Missouri GOP Senator Eric Schmitt is speaking out about China’s role in the world, saying the “dynamic” in world affairs has “changed dramatically.”
Schmitt made the comments on Sunday during an interview on “The Cats Roundtable” talk show with host John Catsimatidis. He said “China’s ambitions” pose a bigger threat than previous adversaries because it is both a military and economic rival.
“I don’t think we’re starting to come to grips with that as a country, but China views themselves as a, you know, 5,000-year-old civilization,” he continued. “They are hell-bent on world domination – now they’ve kind of showed their fangs.”
Schmitt said China is using the belt-and-road initiative to achieve its rise by trapping poorer countries in a “debt trap.” He added that China’s increasing aggression in the South China Sea, where the communist country has built islands in an attempt to increase its claims over the territory.
The Missouri Republican also warned about China’s military and space capabilities, pointing out that it has a larger navy than the U.S., that it obtained hypersonic missiles, and that they are in space. China’s People’s Liberation Army has approximately 340 warships, a number that’s expected to grow to 400 in the next couple of years. The United States has fewer than 300 ships, according to the Pentagon’s 2022 China Military Power Report. U.S. officials expect to have 350 ships by 2045.
“If you think about that, the dynamic has changed dramatically,” Schmitt said. “The United States of America, you know, during the Cold War, we had a nuclear rival with Russia – a military rival. But never a military and an economic rival. That’s what we have with China.”
The former Missouri attorney general said the United States has to take the threat China poses “seriously” because we don’t have a “military-industrial base right now.” He said that for the U.S. to be able to compete on the world stage, it must “build that back up.”
Schmitt, who sits on the Senate Committee on Armed Services, blasted “climate alarmism” and Biden’s policies for sending American jobs to China when Catsimatidis asked if the U.S. “may be in trouble” in the case of a “real war.”
“This is a big concern,” Schmitt said. “I think it plays into, again, the Biden agenda, when you have this obsession with climate alarmism like they have, we have all the energy we’ll ever need right under our feet to be competitive from an industrial perspective.”
“But we’re shipping all those jobs essentially to China, and they’re mining all those rare earth materials there,” Schmitt said. “We could be doing it here. … Our supply chains are compromised. We need to bring those home.”
Schmitt blasted Biden’s broad foreign policy as well, noting the current administration’s “soft on Iran approach,” Biden’s pick for ambassador to Israel, and the 2020 withdrawal from Afghanistan potentially leaving resources that are now being used by Hamas, saying, “Everything they could get wrong, they’ve gotten wrong on foreign policy.”