillance. The U.S. is also concerned that China may support to Russia in its war against Ukraine, and about escalating tensions between China and Taiwan.

The commission would consist of two co-chairs chosen by Congress and the president, six members of the Executive Branch, two senators, two House members, and eight members from the private sector. King is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

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