Already deeply strained relations between the U.S. and China have sustained additional hits in recent weeks, most recently when a Chinese warship narrowly avoided a U.S. Naval vessel in the South China Sea over the weekend.
A Chinese Warship sped up and cut off a U.S. warship and threatened them to change course or they would collide during a join exercise with Canada in the South China Sea. Just before the collision both ships altered course according to reports.
This is just the… pic.twitter.com/ZiBkOKF9iN
— 🇺🇸Travis🇺🇸 (@Travis_in_Flint) June 4, 2023
Just days earlier, U.S. officials accused the Chinese military of an “unnecessarily aggressive” mid-air showdown with an American jet in the same region.
During an ABC News interview on Sunday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) reacted harshly to recent provocations by China.
“What we’re seeing is an unbelievable aggression by China,” he told host Martha Raddatz. “If you look at the balloon that flew over the United States, the Chinese police stations, the aggressiveness against our both planes and ships in international water, it goes right to the heart of what President Xi [Jinping] said when he stood next to Putin in Russia, where he said, they’re trying to make change that had not happened in 100 years.”
From there, Turner offered a history lesson to juxtapose the current situation from those of previous international disputes.
“Well, the change is the, you know, 100 years ago, World War I and World War II,” the Ohio Republican said. “That was about democracy versus authoritarianism. They’re trying to, you know, flex their muscles and advance authoritarianism. We need to stand strong, and certainly this administration needs to stand strong against this type of coercion.”
Pressed for details about how he believes the U.S. should respond, Turner said: “I think it means calling them out. I mean, this is unacceptable.”
He echoed other prominent Republicans in denouncing President Joe Biden’s muted response to a Chinese spy balloon that traveled across the continental United States earlier this year.
“I think the administration needs to step up and make clear that China has identified itself as an adversary, and we’re going to treat it as such.”
In April, U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) asserted that Biden’s timidity has allowed China to gain the upper hand on the world stage in recent years.
“I do agree with you that the axis of evil, increasingly centered on Beijing, as you laid out, is emerging,” he told Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity. “It’s emerging in large part because of President Joe Biden’s weakness and his tendency to blame America and our allies first.”