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Flags of the US and China | Credits: Reuters
News Politics

Chinese Communist Party Secretly Lobbying Congress

United States: Amidst the sacred chambers of the US Congress, the surreptitious endeavors of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in relation to TikTok have stirred disquiet among those familiar with Capitol Hill affairs.

Insiders versed in the matter reveal that the Chinese Embassy has covertly engaged with congressional personnel to counter proposed legislation that could necessitate the divestment or outright prohibition of TikTok in the United States. These maneuvers by CCP-aligned diplomats constitute a blatant effort to shape US policy in favor of a Chinese technology behemoth.

Despite the resounding approval of legislation in March by the US House of Representatives aimed at curtailing TikTok’s influence due to concerns regarding national security and data privacy, Chinese officials have intensified their lobbying endeavors, particularly within Senate circles.

The clandestine nature of these lobbying efforts is highlighted by the fact that initial meetings initiated by the Chinese Embassy did not disclose TikTok’s involvement, sparking apprehensions regarding the extent of China’s sway within American corridors of power.

The proposed legislation, which could mandate ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, to divest the application within six months or face prohibition in the US, has encountered vehement opposition from the CCP, given the app’s strategic significance as a conduit for disseminating Chinese propaganda and projecting soft power overseas.

Furthermore, China’s audacious bid to influence Congress follows revelations that TikTok expended a substantial USD 2.1 million on television advertisements in pivotal battleground states, fueling suspicions of foreign meddling in US electoral processes.

The company has done a lot to allay worries, including asserting its autonomy from its parent company, ByteDance, and pledges to keep US user data safe from surveillance by the CCP. Still, it has become a controversial issue as the whistleblowers and the former employees have questioned whether these assurances are real and solid. The suspicion voiced by a number of the sources that TikTok’s declared endeavor to outgrow its Chinese parent company could just be a marvelous sham; former employees claimed that they still worked with the ByteDance operator, compromising the reliability of its data protection promises.

Such releases implicate the US national security and the American people from the malicious influence of greedy autocratic governments like CCP. Therefore, congress has a mandate to stay steadfast in ensuring that it effectively safeguards national interest while preserving the citizens from this covert influence. The future of TikTok will serve as a gauge of the US’s ability to facilitate opposition to foreign interference and the structural integrity of democratic systems vis-a-vis the rising wave of Chinese influence.

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