Republicans on Capitol Hill are sounding the alarm that China is using "sister cities" to spy on the U.S. and gain influence, introducing legislation to examine the partnerships.

On Thursday, Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Roger Marshall of Kansas and Marco Rubio of Florida are introducing the Sister City Transparency Act, which would allow the U.S. to conduct a GAO report of U.S. sister cities with China partnerships. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, is introducing a companion bill in the House.

A "sister city" is a partnership between two communities in two different countries formed after officials from the two nations make a formal agreement; the U.S. has 1,800 "sister city" partnerships with 138 countries, and 157 partnerships in China, according to the latest numbers from 2019.

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