A US congressional commission has urged the Biden administration to set up a body to plan and impose sanctions and other economic penalties against China in the event of a conflict in Taiwan. 

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), a bipartisan group of former senior government officials and other experts, also called for a classified report on current and future military posture, logistics and other measures needed to ensure that the US can resist China during such a conflict.

The panel recommended a “joint planning mechanism made up of Taiwan and US defence officials identifying sets of interoperable and complementary capabilities required for the defence of Taiwan.”

It also directed the authorities to study the feasibility and the military requirements to block China-bound energy shipments, with a focus on the Strait of Malacca, in the event of such a conflict. 

The report comes as US President Joe Biden met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit in Bali on Monday where he told Xi that the U.S. objects to China’s “coercive and increasingly aggressive actions” toward Taiwan.

Trade relations

The USCC also recommended the government ensure that China complies with the terms and conditions of the 1999 Agreement US-China trade pact. “Congress consider legislation providing the authority to impose retaliatory trade measures against China in support of an ally or partner subject to Chinese economic coercion. Such legislation shall authorize coordinated trade action with U.S. allies and partners,” the panel reccomendations read. 

If not, Congress should consider legislation to immediately suspend China’s Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) treatment.

The committee has also recommended a report on the volume of products detained, excluded, or seized for violations of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and related enforcement activities. “This report should detail product sector, product quantity, and whether the shipment was stopped directly or indirectly containing any production linked to Uyghur forced labour,” it said.

It also wanted the Congress to direct the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to create an updateable list of Chinese firms operating in critical 733 sectors and found to have benefited from coercive intellectual property transfer, including theft.

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