FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Madison Tang | CODEPINK China campaign coordinator | [email protected] | (714) 337-5375
Jodie Evans | co-founder, CODEPINK | [email protected] | (310) 621-5635
May 17, 2021 — Today, CODEPINK joined a transpartisan coalition of over 65 organizations in sending a joint statement to Congress and the Biden administration expressing deep concern about the U.S. government’s demonization of and confrontational approach to China.
In response to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s recent vote to advance the Strategic Competition Act of 2021, which is reported to receive a Senate floor vote this month, civil society groups from across the political spectrum joined in coalition to demonstrate the consensus on opposition to the growing Cold War mentality driving the U.S. approach to China. This legislation risks institutionalizing a framework that is hauntingly familiar to the way Democrats joined Republicans in the late 1990s to pass the Iraq Liberation Act that paved the way for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
The Strategic Competition Act, as the letter explains, frames China and its economic development as a “malign influence” and as the pivotal existential threat to U.S. prosperity and security; this dangerous zero-sum mentality fuels more violence, including racism, xenophobia, and an increasingly destabilizing arms-race.
The full statement is available here.
The statement emphasizes that the Strategic Competition Act creates a hostile political environment that prevents opportunities for cooperative, non-military solutions to the true global security challenges of today, and lists crises like economic inequality, climate change, nuclear proliferation, pandemics, supply chain disruption, and ethnonationalism as examples.
“The Strategic Competition Act’s text identifies “China” 256 times and mentions “the PRC” (People’s Republic of China) 220 times, but includes no provisions for U.S. cooperation or respectful relations with China,” said Madison Tang, coordinator of the China Is Not Our Enemy campaign. “This reinvigorated wave of McCarthyism, Yellow Peril rhetoric, and military funding focused solely on “containing” and destabilizing an emerging China will only escalate tensions and increase the potential for war, while further emboldening Sinophobic violence against Asians and Asian Americans within the U.S.”
Perhaps most alarmingly, the Strategic Competition Act would increase U.S. military aggression towards China by providing for an exorbitant $655 million in funding for foreign militaries in the Indo-Pacific region and $450 million for the Indo-Pacific Maritime Security Initiative. It would also provide for at least $270 mill for each year from 2022-2026 for ongoing and new programs to fund anti-China media and journalism.
Jodie Evans, co-founder of CODEPINK, said, “The alleged ‘threat’ of China is being used as the sole justification for the increase in the Pentagon budget, as well as for the additional military funding for the Western pacific region in the Strategic Competition Act. Don’t let the State Department manufacture consent for war and more exorbitant military spending by falsely positioning China as an enemy.”
List of signatories:
ActionAid USA ● American Friends Service Committee ● Asia-Pacific Working Group ● Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) ● Beyond the Bomb ● Brooklyn For Peace ● Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security ● Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) ● Center for International Policy ● Center on Conscience & War ● Church of the Brethren, Office of Peacebuilding and Policy ● CODEPINK ● Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach ● Common Defense ● Concerned Families of Westchester ● Council for a Livable World ● DC Dorothy Day Catholic Worker ● Demand Progress ● Democracy For America ● Detroit Action ● Friends Committee on National Legislation ● Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action ● Indivisible ● Just Foreign Policy ● Justice Democrats ● Justice is Global ● Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives ● MADRE ● Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns ● Massachusetts Peace Action ● MoveOn ● National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) ● National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights ● National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies ● Organized Uplifting Resources & Strategies ● Peace Action ● Peace Action New York State ● Peace Direct ● Peace Education Center ● People's Action ● Physicians for Social Responsibility ● Project Blueprint ● Proposition One Campaign ● Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft ● Rachel Carson Council ● Rising Voices ● RootsAction.org ● San Francisco Bay Physicians for Social Responsibility ● Sunrise Movement ● Support and Education for Radiation Victims (SERV) ● Syracuse Peace Council ● The Committee for a SANE U.S.-China Policy ● The Freedom BLOC ● The United Methodist Church - General Board of Church and Society ● Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment) ● U.S. Campaign for Burma ● Union of Concerned Scientists ● United for Peace and Justice ● Veterans For Peace ● Western States Legal Foundation ● Whatcom Peace & Justice Center ● Win Without War ● Women Cross DMZ ● Women's Action for New Directions ● Working Families Party ● World BEYOND War