SENATOR MARCO RUBIO: HOW MY PRESIDENCY WOULD DEAL WITH CHINA

Wall Street Journal on August 27, 2015, published a commentary by Senator Marco Rubio on China. He wrote that over the past week, we have been dealt a painful reminder of just how important U.S. policy toward China is in the 21st century. …due largely to a crash in China’s stock market, U.S. markets suffered their worst day in four years. Insecurity and anxiety about the future—already high for American families—climbed even higher. It was a jarring illustration of how globalization is changing the U.S. economy. Excerpts below:

China presents both opportunities and challenges. Trade with its growing middle class has opened American businesses to hundreds of millions of new customers. But Beijing’s protectionist economic and trade policies increasingly endanger America’s financial well-being. China is also a rising threat to U.S. national security. Earlier this year, it was behind the largest cyberattack ever carried out against the United States.

President Obama has continued to appease China’s leaders despite their mounting aggression. In addition to his insufficient responses to economic and national-security concerns, he has ignored the Chinese government’s mass roundups of human-rights advocates, oppression of religious minorities, detention of political dissidents, ever-tightening controls on the Internet, and numerous other human-rights violations. He has hoped that being more friendly with China will make it more responsible. It hasn’t worked.

…President Xi Jinping’s visit to Washington next week should not be canceled, but rather downgraded to a working visit from a state visit. This is an opportunity to speak bluntly to this authoritarian ruler and achieve meaningful progress, not to treat him to a state dinner.

If elected U.S. president next fall, I will approach China on the basis of strength and example, not weakness and appeasement.

My first goal will be to restore America’s strategic advantage in the Pacific.

We cannot continue to allow our military readiness to atrophy while China’s strengthens. My presidency will begin with an end to defense sequestration and a restoration of the Pentagon’s budget to its appropriate level. This will allow us to neutralize China’s rapidly growing capabilities in every strategic realm, including air, sea, ground, cyber space and even outer space.

Restoring America’s strategic strength in Asia will also require reinforcing ties with allies in the region. Under my presidency, the U.S. will conduct joint freedom of navigation exercises with these nations to challenge any Chinese attempts to close off international waters or airspace. And if China continues to use military force to advance its illegitimate territorial claims, as it has in the South China Sea and elsewhere, I will not hesitate to take action. I will also promote collaboration among our allies, as America cannot and need not bear the full burden of counterbalancing China’s power.

My second goal is protecting the U.S. economy. For years, China has subsidized exports, devalued its currency, restricted imports and stolen technology on a massive scale.

[I will] move forward with the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade agreements.

I will also recognize that in the 21st century, national and economic security both depend on cybersecurity. No longer will China hack U.S. corporate or government servers with ease and without consequence.

Under my presidency, Beijing will not receive a free pass on human rights. I will instruct all U.S. officials meeting with their Chinese counterparts to demand the unconditional release of political prisoners. I will impose visa bans on Chinese officials who violate human rights. I will do all I can to empower Chinese citizens to breach what has been called the Great Firewall of China, and gain accurate news and information online about their country and the world.

…to achieve a new era of productive relations between our nations, America must stand on the side of the Chinese people rather than their autocratic rulers. Americans must elect a president willing to lead with strength and by example. A strong America—militarily, economically and morally—is the only path to lasting peace and partnership between the U.S. and China.

Mr. Rubio, a Republican U.S. senator from Florida, is running for his party’s presidential nomination.

Comment: Senator Marco Rubio’s statement in WSJ should be welcome to all in the West who cherish freedom, security and democracy. In the commentary Rubio outlines important steps to check Chinese power growth. His proposed policy if elected president in 2016 gives hope not only to the allies of the United States in the Pacific but also to the Chinese people in mainland China. In a coming free and democratic China the people will achieve much greater prosperity than now. Chinese culture can prosper in a climate of freedom when the voters can freely elect their government.

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