Sen. Cruz: Trump Admin Must Go Even Further In Reversing Obama-Biden Legacy Appeasing the Chinese Communist Party
September 17, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today participated in a full committee hearing focused on "Advancing U.S. Engagement and Countering China in the Indo-Pacific and Beyond." There, he questioned witnesses on the Trump administration's efforts to support U.S. allies, like Taiwan, and to counter China's control of critical mineral supply chains.
On the Obama-Biden administration's weak policy support for Taiwan and appeasement to the Chinese Communist Party, Sen. Cruz asked David R. Stilwell, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs:
"In 2015, the Taiwanese raised their flag over their Twin Oaks estate in D.C. and the Chinese government got mad. The Obama State Department decided to kiss up to China and change the rules and appease them. But prior to 2015, there were no guidelines. Prior to 2015 Taiwanese military officials were allowed to wear military insignia. That didn't magically change. The statute didn't magically change, did it? [...] And was it in violation of that statute when Taiwanese military officials were wearing military insignia prior to the 2015 guidelines?"
Assistant Secretary Stilwell responded:
"This administration has gone very far in reversing all of those decisions that have been made in the past. To clarify, to support, you saw the secretary of Health and Human Services attended. You have a undersecretary in State Department in Taiwan right now. I believe what we are doing is definitely in alignment with your interests as well, is to support Taiwan and to make sure that they have the ability to resist coercion by the Chinese."
On the Trump administration's tougher stance on China, Sen. Cruz said:
"I don't disagree that policy has improved under this administration. It is not surprising to me that these guidelines were issued under the Obama administration and under the leadership of Secretary of State John Kerry. Their policy position was far weaker and entailed far more appeasement to the Chinese communists than the Trump administration's had."
On efforts to end global dependence on China for rare earth elements and critical minerals, Sen. Cruz asked Julie J. Chung, Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere:
"Ms. Chung, as you know there's broad concern over China's predatory investments throughout Latin America. Alongside separate but related concerns about how China dominates important industries, including the critical minerals supply chain. I've introduced legislation, the ORE Act that would onshore the supply chain for such minerals. [...] What steps are we taking to help these countries protect their natural resources and to ensure that they don't fall victim to Chinese predatory practices?"
Ms. Chung responded:
"We are talking to these various governments about proper measures. Again, due processes, screening measures, CFIUS like investments, screening measures, before signing deals with China or any other country. [...] In addition to that, we have a critical minerals working group with Canada, and both of us are very keenly aware of the sensitivities of supply chains and working more with the industries themselves. So we're building upon these discussions with Canada and all our neighbors in the Western Hemisphere, but this is of critical interest to us."
Watch Sen. Cruz's full line of questioning at today's hearing here.
Sen. Cruz has long emphasized the importance of standing alongside Taiwan, especially as the Chinese Communist Party works to undermine Taiwan's freedom and democracy. Last October, Sen. Cruz visited Taiwan during his Indo-Pacific ‘Friends & Allies Tour'. There, Sen. Cruz:
- Met with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.
- Participated in a press conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaushieh Joseph Wu.
- Attended Taiwan's National Day ceremony - the first United States Senator to attend in 35 years.
Additionally, Sen. Cruz has sought to strengthen the U.S.-Taiwan relationship. Specifically, Sen. Cruz:
- Secured and supported a variety of provisions in the FY2020, FY2019, and FY2018 NDAAs, which reaffirm and advance the United States' support for Taiwan.
- Has repeatedly warned allies to resist China's attempts to isolate Taiwan, including Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Dominican Republic, and Panama.
- Called for the United States to transfer F-16s and conduct regular arms sales to Taiwan.
- Met with Taiwan President Tsai in Houston, despite the protest of the Chinese consulate.
- Introduced the Taiwan Symbols of Sovereignty (Taiwan SOS) Act, which would allow diplomats and service members in the Taiwanese military to display their flag and wear their uniforms while in the United States on official businesses.
Additionally, Sen. Cruz has led the fight to fundamentally reassess our relationship with China. In the Senate, Sen. Cruz has introduced several pieces of legislation that would help decouple our economy from China and end our dependence on Chinese goods, by expanding medical partnerships with American allies like Israel, bringing home the supply chain for rare earth elements and other critical minerals, and combating China's growing influence over what Americans see and hear from movies made in Hollywood studios.