Sen. Rick Scott: Rethink China relationship – here's how to advance US and global interests, security

Retired four-star US naval officer warns of ‘real’ threat of war with China

Admiral James Stavridis, a retired four-star U.S. naval officer, says the U.S. ‘must prepare’ for the threat of war with China.

For too long, the United States has foolishly enabled Communist China’s oppressive communist dictatorship, which is now our greatest national and economic security threat.

Today, Communist China’s Belt and Road initiative actively undermines America’s standing around the world with a strategy to dominate militarily, economically and technologically. It has become clear that strategic decoupling from Communist China is the most effective way to limit General Secretary Xi Jinping’s power and protect American jobs and security.

However, politicians in Washington and business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce still argue that decoupling from Communist China hurts U.S. businesses. They are wrong, blind to the plans of Xi Jinping and the pain of his citizens, and more concerned with short-term profits than the future of our country.

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As we chart a new course to advance American trade and interests, I believe we must adopt a bipartisan “Freedom First” strategy, which protects freedom around the world from Communist China’s growing power and aggression, restores our country’s global leadership and keeps American interests first.

What I am proposing is straightforward and achievable.

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First, we must acknowledge what has worked in our efforts to ensure fair trade and keep policies in place that hold Communist China accountable.

Next, the U.S. has to take decisive steps to strategically remove Communist China from our supply chain while supporting the return of critical industries to American shores and promoting buy-American policies.

Third, we must engage the international community and secure the full support of our allies to create a maximum pressure campaign on Communist China until it comes into compliance with all U.S. and international trade laws.

Finally, the U.S. must lead the world and take bold action to shine a light on and demand an end to Communist China’s egregious human rights abuses and the horrific genocide it is committing on its own people.

The Trump administration took unprecedented action to thoroughly investigate Communist China’s trade practices and found it had long been committing forced technology transfers, intellectual property theft and espionage.

The U.S. took action over the past four years to prohibit Americans from investing in Chinese companies that support Communist China’s military, added those companies to a trade blacklist, banned imports of cotton from China’s Xinjiang region over forced labor and protected American universities and research labs from Chinese government spying and IP theft.

In Congress, I have fought for more than a year to prevent the U.S. government from purchasing technology, like drones, with American tax dollars from Chinese companies backed by their government. We must keep these and other proven policies in place.

U.S. must lead the world in demanding the full enforcement of all U.S. and international trade laws.

It is time we acknowledge the fact that when American families buy products made in China, they are supporting its communist regime. We must get Communist China out of our supply chain.

We can do this through simultaneously separating ties from companies backed by the Chinese Communist Party and rebuilding America’s supply chain with American-made products. By properly labeling products with country-of-origin information, and encouraging businesses to return home, we can end our trade inequity with Communist China and create countless American jobs that support families and communities across the nation.

While decoupling must begin now, we know it’s not a process that will be completed overnight, and supply chains must readjust to and remove themselves from the grasp of the Chinese Communist Party.

Knowing that Communist China needs to live up to its agreements, the U.S. must lead the world in demanding the full enforcement of all U.S. and international trade laws. Organizations like the World Trade Organization (WTO) can no longer sit in the pocket of Communist China and the Biden administration must insist that the WTO enforce trade practices fairly.

This will require a coalition-style approach and the U.S. is well positioned to lead this important work to create increased accountability and real consequences for the abusive trade practices Communist China has relied on for too long.

Finally, the freedom-loving nations of the world must band together to say that Communist China’s egregious human rights violations won’t be accepted.

Xi Jinping is taking away the basic human rights of the people of Hong Kong and leading a brutal genocide against the Uyghurs, imprisoning more than a million in concentration camps. The State Department cannot back down from officially designating this as genocide, and other countries must follow this example.

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That’s why I’ve led a bipartisan effort to demand that the International Olympic Committee move its 2022 Winter Games out of Beijing unless Communist China addresses these human rights abuses. The world is counting on the United States to stand firm against the use of slave labor in manufacturing and trade. Therefore, American companies must also do their part to rid their supply chains of such abuses.

The United States and so many countries around the globe stand for freedom and democracy for all people. Now we must unify and lead the important effort to accomplish this common goal, put American jobs and workers first, and counter the harm and unfair trade practices of Communist China that have been ignored for decades.

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