leading the charge
Senator Marco Rubio is leading the charge to reshape and rebalance America’s policies toward China. “While many Republican politicians—President Trump included—have endorsed similar ideas [on China], Rubio stands out for the intensity of his efforts, largely ignoring pleas from business lobbies to tone them down,” Bloomberg observed. As a result, “Rubio has found himself the target of China’s propaganda machine.”
Sanctions on Rubio
As described by The New York Times, “Marco Rubio Leads G.O.P. Push for a More Combative Stance on China.” Due to his leadership, the Chinese Communist Party imposed sanctions on Rubio and banned him from traveling to China.
Rubio has worked in a bipartisan fashion
In a time of intense partisan division on nearly every major public policy issue, Rubio has worked in a bipartisan fashion and drafted, championed, and ultimately passed major laws that alter the U.S.-China relationship. The most significant being Rubio’s Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which was signed into law in 2021. The law represents the most consequential change in the U.S.-China relationship in two decades, and will ensure that goods made with the slave labor of Uyghurs, and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups in the People’s Republic of China, do not enter our nation.
human rights abuses against Uyghurs
Rubio’s Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, which became law in 2020, was the world’s first and aimed at countering the Chinese government’s widespread and horrific human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other ethnic groups in Xinjiang. His Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which became law in 2019, provided the U.S. powerful tools to punish Beijing for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedom. Because of language Rubio included in Fiscal Year 2021 spending bill, the Trump Administration determined that the Chinese Communist Party’s treatment of Uyghurs and other groups in Xinjiang were crimes against humanity and genocide.
Rubio was also the first to ring the alarm over Chinese technology companies, including ZTE, Huawei, TikTok, WeChat, and others, which are now widely considered national security risks by the U.S. and other nations and face restrictions as such.
In 2018, Rubio became the first in Congress to warn that Chinese Communist Party-run Confucius Institutes were part of Beijing’s global propaganda campaign to influence America’s educational institutions. Since then, more than 50 colleges and universities have terminated their agreements with Confucius Institutes.
No elected official has been more outspoken in the role U.S. financial markets play in helping the Chinese Communist Party accomplish its goal to undermine the U.S. economy and overthrow the rules-based international order.
In 2019, Rubio introduced the Ensuring Quality Information and Transparency for Abroad-Based Listings on our Exchanges (EQUITABLE) Act to ensure Chinese and other foreign companies listed on American exchanges can no longer cheat and ignore U.S. regulators. Parts of that bill became law in 2020. Rubio was also the first to highlight that the retirement assets of federal government employees, including members of the U.S. Armed Forces, were being invested in Chinese firms designing weapons to kill American service members. That changed, thanks to Rubio’s efforts.
Rubio is seeking accountability on behalf of Floridians who have suffered from the pandemic. In January 2022, Rubio introduced the Coronavirus Origin Validation, Investigation, and Determination (COVID) Act of 2021 to authorize sanctions and other restrictions on the Chinese Communist Party should it continue to allow for a credible and comprehensive international investigation into the origins of COVID-19. He will continue to press for a credible, forensic investigation into the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is closely tied to the origins of COVID-19.
Rubio is also a leader in making the case that a critical role of government is to align our economic policies with the right national priorities. As part of that effort, in 2019, Rubio called for a 21st-century, pro-American industrial policy to ensure that the Chinese Communist Party does not threaten our country, our citizens, our values, and the rules-based international order.