Representative Mike Garcia (R-CA), the co-chair of the China Task Force, released a statement to the press addressing the recent report that China successfully tested nuclear-capable hypersonic missiles, surprising the American intelligence community. In his press release, Garcia says that the United States “can’t just compete with China; we must surpass China” and blasts heavy criticisms to the way the Biden Administration has handled America’s response to China’s growing power.
Garcia, a former U.S. Navy Fighter Pilot who was elected to the House last year, said that it is “incredibly alarming” that American intelligence was reportedly surprised by the Chinese hypersonic missile test since “we have seen warnings of this for months”. Garcia also laments that the news of the tests come at a time “when the Biden administration fails to properly invest in our nation’s military.” and criticizes that the current president “continues to give hope to bad guys by not only improperly funding our nation’s defense sector but also by not holding our adversaries, like China, accountable”.
For Garcia the road the United States should follow in regards to China is quite simple, “we must not allow China to get ahead of us on any front” and that the US government should “double down on our efforts to advance our nation’s defense capabilities” with the Congressman also making special emphasis in expanding the nation’s capabilities in space exploration, saying that we are living in a “Golden age of space exploration” and that this is a place where “we as a nation can thrive” but that it is also a place that is becoming increasingly vulnerable to “malicious foes like China”.
Mike Garcia also vowed to “work to ensure America remains a leader on the global stage”. The congressman is the co-chair of the China Task Force, a group of Republican members of Congress formed in 2020, which are in charge of studying the growing threats coming from China and formulating policy recommendations to the United States Government. In 2020, the Task Force published a lengthy report enumerating the many challenges coming from China.
China-U.S. relations have cooled considerably over the last five years, with both countries immersed in a trade war, while Beijing has grown increasingly assertive in the region, with the CCP effectively ending the civil liberties of Hong Kong, making threatening moves against Taiwan, clashing against Indian security forces, and conducting a massive campaign (which the U.S. has qualified as genocide) against the minority Muslim Uyghur population in Xinjian.
The relationship has not only deteriorated among political leaders, with the public significantly souring with China over the last years. According to data collected by Gallup, a staggering 79% of the American public have negative views about China, with the trend growing significantly after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic (which might have leaked from a Chinese lab) as in 2019 only 57% of those surveyed said they had a negative view of China.