The Wuhan coronavirus pandemic has made crystal clear what many of us already knew - Communist China poses an existential threat to the United States and to the global community. The Communist Chinese regime hid this virus. And when they lost control of it, they silenced doctors, destroyed samples, expelled journalists, and deflected blame. They are actively engaging in the biggest coverup in human history, and the American people are paying the price. Tens of thousands of Americans have lost their lives, tens of millions have lost their jobs and the entire global community has been disrupted. The Communist regime must be held accountable.
As the United States Ambassador to Japan under President Donald Trump, I've seen the danger that Communist China increasingly poses to the United States and the rest of the world. With little to no regard for the international community, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) consistently engages in predatory business, military and diplomatic practices.
In the last several years, China has stolen our intellectual property, and they’ve stolen our jobs. They’ve subsidized their own industries to capture strategic positions, and in the process, they’ve overtaken many American competitors that played by the rules. They did this while simultaneously becoming an even larger military aggressor. Nowhere is this more evident than the South China Sea. The CCP destroyed coral reefs and marine life throughout the South China Sea to build ammunition storage facilities and military-grade runways. Even more ominous, these fortresses lie along some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.
Now, we have a president in Donald Trump who is finally willing to stand up to Communist China with the aim to end their predatory practices. From forcing Communist China to come to the negotiating table in the historic “Phase One” trade deal to exposing Communist Chinese regime-backed companies like Huawei that seek to dominate our telecommunications markets, President Trump has done more to take on China than any president in history.
We must keep the pressure up. One of the reasons that President Trump has endorsed me in my run for the U.S. Senate is because he knows I’ll stand strong on China. I’ve not only served the Administration in the Asia-Pacific region, but I’ve worked intimately with one of our biggest allies, Japan, and understand the threat of Communist China -- up close and in-person.
We cannot continue with the status quo. We must bring our most strategic supply chains onshore. This is why President Trump is preparing an Executive Order to move the production of certain essential drugs to the United States. As a member of his Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups, I’m already working closely with President Trump to develop policies that will accelerate the movement of vital supply chains back home.
Domestically, we’ve already seen trial lawyers attempt to use this crisis to create another massive litigation payday. But Americans shouldn’t sue their hospitals, schools, and employers. They should sue the perpetrator: the Communist Chinese regime. We must hold the CCP accountable for the total destruction that they’ve unleashed on the United States with their coverup of the coronavirus. This coverup has become the crime of the century. The lives lost are unforgivable, the economic damage is unthinkable and the fault lies with China. Cities, states and individuals should be allowed to sue China for their culpability and negligence. I applaud the steps that Senator Marsha Blackburn and other Republican lawmakers are taking to enable Americans to sue China over damages caused by the Wuhan virus.
Further, we ought to punish the Communist regime with tough economic sanctions to ensure that China knows their malign actions will be met with harsh consequences.
Finally, the U.S. must lead our international community to counter China’s diplomatic influence. For too long, the CCP has used the World Health Organization and other international organizations as venues to push their agenda. President Trump was absolutely right to halt funding to the WHO, and we must hold the organization to account for its role in this pandemic. The time has long passed to undo Communist China’s corrupt influence in the international community.
Standing up to the predatory practices of the Communist Chinese regime must be a top priority for the U.S. going into the rest of the 21st century. This pandemic has brought to light the corruption that exists within the Chinese government. If elected to the Senate, I will work with President Trump in standing tough on China to make sure this regime is held accountable.
Bill Hagerty served as the United States Ambassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s Administration. He is running for U.S. Senate in Tennessee with the complete and total endorsement of President Trump