WASHINGTON—At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing today, U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) outlined the need for the United States to develop a comprehensive strategy to confront China’s growing aggression. Earlier today, he joined his colleagues in introducing the Strengthening Trade, Regional Alliances, Technology, and Economic and Geopolitical Initiatives Concerning China Act (STRATEGIC Act), legislation to advance a comprehensive strategy for U.S. competition with the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
A partial transcript of his remarks can be found below and full video can be found here.
“I’m concerned that we are using the traditional techniques that we’ve long had, although using them in more aggressive ways than we have to push back against China and their ambitions, but they aren’t working…They are not backing down. Look what they are doing to the Uyghurs. Look what they are doing in the South China Sea bases, look how they are cracking down on Hong Kong. How they saber rattle with regards to Taiwan. The Belt and Road Initiative, the number of ports they have and bases--extraordinary. The fact that the Philippines and the Solomon Islands are changing their course with regards to the relative relationship we’ve had. Their cyber theft, putting people in our universities to steal technologies. The list goes on and on. It’s not working.”
“And actually the United States flexing all of our muscles is alone not strong enough because we have 330 million and they have 1.4 billion people. Their economy will be bigger. They’re already procuring as much military hardware as we are. They’re going to be an enormous power house. They’re blasting ahead and we will increasingly be in the rearview mirror unless we combine with other nations that abide by the rule of law. Unless we link arms in a very dramatic and aggressive way and lay out rules of the road that they must follow or they will find themselves disconnected, as Senator Young has described, disconnected from the economy of the rest of the world. And we’re not doing that! Instead, we’re saying “America First—everybody go off and do their own thing. Great for Brexit. Let’s blow up Europe. Everybody pursue your own interests.” And America looks like we don’t care about bringing the world together in a dramatic way. I would suggest a summit of the leaders of the major nations of the world and laying out a process to approach China in a very dramatic way.”