WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and senior member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, joined Fox News’ Bill Hemmer to discuss Chinese espionage of U.S. targets and his recently unveiled report on China’s attempts to undermine global security and prosperity.
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Remarks have been lightly edited for clarity.
When asked what Americans should understand about his transatlantic report on China, Risch said:
“[China is] a competitor of ours economically, militarily, and culturally. They have a socialist, communist system that they live under. Just as sincerely as we believe in democracy, they believe in communism. It really infiltrates all of these other areas, both military and economics. They are a growing competitor. They are very aggressive. They are everywhere in the world. When you travel anywhere in the world, you can’t help but cross the Chinese track. Even in the United States we have what they call Confucius Institutes on many of the campuses in America. The number is starting to come down now because a lot of the universities are understanding they took money to put these Confucius Institutes in place and then find out that they are a front to put out propaganda.”
On China’s malign activities within Washington, D.C.:
“We see it all the time. Obviously they’re very busy here in Washington, D.C., but they’re very busy across the country. Whereas a lot of countries focus only on the Capitol and on the federal government, the Chinese not only focus on us but they also focus on the local governments as we see from the [Swalwell] case. That started when he was involved in local politics.”
On whether Rep. Swalwell should remain a member of the House Intelligence Committee after being targeted by suspected Chinese agent Christine Fang:
“They’re going to have to look at [the Swalwell situation] and make a considerate decision. We on the Intelligence Committee get a tremendous amount of information that is highly classified and very sensitive and needs to be protected jealously.”
On whether the Senate Intelligence Committee should hold public hearings on the topic of Chinese espionage efforts:
“Yes I do support that. We’ve already held numerous hearings on China during my time as the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. On the Intelligence Committee, we have had numerous hearings also on China, but those are closed. Marco [Rubio] and I have talked about this and I think what he’s thinking about is an open hearing on the matter. But you know that’s up to him as chairman of the committee.”
For more on Risch’s work to combat China’s malign activities, read his November 2020 report: “ The United States and Europe: A Concrete Agenda for Transatlantic Cooperation on China.”
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