Press Releases

Marco Rubio Leads G.O.P. Push for a More Combative Stance on China
New York Times
March 28, 2022
 
Marco Rubio wants Americans to “wake up.”
 
China is already locked in conflict with the United States, the Republican senator from Florida warns. We just haven’t realized it yet.
 
And even as Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine shows that wars of aggression are no relic of the past — the “return of history,” Rubio calls it — he worries that China’s Communist rulers pose a more insidious, long-term danger to America’s peace and prosperity, and that the threat isn’t being treated with the seriousness it deserves. 
 

 
On Tuesday, Rubio will give a speech at the conservative Heritage Foundation, in which he plans to argue that “Beijing’s military might, ideological challenge to democracy, technological ambitions and influence over the global market pose an even more serious and systematic threat than the Soviet Union ever did.”
 
Winning that conflict blinded Americans to the dark reality of totalitarianism, in Rubio’s telling. “Over the past three decades, we forgot that human nature tends toward a lust for domination,” read portions of his remarks that were shared with The New York Times. “The desire of the powerful to conquer, enslave and control those weaker than themselves.”
 
What America needs above all else, Rubio argues, is “unity and clarity about the threat we face.” 
 

 
If China’s a more serious geopolitical threat than the Soviet Union, it’s also a more complex one.
 
Americans traded more than $600 billion worth of goods and services with China in 2020 alone, dwarfing the amount the United States ever exchanged with the Soviets. The U.S. also depends on China for raw materials like rare earth minerals, used in everything from mobile phones to semiconductors to car batteries. And Beijing’s cooperation is essential to making progress on climate change, Biden administration officials emphasize.
 
In the event of a war over Taiwan, Rubio said, “It won’t be as easy to sanction China as it was to sanction Putin.” Not only can China wield far greater military and financial muscle than Russia, but American elites are also more deeply compromised by their ties to Beijing, he argued.
 
“China’s been very effective at deputizing the American corporate sector as their lobbyists,” Rubio said. It’s something he says he experienced firsthand when he pushed for sanctions over China’s treatment of its Muslim minority. …
 
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