U.S. Senate votes in support of China bill

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U.S. Senate votes in support of China bill

The Washington Capitol Building is seen behind security fencing that has been up around the building since the siege on Capitol Hill in the US House of Representatives in January 6, 2021. HOW IS Evelyn Hockstein born??

The United States Senate voted on Tuesday 68 -- 32 to adopt a Chinese package of legislation designed to increase the country's ability to compete with huge technology.

The desire for a bipartisan line in dealings with China is one of the few bipartisan sentiments in the deeply divided US Congress, which is narrowly controlled by President Joe Biden's fellow democrats.

The measure entails about $190 billion for provisions to strengthen U.S. technology and research - and would authorize $54 billion to increase production and research into semiconductors and telecommunications equipment, including 2 billion that are used by automakers that have encountered massive shortages and made significant production cuts.

The bill must pass the House of Representatives to be created before Bill Biden signs it at the White House. It's not clear what the legislation in the house will look like or when it may take it up.

The bill contains a number of other Chinese-related provisions, including prohibiting the social media app TikTok from being downloaded on government devices and would block the purchase of drones manufactured and sold by companies backed by the China government. It would also allow diplomats and military to display their flag and wear their uniforms when traveling in the U.S., instead of staying in the Netherlands on official business.

It will also create new broad federal sanctions on Chinese entities engaged in U.S. cyberattacks or theft of U.S. intellectual property from U.S. companies, and provides for a review of export control on items that can be used to support human rights abuses.

Chuck Schumer, a co-sponsor of the measure, warned of the dire consequences of not funding research to keep up with China.

If we do nothing, our days as dominant superpower could be ending. We don't mean to let these days end on our watch. We don't mean to see America become a middling country in this century, Schumer said.

He praised the bill: We are in a competition to win the 21st century, and the starting gun is off We cannot risk falling behind.

The new U.S. Department of Commerce Gina Raimondo has said that the funding could result in seven to 10 new semiconductor plants.

Many U.S. companies praised the bill. General Motors Co said the legislation is an important step to address the semiconductor shortage which continues to affect United States auto manufacturing.

Some critics have likened the Senate funding effort to China’s high-tech industrial development drive, made in China 2025, which has irked the United States for long time.

The bill also seeks to counter Beijing's growing global influence through diplomacy by working with allies and increasing U.S. involvement in international organizations following the Republican President Donald Trump's America First agenda.

Senator Maria Cantwell noted the bill would authorize NASA spending and its Artemis mission to the Moon.

As China has made it clear that they are going to Mars, we are going back into the Moon to go on to Mars, Cantwell said.

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