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Rubio Secures Key Provisions Related to China in Year-End Funding Package

Dec 23, 2020 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) continued to build upon his legislative record securing critical provisions and funding related to China in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 omnibus appropriations bill. Among the provisions were language from Rubio’s bipartisan and bicameral Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (S.3744) that requires the Secretary of State to determine, within 90 days after enactment, whether the persecution of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and members of other Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) constitutes atrocities. Additionally, the package included Rubio’s Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2019 (S.2539), telecommunications security funding to counter China’s state-directed Huawei, and funding to counter malign Chinese influence.
“The 21st century will be defined by the U.S.-China relationship, and we must take action to address the imbalances in the relationship, as well as the systematic human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party,” Rubio said. “I am proud of the important work we’ve accomplished with both my Democrat and Republican colleagues, including the critical provisions that were included in the year-end funding bill, to hold the Chinese government and Communist Party accountable. Bringing reciprocity to our dealings with China and ending the crimes of the CCP is the geopolitical challenge of this century and is the responsibility of democracies worldwide. I look forward to building upon my record of enacting laws that do just that.”
As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Rubio secured a provision to prohibit any entity or owner of an entity in China, companies with PRC residents on the board, and FARA registrants from being eligible for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.
The FY 2021 omnibus appropriations bill also includes the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. As Acting Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Rubio secured provisions to deter and uncover core threats from China and Russia, by identifying their corruption, influence operations, and information suppression.
A detailed list of some China-related provisions is below:

  • Tibet: Includes Rubio’s Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2019 (S.2539), seeks to update and strengthen the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 to address emerging human rights, religious freedom, and other challenges faced by the Tibetan people. The package also includes $18 million and language regarding the establishment of a U.S. consulate in Lhasa.
  • Telecommunications Security: Fully funds the implementation of the Secure and Trusted Communications Network Act (P.L. 116-124), which provides assistance to small, rural telecommunications operators to rip and replace Huawei and ZTE components from their networks.
    • On October 2, Rubio led a bipartisan group of Senators in urging Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai to encourage the adoption of OpenRAN and other open and interoperable standards solutions by affected carriers as it works to implement the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act.
  • Countering Chinese Influence Fund: Includes $300 million to combat malign Chinese influence and promote transparency and accountability in projects associated with the People’s Republic of China’s debt-trap diplomacy and the Belt and Road Initiative.
  • Regional China Officers: Includes funds to support public diplomacy activities of Regional China Officers posted at United States missions overseas, following consultation with the Senate and House Committees on Appropriations.
  • Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing: Creates a full-time position at the State Department to coordinate interagency action on IUU fishing, an activity of which China is the biggest offender.
  • Confucius Institutes: Requires Department of Education disclosure of foreign gifts and contracts related to Confucius Institutes.
  • Taiwan: Includes the Taiwan Reassurance Act, a bill that Rubio is an original cosponsor of that strengthens our relationship with Taiwan by requiring the Department of Defense to work to include Taiwan in bilateral and multilateral military exercises. It also requires a review of the Department of State’s guidance on diplomatic practices with Taiwan.
  • High-Risk Chinese Drones: Includes key report language on small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) security and directs the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to regularly notify Congress on any security risks or challenges identified from any small UAS or UAS components.