Blackburn says time for Congress to regularly review China's trade privileges
Key GOP senator also like Trump idea for a NATO in the Pacific
As tensions with Beijing rise, a prominent Republican senator suggests it may be time for Congress to pull back some of China's trading privilege and make it an annual approval from Congress like it was before the mid-1990s.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., an influential voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee, told the "Just the News, Not Noise" television show on Tuesday night that Congress needs to assert itself more strongly in the China debate.
"One of the things you're going to see (in Congress) after November, is bringing forward resolutions that would be supportive of Taiwan," Blackburn said. "You're also seeing a push to have more embassies put in the Indo-Pacific. You're seeing more attention when it comes to the Department of Defense, and the different combatant commands in standing up more operations in the Indo-Pacific. And you can look for more of that."
Asked whether she would support a return to the days of Most Favored Nation status, in which China's trade privileges were granted on a yearly basis by Congress based on Beijing's behavior in the region, Blackburn said: "Yes, indeed on the market access, and China participation in the U.S."
"And whether it's the market access, whether it is treating China-based companies the same as US companies, whether it is prohibiting the Chinese Communist Party, from owning property and farmland, those are items that should be pulled forward," she added. "And we should have a broader discussion about that. We have to realize that the Chinese Communist Party is intent on global domination, them being the lone world's superpower by the time we get to 2050. So it is time to pull those provisions forward and have that further discussion."
She also said she liked a recent suggesting by former President Donald Trump to create a NATO-like military alliance in the Pacific, building on The Quad initiative he furthered during presidency.
"One of the things you're going to see after November, is bringing forward resolutions that would be supportive of Taiwan," the congresswoman said. "You're also seeing a push to have more embassies put in the Indo-Pacific. You're seeing more attention when it comes to Department of Defense, and different combatant commands standing up more operations in the Indo-Pacific."
And the Tennessee Republican offered rare words of praise for Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to Taiwan.
"I applaud Speaker Pelosi for not bowing to the Chinese Communist Party," Blackburn said. "And I think it's great that she stood up to President Biden on this as well as standing up to the CCP, it is important that we support Taiwan, and that we recognize their willingness and their desire to be a free and independent people. They're a good trade partner for us. They're a good military partner for us. We need a strong presence."
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