Sen. Cruz on Linda Thomas-Greenfield: I Have No Confidence This Nominee Will Stand up To China
Votes against President Bidens pick for U.N. ambassador, who was paid to give pro-China speech at Chinese propaganda center
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today voted against the confirmation of Linda Thomas-Greenfield, President Biden’s nominee for Ambassador to the United Nations. Sen. Cruz highlighted his concerns about her pro-China advocacy, and blasted the Biden administration’s rush to embrace the worst elements of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In 2019, Thomas-Greenfield received $1,500 to deliver a speech at a Chinese-controlled and Chinese-funded Confucius Institute, in which she praised the CCP’s Belt and Road Initiative. During the business meeting, Sen. Cruz insisted that the speech transcript be made part of Congress’s official record. Watch Sen. Cruz’s full remarks here. Key excerpts are below.
“I intend to vote against this nominee. I have been growing increasingly concerned over the last two weeks by what appears to be a concerted, coordinated pivot towards China by the new Biden administration. We’ve been seeing nominee after nominee embracing China more closely. We’ve seen multiple nominees refuse to answer whether they would keep Huawei or other listed companies on the Entities List. One after the other, the nominees are all refusing to answer that.
“With Ms. Thomas Greenfield, her speech at the Confucius Institute, I think, raises very serious concerns. […] As the members of this committee know, Confucius Institutes are controlled and paid for by the communist government of China. They engage in rampant espionage and propaganda—paid for by China. There are multiple members of this committee, Republicans and Democrats with whom I’ve worked to shut down Confucius Institutes across this country. […]
“The speech she gave does not have one single critical word about China. By the way, she didn’t give a speech about historically black colleges and universities. She was talking about China to the Confucius Institute. She knew who she was talking to. And the text of the speech, I don’t believe it would have read differently if the Confucius Institute had written it. Because the text of the speech, not only does she not call out China’s genocide, not only does she not call out the murder, the torture, the lies, not only does she not call out the debt traps and captivity that China is using in Africa and throughout the developing world—but she praises China’s Belt and Road Initiative. […] This committee has worked together. The BUILD Act, which this committee moved forward, was designed to combat the Belt and Road Initiative. Her speech praises the Belt and Road Initiative and says that America needs to follow China’s example.
“I would also note that her speech was not a one off. I put out a whole series of remarks that Ms. Thomas-Greenfield has made over the decades, repeatedly apologizing for China, saying we’re not competing with China, which she said multiple times. And at other times she says that that she viewed her role as, ‘to ensure that they [African leaders] have the capacity to strike and negotiate better deals with the Chinese.’ […]
“China, I believe, poses the single greatest geopolitical threat to the United States over the next century. We need a U.N. ambassador who will stand up to China, to China’s pervasive influence at the United Nations. And given her record, I have no confidence that this nominee would do so. [...]
“I would encourage folks, read the speech for yourself and ask yourself this: would you be proud to see the representative for the United States of America giving that speech at the United Nations? I don't think the answer is yes. And I think confirming this nominee is a mistake.”
Additionally, since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Sen. Cruz has:
- Led efforts to end U.S. dependence on China for rare earth elements and other critical minerals by introducing the Onshoring Rare Earths or ORE Act, legislation that would establish a supply chain in the U.S. for minerals used to manufacture defense technologies and other high-tech products.
- Introduced the Blocking Evasive Attempts to Manipulate Signals or BEAMS Act, legislation to prevent the CCP from exploiting Federal Communications Commission (FCC) loopholes to propagandize to Americans from radio stations in Mexico or Canada, including through stations entangled with Chinese state-owned media outlets such as Phoenix TV. This legislation resulted in the Trump administration blocking the license to these stations.
- Introduced the Stopping Censorship, Restoring Integrity, Protecting Talkies or SCRIPT Act, legislation cutting off Hollywood studios from assistance they receive from the Department of Defense if those studios censor their films for screening in China.
- Introduced the Sanctioning and Highlighting Authoritarian Medicine and Eugenics or SHAME Act, legislation sanctioning CCP officials for systematic ethnic cleansing, including through forced abortions and other coercive population control measures in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.