WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement with Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and other Senate Republican colleagues ahead of the Biden-Xi meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit. Joining Hagerty and Risch are Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Thom Tillis (R-NC) Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Katie Britt (R-AL), Rick Scott (R-FL), John Hoeven (R-ND), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ted Budd (R-NC), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), John Cornyn (R-TX), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), John Barrasso (R-WY), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Tim Scott (R-SC).
“President Biden’s planned meeting with Xi Jinping is a clear message that this administration will pursue an economic reset with China above fortifying the national security of the United States. The administration’s belief that a solid economic relationship will stabilize the entire U.S.-China relationship is dead wrong, and exactly what the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) wants us to believe.
“There is no such thing as ‘healthy’ economic competition with China. That reality should be obvious to the casual observer after decades of China’s rampant intellectual property theft, massive subsidization of key industries, and coercive treatment of U.S.-based and international firms.
“The United States should not throw any sort of economic lifeline to Xi Jinping after the mess he has made of the Chinese economy. If we are serious about competing with China, we should focus on hardening our economy against China’s abuses and on pursuing initiatives with willing partners that actually create opportunity. China wants not only to harm U.S. national security, but also to undermine our economic prosperity. For the CCP, there is no distinction. The Biden Administration’s belief otherwise shows it thinks we can still change China – a belief that is divorced from reality.
“Biden agreeing to another Xi meeting without the release of wrongfully detained Americans and any commitments by China on fentanyl is astounding. Lopsided economic engagement should not be of greater priority than securing the release of Mark Swidan, David Lin, and Kai Li. These men have suffered for far too long and deserve to come home to their families immediately. The parade of Biden Administration officials through China in the nine months since it sent a surveillance balloon across the United States has not yielded the release of these Americans – and sadly it does not appear that the Biden-Xi meeting will yield their release either.
“Finally, it is paramount that Biden and his administration don’t give an inch on U.S. policy on Taiwan. We have seen this before, and it would be one more grave error in the competition between the United States and China. Few issues are more urgent than ensuring Taiwan has the capabilities and training it needs to deter Chinese aggression. Vital U.S. national and economic security interests, and the future of the entire Indo-Pacific region, are both at stake here.”