China is a far bigger threat to the United States than is Russia, and much more attention needs to be paid to its growing danger, a leading Republican senator said Sunday.
Despite the spotlight on President Biden’s recent high-profile meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, efforts to quell Chinese power are critical, said Utah’s Mitt Romney, appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“The real challenge is not just Russia poking a stick in our eye every chance they have, but the emergence of China, which is on track to become the most powerful economy in the world and the most powerful military in the world,” Romney said.
“That represents, I think, a greater challenge to us over the coming couple of decades,” he said.
At a meeting in Geneva this month, Biden pressed Putin on cyberattacks on U.S. infrastructure, but the Russian strongman stood firm that Russia was not to blame.
Sen. Mitt Romney said China is a far bigger threat to the United States than is Russia, and much more attention needs to be paid to its growing danger. (Shawn Thew/)
Their meeting came on the tails of a Group of Seven meeting of the world’s biggest democracies, where Biden sought to persuade U.S. allies to take a harder line against China but met with limited success.
China’s lack of openness and transparency about the origins of COVID-19 shows just how critical it is not to allow the Asian giant to flex its muscles, Romney said.
“China’s effort to play a more and more assertive role in international bodies has to be pushed back or, in some cases, eliminated,” he said, adding that allowing China to have any significant role in the World Health Organization, which is involved in investigations into the origin of the deadly virus that caused a global crisis, is “an outrage.”
Citing China’s mistreatment of its ethnic minorities and its heavy-handed restrictions on political opposition and dissent in Hong Kong, Romney said: “China is doing a lot of very bad things.
“And the entire world needs to come to recognize what they’re doing and to say, Look, that is not going to stand. We will not allow you to play the kind of dominant role you want to have on the world stage, while you’re carrying out these kind of atrocities.”
That’s not to say Putin doesn’t merit plenty of criticism, Romney added.
“Putin is a bad guy,” he said. “He is an autocrat in the worst way, and represents a threat to the world.”
But he noted, Putin’s power is blunted because “Russia is in decline, a demographic decline, an economic decline.”
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