There is mounting pressure on President Biden to apply fresh sanctions on Chinese internet companies associated with the CCP. GOP lawmakers assert that Huawei and other enterprises pose a risk to national security, and they are calling for stricter regulations to be implemented by the administration to eliminate this threat.
A group of nine Republican senators wrote to the Biden administration on April 25, cautioning them that Chinese cloud storage companies, such as Huawei Cloud, are increasingly collaborating with foreign entities. Some of these foreign entities are situated in nations like Russia, and the services that China offers include satellite imagery that has evident military applications.
China’s involvement could potentially facilitate Russia’s ability to strike targets in Ukraine, but depending on the type of images provided, it may also pose a threat to the US. Huawei is supporting Russia through the Sky Computing Constellation, a joint project with Spacety China, which has already been subjected to sanctions by the Treasury Department due to its links with Russia. Now, the senators are urging for the companies that operate the project to also be sanctioned.
Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) leads the group and claims that the activities of Chinese companies present a threat to the national security and economic security of the United States. The letter, written by Hagerty, was signed by several other Republican senators, including Ted Cruz (TX), Steven Daines (MT), Marco Rubio (FL), Katie Britt (AL), Joni Ernst (IA), Dan Sullivan (AK), Kevin Cramer (ND), and Thom Tillis (NC).
The letter has been sent to the Commerce, State, and Treasury departments, requesting them to take action against Huawei and other companies. Additionally, the senators are pushing for action against Alibaba Cloud, which is partially controlled by a CCP committee and is still collaborating with Russia but has two data centers located in California’s Silicon Valley.
Until now, the Biden administration’s reaction towards China has been inconsistent. Earlier this year, the president imposed sanctions on certain companies that were associated with the Chinese defense industry; however, numerous other companies controlled by the CCP are still operating freely within the US. The lawmakers are now pressurizing President Biden to fill in the gaps and take more comprehensive actions against these companies.