McCarthy’s China mission: Give Biden a ‘backbone,’ ‘empower’ him to tackle the CCP threat

EXCLUSIVE: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he intends to use the 118th Congress to set federal policy that gives President Biden a “backbone” and empowers him to tackle the China threat, and approve these measures on a bipartisan basis so Beijing understands “we mean business.” “If we have the policymakers on board, we could send the president policy that will make him stronger and give him a stronger hand,” McCarthy told Fox News Digital on his plans for China in an exclusive sit-down interview. “I want to empower the president,” he continued. “If we are united in the House, it gives the president a stronger hand. In essence, the House can try to give him a backbone.” MCCARTHY CREATES HOUSE CHINA SELECT COMMITTEE TO CONFRONT CCP THREATS However, McCarthy said the president “needs to be where House Republicans and Democrats are,” and warned that he is “not there” yet. “We need to speak directly to China, and, regardless of how long he thinks he has known Xi — Xi is a different person than he was before, and China is in a different place than it was before, and they think they are stronger than they were before,” McCarthy warned. “We need to be united to do that.” Biden has touted his rapport with Xi as an advantage and wants to carefully leverage that years-long relationship as he deals with rising tensions between the U.S. and China. McCarthy said one of the first areas Biden should pressure Xi and show strength should be on the issue of fentanyl. DEMS JOIN GOP IN VOTE TO CONDEMN CHINA’S SURVEILLANCE FLIGHT, DEMAND MORE INFO FROM BIDEN “One of the first things he should do with Xi is stop the fentanyl coming to America,” McCarthy said. “He just has to call and say, this is personal, if you don’t stop the chemicals from coming, we’re going to do something about this.” McCarthy said the U.S. has “done this before with Xi and fentanyl got curbed very quickly.” When asked if he believes the White House and Congress can find a consensus on the approach to China, McCarthy said, “He is the President of the United States. I am the speaker of the House. Our job is to work to try to find what is best for America.” GALLAGHER USES CHINA’S ILLEGAL POLICE STATIONS ON AMERICAN SOIL TO SOUND ALARM ON THREAT TO US SOVEREIGNTY “I would do everything in my power to get there,” he said. “Do we have a difference of opinion? Yes. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to work with him, because I want to get him to the right place.” McCarthy spoke to Fox News Digital came the day after the House China Select Committee’s first hearing. McCarthy created the bipartisan House Select Committee on China for the 118th Congress to focus on areas like intelligence, agriculture, the economy and other areas that McCarthy said China has tried to “take dominance.” He worked with House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., to ensure the committee works in a bipartisan way, and the committee was approved with overwhelming support from both sides. “I’ve always thought that one of our biggest problems with China is we have never spoken with one voice,” McCarthy said. “They [China] see the divide, and they take advantage of it.” US INTEL ASSESSES CHINESE SPY BALLOONS TRANSITED US SEVERAL TIMES, WENT ‘UNDETECTED’: SENIOR ADMIN OFFICIAL However, McCarthy is hopeful and noted the House resolution that passed unanimously last month to condemn China for its “brazen violation of United States sovereignty” by sending a surveillance balloon over the continental United States. Even though Republicans used the debate on the resolution to criticize the Biden administration for not shooting down the Chinese spy flight earlier, every Democrat voted in favor of its passage. McCarthy said at the time, some members suggested a resolution against the president, an idea he rejected. FBI DIRECTOR SAYS COVID PANDEMIC ‘MOST LIKELY’ ORIGINATED FROM CHINESE LAB “No, no, no, no. We need to speak in one voice against China,” he said, reflecting on the process. “I sat down with Hakeem and I said, we need a resolution against the CCP because they are the ones who did this.” “If we can lay the barriers out with united Republicans and Democrats, it really puts the hardline against China so that they understand we mean business,” he said. McCarthy added European allies have been “impressed” with the establishment of the China committee, which could help embolden countries there to take a stand against China. “They are already taking notice in Europe, so it may empower Europe,” McCarthy said. “When they see us being stronger with China, they get stronger as well.” Republicans are also applying pressure on China through the establishment of a committee to investigate the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, the Energy Department said it had determined that COVID-19 had stemmed from a lab leak in China, in a break with the intelligence community. Additionally, in an interview this week with Fox News, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the COVID-19 pandemic was likely caused by a lab leak in Wuhan. “The FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan,” Wray said. “Here you are talking about a potential leak from a Chinese government-controlled lab.” US ENERGY DEPARTMENT ASSESSES COVID-19 ORIGIN LIKELY A CHINESE ‘LAB LEAK’: REPORT McCarthy said this information is coming out now because “Republicans are now in the majority.” “We put together a select committee on COVID, so, when we start to ask them questions, they better get the answers out there,” McCarthy said. While McCarthy said he is looking to support Biden’s efforts, he told Fox News Digital that he believes administration officials “look weak to China,” especially when it comes to COVID. HOUSE CHINA COMMITTEE LAWMAKERS SAY SENDING DELEGATIONS TO TAIWAN COULD ‘IMPROVE THE CHANCES OF PEACE’ “You need to stand up and say no — you created this, you have the responsibility to clean this up, and you have got to stop lying about it,” McCarthy said of China’s denials of having a role in the origins of COVID-19. “That is what any parent would do with their child.” “When you allow China to get away with that, with killing millions of people in other countries, they will continue to do it.” McCarthy said “strength against China” has been a “clear message,” but stressed there needs to be a focus on “strength for America” to combat the threat. US SENDING UP TO 200 MORE TROOPS TO TAIWAN AS CHINA TENSIONS GROW “We’re not going to be dependent upon China for medical, for agriculture, and we have watched what they have been doing,” McCarthy said. “But now we’re making America get stronger with it.” As for China’s ambitions to take Taiwan, McCarthy pointed to Russia’s unprecedented war against Ukraine, which has been ongoing for more than a year. “If there is any lesson that you can take from Ukraine, you should sell the weapons to Taiwan now so that they can defend themselves,” McCarthy said. “It is not just that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin invaded Ukraine because of the messaging, but Biden allowed him to create a new axis of power with China, North Korea and Iran.” “Biden strengthened people against us and against our way of life, all because his actions were weak,” McCarthy said.
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