Gallagher accuses the Biden administrator of being ‘split’ on whether China or climate change is the main threat to the US.

EXCLUSIVE: House Select Committee on China Chairman Mike Gallagher called the Biden administration “divided” on whether Beijing or climate change pose the biggest threat to US national security, telling him told Fox News Digital that the split is the reason for the administration’s “political incoherence.”

Rep. Gallagher, a Wisconsin Republican, heads the new House committee focused on combating the threat posed by China to the US, a panel created for the 118th Congress by Speaker Kevin McCarthy and established with a wide bipartisan support.

In an interview with Fox News Digital, Gallagher said he has a relationship with the Biden administration and is confident the committee will be able to work with officials, despite disagreements on approach.

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Rep. Mike Gallagher, a Wisconsin Republican, heads the new House committee focused on combating the threat posed to America by China.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

“We can still have a bipartisan spirit that allows for thoughtful disagreement,” Gallagher said.

And the White House National Security Council (NSC) told Fox News Digital that it plans to work with the committee on the matter.

“Under President Biden, we are more prepared than ever to overcome China, protect our national security, and advance a free and open Indo-Pacific,” NSC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson told Fox News Digital. “Many of the efforts we’ve been making are bipartisan, which underscores the alignment at home on this key issue.”

He added: “We hope the committee adjourns and we will continue to work with Democrats and Republicans in Congress on this top priority.”

But Gallagher said one challenge could be the apparent division among Biden administration officials over what is the biggest threat to the nation and prioritizing how to address that threat.

“I think the White House is divided,” Gallagher said. “The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will say that China is our biggest threat in the short, short and long term.”

Officials such as FBI Director Christopher Wray, CIA Director William Burns, and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines have repeatedly warned that China poses the greatest threat to US national security.

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“But you do have some of this tension because there is a substantial part of the administration that really believes that climate change is our biggest existential threat,” Gallagher said, referring to officials like White House climate czar John Kerry.

White House Climate Czar John Kerry

White House Climate Czar John Kerry
(Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

“If you read the national security strategy, it talks about climate; I think it says it’s an ‘existential challenge’ of our time and therefore this creates inconsistency and a lack of consistent prioritization,” Gallagher said. “And he leads someone like John Kerry to advocate against the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, because he knows that the sub-components of solar panels are built by slave labor in China.”

“So I think that kind of competition between the two camps in the Biden administration explains a lot of his political incoherence,” he added.

But a senior administration official told Fox News that they are targeting climate change as “a way to compete with China.”

The official pointed to the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which they say positions the US to “spend more than China” for the first time. The official also referred to the Reduced Inflation Act, saying the administration is focusing on making “huge investments” to create manufacturing jobs in the United States and strengthen supply chains.

“On China and climate change: We are focused on putting the full weight of the Biden administration’s national security and foreign policy enterprise behind the kinds of investments in our national strength that are the foundation for strong inclusive economic growth. , competitiveness, and American leadership in the key industries of the future that will sustain and grow the American middle class,” the official said.

“We have been very clear about China and the threat it poses,” the official continued, noting the administration’s national security and defense strategy. “China is seen as the biggest geopolitical threat.”

That threat, Gallagher says, is one he sees in “three dimensions”: a military threat, an economic threat and an ideological threat.

Regarding the military threat, Gallagher warned that a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan could “potentially lead us into a kinetic confrontation with China.”

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“I think time is not on our side and we have entered the window of maximum danger,” Gallagher told Fox News Digital.

Fox News reported last summer that China could invade Taiwan in the next 18 months, according to current and former officials familiar with US and allied intelligence, specifically through an amphibious assault and military invasion.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping and President Biden shake hands before their meeting in Bali, Indonesia on November 14, 2022.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping and President Biden shake hands before their meeting in Bali, Indonesia on November 14, 2022.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Gallagher said his panel would likely play a “supportive” role regarding the military threat, since that issue falls under the jurisdiction of the House Foreign Affairs Committee under Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and the House Committee on House Armed Services under Mike Rogers. , R-Ala.

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Regarding the economy, Gallagher warned that the economic threat “manifests itself in the nature of a critical dependence on China in a number of areas.” He added: “Think about the absurdity of that: in many cases, we rely on China for the things we put in our weapons systems that we might need in a future war with China.”

Gallagher told Fox News Digital that the United States “must make sure that we’re not subsidizing our own destruction.”

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As for the ideological threat, Gallagher said it is a “competition between two very different systems of government.”

Gallagher, meanwhile, touted the Republican appointed members of the panel, all of whom, he said, are “serious, sober members who represent a broad swath of the caucus and represent almost every committee that affects this issue.”

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Democrats have yet to name members to the panel, but Gallagher urged them to “take this seriously.”

“We don’t want this to be an exclusive Republican effort,” he said. “We want the Democrats to participate and we want them to name serious and sober members as well.”

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