America must invest in its military to deter threats from China, according to U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney.
Cheney, a member of the China Task Force created in May to look into threats posed to America’s freedom and security by the Chinese government, said the committee found that China is expanding its military footprint around the world and is preparing measures to counteract America’s defense systems.
Speaking during a news conference Wednesday to unveil the task force’s final report, Cheney said China’s activities require continued reliable funding for the country’s defenses, including its nuclear forces.
“We must modernize our nuclear triad,” she said. “It’s crucial to deterring the Chinese Communist Party and we must also develop and field conventional capabilities that are critical to countering the Chinese Communist Party in the Indo-Pacific in particular.”
Cheney said the United States must also modernize its sea and air power and develop new operational concepts to counter China’s nuclear missiles.
The military investment is especially important given the nature of the conflict between America and China, Cheney said.
“It is very important for everyone to note that we are in the midst of a battle between freedom and totalitarianism,” she said. “The question we all face is whether the United States and our allies will set the rules of the road into the future or whether the Chinese Communist Party and that authoritarian, totalitarian regime will set the rules of the road.”
The recommendations for military spending were among hundreds included in the report. Other recommendations dealt with issues including trade agreements and human rights issues.
When the task force was created, it was a bipartisan group that included Democrats as well as the 15 Republicans who ultimately issued the report.
Democrats withdrew from the task force the day before it was to begin its work, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, saying it was an attempt at “diversion” by Republicans.
Cheney criticized the Democrats for their decision.
“At a moment where we are facing, I think, what is a generational threat, it is too bad that the Democrats refused to join us on this report,” she said.
Cheney said two-thirds of the task force’s recommendations are bipartisan in nature and urged Democrats to work with the Republicans in seeking approval for the measures.
“…(I)n order for us to defeat the threat from China, we’ve got to work in a bipartisan fashion,” she said. “So we call on Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats once again to stop putting their personal political interests ahead of the interests of the security of this country and join us in helping to put in place some of these recommendations.”