By Duncan Smith
There are few lawmakers on Capitol Hill more aware of the threat China poses to the U.S. and the world’s democracies than Sen. Tom Cotton.
The Arkansas Republican — a Harvard-educated lawyer and former U.S. Army infantry officer with two combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan — understands fully what the majority of Marxist Democrats do not: China is not our friend.
Cotton gave an interview to The Epoch Times in which he laid out exactly what the nature of the Chinese threat is to the U.S. and the West.
Here are some relevant excerpts:
I've always recognized China is a threat because communism is a threat wherever you find it. I don't know if Xi Jinping gets up and reads 'Das Kapital' or the other works of Karl Marx, but there's no doubt that the Chinese Communist Party remains communist through and through. It's a one-party power structure where they will ruthlessly hold on to power. There's really no such thing as purely private enterprise in China. It is all state-controlled, sometimes directly state-supported or even owned. And of course, they brutally repress minorities and dissidents of all kinds. That's all the hallmarks of communism.
I think that people around the country have, for a long time, had a number of beefs with China, whether you look at factory workers whose jobs have been shipped overseas or service members and their families or veterans who worry about China's aggressive behavior towards our troops and our allies in the Western Pacific. Or you look at Christians or other religious minorities in China or just human rights activists in the West who see the brutal repression of China's religious and ethnic minorities [and] the forced abortions. Now we see forced sterilizations as well and the gulags which they put minorities for re-education.
This is all before the pandemic. So, China had very few friends out among normal Americans before the pandemic. Now, maybe in Washington or maybe at the heights of business, they had people who saw it differently. But among normal Americans, there's very little love lost for China. And of course, that's just fallen even farther since China unleashed this plague on the world.
If there are growing tensions between the United States and China, it's only because the United States is finally standing up to Chinese aggression against the United States—long-standing aggression on multiple fronts, whether it's stealing our jobs or trying to intimidate our allies or take diplomatic partners away from our friend, Taiwan; whether it's hoarding personal protective equipment in the early days of this pandemic. China has long been conducting a kind of undeclared war on multiple fronts against the United States, really against the entire western world. So, we didn't start this new set of tensions. We simply chose to fight back against China's aggressive actions.
Cotton also praised President Trump’s ‘get tougher’ approach to China:
I think one of the big changes coming out of the Trump presidency, hopefully five years from now, will be a new posture towards China. There are plenty of Democrats that have no love lost for China. A lot of Democrats come out of the traditional trade union background, and those were the Americans who felt some of the first loss by our relationship with China over the last 30 years. I work with plenty of Democrats in Congress that are actually tougher on China than some Republicans are.
But I think the President has helped open the eyes of some elected Republicans that maybe there was a gap between their views of China and their voters' views of China. That gap is increasingly closed now. So, I believe whatever happens in this election, whatever happens four years from this election, a tougher posture towards China and the Chinese threat to America will actually be a lasting legacy of the Trump administration's foreign policy.
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