Representative Chip Roy (R-TX-21) and Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-2), joined by Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), introduced the Sister City Transparency Act to create a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on sister city partnerships in the United States that pose potential national security threats.
Sister cities exist ostensibly to promote cultural exchange and economic development. However, the Chinese Communist Party has begun using these partnerships with U.S. cities to push their geopolitical objectives.
Rep. Roy said, “The Chinese Communist Party is a direct, existential threat to our country; we need to start acting like it. For too long, the CCP has been hiding behind the veil of diplomacy to engage in espionage and push propaganda. The need to ensure that U.S. city partnerships with Chinese cities are not exploited, and that they don’t threaten our national security and prosperity should be obvious to anyone paying attention.”
“Sister city partnerships are one of Beijing’s favorite political weapons,” said Sen. Blackburn, “Across the globe, Communist China has exploited these relationships, ostensibly to promote cultural exchange. The truth is that these partnerships are much more sinister and are part of the CCP’s Belt and Road Initiative to achieve geostrategic goals. It is imperative we shed light on these partnerships to determine whether they leave American communities vulnerable to foreign espionage and ideological coercion.”
The Sister City Transparency Act would order a Government Accountability Office report to:
•Identify the oversight practices that U.S. communities implement to mitigate the risks of foreign espionage and economic coercion within sister city partnerships.
•Assess the extent to which foreign communities could use sister city partnerships to conduct malign activities, including academic and industrial espionage.
•Review best practices to ensure transparency regarding sister city partnerships’ agreements, activities, and employees.