Real China Competition Means Investing In Hard Power
‘Here’s the truth: the way to keep America safe and prosperous is to invest in hard power and deter those who wish us harm. And this week, as the Senate continues our work on the NDAA, our colleagues have an opportunity to demonstrate that they understand this basic, essential reality.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding China:
“This week, the Biden Administration’s climate envoy, John Kerry, was in Beijing on a mission to get the PRC to cut its carbon emissions. As China continues to oppress its own people and threaten peaceful neighbors in the Indo-Pacific, our former colleague apparently thought he could get Chinese officials to treat left-wing climate policy as a, ‘free standing’ issue.
“Well, by all accounts, the Administration’s envoy was unsuccessful on that front. It appears he did not meet with China’s foreign minister or President Xi. Meanwhile, China’s leader used his latest public remarks to reiterate that he didn’t plan to curb increasing emissions – let alone start lowering them – for another seven years.
“Let me put that another way: Over the last seven years, the United States economy cut its emissions by 5%, while China increased its own by 12%. While the Biden Administration waged war on affordable energy and decimated coal country, China made plans for hundreds of new coal plants.
“While President Biden has tried to cut defense spending after inflation, the PRC has plowed ahead with investments in domestic industry and military modernization. Perhaps the Administration’s climate envoy would be interested in the carbon emissions of China’s fast-growing navy or the fuel efficiency of its hypersonic missiles.
“The PRC appears to be all too happy to trade non-binding international commitments for more of America’s jobs, prosperity, and national security.
“Mr. President, America’s top adversary clearly recognizes what the Biden Administration does not – you can’t win a strategic competition by hamstringing your own economy. And you certainly can’t expect to convince your rival to follow suit voluntarily.
“According to the PRC’s summary of this week’s meetings, the United States would need to, ‘properly handle the Taiwan issue’ in exchange for any of the hollow, unenforceable promises the Administration hoped China would make on its carbon emissions.
“Sell out a peaceful democracy in exchange for left-wing climate priorities? No one should be surprised that Beijing responded to the Administration’s naïve demands on climate with a priority of its own. On that count, the Biden Administration’s envoy deserves some credit for walking away. But this is hardly the only time Democrats have gone looking in the wrong places for an edge in our competition with China.
“Here’s the truth: the way to keep America safe and prosperous is to invest in hard power and deter those who wish us harm. And this week, as the Senate continues our work on the NDAA, our colleagues have an opportunity to demonstrate that they understand this basic, essential reality.”