Sen. Tom Cotton warns of cold war with China and Biden must take action

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Sen. Tom Cotton warns of cold war with China and Biden must take action

China’s Communist leaders are engaging the US in a cold war, and President Biden must respond forcefully to the threat or face domination, Sen. Tom Cotton wrote in an op-ed Monday. 

Cotton (R-Ark.) pointed to Biden’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly last Tuesday in which he insisted that the US is “not seeking a new Cold War,” and refrained from mentioning China by name. ​

“President Biden must change course, call China by its name, and forcefully confront China as the enemy it is. America did not wish for a new Cold War, but now our only choice is to win or submit to Chinese dominion,” Cotton said in the opinion piece published on Fox News.

“The future of America and the world is at stake,” he said. 

Cotton said the US did not “seek” it, but “Communist China has waged a Cold War against us for years. Our only choice is to win or lose.” 

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China delivers a speech marking the 100th anniversary of the Party's founding.
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China, delivers a speech marking the 100th anniversary of the party’s founding.
CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/Shutterstock

“Last century, our Cold War with Soviet Russia was a decades-long struggle between two great powers for global economic, military, technological and ideological supremacy. Can there be any question that we’re engaged in such a confrontation with Communist China?” he said. 

The Republican senator recalled the warning from presidential adviser Bernard Baruch, who coined the term Cold War in 1947.

​”‘Let us not be deceived; we are today in the midst of a Cold War. Our enemies are to be found abroad and at home,’” Cotton quoted Baruch addressing doubters. 

Sen. Tom Cotton warns that the current leaders in China are engaging the US in a Cold War and that Biden must respond forcefully or be destroyed.
Sen. Tom Cotton warns that the current leaders in China are engaging the US in a cold war and that Biden must respond forcefully or be destroyed.
TOM WILLIAMS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

​”Likewise, let us not be deceived today. Our nation cannot afford weak-willed leaders who ignore the great challenges of our time,” Cotton said. 

At his UN speech last week, Biden said the US is embarking on a “new era of relentless diplomacy,” despite his administration’s recent diplomatic failures in Afghanistan and the sale of nuclear submarines to Australia that angered France.

“Simply put, we stand, in my view, at an inflection point in history. And I’m here to share with you how the United States intends to work with partners and allies to answer these questions, and the commitment of my new administration to help lead the world toward a more peaceful, prosperous future for all people,” the president said at the UN.

Cotton says that China is trying to increase their influence over the world while decreasing US influence.
Cotton says China is trying to increase its influence over the world while decreasing US influence.
Jason Lee-Pool/Getty Images

But Cotton said China “seeks to corrupt and recast the international system in its rotten image.”

The Chinese Communist Party uses economic leverage globally to prevent criticism of Beijing regarding its human rights abuses and to prevent cooperation with the US.

All the while, “the Chinese ​Communist Party is trying to buy allies, expand its military power, and establish a global economic order dictated by Beijing,” he wrote. ​

“​Chinese apparatchiks attack the United States constantly in diplomatic sessions and international forums, often regurgitating BLM calumnies​,” Cotton said, referring to the Black Lives Matter movement.

“​From buying new friends to attacking ours, China strives to expand its influence and reduce ours.​”​

For three decades, he said, China has “waged economic war” against the US by intellectual property theft, industrial “sabotage” and product dumping. ​

“The ​’​China shock​’​ of the early 2000s cost our nation millions of manufacturing jobs and devastated industrial communities,” Cotton said. ​

President Joe Biden speaks during the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters on September 21, 2021.
President Biden speaks during the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters on September 21, 2021.
Eduardo Munoz/Pool Photo via AP

“​Today, the CCP accounts for up to 80​ percent of intellectual-property theft committed against the United States and more than 70​ percent of counterfeit and pirated goods brought into our nation. China is also the subject of nearly half of all FBI counterintelligence cases for economic espionage. This economic warfare costs the United States hundreds of billions of dollars per year​,” Cotton said.​​

China has leveraged its surging economic growth ​to rapidly expand its military, he said. 

“​Since 2000, China has increased military spending by over 1,000​ percent, it has more than tripled the size of its navy, and it has established the largest conventional ground-based missile arsenal in the world. More recently, China has exponentially increased its nuclear arsenal​,” Cotton said.​

“​This peacetime armament campaign may be in preparation for a major war, or it is an indicator of an escalating Cold War — or both​,” he continued.

Chinese troops marching during a military parade in Tiananmen Square in Beijing to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
Chinese troops marching during a military parade in Tiananmen Square in Beijing to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images

Acknowledging that while the US’ rivalry with China is different than its Cold War with Soviet Russia, he said, “the stakes are the same: freedom itself.”​

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