Many thought the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics would help China transition to democracy. That did not happen. Over a decade later, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) still prioritizes power over the freedom of its citizens, respect for neighboring countries, and good-faith partnerships with the international community. 

All that’s changed in China since 2008 is the CCP’s authoritarianism continues to increase. This regime actively enslaves and murders Uyghur and Kazakh minorities, suppresses speech in mainland China and Hong Kong, and threatens Taiwan’s democracy with military intimidation. Yet despite the CCP’s various hostilities, another Olympic Opening Ceremony will take place in Beijing on Feb. 4.  

Some want a full boycott of the upcoming Olympics, but a boycott won’t discourage the CCP’s aggression. Neither will the recently introduced COMPETES Act, which includes the toothless EAGLE Act that passed out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee last year.  

Democrats claim the COMPETES Act is the United States’ best response to the CCP’s growing influence. However, the phrase ‘Chinese Communist Party’ is mentioned only nine times throughout this nearly 3,000-page bill, while House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse GOP leader says State of the Union attendance could be capped: report Asian caucus leader warns against encouraging xenophobia in debate on China competition bill Trump endorses GOP challenger to South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice MORE (D-Calif.) didn’t even bother to mention the CCP once in her statement announcing this bill. This alone is enough to prove the COMPETES Act isn’t about keeping up with the CCP.  

Also consider the billions of dollars the COMPETES Act allocates for woke climate provisions and social justice initiatives that have absolutely zero to do with the CCP. Meanwhile, completely absent from this bill is proper support for Taiwan, safeguards preventing subsidies to technology companies from flowing directly into China’s economy and limiting the CCP’s ability to steal American innovations and data.  

Americans’ intellectual property and sensitive information needs to be protected from CCP exploitation. I authored two bills to do just that. The first bill, the Trade-Related Intellectual Property Protection Act, requires the explicit consent of Congress for the president to share American companies’ intellectual property with World Trade Organization member nations. The second, the American Genetic Privacy Act, makes changes to how the federal government and genetic testing companies share sensitive information with the CCP. 

Additional legitimate policy alternatives to combating the CCP exist in the Countering Communist China Act. This common-sense conservative approach places tough economic sanctions on the CCP, reduces our supply chain’s dependence on China, strengthens U.S.-Taiwan relations and reaffirms America’s commitment to global free speech. It’s also more responsible with taxpayer dollars. This bill is less than 1 percent of the cost of the COMPETES Act’s $300 billion-plus price tag. 

Boycotters say cancelling the upcoming Winter Games is an appropriate response to the CCP’s aggression. That is a mistake. Ignoring the CCP’s hostilities does as much to move towards a solution as the climate and social justice policies in the COMPETES Act do. Instead of boycotting the games, they need to be viewed as an opportunity for Americans to talk about meaningful accountability for the CCP’s corruption. Americans must reflect on how our nation should address the CCP’s global advance as they tune in to watch our Olympic athletics win gold in China. 

Tim BurchettTimothy (Tim) Floyd BurchettMan says Tennessee lawmaker saved his life with Heimlich maneuver GOP’s Banks burnishes brand with Pelosi veto House bill targets US passport backlog MORE represents Tennessee’s 2nd District and is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

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