House Lawmaker Reintroduces Bill to Deny Senior CCP Officials US Visas

February 9, 2021 Updated: February 9, 2021

Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) has reintroduced legislation with the aim of preventing the Chinese regime from stealing U.S. intellectual property by denying visas to people with ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Chinese military.

The bill, named the Stop China’s IP Theft Act, would prohibit the issuing of visas to senior officials of the CCP and their spouses and children. These officials include those in the Politburo, a group of the Party’s 25 most elite members; the Central Committee, comprising the key leadership; and delegates to the 19th National Congress, a once-in-five-years Party conclave.

Also banned are cabinet members of China’s central government and active-duty members of China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army.

“We cannot continue to tolerate China’s attempts to steal our intellectual property,” stated Lesko according to a Feb. 8 statement from her office.

She added: “This legislation is critical in safeguarding our intellectual property and combating the global threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party.”

Lesko first introduced the bill (H.R.8764) in November last year. The reintroduced bill is co-sponsored by Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.),  Scott Perry (R-Pa.), Greg Steube (R-Fla.), Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.), and Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.).

The visa ban would be lifted once the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) certifies to the Judiciary committees in both the House and Senate that the Chinese regime has “ceased sponsoring, funding, facilitating, and actively working to support efforts to infringe on the intellectual property rights of citizens and companies of the United States,” according to the language of the bill.

Under the Trump administration, the Justice Department carried out numerous prosecutions against Chinese nationals and Americans for concealing their ties to China or alleged IP theft from U.S. firms and institutions to benefit China.

For example, a Chinese professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was arrested and charged in mid-January for failing to disclose his work with entities tied to the CCP.

On Jan. 13, a senior NASA scientist pleaded guilty to lying about his ties to a Beijing-backed talent program. The CCP has rolled out numerous talent programs in an effort to harvest talents from developed countries and transfer intellectual property to China.

Avril Haines, the current director of national intelligence, said during her Senate confirmation hearing last month that she believes the CCP is an adversary to the United States in some areas while partners in others.

Haines’ predecessor, John Ratcliffe, in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal in December last year, said “China poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom world-wide since World War II.”

“The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the U.S. and the rest of the planet economically, militarily, and technologically,” he added.

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