NDAA Is Essential To Deterring Chinese Aggression
‘The NDAA is our primary opportunity to set Congress’ national security priorities. It’s a critical chance to determine how America should deter and defend against growing threats from the PRC… Remember, threats of sanctions and stern diplomatic warnings didn’t deter Vladimir Putin in Ukraine. Words alone will not deter Chinese aggression in Asia.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding national security:
“Over the weekend, the Secretary of State traveled to Beijing and engaged senior Chinese officials, including Xi Jinping, in meetings intended to reduce between our countries.
“Managing and reducing tensions with America’s adversaries is a typical responsibility for the Secretary of State. But this isn’t necessarily an end in itself. It’s a means of advancing other key interests.
“Reports of the Secretary’s meetings suggest Beijing blamed America for increasing tensions. I certainly hope Secretary Blinken responded by holding up a mirror to the PRC.
“Madam President, it is China that has issued increasingly threatened the people of Taiwan with military force.
“It is China that continues to test the limits of cyberespionage around the world.
“It is China that has stepped up threatening and unsafe interactions with U.S. vessels and aircraft operating legally in international waters.
“It is China that continues to do business with Iran, enriching the world’s top state sponsor of terror.
“It is China that continues to provide cover for Russian aggression in Ukraine.
“It is China that continues to wrongfully detain innocent foreign citizens, including Americans, while repressing its own citizens.
“And as reported just today, it is China that wants to build a military training facility in Cuba, 100 miles from U.S. soil.
“China’s conduct threatens stability across the Indo-Pacific. And it calls into question Beijing’s willingness to behave responsibly, especially as the PRC rejected U.S. efforts to re-establish military-to-military communications to de-escalate and prevent incidents.
“These are the plain facts. One side is ramping up its provocative behavior.
“And this week, the Senate Armed Services Committee should reflect on Beijing’s behavior as it considers the National Defense Authorization Act.
“The NDAA is our primary opportunity to set Congress’ national security priorities. It’s a critical chance to determine how America should deter and defend against growing threats from the PRC.
“And it is the Congress’ basic responsibility to establish appropriate funding levels for our Armed Forces. So our colleagues on the Armed Services Committee will be called upon to carefully consider the requirements identified by our Commanders that have gone unfunded in President Biden’s budget.
“They should think about the steps that could improve our ability to project power into the Asia-Pacific, or the assistance that could support vulnerable partners in the region.
“Remember, threats of sanctions and stern diplomatic warnings didn’t deter Vladimir Putin in Ukraine. Words alone will not deter Chinese aggression in Asia.
“The Biden Administration can continue to speak softly. But Congress must ensure that America carries a big stick.”