GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina is weighing in on China relations ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the U.S. later this month. In an interview with FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney, Fiorina says she would use the opportunity for serious negotiations.
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“I think now is the time to put pressure on China in all kinds of ways. They're flexing their military muscle more and more because their economy is weak. It's the classic response,” said Fiorina.
“There's no question that China is a rising adversary. There is no question they have cheated on trade agreements. There's no question they have engaged in cyber espionage and cyber attacks for a long time. It is ineptitude, by the way, that the Office of Personnel Management couldn't detect and repel that attack.”
Fiorina says the U.S. needs to patrol the South China Trade Route by air and sea to prevent China from gaining control. She says $5 trillion worth of goods and services flow through that route each year.
“We cannot permit them to control it. When their ships come close to Bering Strait, our war planes ought to go out and escort them. We need to be equipping our allies with the technology and the equipment that they've asked us for so they can join us in a more aggressive patrolling of the disputed territories on which China is now building military bases” said Fiorina.
“There's no question that China is a rising adversary. There is no question they have cheated on trade agreements. There's no question they have engaged in cyber espionage and cyberattacks for a long time. It is ineptitude, by the way, that the Office of Personnel Management couldn't detect and repel that attack.”
The Republican presidential hopeful says she has conducted business with China in the past and fears that President Obama will not address key issues including cyber attacks during the state visit.
“We ought to be talking very seriously about their failure to protect our intellectual property, which they agreed to do when they joined the World Trade Organization and have never done” said Fiorina.
She also said the president should ask China “to play by the same rules” in the U.S. marketplace that China forces the U.S. to abide by in their marketplace.
“We are their largest market. That gives us huge leverage,” said Fiorina.
Last week, Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker called on President Obama to cancel the Chinese president’s visit, suggesting he needs to “hold China accountable over its increasing attempts to undermine U.S. interests.”
On Monday, The Washington Post first reported that the Obama administration is weighing the idea of imposing sanctions against Chinese individuals and companies for cyber attacks on commercial targets in the U.S.
“The president has talked about this issue with China’s president several times but China is not taking us seriously,” said Bonnie Glaser, Senior Advisor for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Imposing sanctions before the Chinese president’s visit will probably sour the atmosphere of the visit. I don’t think President Xi Jinping would cancel the trip or that it would result in a reversal of any decisions that might be rolled out.”
Glaser says the U.S.-China relationship is going to take a hit.
“The Chinese have this concept of giving someone respect and dignity in this type of circumstance of hosting, they will look at it as a slap in their face and will be angry about it,” said Glaser. “I assume the Obama administration has planned for the possibility of retaliation from China, because they will retaliate.”
Glaser says the United States’ failure to take action is long overdue.
“We have to signal to the Chinese that they cannot continue cyber-enabled theft with impunity.”