China has long rivaled the United States as a top global economic power, but in a Wednesday Senate Intelligence hearing, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) made an important point, saying that China has weaponized America’s own “corporate lust for profits” against the U.S., and the evidence is clear everywhere from the grocery store to Hollywood.
Rubio urged other Senators at the meeting to “wake up” and recognize corporate America’s reliance on the Chinese Communist Party.
“U.S. corporations are so desperate to have access to the Chinese market that they’ll lead costly boycotts in an American state that passes a law that they don’t like. American companies have actually fired Americans who live in America for saying or writing something that China doesn’t like,” Rubio noted.
“Most people don’t realize that China already has tremendous influence and control over what Americans are allowed to say or hear about them or many of the other issues in the world. Hollywood is so desperate, for example, to have their movies shown in China that Hollywood won’t make a movie that China’s communist censors don’t approve,” Rubio argued.
The senator pointed to China’s 2019 decision to suspend business ties with the National Basketball Association after the general manager vocalized his support for Hong Kong’s protests in their fight for democracy. That same year, Apple removed an app that allowed Hong Kong protestors to organize after pressure from the CCP.
Activision Blizzard, an American company, also stood in solidarity with the CCP in their suspension of a gamer and confiscation of his prize money after he voiced support for Hong Kong protesters.
The senator also mentioned two 2018 instances. In one, a Marriott employee was fired after he liked a Twitter post crediting Marriott for listing Tibet as a country rather than as part of China. On the other, big box brand Gap took a shirt with a map of China off their shelves and even apologized for not including Taiwan.
“This is not about the Chinese people or especially not about Chinese-Americans,” Rubio maintained, “The long arm of China is not some futuristic threat. It’s already here.”
China is no ally to the United State or its’ corporate interests. In fact, China is reportedly stealing between 300 and 600 billion dollars a year of American technology and intellectual property.
“They hack into networks and they take it. They use venture capital funds to buy promising technology startups. They hide their ownership, by the way. They partner with universities on research and then they steal that research — often research whose seed funding came from the U.S. taxpayer. They force American companies doing business in China to give the technology over to them,” the senator explained.
He alleged that, “China is already carrying out the biggest illegal wealth transfer from one nation to another in the history of mankind,” reiterating that this is not about the Chinese people, this is about the Chinese Communist Party.
Rubio said that the CCP has more control over what Americans say, hear, read and watch than any foreign government has had in our history. It’s led to corporations turning a blind eye to major China human rights violations, like the Uyghur Muslim genocide.
The senator warned that if America does not wake up and address this problem now, America’s children could inherit a country where freedom is a figment and “sanctimonious preachings of a genocidal communist tyranny” will be the only thing that Americans are allowed to hear or say about China.
The former Trump administration took steps to hold China accountable for its’ predatory behavior on the world stage by renegotiating trade deals, imposing sanctions and barring telecommunications companies like Huawei, accused of malign activity.
Rubio is serious about the issue and on Wednesday, he introduced two bills that would to prevent U.S. banks from lending to projects controlled by the Chinese government and to otherwise pushback on CCP influence in America.
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