In an interview with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said that it’s time for the U.S. to step up the fight against China’s continued intellectual property theft and their ongoing attempts to influence politics and business in the U.S. Cotton suggested that it might be effective for Congress to make it illegal for American individuals to accept payment from the Chinese Communist Party.
“The Chinese Communist Party continues its campaign of intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer,” Cotton said. “It is past time for us to insist this stop. The Trump administration and the president have been doing that in various ways. I’ve got legislation that would take more steps, as well. So, for instance, criminalizing the payment of money to American professors and academics who are on the payroll of the Chinese Communist Party or their state-owned enterprises.
“Right now, you can only prosecute those cases for things like wire fraud or lying on federal documents,” Cotton continued. “It’s the act of accepting the Chinese money itself that should be criminalized. There are other steps we can take, as well, to stand up for American companies that shouldn’t have to transfer their intellectual property to Chinese partners simply as a condition of doing business with Chinese consumers.”
Cotton brought up the case of a University of Arkansas professor who was indicted on charges of fraud after investigators uncovered his ties to China.
“Federal law enforcement deserves great credit for putting together a strong case against alleged Chinese agent Simon Saw-Teong Ang,” Cotton said. “But Chinese spies aren’t ordinary fraudsters – they’re working for a foreign adversary. We ought to change the law so foreign agents in the future are held accountable not only for wire fraud, but for taking money from the Chinese Communist Party in the first place, the real crime in these cases.”
Cotton’s remarks came a day after the Washington Post published an adoring profile of the CCP and the “bright future” the government offers poverty-stricken Chinese youth. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) said the piece read like a “press release” from the Chinese Communist Party. The feature, which was written by the news department, echoed reports from December that revealed that China was running full page propaganda in several major American newspapers in such a way as to make those ads look like they were part of the regular news.