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Little-noticed US funding for China tech sector now draws scrutiny

WASHINGTON — Even as Washington takes a hard line on keeping U.S. technology and data beyond China’s reach, the federal government has thus far been slow to close another channel of technology assistance: potentially billions of dollars in U.S. investment in Chinese tech startup companies.

Lawmakers stepped into the issue last year, using the fiscal 2023 omnibus spending bill to direct the Treasury and Commerce departments to find a mechanism to track U.S. capital flows into tech sectors in China and other countries. Lawmakers and administration officials say the move is essential to curbing China’s tech ambitions.

“There is a fundamental contradiction in our China policy today: the U.S. government is placing increasing scrutiny on technology transfer and tightening export controls in concert with our allies to counter malign CCP-directed companies,” said Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., the chairman of the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the U.S. and the Chinese Communist Party.

“At the same time however, our government is providing a de facto green light to the unlimited capitalization of many of these companies and others like them in strategic technology sectors,” Gallagher said in an email, adding that those capital flows must be addressed.

—CQ-Roll Call


Florida Gov. DeSantis floats legislation that would make it easier to sue news outlets

TAMPA, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis raised the possibility Tuesday of passing legislation that could lower the bar for prominent people to successfully sue news outlets for defamation.

In a roundtable discussion that featured complaints about the unfair “narrative” of the news media, DeSantis sat behind a desk similar to one of a news anchor with the backdrop of the word “Truth” on a screen.

DeSantis spoke with six panelists including attorneys who litigate libel cases, libertarian journalist Michael Moynihan and Nicholas Sandmann, a conservative activist who has spoken extensively about his mistreatment by mainstream media outlets.


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