Washington, D.C. — Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) delivered opening remarks at a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on the Chinese Communist Party’s plans for economic and technological dominance.A video of Rubio’s opening remarks can be found here and a transcript of his remarks is below:
Mr. Chairman, thank you all the witnesses for being here today. It's an important hearing.
We often talk about China's plans and intentions behind closed doors. The fact of the matter is their ultimate goal and what they're trying to do is really not that big a secret. They seek to displace the United States and become the world's most dominant economic, industrial, technical, military, and geopolitical power. That's their goal.
We in this country for a long time had this hope, for the better part of 20 years, this consensus, that once the Chinese Communist Party…became rich, it would become more like us. [The Party would] move towards democracy, have respect for the rules of economic engagement, and so forth.
Obviously that has not materialized. In fact, [the Party] used the last 20 years to wage an economic war against the United States [by] stealing jobs, exploiting the free and open market. Oftentimes, it would be helped by American corporations, driven by the short-term profits that can be gained by having access to the Chinese market.
Part of that goal was to leave us as Americans economically dependent, not just on their massive marketplaces, [where] we want to sell things, but supply chains as well. We've seen that disruption play out during a pandemic. They know that once we are dependent on them [in] our manufacturing base,...supply chains, critical minerals, and…access to their massive market, then our options will be limited and their leverage will be extraordinary.
And they've been able to achieve this through their Military-Civil Fusion Strategy, through their national laws that compel the transfer of sensitive information to the government. And, frankly, [they’ve achieved this] by weaponizing some of our companies against us here in the United States. In many cases, we find that it's American corporations — because they manufacture [in China], because they want to have access to their market — that…become advocates in favor of the Chinese position on…different issues that we face here domestically.
[In] the intelligence community, I think at this point, leaders on both sides of the aisle have been pretty clear that this is the single greatest challenge this nation has ever faced. We have never faced a near-peer adversary that poses such a comprehensive challenge the way that China does today. The Soviet Union was a military and a geopolitical rival. They were never an industrial, technical, or commercial rival. China is all of that and more.
And as I said earlier, if we think having supply chain disruptions as a result of a pandemic, shutting down some factories, has been bad for our economy, imagine it being shut down deliberately as leverage against us in a time of future conflict. Because that's what we can expect to see, and it leaves us vulnerable and it's something we need to begin to address.
I think this matters…. If the most powerful and influential nation on Earth is a dictatorship that is willing to enslave its own people in death camps and commit genocide against its population — if that's how they treat their own people, and that's the most powerful country in the world — that's not going to be a good world. And that is unfortunately what we're headed towards if we don't deal with that.
And if anyone has any illusions about the nature of the Communist Party of China, ask the people of China, and people living in places like Tibet and Hong Kong and Xinjiang, and they'll tell you what this government is capable of doing.
In closing, what I hope we'll hear today are your views on China's economic and technological plan to dominate key technologies and control critical supply chains. And also perhaps as part of this hearing, we can begin to think more about how we can dramatically increase our efforts to reduce our economic vulnerability to the Chinese Communist Party. So thank you for being here with us today.