Sen. Ben Sasse warns Saudi-China oil deal is 'big, bad thing' for America

"Chairman Xi green-lit this invasion" of Ukraine, Sasse said.

Updated: March 20, 2022 - 11:13pm

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Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., warned that if Saudi Arabia prices oil sales to China in yuan over the U.S. dollar, it would be a "big, bad thing" and signal a shift away from the United States on the global stage.

Reports surfaced last week that Saudi Arabia is in discussions with China to start accepting yuan for oil sales in a slap to the Biden administration.

"Just this point of the Saudis pricing some of their commodity in Chinese currency or signaling that that’s where they’re headed, that is a big, bad thing," Sasse told Fox News on Sunday.

"But let’s take a bigger step up. The 10-year-out existential battle on the globe is between the United States and Western values against the Chinese Communist Party’s exported surveillance state oppression of peoples around the globe," he said.

China's role in the invasion of Ukraine is also concerning, Sasse said. 

"Partly because Chairman Xi green-lit this invasion," the Nebraska senator told Fox. "And so we need to recognize that defeating Vladimir Putin or helping the Ukrainians defeat Putin here is an important shot across the bow of Chairman Xi, who wanted to see if the West had any will to stand up to Putin because Xi desires to seize Taiwan."

Chinese President and Communist Party leader Xi Jinping has expressed his desires to conquer Taiwan. 

"The historical task of the complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and will definitely be fulfilled," he said last year, according to the BBC.

President Joe Biden told Xi on Friday that the United States opposes "any unilateral changes to the status quo" with Taiwan.

The United States must monitor China's attempt to "displace the dollar," Sasse told Fox.

"We need to keep our eye on this because we need to demonstrate that freedom-loving peoples around the world would rather have U.S. leadership than Chinese oppression," the senator said.

Sasse also said he is worried other countries would begin to side with China not because of policies but due to concerns that "America is weak." 

"We need our commander in chief to be strong, both in these conversations with Chairman Xi but more proximately in this moment with arming the Ukrainians immediately and rapidly," Sasse told Fox.