Rubio Hosts Inter-Parliamentary Alliance Press Conference on China – Press releases
US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks about the threat from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) during a press conference marking the start of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) summit in Washington, DC The IPAC is an international coalition designed to help legislators develop a proactive and strategic approach to issues related to the People’s Republic of China. Rubio is the US Co-Chair of IPAC.
See below for a slightly edited transcript of his remarks and watch the video here.
“Welcome to Washington. We are honored to be able to welcome you here to the first-ever Inter-Parliamentary Alliance China Summit here in this city. And I want to thank all of our fellow members who have traveled from around the world to be part of this large gathering.
“I think we live at a time when there is now a global awakening, the realization that the planet is threatened by the rise of a totalitarian bloc, an alliance of totalitarians who seek to redefine the world order to their image, who seek not just to be powerful nations, but the most powerful nations on the planet. And of course, the Communist Party of Beijing is leading the way in this regard. This is the challenge that will define the 21st century. When the history of the 21st century will be written, it will be about what happened at this time in the world and where the world has gone.
“It is not just that nations rise up. China is certainly a nation with a proud and ancient history, a great nation, [an] economically powerful nation. It’s not our quarrel. Our quarrel is their design to become the most powerful nation in the world and to do so at the expense of everyone else. Flip the world order so that it reflects the Communist Party’s priorities – what’s good for them first.
“But more importantly, what would a world look like in which the most powerful nation in the world was ruled by the Chinese Communist Party? What would the world look like if the most powerful and influential nation in the world became the one headquartered…[by] the Communist Party in Beijing? Well, then the most powerful country in the world would be one that doesn’t care about individual freedoms – doesn’t care about the freedom of its own people, let alone the freedom of others.
“[The CCP] does not believe in simple principles such as religious freedom, the right to freedom of expression, democratic elections. The rule of law becomes subordinate to what the party in power wants. And their willingness to undermine all the institutions and norms of the world to achieve this ambition is undoubtedly the singular geopolitical issue of the 21st century.
“You come here to Washington at a time when there is… growing bipartisan recognition [of the threat posed by the CCP]…. If you had been here 10 years ago, you would have seen that the ruling consensus in this country was that once China became rich and prosperous, it would become like all of us, that it would respect the rules and that they would see an advantage in becoming like everyone else.
” It did not work. What we have learned is that they have taken full advantage of all the opportunities offered by the world order and all the opportunities presented by the rules that govern trade and commerce, patents, author, trademarks and international standards – they enjoy all the benefits of it, but they refuse to adhere to any of its responsibilities or obligations.
“Very late, almost too late, political leaders here in the United States have realized the threat this poses. And it’s only now, in the last three to five years alone, that you’ve started to see action on this. I was very proud to have participated or led all the great initiatives that took place.
“Just a few that I want to highlight: me, bipartisanly with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in both chambers, [was] able to pass the first Uyghur-related bill ever enacted. We also followed with legislation that today prohibits the importation into the United States of any goods, products, or materials made with Xinjiang slaves. It is now the law of the United States. Obviously, laws are only valid if we are willing to enforce them. But it was a monumental achievement and one that has forced us, frankly, to confront powerful commercial interests that have invested a lot of money in production capacities that depend on these supply chains.
“We have also proposed legislation that we hope to pass very soon to provide Taiwan with the tools and training it will need to defend itself against CCP efforts to take them. And I say this with full recognition that I believe it is impossible for us to come to the end of this decade without something happening, one way or another, with regard to Taiwan. And it is a moment that threatens to be a seminal moment in human history. If, in fact, the Chinese Communist Party succeeds in subjugating the people of Taiwan to live under tyranny, it will be a moment that will shape the course of human events for generations.
“Now, tragically, this year we have learned of the destruction and abuse that ensues when an authoritarian regime decides it is going to forcibly claim a sovereign nation like its own. The unjustified war, the criminal war that Vladimir Putin is currently taking place in Ukraine, has, I believe, only succeeded in waking up our allies and the world to the threat that totalitarianism has always posed.
“It’s a threat we must never forget. Because technology changes, habits change, practices change, nations change, [but] human nature never changes. 5,500 years of recorded history show this. Human nature is the same today as it was 5,500 years ago, and it is a nature that those in power often seek to subjugate and enslave those with less power. And it’s a desire of our fallen nature that is never satisfied, can never be negotiated with, can only be given up or overcome.
“The Ukrainian people have shown us the path they have taken, the path of resistance and ultimately of victory. I am therefore very happy to announce that IPAC has chosen to welcome Ukraine to our organization this year. I can’t think of a more deserving democratic partner on the planet who is on the front lines and in the opening chapter of this unfortunate but necessary battle between the forces of freedom and tyranny – frankly, between the forces of good and evil.