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Wicker: Holds China Accountable

This item is Sen. Roger Wicker’s Weekly Report and is provided by Sen. Wicker’s office

President Biden’s “Thaw” Fails To Take China Seriously

For years, the United States has recognized that China’s military aspirations represent a clear threat to American interests. In response, we have reoriented our national security strategy to address their escalating aggression. Yet even as President Biden’s military leaders sound the alarm, his administration pretends that reconciliation is possible. This May, the president predicted a “thaw” between our two nations. His soft approach glosses over the increasingly hostile actions Beijing has taken against the United States.

Biden Ignoring China’s Aggression

While President Biden postures toward China, the Chinese Communist Party becomes more comfortable challenging the United States. Late last month, a pilot in the People’s Liberation Army flew a provocative maneuver close to a United States Air Force plane. The move followed Chinese state media reports showcasing a threatening mock military exercise – a simulation of the complete destruction of the USS Gerald R. Ford, our newest aircraft carrier. Beijing is also engaging in widespread cyberattacks. Microsoft announced that Chinese-backed hackers cracked, and may still have access to, computer systems in Guam, a U.S. territory with a significant military base that would be crucial in any conflict with China.

These recent tactics are not isolated incidents. They are the latest moves in a years-long Chinese campaign to undermine U.S. leadership. In the past two decades, China has accomplished the most rapid military buildup in modern history. Meanwhile, the U.S. military is shrinking. Dictator Xi Jinping has repeatedly signaled sinister intentions for his military might. He has commanded his forces to be ready to invade Taiwan, a U.S. ally and key economic partner, by 2027. At home, Xi has doubled down on his brutal repression of religious freedom. He continues the genocide against ethnic Uyghurs in Xinjiang and the restrictions on Christians’ freedom to worship. As everyone knows, China also violated our national sovereignty with what President Biden blithely dismissed as a “silly balloon.” But that intelligence tool was a third the size of the Statue of Liberty and contained significant surveillance capabilities.

Holding China Accountable

China’s actions have placed the United States in the most dangerous national security moment since World War II. Under President Biden, China has met little resistance when acting against our interests. This weakness does little to discourage the Chinese Communist Party from taking more dangerous steps. As the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, I am working to help our nation meet the moment.

I recently welcomed the nomination of Air Force General Charles “CQ” Brown as the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In his distinguished military career, General Brown has pursued innovative ways to deter China, and I look forward to working with him. In particular, I encourage him to prioritize fighting real wars abroad over culture wars at the Pentagon.

I will also continue my congressional oversight role. Last month, I pressed the FBI for information on its investigation into a Pentagon official accused of leaking classified information. The official allegedly did so to spin President Biden’s handling of the spy balloon. I also called for the president to follow the Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act. The law requires the administration to send Congress updates on overdue efforts to sell Taiwan the weapons it needs to defend itself. Finally, I am preparing to introduce a bill to reduce funding to the United Nations Human Rights Council until it agrees to investigate China’s human rights abuses.

We do not wish for conflict with China. But we achieve lasting peace by being strong enough to deter war and by holding China accountable.

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