Senator Tom Cotton On Governor Scott Walker’s Demand That President Obama Cancel President Xi Jinping
Senator Tom Cotton joined me on today:
HH: I’m joined now by United States senator, Tom Cotton. Senator Cotton, welcome. It’s great to have you.
TC: Hey, Hugh. Great to be back on with you.
HH: I want to read to you a statement that was put out a couple of hours ago by Governor Scott Walker ahead of President’s Xi Jinping’s state visit to the Unites States next month. Governor Scott Walker wrote, “Americans are struggling to cope with the fall in today’s markets driven in parts by China’s slowing economy and the fact they actively manipulate their economy. Rather honoring China’s president Xi Jinping with an official state visit next month, President Obama should focus on holding China accountable for its increasing attempts to undermine U.S. interests given China’s massive cyberattacks against America, its militarization of the South China Sea, continued state interference with its economy, and persistent persecution of Christians and humans rights activists. President Obama needs to cancel the state visit. There is serious work to be done rather than pomp and circumstance. We need to see some backbone from President Obama on U.S.- China relations” [end of statement]. What do you think of that, Senator Cotton?
TC: Hugh, I agree with what Governor Walker said. I’ve been mystified as to why President Obama invited Xi Jinping to the United States. China is an adversary in many ways as Governor Walker said in his statement. They continue to engage in cyberattacks against the United States. They’re building militarized islands out of whole cloth in the South China Sea. They’ve manipulated their currency to promote their own economy to the detriment of ours. They’re oppressing Christians at alarming new levels, and I think Governor Walker even mentioned the New York Times scoop from last week about undeclared Chinese agents in the United States trying to intimidate and harass Chinese Americans into returning to the mainland. So I think we should be inviting more of our allies and our would-be allies in the region to the United States for state visits. I was just in East Asia for ten days actually – South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan – and I went in part because so many countries in East and Southeast Asia are looking for more American leadership to stand up to the alarming and aggressive moves that China has been making in the region.
HH: Senator Cotton, I got a long list of potential questions to ask these Republican presidential candidates on September 16th at the CNN-Salem debate. One of them is whether or not they would encourage Japan or South Korea to go nuclear given that they’re now surrounded by nuclear states and an aggressive China. Did that come up in the course of your conversations with South Korean and Japanese leaders?
TC: We didn’t get all that specifically, Hugh, and frankly, I think both Japan and South Korea’s leadership would prefer not to see additional nuclear proliferation given the history of the region. But, the fact that North Korea already has nuclear weapons and they use that effectively as a deterrent to do thing like place land mines on the South Korea side of the border and blow the legs off South Korean soldiers – one of whom I’ve had the honor to meet last week – just foretells what would happen if Iran were to get nuclear weapons and the kind of risk that it would pose because North Korea is only bordered by three countries whereas Iran is at the crossroads of the world. So, for seventy years, the United States has been the leader in preventing a second nuclear age after we were compelled to use nuclear weapons to end World War II and to save hundreds of thousands of American lives. I fear the path we’re going down today is only going to make a second nuclear age more likely and the last thing the world needs is more countries who are less committed to the United States, less certain of the United States committment to them developing nuclear weapons of their own. Continue Reading