Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will answer questions from U.S. lawmakers at an upcoming congressional hearing focused on China’s support for U.S. adversaries, according to details shared with Semafor.
The hearing before the House select committee on China will take place next Tuesday, Jan. 30. Pompeo, who served under former President Donald Trump, and Panetta, who served in multiple Democratic administrations, will be among the most high-profile witnesses the committee has heard from to date. Pompeo was at one point considering a GOP presidential run this cycle, but ultimately passed on it.
Pompeo is an established China hawk who was behind some of the Trump administration’s more aggressive policies toward Beijing. He criticized past U.S. engagement with China and declared China’s repression of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region to be “genocide,” a designation the Biden administration has kept in place. The House select committee, led by Chairman Mike Gallagher, R-Wis. and ranking member Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., heard from one of Pompeo’s top advisers at the State Department last year.
Panetta, who served as CIA director and defense secretary under the Obama administration, has advocated for more engagement with China to avoid conflict while urging the U.S. to step up tech advancements to compete with Beijing. Both men met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping during their time in office.
The hearing next Tuesday is headlined “Authoritarian Alignment: The CCP’s Support for America’s Adversaries,” meaning it will focus on Beijing’s relations with countries like Russia and Iran. Those relationships have taken on greater importance given Russia’s war in Ukraine and tensions in the Middle East.
The committee has held hearings focused on topics such as human rights, propaganda, and the business climate for foreign firms in China, while also investigating popular fast-fashion brands and investment firms. A report issued by the committee last year called for a reset in the U.S.-China trade relationship as well as greater limits on U.S. investments in China and a ban or forced sale of the popular video platform TikTok in the U.S.