The House of Representatives has passed a bipartisan bill to strip communist China of its international status as a developing nation, thereby limiting the regime’s access to certain aid from the United States and other nations.
H.R. 1107, colloquially referred to as the “PRC is Not a Developing Country Act,” aims to ensure that China’s communist regime does not receive any of the preferential treatment in international treaties, agreements, and organizations that might otherwise be afforded to a developing nation.
The bill passed 415-0, with 20 representatives not voting, and will now move to the Senate for consideration.
“The Chinese Communist Party is exploiting countries in need and receiving preferential treatment in international treaties and organizations,” said bill co-sponsor Rep. Young Kim (R-Calif.) in a statement. “We must take action to right this wrong.”
“The PRC is Not a Developing Country Act will ensure that the Chinese government is not getting unfairly favorable treatment and influence at the expense of truly developing nations. I will keep working to ensure that the CCP is held accountable, and the United States and our values lead the way in supporting developing countries around the world.”
Many international organizations, including the World Trade Organization, provide developing countries with special treatment to increase their economic opportunities.
To that end, the bill would require the State Department to take actions to stop China from being classified as a developing country by international organizations.
Likewise, the bill would direct the State Department to advocate for international organizations to change China’s status from a “developing country” to either an upper-middle income country, high income country, or developed country.
“We cannot let the PRC continue exploiting countries in need and taking unfair advantage of international treaties and organizations,” Kim said in a prepared speech before the House.
“It is time that we give developing countries a better chance at participating in programs meant for them, and not meant for the world’s second largest economy.”
The bipartisan bill comes amid renewed interest in Congress to counter and overcome malign influence by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which rules China as a single-party state.
It also comes amid increased scrutiny of how the CCP regime exploits the rules-based international order to its own benefit.
“China has a well-established record of manipulating the international system to its benefit and continues to use its historical status as a developing country to its benefit,” said one report published earlier in the month by conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, “even though it is an economic power rivaling the U.S.”
“China was a low-income country, but it no longer is. The U.S. should take steps to ensure that these benefits do not aid wealthy powerful nations like China, but target poor nations as intended.”