The US House of Representatives may form a new panel focused solely on Beijing in the Republican-controlled Congress that begins in January, the Republican Party’s top House lawmaker said on Sunday. “When I become speaker, I’m going to have a select committee on China,” California representative Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader, said in an interview on Fox News. He vowed to “no longer allow the administration to sit back and let China do what they are doing to America”. The comments were the latest sign of the added pressure from Congress that US President Joe Biden will face to take a hard line on Beijing beginning in January, when the new class of lawmakers is sworn in. Nearly two weeks after the US midterm elections, Republicans have so far narrowly clinched control of the House for the upcoming Congress by one seat, but the final size of their majority remains unclear with five races still too close to call. Democrats retained control of the Senate. McCarthy is vying to become the next Speaker of the House, and to do so, he would need 218 votes from House lawmakers – one more than half of the chamber’s 435 representatives. It is currently unclear if McCarthy will have sufficient support among Republicans to claim the Speaker’s gavel. In an internal party vote last week, Republican House lawmakers voted 188-31 to make him their party’s nominee for Speaker, according to Reuters. China ‘open’ to defence ministers’ talks with US during Asean security forum If he prevails, McCarthy said on Sunday that he would set his sights on Chinese-made fentanyl crossing America’s southern border, intellectual property theft and the origins of the coronavirus pandemic in China, among other issues. “This is where the fentanyl from China comes that will kill 300 Americans today – the number one killer of the next generation,” he said of the US-Mexico border. “They never once in this majority had a hearing where COVID originated from”, McCarthy said, referring to the Democrats. McCarthy also said he would investigate recent reports of unauthorized Chinese police stations allegedly operating in the US. On Thursday, FBI chief Christopher Wray told Congress that his agency is “very concerned” about their existence in US territory. An official at the Chinese embassy in Washington denied to Reuters that the sites in question were police stations, saying they were volunteer-run sites to “assist Chinese nationals who need help in accessing the online service platform to get their driving licences renewed and receive physical check-ups for that purpose”. “We will stop these police stations in America,” McCarthy said on Sunday. In recent years, US competition with China has become one of the few issues of consequence in Washington with broad, bipartisan agreement. Both parties increasingly see Beijing under the rule of Xi Jinping as a growing threat to US power and global stability. For the last two years, with Democrats in control of both chambers of Congress and the White House, lawmakers sent Biden a flurry of legislation targeting China on a range of fronts. Taiwan, Covid-19 seen to rock China-US ties as McCarthy aims for speaker role They included the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which was meant to effectively ban all imports from Xinjiang over human rights concerns in the region, and the so-called chips and science bill, which was meant to pump billions of dollars into the US semiconductor industry in order to out-compete Beijing in a crucial hi-tech arena. Nancy Pelosi, the outgoing Democratic House speaker, also visited Taiwan this summer in a show of support for the self-governed island, which Beijing claims as its own territory. McCarthy vowed that if he becomes the next Speaker, the House under his control would take a much tougher line on Beijing than the Democrats. “They’ve never stood up to China,” he said.