July 26, 2023

VIDEO: Ricketts Blasts Biden State Dept Official: “PRC An Adversary, Not a Competitor”

July 26, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE), a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, blasted a Biden State Department official for stating the People’s Republic of China is merely a competitor to the U.S., not an adversary. Ricketts implored him to take seriously the threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party, which controls the People’s Republic of China.

“You said in your opening remarks that the People’s Republic of China was a competitor. With all due respect, they’re an adversary,” Ricketts said. “President Xi has said that he wants to be the global dominating power by 2049 – that means displacing us. We should take him seriously. They are an adversary.”

Ricketts, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, also raised concerns about the CCP’s economic coercion tactics with countries like Lithuania who choose to increase diplomatic engagement with Taiwan. He explained how the CCP has taken this economic coercion regime to another level, putting pressure not just on targeted countries, but also on companies who trade with firms from those countries.

“The CCP is attempting to weaponize access to the Chinese market for unrelated European companies if they continue trading with Lithuanian firms.” Ricketts said after the hearing. “This basically amounted to informal secondary sanctions. While the success of this approach was limited, it is easy to imagine the PRC employing it again, especially in cases when bilateral trade is minimal. The Biden administration must wake up and counter the CCP’s economic coercion.”

Ricketts’ comments came during questioning of Jose Fernandez, Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment in a hearing of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

Click here to watch the full video.

Ricketts has repeatedly highlighted the need to address the CCP’s economic coercion tactics abroad. In March, he spotlighted the threats caused by the CCP’s investments in Latin America and Brazil, specifically, noting that the CCP leverages its economic ties to expand its influence around the world. In May, he co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to end lending to the CCP from multilateral development banks, including the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.


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