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Rubio Releases U.S. Foreign Policy Agenda for the Indo-Pacific

Mar 1, 2023 | Comunicados de Prensa

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) reintroduced six bills that would counter the growing threat of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), both at home and in the Indo-Pacific region, as well as uphold human rights in North Korea. 

  • “Let there be no doubt that the CCP remains a direct threat to our national security interests and to a free and open Indo-Pacific. Whether it’s the CCP’s lack of transparency on the origins of COVID-19 or their absurd claims over the South and East China Seas, this genocidal regime knows no limits. We must wake up and counter Beijing’s dangerous coercion.” — Senator Rubio

Rubio detailed his agenda in a Medium post.

Below is the list of bills Rubio reintroduced: 

  • The Coronavirus Origin Validation, Investigation, and Determination (COVID) Act: First introduced in June 2021, the legislation would authorize sanctions and other restrictions in the event that, 90 days after enactment, the Chinese Communist Party fails to allow for a credible and comprehensive investigation into the origins of COVID-19 at suspected laboratories in Wuhan. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Roger Marshall (R-KS), James Lankford (R-OK), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Thom Tillis (R-NC), John Hoeven (R-ND), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Braun (R-IN), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Tim Scott (R-SC), and Rick Scott (R-FL) are cosponsors.

  • South China Sea and East China Sea Sanctions Act: First introduced in March 2017, the bipartisan legislation would impose sanctions on Chinese individuals and entities that participate in Beijing’s illegitimate activities to aggressively assert its expansive maritime and territorial claims in these disputed regions. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) is a cosponsor.

  • No People’s Liberation Army in Logistical Operations and Other Pertinent Humanitarian Operations Leading to Endangered Security Act (NO PLA LOOPHOLES Act): First introduced in February 2022, the legislation would close a loophole in existing law to limit joint military operations and exercises between the United States and the armed wing of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Senators Rick Scott (R-FL), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Mike Braun (R-IN), Ted Cruz (R-TX), James Lankford (R-OK)  and Bill Hagerty (R-TN) are cosponsors.

  • CCP Visa Ban Act: First introduced in November 2022, the legislation would ban the issuance of B-1 and B-2 nonimmigrant visas to 93 million members of the CCP. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) are cosponsors.

  • Uyghur Human Rights Sanctions Review Act: First introduced in December 2022, the bill would require the Office of Foreign Assets Control, in consultation with the U.S. Departments of State and Justice, to determine within 30 days of enactment whether Chinese tech companies have committed, or been complicit in, human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other groups in XUAR. Congressman August Pfluger (R-TX) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.  

  • North Korean Human Rights Reauthorization Act: First introduced in 2014 as a response to international outcry over the treatment of North Koreans under the regime of Kim Jong-il, this bipartisan legislation would reauthorize the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004 for five years past its expiration in September 2022. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) is a cosponsor.