Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) hit the ground running with his new Select Committee on China. The Republican on Wednesday announced his plans to call on Disney CEO Bob Iger and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to appear before the committee and explain their “bending the knee.”
Both organizations are noted for their cozy relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Lawmakers with a 365-65 vote established the committee with Gallagher as chair. The effort is part of the Republican Party’s commitment to confront the Chinese challenge head-on and push it to the forefront of the nation’s security efforts.
Gallagher told radio host Hugh Hewitt that the newly formed body looks to place the U.S. “in a position where we can win this new Cold War.” He asserted that the committee also wants to deter World War III.
His agenda for the new committee included studying ways to strengthen the U.S. military position as it relates to Asia, developing supply chains independent of China, protecting U.S. intellectual property, and publicizing the conditions under communist rule.
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The Republican representative believes that talks with the NBA and Disney need to take place in the public eye. He said that it drives many Americans “crazy” to see the NBA’s tight relationship with the communist regime.
The league and its owners reportedly have over $10 billion invested in China.
Likewise, the Walt Disney Co. for years nurtured closer ties with the communist leadership in Beijing. The entertainment giant now operates theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
There is also a connection between Disney’s sporting ties and the CCP. Under Iger’s leadership, the company forbade subsidiary ESPN from mentioning the strained relationship in 2019 between China and Hong Kong.
China has carried out several provocative actions during the Biden administration, including increased drills around Taiwan and military exercises following then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island democracy last year.
The Trump administration placed China at the top of national security concerns, and the Biden White House — at least in words — has followed suit. The new House committee is another step in the national realization that China is a threat, not an ally, and must be treated as such.