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ICYMI: Rubio Joins America’s Newsroom

Feb 4, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined America’s Newsroom to discuss the Biden Administration’s commitment to Taiwan, Russia and China challenging international norms, and the distraction caused by the upcoming impeachment trial. See below for highlights and watch the full interview here.

On U.S. commitment to Taiwan and China testing the Biden Administration:
“We have a commitment to defend Taiwan, and this is an administration and a president that — when he was running for president — talked about the importance of living up to our international commitments and partners. And Taiwan has been our partner for a very long time in a place where we have an understanding with in terms of having that core relationship. I think it’s important for us to continue to keep to that commitment and that includes our presence off their coasts in their territorial waters. …
“It is really important for the Chinese to know we’re serious about our commitment and we have the ability to put assets there. There are also advantages to doing it … [because] you also see how the Chinese react to it which gives us some indication of their military preparedness and how far they’re willing to go or what they’re willing to do. 
“I also think it’s reassuring for Taiwan. It’s a very unique situation for a long time, the U.S. official policy has been two systems, one country. But after what happened in Hong Kong where they [the Chinese government] made international commitments to autonomy and now violated, there are real questions. If you’re in Taiwan now you look at what is happening in Hong Kong today will happen to us tomorrow. There is real concern about that.”
On China and Russia challenging international norms:
“China views the East as ascendant. They view themselves as a rising power and America as a declining power. They point to January 6 as an example of it. They point to the pandemic as an example of it. Their fundamental belief and argument is they’re the country of the future, we’re the country of the past and it is an inevitable passing of the torch type situation. That’s why they are challenging international norms that they believe they had no part in creating and shouldn’t be constrained by. 
“In the case of Russia it has more to do with domestic politics. Putin’s standing at home is built partially and largely on his argument to the Russian people that ‘I can make Russia great again’ and ‘I can make Russia relevant in the world again.’ One of the ways he does that is challenging the United States. Now, he can’t deploy 50,000 troops across the world, but do things to frustrate our policy initiatives in the Middle East even in the western hemisphere time and again. Libya, Syria, Venezuela. There are places where the Russians get involved to frustrate U.S. foreign policy and it puts them on the playing field of being a global power again, which he can do militarily, but not economically or diplomatically.”
On the upcoming impeachment trial and COVID relief:
“What happened January 6th was horrifying. It hurt our country. It can never happen again. The people who did it need to be arrested, charged, put in jail and convicted. At the same time, I think the country needs to move forward. We have a lot of issues we need to work on. We should not spend at least a week — 7 or 8 hours a day inside the senate chamber — on an impeachment trial of a president who is no longer in office. Here’s why that’s relevant: the automatic penalty for impeachment is removal from office. How can you remove a president that’s not in office from office? The only reason we have impeachment is because you can’t criminally charge a sitting president. That’s no longer the case. I think that it’s a big waste of time. We should have other priorities that we should be focused on.”