‘Say No to the Silk Road Act’ Intended to Ward Off Digital Yuan Use to Help Russia Evade War Sanctions, Increase Chinese Surveillance of Users

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today joined U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) to introduce legislation requiring new standards and guidelines for dealing with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Bank’s digital currency, the digital yuan.

The Say No to the Silk Road Act would compel U.S. federal agencies to proactively address how to protect U.S. interests as the CCP promotes the digital yuan, a currency that could allow bad actors like Russia to bypass specialized financial messaging systems such as SWIFT and empower the CCP to further violate the rights of their citizens.

“The introduction of a Chinese digital currency raises all sorts of red flags considering the historic willingness of the Chinese Communist Party to monitor and control everything.  This legislation represents responsible actions our government should be taking now to better understand, prepare for, and manage the risks associated with the CCP blockchain and digital currency,” Hyde-Smith said.

The state-owned Peoples Bank of China, one of the world’s largest central banks, currently controls the digital yuan.  As developed, this digital currency gives the CCP the capability to track and trace all transactions of this currency, giving the CCP access to the financial data of any user worldwide.

In addition to Hyde-Smith, additional original cosponsors of Blackburn’s bill include Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), and Tommy Tuberville (R- Ala.).

The Say No to the Silk Road Act (S.3784) would require:

  • The U.S. Department of State to issue a warning on the digital yuan.
  • The Secretary of Commerce to report to relevant congressional committees on the Blockchain-Base Service Network and provide recommendations related to the report. 
  • The Secretary of Commerce to report on trade enforcement actions with respect to the digital yuan. 
  • The U.S. Trade Representative to report on the effect of the digital yuan on trade and investment agreements. 
  • The White House Office of Management and Budget to develop standards and guidelines for agencies that transfer, store, or use digital yuan. 
  • Any foreign government that receives Foreign Military Financing Program assistance to disclose if it uses digital yuan as a settlement or reserve currency.