'In recent years curved mesh panel factories , Washingtons China policies have expanded rapidly into technology sectors such as telecommunications, semiconductors, data security, and financial services. Growing bipartisan concern about Beijings actions and intentions have fueled these developments, with little difference between the Trump and Biden administrations or between the White House and Congress. The result has been a flurry of new restrictionsincluding on exports, imports, direct investment, and financial securitiesthat are fundamentally reshaping the U.S.-China economic relationship. Cross-border business travel between the United States and China, essentially halted for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is unlikely to fully rebound because of increased caution and suspicion on both sides of the Pacific. At the same time as this more defensive approach to economic and technology competition with China has taken root, Congress has also gone on the offensive by moving to appropriate new funding to areas deemed critical to maintaining U.S. competitive advantages in technology, manufacturing, and defense. The current depth and breadth of these approaches were hard to imagine just a few years ago. The corporate sector, besides facing increased government action with respect to doing business with China, must also contend with shifting public opinion and increased investor scrutinyfor example, on human rights issues along companies supply lines in China. Looking ahead, 2022 promises a continuation of these trends, which will have far-reaching impacts across multiple business sectors. In just the last three years, Washington has enacted a raft of policy changes and regulation related to economic competition with China. In early 2018, Washingtons China policies have expanded rapidly into technology sectors such as telecommunications gabion box weight , including industrial subsidies, forced technology transfer, and state-sponsored intellectual property theft. Leveraging new laws passed in 2018, Washington expanded the use of export controls in defense technology, imposed stricter vetting of foreign investments in strategic U.S. industries, and restricted the procurement of equipment and services from five Chinese information technology companies, the most prominent of which was Huawei. The pace and scope of Washingtons policymaking have accelerated in ways not previously considered possible. In addition, U.S. border agencies shifted their sights from primarily countering terrorists to screening for nontraditional intelligence collectorsfor example, journalists, researchers, and businesspeople, who are frequently used by Beijing to gather informationas well as counterfeit goods and goods produced with forced labor. Using presidential emergency powers, the Trump administration also created regimes to remove untrusted contractors from U.S. IT infrastructure projects and block Americans from investing in companies that work with the Chinese military. To Beijings consternation, the Biden administration has signaled its general agreement with all these approachesand even expanded the investment ban to include Chinese surveillance technology companies. While close U.S. allies in Europe and Asia have been reluctant to impose a similarly broad sweep of policies, the Biden administration has achieved significant rhetorical alignment on defining the challenges posed by Beijing. Under pressure from the Trump administration, several U.S. allies turned away from Huawei, blocked inbound Chinese technology investments, and held up the shipment of critical semiconductor manufacturing equipment to China. However, Europe has yet to follow the United States in imposing real costs on China for its ongoing human rights violations, semiconductors expanded metal mesh fence manufacturers , Congress has passed a slew of China-related bills. Among other actions, legislators have reformed inbound investment screening, forced the delisting of Chinese stocks that do not comply with U.S. accounting practices, expanded requirements for the U.S. Defense Department to list Chinese companies assisting the Peoples Liberation Army, strengthened sanctions authorities in response to atrocities in Xinjiang and repression in Hong Kong, presumed that all goods produced in Xinjiang are made with forced labor (and thus banned as imports), and prohibited the federal purchase of Chinese telecommunications equipment. While Washington mainly focused on defensive measures in recent years, Congress began in 2020 to balance its approach with a more offensive agenda. Efforts to invest in semiconductor manufacturing, accelerate the adoption of 5G telecommunications capabilities, and reorganize the National Science Foundation to focus on increasing U.S competitiveness were all added to the Senates U.S. Innovation and Competition Act. The House of Representatives, in turn, recently passed a similar billthe America COMPETES Act of 2022so the prospects for final passage of a bipartisan competitiveness bill sometime this spring look strong. This flurry of activity raises the question of what comes next. Looming issues such as rising inflation, possible new variants of COVID-19, and Russian aggression toward Ukraine could take Washingtons attention away from China policy, at least temporarily. At the same time, there is a strong bipartisan consensusbetween the White House and Congresson China. In particular, there are five policy areas where further action appears imminent this year. First, the issue that promises to get the most attention is a new focus on the screening and potential restriction of outbound investments to sensitive Chinese companies. Washington currently has tools to screen inbound investments of concern and grant licenses for the export of sensitive technologies but no means to control the flow of outbound private equity and other direct investment in companies involved in the modernization of Chinas military or digital authoritarian policies. U.S. investors making these deals typically provide access to networks and knowhow, representing a softer yet important channel of knowledge transfer. While there is potential for an executive order to limit outbound investment, data security chain link mesh , which would prefer to avoid further restrictions, and the Defense Department, which favors more controls) may continue to prevent a clear policy approach by the administration. It is more likely that Congress will take the lead by holding hearings and looking to pass legislation to create a new screening mechanism. Bills have been introduced in the Senate and House, with one version included in the base text of the COMPETES Act. This sets the stage for a bicameral conference committee negotiation over the final bill text, which is likely to include a new screening provision. There will undoubtedly be increased attention from think tanks and the media, highlighting concrete cases with relevance to national security and exploring the best policy approach for instituting an investment screening tool. Second, as the national security community expands its focus beyond 5G telecommunications, Chinese cloud service providers (CSPs)including Alibaba Cloud, Huawei Cloud, Tencent Cloud, and Baidu AI Cloudare likely to face similar scrutiny. Recent reports have flagged national security concerns associated with the growth and international competitiveness of CSPs. French security officials have also raised concerns about Alibaba Cloud being the data storage provider for the Paris Olympics in 2024. The conversation about Chinese CSPs and potential policy responsesincluding efforts to inhibit U.S. contributions to the growth of Chinese CSPs and support U.S. global competitivenessis in its early stages. The first agencies likely to act are the Commerce Department, using its new executive authorities to secure U.S. domestic IT infrastructure, and perhaps the Federal Communications Commission. Third, as Beijing rolls out the digital yuana government-backed central bank digital currencyin the coming months, the broad national security implications of this development are likely to invigorate the policy discussion in Washington. In just the first few weeks after the launch of the digital yuan wallet app in January, it has become one of the most downloaded apps in China. If Beijing is able to achieve its goals for digital currency and electronic payment by making its new currency ubiquitous inside China and even around the globe, it could gain a powerful coercive tool to shape the decision-making of international companies seeking to retain market access inside Beijing. In this scenario, if a company did not comply with Beijings human rights narrative or policy toward Taiwan, for example, it would risk suddenly being cut off from accepting digital yuan as a form of payment. Should Beijing succeed in using its digital yuan to further uncouple from the U.S.-dominated international financial system, it would also reduce the effectiveness of U.S. financial sanctions as a tool of deterrence and make China and other adversaries more likely to take risks of aggression. Just like telecommunications, digital currency is as much a national security issue as an economic and regulatory one. The United States has a range of options to respond, including by developing credible alternatives, identifying Chinese technology firms involved with the digital yuan and their ties to U.S. companies, monitoring data collection risks to Americans, and restricting the use of Chinas digital currency in the United States. As the digital yuan rolls out and receives even more attention, we expect Congress to make a focus on Beijings digital currency plans a part of its oversight agenda. We have recently seen the Federal Reserve preparing the way for a digital currency for the United States. To Beijings consternation, the Biden administration has signaled its general agreement with its predecessors approaches. Fourth, an emerging battle over control of the supply chain for large-capacity batteries used in electric vehicles is taking shape. On current trajectories, the United States risks becoming as reliant on China for its energy needs as it once was on the Middle East for oil. In critical minerals, mineral processing, and battery assembly, China is the world leader . The Biden administration acknowledged this last year in its supply chain report , noting that China has positioned itself as a market leader in the large-capacity battery manufacturing supply chain through the practice of questionable environmental policies, price distortion, state-run entities that minimize competition, and large subsidies throughout the battery supply chain. As the United States moves toward an automotive future where electric vehicles are commonplace, Washington will take a hard look at domestic mining and processing options and also look to allies and partners to generate solutions to this national security supply chain challenge. Finally, the U.S. midterm elections in November could bring a political shift that will impact China policy. Democrats in Congress have been key to many of the bipartisan China bills that have passed in recent years. But while the Senate has been relatively focused and aligned on China policy, Democrats in the House of Representatives have given the issue less priority. Should the House flip to Republican control, it will likely lead to a more aggressive legislative agenda on China beginning in January 2023. Today, House Republicans are already working on a second China task force and have introduced a number of bills this year related to export controls that their Democratic colleagues have largely opposed. If House leadership does shift, a China policy focused on financial services and export controls could experience new energy in 2023. In addition, should a new competitiveness bill ultimately pass this year, Congress will look to other areas of competition to expand its offensive investment agenda. Just as last years CHIPS for America Act did for semiconductors, this could include a bipartisan push for new investment in biotechnology and quantum computing. The pace and scope of Washingtons policymaking with respect to China have accelerated in recent years in ways not previously considered possible. Inevitable distractions are on the horizonincluding inflation, competing foreign-policy priorities, and the midterm elections. Despite this, 2022 is highly likely to be another busy year for China-related policymaking that will be just as disruptive to the traditional economic relationship between the United States and China as recent years have been.\n', 'BEIJING (AP) Chinas government announced plans for a consumer-led revival of the struggling economy as its legislature opened a session Sunday that will tighten President Xi Jinpings control over business and society. Premier Li Keqiang, the top economic official, set this years growth target at around 5 percent following the end of anti-virus controls that kept millions of people at home and triggered protests. Last years growth in the worlds second-largest economy fell to 3 percent, the second-weakest level since at least the 1970s. We should give priority to the recovery and expansion of consumption, Li said in a speech on government plans before the ceremonial National Peoples Congress in the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing. The full meeting of the 2,977 members of the NPC is the years highest-profile event but its work is limited to endorsing decisions made by the ruling Communist Party and showcasing official initiatives. This month, the NPC is due to endorse the appointment of a government of Xi loyalists including a new premier after the 69-year-old president expanded his status as Chinas most powerful figure in decades by awarding himself a third five-year term as party general secretary in October, possibly preparing to become leader for life. Li, an advocate of free enterprise, was forced out as the No. 2 party leader in October. Xis new leadership team will face challenges ranging from weak global demand for exports and lingering U.S. tariff hikes in a feud over technology and security to curbs on access to Western processor chips due to security fears. Separately, the Ministry of Finance\xa0announced a 7.2-percent budget increase\xa0for the ruling partys military wing, the Peoples Liberation Army, to 1.55 trillion yuan ($224 billion), the 29th straight annual increase. Chinas military spending is the worlds second highest after the United States. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute says the two countries together account for half of global military outlays. Lis report called for boosting consumer spending by increasing household incomes but gave no details in his unusually brief, 53-minute speech. It was less than half the length of work reports in some previous years. The premier called for building up our countrys strength and self-reliance in science and technology, an area in which Beijings state-led efforts to create competitors in electric cars, clean energy, telecoms and other fields have\xa0strained relations with Washington\xa0and other trading partners. They complain China steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology and improperly subsidizes and shields its fledgling competitors in violation of its market-opening commitments. READ MORE: China accuses U.S. of wrongfully targeting Chinese companies by restricting U.S. technology Xi earlier singled out encouraging jittery consumers and entrepreneurs to spend and invest as a priority at the ruling partys economic planning meeting in December. Beijing needs to fully release consumption potential, Xi said, according to a text released last month. Since taking power in 2012, Xi has promoted an even more dominant role for the ruling party. He has called for the party to return to its original mission as Chinas economic, social and cultural leader and carry out the rejuvenation of the great Chinese nation. Xi has crushed dissent, stepped up censorship and control over information, and tightened control over Hong Kong. Xis government has tightened control over e-commerce and other tech companies with anti-monopoly and data security crackdowns that wiped billions of dollars off their stock market value. Beijing is pressing them to pay for social welfare and official initiatives to develop processor chips and other technology. That has prompted warnings economic growth will suffer. Lis report Sunday reinforced the importance of state industry. It promised to support entrepreneurs who generate jobs and wealth but also said the government will enhance the core competitiveness of state-owned companies that dominate industries from banking and energy to telecoms and steel. Li also called for resolute steps to oppose formal independence for Taiwan, the self-ruled island democracy claimed by Beijing as part of its territory. He called for peaceful reunification between China and Taiwan, which split in 1949 after a civil war, but announced no initiatives. READ MORE: China imposes sanctions on Lockheed Martin and Raytheon over sales to Taiwan Taiwan never has been part of the Peoples Republic of China, but Beijing says it is obligated to unite with the mainland, by force if necessary. Xis government has stepped up efforts to intimidate the island by flying fighter jets and bombers nearby and firing missiles into the ocean. Chinese economic growth has struggled since mid-2021, when tighter controls on debt that Beijing worries is dangerously high triggered a slump in the vast real estate industry, which supports millions of jobs. Smaller developers were forced into bankruptcy and some defaulted on bonds, causing alarm in global financial markets. Longer term, the workforce has been shrinking for a decade, putting pressure on plans to increase Chinas wealth and global influence. Consumer spending is gradually recovering, but the International Monetary Fund and some private sector forecasters expect economic growth this year as low as 4.4 percent, well below the official target. A measure of factory activity rose to a nine-year high in February. Other measures of activity including the number of subway passengers and express deliveries rose. A central bank official said Friday real estate activity is recovering and lending for construction and home purchases is rising. A recovery based on consumer spending is likely to be more gradual than one driven by government stimulus or a boom in real estate investment. But Chinese leaders are trying to avoid reigniting a rise in debt and want to nurture self-sustaining growth based on consumption instead of exports and investment. WATCH: How Chinas population decline could alter the global economy The official in line to become premier is Li Qiang, a former party secretary of Shanghai who is close to Xi but has no government experience at the national level. Li Qiang was named No. 2 party leader in October. That reflects Xis emphasis on promoting officials with whom he has personal history and bypassing party tradition that leadership candidates need experience as Cabinet ministers or in other national-level posts. If achieved, the official growth target would be an improvement over last year but down sharply from 2021s 8.1 percent. Last years slump had global repercussions, depressing Chinese sales of autos and consumer goods and demand for oil, food and other imports. Even after the end of anti-virus curbs, auto sales fell by double digits in January and retail sales contracted. Entrepreneurs and foreign companies have been rattled by tighter political controls. Foreign business groups said last year global companies were shifting investment plans away from China because travel curbs blocked executives from visiting the country. Li, the premier, tried to reassure foreign investors by promising to open Chinese markets wider and repeating official pledges of equal treatment with domestic enterprises. China is sure to provide even greater business opportunities for foreign companies, he said. The party has indicated its tech crackdown is winding down but has given no sign it is backing off a campaign to tighten political control over the industry. Entrepreneurs were shaken anew in mid-February when a star banker, Bao Fan, who was involved in some of the biggest tech deals, disappeared. His company announced last week Bao was cooperating in an investigation but gave no details.\n'