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California's 40th District

With the introduction of the DICTATOR Act to the House this week, U.S. Reps. Young Kim (R-CA) and Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) are pushing for investigations into whether the Chinese government is helping Russia evade international sanctions linked to its invasion of Ukraine.

While most nations agreed to sanction Russia following the start of the war with its European neighbor and more denounced its actions, China has been among the holdouts. While it has not actively and publicly promoted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade, it has abstained from criticism or punishment for it. Kim and Slotkin took umbrage at this.

“While the United States, NATO allies and other nations have taken steps to hold Vladimir Putin accountable for his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and to provide support to the Ukrainian people as they defend their freedoms, silence, and deference from the People’s Republic of China toward the Russian Federation cannot be ignored,” Kim said. “In today’s world, a threat to freedom anywhere is a threat to freedom everywhere.”

As a result, the DICTATOR Act – or the Direct Investigations on China, Take Action to Oppose Russia Act – would require the Secretary of State and other federal officials to report to Congress on the extent that Chinese-affiliated entities have helped the Russian Federation evade sanctions. This report would also need to evaluate the U.S. government’s response to this knowledge and develop a strategy to block support from China to Russia.

“As Russia’s unprovoked attack against Ukraine rages on, we need to continue working with our allies and partners to economically punish and isolate the Putin regime through sanctions and property seizure, but we need those punishments to stick,” Slotkin said. “The way Russia has cozied up to the Chinese in recent months is concerning, and we need to make sure China isn’t helping Putin and his cronies evade sanctions and, by extension, supporting this appalling, violent invasion of a sovereign country.”

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