Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) told Breitbart News Saturday that the United States needs to hold China’s feet to the fire for its central role in the coronavirus pandemic, stressing that its position in key organizations need to be re-examined and the communist country should pay for the spread of the disease, in part by forgiving U.S. debt.
China failed to be forthcoming on the severity of the coronavirus outbreak originating in Wuhan, even attempting to blame the situation on the U.S. military. Because of the country’s actions and omission of key details, “they made the situation worse,” Blackburn told Breitbart News Saturday.
The first step in holding China accountable, Blackburn said, involves passing her Senate resolution explicitly acknowledging and expressing the sense that the “Government of the People’s Republic of China made multiple serious mistakes in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak that heightened the severity and spread of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including the intentional spread of misinformation to downplay the risks of COVID-19, a refusal to cooperate with international health authorities, internal censorship of doctors and journalists, and a malicious disregard for the health of ethnic minorities,” per the resolution.
Secondly, the U.S. must put an end to “Confucius Institutes” — institutes located on the campuses of universities, where China pays “millions of dollars to locate one of their campuses on that university.”
According to Blackburn, China sends their spies to those institutes as visiting professors and “that is one of the ways that they are using to infiltrate our educational systems and also to gain information that is helpful to them in pushing forward their goal, which is dominance.”
Lastly, the U.S. must demand debt forgiveness from China, which owns over $1 trillion in U.S. publicly traded debt.
“They like investing in us. They think we’re a good risk, but we should ask them to forgive that because as you rightly stated, Matt, they have caused $8 trillion in cost, direct cost, to our economy,” she explained, citing the cost of lives and livelihood not only in the U.S. but other countries as well.
“China should be held responsible, and China should pay,” she said.
Blackburn also believes China’s role in major organizations should be thoroughly reconsidered.
“Because of the way China has acted throughout this coronavirus pandemic, I think it is completely appropriate for us to look at their participation,” she said. “How in the world could we rely on them for information about these coronaviruses, which do come out of China. Whether we’re looking at SARS or MERS or COVID-19, we know the origination points of these viruses, and China should willingly be more forthcoming with the information that is going to help us and other nations protect our people.”
“Because of that, their participation in the World Health Organization, what is their goal? Is it dominance? Is it promotion of them and their philosophy?” she asked, also citing their role in the UN Human Rights Council and stressing the importance of examining their “motives” and “reasoning.”
At the end of the day, Blackburn added, China is not our friend, and the U.S. should, first and foremost, force the issue of it paying for what it has done.
“They are not our friends,” she stated. “They will sell you something at a cheap price so they can infiltrate your systems, and I think people have realized after what they have done with coronavirus and buddying up with China and giving them control over any sector of the economy, whether it is pharmaceuticals or technology or consumables, you’re putting your supply chains at risk.”