BOISE, Idaho – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today highlighted significant steps taken over the last year to counter the challenges the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) poses to the United States and its allies and partners.
“Since the first day I took over as the lead Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I have stressed the need to prioritize China as our top foreign policy priority. Competition from China demands a comprehensive and collaborative response from the United Sates and our allies to keep the Indo-Pacific region free and open. As such, I have advanced several initiatives to safeguard U.S. interests, bolster Taiwan’s defense, strengthen U.S. economic and commercial diplomacy, and expand relationships with allies and partners.
“I have also worked to shed light on the CCP’s egregious human rights abuses and hold the Chinese government accountable through several messaging campaigns. During the Olympic and Paralympic games in Beijing, I launched the #CCPrisoners campaign to highlight individuals who have been unjustly kidnapped, detained, or killed by the CCP. I also advanced a messaging campaign surrounding the CCP’s 20th Party Congress which highlighted ongoing issues related to Hong Kong, including the high-profile trials of Hong Kong dissidents.
“To advance and secure U.S. and allied interests, we must remain laser-focused on confronting all aspects of the China challenge. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress and abroad on this effort in the coming Congress.”
In March, SFRC passed Risch’s resolution in support of Lithuania’s relationship with Taiwan.
In May, SFRC passed Risch’s resolution reaffirming the importance of U.S. alliances and the unique strategic advantage they provide to the United States, particularly in the Indo-Pacific and Europe.
In July, Risch introduced the ECON Act, legislation to strengthen economic and commercial diplomacy.
In December, the Senate passed the FY2023 National Defense Authorization Act which included a security assistance package for Taiwan developed by Risch in partnership with the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Armed Services Committees in both chambers.
In February, during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing, Risch led a 27-day #CCPrisoners campaign on Twitter to highlight 27 individuals who have been unjustly kidnapped, detained, or killed by the CCP, whether that be for their religion, beliefs, or ethnicity.
From October through December, Risch led a Hong Kong messaging campaign highlighting ongoing issues related to Hong Kong, including the high-profile trials of Hong Kong dissidents. A sampling of Risch’s key messages are highlighted below, and this campaign will continue next year:
In June, Risch spoke on a panel during the German Marshall Fund’s 2022 Brussels Forum, where he discussed the importance of addressing Russia and China at the same time and how the United States and Europe must confront China together.
In November, Risch participated in a moderated discussion at the 2022 Halifax International Security Forum, where he discussed how China will be our competitor economically and militarily over the next decade.
In May, Risch co-led a letter to President Biden urging the administration to include Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. In addition to Risch, 51 other senators signed the letter.
Also in May, Senator Risch sent a bipartisan letter to President Biden pressing the administration to pursue a more robust trade and economic agenda in the Indo-Pacific that includes free trade agreements.
In December, Risch engaged with the State Department to ensure critical changes were made to its ‘China House’ plan. The Department made every change he requested.
Also in December, Risch sent a bipartisan letter to Senate and House leadership advocating for appropriations for the Taiwan security assistance package in the FY 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.