Briefings on UAE-China ties revive lawmakers’ worry about Mideast ally

Briefings on UAE-China ties revive lawmakers’ worry about Mideast ally

A senior Democratic lawmaker who backed legislation last year asking intelligence agencies to examine and report on the ties between the United Arab Emirates and China says he is alarmed at what he has learned since then. 

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., is one of several lawmakers with intelligence access sounding alarms about China’s activity in the Middle East. Krishnamoorthi said he couldn’t discuss details of classified briefings. 

“What I can say is that it’s only increased my concerns about CCP’s influence in the Middle East, in the UAE and in other countries of interest to us,” he said in an interview, referring to the Chinese Communist Party.

“When you have a nation such as the UAE hosting both, you know, important bases for the United States, but also potential installations for the CCP… we just have to be extremely candid with our partners in the UAE, as well as careful from a security standpoint [about] what could happen with that close proximity to CCP installations,” said Krishnamoorthi, who is a member of the House Intelligence Committee and ranking member of the select committee on competition with China.

Krishnamoorthi backed legislation included in the omnibus spending bill for fiscal 2022 that required the director of national intelligence to give the House and Senate Intelligence committees detailed reports on the ties between the two countries “in defense, security, technology, and other strategically sensitive matters that implicate U.S. national security interests.” 

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Photo :, Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo

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