Exclusive — Rep. Gallagher: U.S. ‘Dangerously Dependent’ on China, Biden Climate Agenda ‘Screwing Up’ Progress

In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News on Friday in light of the recent intelligence failure concerning China’s hypersonic missile test, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) discussed the “new Cold War” facing America, claiming the U.S. is “dangerously dependent” on Beijing while highlighting the Biden administration’s commitment to a climate change agenda that will weaken our nation “militarily [and] economically” while strengthening China.

Earlier in the week, Rep. Gallagher warned the U.S. could lose the “new Cold War” against Beijing, and urged to “aggressively decouple anything associated with the military-civilian fusion.”

A New Cold War

The Wisconsin Republican began by elaborating on a new Cold War facing America for what he deemed an “existential competition” between the U.S. and China.

“President Biden explicitly made the argument at the UN in his speech that we’re not in a new Cold War, which I think is a gift to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” he said. 

“Obviously, they always accuse us of Cold War thinking, Cold War mentality, and I can’t help but think they do that because they don’t want us to recognize that we’re in an existential competition and they certainly recognize that,” he continued.

“I just read everything [Chinese Chairman] Xi Jinping says,” he added.

Contrasting the current relations with China with that of the Soviet Union, he noted “important differences” between the two.

“To say that we’re in a new Cold War is not to suggest that it’s identical to the old Cold War with the Soviet Union,” he said. 

“Obviously, there are important differences, foremost among them the fact that we never had to selectively decouple from the Soviet Union because our economies didn’t interact,” he added, “and we’re so thoroughly economically entangled with China, in some ways, I think it actually makes it a more complex and difficult competition than the old Cold War.”

Noting similarities between the two, Gallagher referred to the recent report of China’s test of a hypersonic missile that “stunned” American military and intelligence officials as “our Sputnik moment,” in reference to the Soviet Union’s 1957 satellite launch which caught the U.S. off-guard.

“Yet I see similarities and I think this should, to borrow a Cold War analogy, be our ‘Sputnik moment,’” he said, “a kind of a wake-up call that galvanizes Democrats and Republicans to get our act together and compete effectively.” 

He also lamented the apathy of the Biden administration and the mainstream media.

“But instead, the reaction from the legacy media seems to be, ‘Uh, not interested, let’s go back to demonizing unvaccinated Americans,’” he said. 

The response from the Biden administration to all this, according to Gallagher, will lead to several disastrous outcomes for America’s military and economic dominance:

The Pentagon is going to start selling its [2022] National Defense Strategy, which is based on this concept that [United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd] Austin is talking about ‘integrated deterrence,’ [which I think] is just an empty buzzword intended to cover the fact that they just want to cut defense, and their budget submission proposed to do that in real terms, in particular the Navy. 

“So that’s going to be a huge problem going forward,” he added, “we’ll see that downward pressure on defense even in the face of Chinese hypersonic advancements or other military advancements.”

Biden Climate Change Policy

Gallagher continued by highlighting the consequences of the Biden administration’s geopolitical climate agenda.

I think you’ll see this divide in the Biden administration grow more problematic and the divide really on China is between those like [Biden administration National Security Council China Director] Rush Doshi and [Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs] Ely Ratner, who I think have a more realistic view of China, or more specifically, the Chinese Communist Party, and another camp, which is the climate change camp. 

“This is sort of the [U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate] John Kerry wing, which I think is increasingly powerful,” he added.

Claiming the administration “certainly has put climate change at the center of its domestic agenda,” he stated that he assumed it will also be “at the center of the National Security Strategy” once revealed. 

“That sort of naturally leads you to a more cooperative relationship with China, because Kerry wants some sort of grand bargain on climate change even though the Chinese are going to do whatever they want to do when it comes to energy policy,” he said. 

“No matter what agreement they sign with us, it won’t be worth the paper it’s printed on,” he added, “and particularly as their domestic energy crisis intensifies their coal production is going up.”

Calling the climate agenda “naive,” Gallagher went on to describe its disastrous effects.

“I think that the sort of geopolitical climate agenda is really naive when it comes to China, and I think it’s screwing up our ability to compete effectively with China militarily, economically, or diplomatically,” he said.

He also referred to the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) standards which evaluate a company by social and environmental criteria, as well as the climate change agenda, as “perverse” due to the reliance of many companies on human rights abuses.

“I think you can make the argument that much of the global ESG and climate change agenda is built on the backs of slave labor in Xinjiang province, with some of the way these [renewable energy] batteries are manufactured, and so it’s entirely perverse,” he said. 

He then referred to the Biden administration’s “hypocrisy” for its intention of changing the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) rules while the administration relies on China.

“The administration is going to change the ERISA rules so 401Ks have to be invested in ESG funds while they’re lecturing us about ESG,” he said. “Well, how about China?”

“China sucks at the ‘E,’ the ‘S,’ and the ‘G,’ and the ‘G’ should stand for ‘Genocide’ while we’re at it,” he added. “So the entire thing is hypocritical.”

Oversight

Gallagher, who serves as the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, detailed the need to investigate the monumental intelligence failure pertaining to China’s recent nuclear-capable low-orbit hypersonic missile test.

“At a minimum, we need a classified session to understand how the U.S. Intelligence community was surprised and the nature of the intelligence failure,” he said. 

“I think we’ve known for a while that we were falling behind in hypersonics, but this test shows us that we were farther behind than we thought,” he added.

He also explained he was troubled by the long time gap between China’s hypersonic test and its revelation.

“The other thing that still doesn’t make sense to me that we need to get to the bottom of is that this test was carried out in early August but we’re now just hearing about it from open source press reports in October.” 

“So what did the Intelligence Community (IC) know over the course of the last two months, and was any of that briefed to Congress?” he asked.

“That’s one set of questions and a line of oversight we need to conduct,” he added.

He then described the need to successfully compete with China’s hypersonic weapons progress and form a realistic plan to deter their armed forces.

“We need to speed up our own development of hypersonic weapons as well as get a plan together for how we are actually going to deter a PLA (People’s Liberation Army) invasion of Taiwan,” he said.

“I’ve been at this for five years now, and I’ve just never seen a clear and convincing plan from the Pentagon in cooperation with other national security agencies for detailing a strategy in the Indo-Pacific, what we have right now and what we need to deny China the ability to invade Taiwan,” he added, noting that such was needed “in order to make smart budget decisions about what to fund.” 

Decoupling

In addition, addressing Chinese hi-tech firm Phytium which uses American software to power supercomputers that allowed for the development of hypersonic technology, Gallagher urged “to intensify this project of selective or targeted economic decoupling from China.”

Calling it “a perfect illustration of military-civil fusion,” he referred to American private sector investors as merely “deluding” themselves.

“I think a lot of American companies and asset managers and investors delude themselves by thinking, ‘We’re just investing in civilian technology,’” he said. 

In the public sector, he highlighted the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology as another example of the Chinese fusion of its civilian industry into the military.

“Like [White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony] Fauci and others delude themselves into thinking, ‘We’re just promoting peaceful scientific collaboration between our countries,’” he said. 

“But as we now know, there were military dimensions of that program and Chinese military officials had been present at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” he added. “I just think we’re gonna have to be more aggressive on the decoupling.” 

Gallagher also called to outlaw American agencies receiving federal funding for investing in China.

“I think we should prohibit via legislation any university endowments or state and local pension funds which receives federal funding from investing in China, hard stop,” he said. 

“I think we’re going to have to harmonize and expand all these various blacklists [that have military components] that we’ve developed with certain Chinese tech companies going forward,” he added. 

He also deemed it “reasonable” to oppose funding technologies designed to kill Americans.

“I just think it’s reasonable to say that the American people, either through their retirement money or through their active investments, shouldn’t be funding Chinese companies that are building things designed to kill Americans in future war,” he said.

“And that’s an area where I think we really need to expand our efforts in Congress,” he added.

He then condemned the “unethical” practice of former Congress members lobbying for Chinese companies. 

“We have a lot of former members of Congress, whether they’re House members or in some cases powerful committee chairmen or former senators, who are lobbying on behalf of Chinese companies like ZTE and others,” he said.

“I think that’s unethical and it should be illegal,” he added.

Claiming that a member of Congress or a high-level member of the executive branch “shouldn’t be allowed to lobby on behalf of a Chinese company,” particularly those effectively state-owned or state-controlled, Gallagher noted that, “the Chinese Communist Party under Xi is increasingly building these CCP cadres and various companies that make it very hard for someone to make prudent investments in these companies.”

“So I think one way we could drain the swamp is by preventing American officials from lobbying on behalf of Chinese companies,” he added.

American credibility

He also noted the effects of the disastrous policy of the Biden administration on America’s credibility on the world stage.

“I think particularly after the fiasco withdrawal from Afghanistan, there are serious questions about President Biden’s leadership as well as American deterrence and the credibility of our commitments more broadly,” he said.

Claiming the CCP sought to “exploit” the plunge in American deterrence and credibility with “propaganda aimed at Taiwan’s citizens saying America can’t be counted on in a crisis,” he highlighted how China is using the narratives by the left in America, amplifying them to undermine American moral credibility and standing.

“They really feel like they’ve found our critical vulnerability on the issue of race and amplify a lot of woke narratives that are out there on the far left,” he said, “and they use it to say America doesn’t have the moral authority to criticize us when it comes to genocide or anything else because America is an evil, racist hellscape.”

“And they find a lot of people on the left that agree with that basic idea, which is a massive problem,” he added.

Intelligence failures

Despite the CIA director’s announcement earlier this month of the creation of a top-level working group on China as part of a broad U.S. government effort focused on countering Beijing’s influence, Gallagher noted the deeper failures of the administration on confronting China.

“I welcome that but I think it is a sort of implicit admission that we are not collecting effectively against targets in China,” he said.

“I think the numerous intelligence failures leading up to the pandemic and our inability to get to the bottom of its origin illustrate that we weren’t collecting on certain targets in China and I think we know that — in part because of cyber-attacks by China — our human intelligence networks have been completely compromised on the Chinese mainland,” he continued.

“So we have a lot of work to do in terms of building the intelligence networks that will be essential for us to understand where we stand relative to China in our military competition,” he added. 

Dubbing it a “big problem,” he highlighted the need for many “smart people willing to serve their country” with “deep regional and language skills.”

“I just don’t think we’re doing a good job right now recruiting and retaining the best and the brightest to serve their country in the way we did in the old Cold War,” he said. 

“Ultimately, it boiled down to having smart patriotic human beings who understood the threat, willing to work together,” he added.

Beijing 2022 Olympics 

Recalling how he had previously called for a boycott of the upcoming Winter Olympics, in what he termed the ‘Concentration Camp Olympics,’ Gallagher warned of the implications of China hosting the games next year.

“I think it’s gonna be a massive propaganda victory for Xi,” he said. “It’ll give him some momentum going into the 20th Communist Party Congress where he’ll abolish term limits and install himself as dictator for life.” 

“After that, I think it’s game on,” he added. “I hear they’re going to get increasingly aggressive at that point with respect to Taiwan.”

He also expressed his belief that many Americans perceive the hypocrisy of companies supporting China and its hosting of the upcoming Olympic games while “lecturing” them about various social issues domestically. 

“A lot of major American companies who are lecturing us about voting reform or racist cops, and are boycotting Major League Baseball games or threatening to pull their businesses out of Georgia, are the same ones that are sponsoring the ‘Concentration Camp Olympics,’” he said. 

“And also for the Faucis of the world who don’t want us to gather indoors in November because of the coronavirus,” he added, “we’re sending our athletes to China in a few months, and we know China has been lying about their COVID data, particularly their delta variant data.” 

“As a matter of public health is that a safe thing to do? I’m not sure,” he added. “So there are a variety of reasons why we shouldn’t be supporting the ‘Concentration Camp Olympics.’”

Further China Threat

Gallagher also noted the “dangerous” dependency the U.S. currently has on Beijing.

“I think the big lesson of the pandemic and the lesson of this current supply chain crisis which is related, is that we’re too dependent on China,” he said. “We’re dangerously dependent on China.”

“If we allow them to take over Taiwan and the semiconductor manufacturing [there], that’s how the U.S. will be even more dependent on a hostile and genocidal communist regime for the manufacturing of chips that we need in everything from hypersonic missiles to cars to smart TVs,” he continued.

“Do we want to give them the ability to hold the entire world hostage with that?” he asked. “I don’t think so. It’s very dangerous.”

Economically, he claimed, since allowing China accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) two decades ago, “there’s been the loss of jobs in the industrial Midwest which is connected to China’s predatory practices and some naive assumptions about how integrating them in the global economy would moderate their behavior.” 

“It did not,” he added. “So I think it’s both a military threat as well as an economic threat that affects all Americans, not just those who’ve chosen to wear the uniform.”

He further warned of a “window of opportunity” after the Olympics and prior to the 2024 presidential election, in which China could take military action against Taiwan, similar to Russia annexing Crimea following the Sochi 2014 Olympics under the Obama-Biden administration:

I think the entire decade is one they perceive as a period of strategic opportunities but if you start to add all these things up: Afghanistan, an attempt to resurrect the Iran deal, focus on this transformational domestic agenda, expansive investments with hard power [by China], Xi’s looking around the world and probably concluding he has an opportunity looking at the fact that he got away with Hong Kong [under Biden] and Putin got away with Crimea [under Obama].

“Will the American people go to war over Taiwan?” he asked. “I don’t know the answer to that question.”

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein

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