Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R), a member of the U.S. Senate East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity Policy Subcommittee, has been vocal about the threat that China poses.
Now, he is setting his sights on imposing sanctions against Chinese people and companies that “participate in Beijing’s illegitimate activities to aggressively assert its expansive maritime and territorial claims” when it comes to the South China Sea and the East China Sea.
Earlier this month, Senator Rubio reintroduced the “South China Sea and East China Sea Sanctions Act,” and it received bipartisan support.
Florida Senator Rick Scott (R) has also cosponsored the proposal.
And, Senator Rubio this week detailed why this legislation is important.
In a statement, Senator Rubio expressed that the legislation “seeks to reinforce America’s strong and enduring commitment to securing a free and open Indo-Pacific, including in the South China Sea and East China Sea.”
Moreover, Senator Rubio noted that “because the Chinese Government’s ongoing and flagrant violations of international norms in the South China and East China Seas cannot go unchecked, this legislation authorizes new sanctions to put Beijing on notice that the United States means business and intends to hold violators accountable.”
This legislation comes at a time when the United States and China are involved in a trade war that some Americans find divisive.
In fact, China this week accused the Trump administration of committing “economic terrorism.”
Lu Kang, the spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, commented that the White House had “brought huge damage to the economy of other countries and the U.S. itself,” and Kang expressed that the trade policy the United States has adopted is “typical economic terrorism, economic hegemony, and economic unilateralism.”
Asserting that China would “never accept” the United States’ suppression of Chinese development, The People’s Daily, the Communist Party run newspaper, issued a statement this week following Kang’s statements, telling the United States “don’t say we didn’t warn you.”