US Senate passes bill to compete with China

The US Senate has passed a bill that calls for a huge budget increase in domestic industries to counter China, especially in fields closely related to the economy and security.

The Senate passed the US Innovation and Competition Act on Tuesday by a vote of 68 to 32.

The bill focuses on strengthening advanced technologies that could affect national security in order to counter China. They include semiconductors, artificial intelligence, and next-generation communications networks.

The government would provide 250 billion dollars over five years for research and development and to build supply chains.

The bill also calls for stepped up cooperation with US allies that possess high-level technical capabilities, including Japan, in the area of economic security.

While the bill focuses on boosting domestic industries, it also proposes a "diplomatic boycott" of the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing. It prohibits the use of federal funds to send government-related officials to the games.

Athletes and officials of the Olympic and Paralympic committees are exempt from the plan, and a US delegation can still be sent to China.

The bill also calls for stopping human rights abuses by China's Communist Party including "genocide" in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

President Joe Biden has expressed support for the bill. It will be debated by the House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass.
Some Republican lawmakers supported the legislation despite political divisions that deepened in the US under former President Donald Trump.

The bipartisan cooperation has further highlighted Congress' hardline stance against China.