Jul 01 2020
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Mornings with Maria on Fox Business to discuss the new Hong Kong national security law, the continued aggression of the Chinese Communist Party, the FCC designation of Huawei and ZTE as national security threats, Rubio’s bipartisan bill to give safe harbor to Hong Kongers, targeted aid for small businesses, and more. See below for highlights and watch the full interview here.
“Anyone at this point that travels to Hong Kong, whether it's an American businessman or Canadian businessman or anything for that matter, is out of their minds. What this basically says now, that law now says that whether you’re a Chinese citizen or resident in Hong Kong or not, if you have said things or done things critical of the Chinese government and you step foot in Hong Kong, they now reserve the right to arrest you. Being arrested by Chinese authorities is not like being arrested by American authorities — you can be put in indefinite detention, obviously it's not going to be a real trial.
“In fact, there are two Canadian businessmen right now who are being charged with espionage and it’s being used as retribution against Canada for the arrest and attempt to extradite one of the leaders of Huawei, so obviously a very dangerous development here, but I think it signals the beginning, if not the acceleration of the end of Hong Kong as a global center for finance and commerce.”
On the Chinese Communist Party’s continued aggression around the world:
“The Chinese government under President Xi has made a decision that they are going to put the pedal to the metal on this. They view themselves, not just as a rising power, but destined to be the world’s most powerful country, and they’re not hiding that anymore. It used to be they would hide their strength and bide their time, now they’re just pushing hard. Whether it’s in India, whether it’s intimidation of Taiwan, whether it’s what they’ve done in Hong Kong right now, they’re moving forward hard, and we need to be prepared for that.
“The rest of the world realizes what’s happening here. For different reasons, some are more vocal about it than others. Many of these countries depend on China for commerce and trade and are afraid to be cut off. [China’s] shown a willingness to threaten [countries] with that. Some of these countries owe [China] a bunch of money, and so it’s debt trap diplomacy where they can’t say too much or they’re going to lose their leverage because of the amount of money they owe. And in some of these countries, [China] just flat out bribe[s] the government officials into silence and acquiescence. This is a major challenge.”
On the FCC designating Huawei and ZTE as national security threats:
“They are not only appropriate, they are long overdue… Waking up to this is long overdue. Credit to this Administration. It’s the first administration to take this thing on, but this is going to be the work of a generation. This is going to be the work of multiple administrations. I hope we’re now waking up to this reality and begin to take action.”
On American companies prioritizing short-term profits to gain access to China, while ignoring national security threats:
“A lot of these multinational companies have zip codes in the United States but are really multinationals — they’ve got their supply chains tied or their manufacturing tied into China. They’ve invested in it, and they understand long term it’s bad for them, but the people in charge of those companies aren’t going to be around long term, they’re thinking about short term. The second piece is, they do want access to that market… In fact many of these companies… have embedded in their stock price and in their valuation the anticipation that they will one day have some access to the Chinese market. So absolutely there are multinational companies who are participating and cooperating with China because they want access.”
On Senator Rubio’s bipartisan bill to give safe harbor to Hong Kongers:
You have to be able to prove you have a well-founded fear of persecution. … It's the least we can do because the next thing that’s going to happen here, within hours if not days, is they are going to go after and arrest a bunch of these people who know well that are pro-democracy activists. That is going to happen.”
On extending the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) to August 8:
“I think most of the companies that are going to benefit from [PPP] have already utilized it… The most important thing we need to do is come back with that money that’s left over and target smaller businesses with restart funds. But ultimately, it is important to remind everybody: there is no government program we can construct here that can replace a functioning economy. It’s important for people to understand that. We need to get the economy going again. We can’t replace the economy with a government program. We can help lower the pain, but we can’t replace it.”