ON THE ISSUES

Standing Up to China

Long before communist China unleashed a virus on the world, they were cheating on trade, stealing our intellectual property and wreaking havoc on our foreign policy aims. A rising, aggressive China threatens our interests, at home and abroad. America is in a new cold war. As your U.S. Senator, I will be a leading voice in holding China accountable, advocating for the return of America’s strength in the world and leaving no doubt among our allies that the US will stand up to China’s aggression. I will also oppose any trade deal that does not protect our workers, manufacturing and American innovation.

The following op-ed written by Matt ran in the January 23 edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer:

“America engaged in new cold war with China”

Matt Dolan: Cincinnati Enquirer Op-ed

Fifty years ago this month, the United States opened the door to relations with China. Since then, Beijing has incrementally sought to displace America as the world’s leading economic and military power. Presidents and Congresses of both parties have sought to counter the rising communist threat to our nation’s interests. Varying degrees of success and failure have led us to this moment. America is in a new cold war.

What began as a manufacturing battle waged on factory floors in Dayton and Youngstown, has turned into full-blown effort by the communist regime to undermine our way of life. Now China’s expansionist aims are coming for more than our jobs and intellectual property. As laid out in their Document Number 9, the regime seeks to undermine constitutional democracy and republican ideals such as “the separation of powers, a multiparty system, suffrage, an independent judiciary, and a military with civilian oversight.”

This is concerning because what we have witnessed from the Biden administration of late has been a projection of weakness on the world stage. The disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, China’s “Sputnik moment” hypersonic missile which caught U.S. Intelligence by surprise, out-of-control spending driving inflation, stalled bilateral tariff negotiations following President Trump’s successful Phase One Trade Agreement, even President Biden’s recent tirade branding commonsense election laws in states such as Ohio to “Jim Crow in the 21st Century,” each embolden Chinese assertions the U.S. system is in decline.

Countering this perception will take the full range of U.S. power projection. Abroad we must strive for enhanced cooperation among advanced and developing democracies, as well as fortification of international alliances such as NATO and the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue to preserve collective security through burden sharing. New investments in hard power technology and artificial intelligence must be combined with cultural influence and more sober-minded diplomatic and trade strategies capable of holding China to account for their human rights violations and expansionist aims through the Belt and Road Initiative.

Most notably, victory in this new cold war demands stability at home. State and federal policymakers must take proactive steps to incentivize restructuring and growth of an American economy less reliant on foreign supply chains, products and labor. In the late 1990s, when an Ontario-based company sought to export Great Lakes’ water to Asia, the Midwest endured a crash course in the flaws of international trade rules. A short time later, I helped negotiate the Great Lakes Compact on behalf of Ohio, alongside representatives from seven other states and two Canadian provinces. Together, we sent a message to Asia that if they wanted access to 95% of the surface waters of the United States, then they needed to source businesses and jobs here. Many listened and continue to do so today.

Hyper-partisanship and an unwillingness to engage in the hard business of policymaking is a domestic challenge that undermines faith in our constitutional republic. In the aftermath of Jan. 6, Chinese President Xi Jinping seized upon the delay in electoral vote certification to feed his propaganda machine. Fringe political partisans today, whether they be fake conservatives who tarnish the rule of law by casting doubt on U.S. elections, or liberals seeking to erode institutional safeguards and the Constitution to pursue extreme policy agendas, cloak Xi’s absurd claims with legitimacy.

Despite these challenges, Ohioans and all Americans can be encouraged by recent progress at the state and federal levels that illustrates cross-party collaboration in the face of enhanced competition with China. Intel’s recent announcement that the chip manufacturer plans to invest $20 billion in central Ohio semiconductor facilities, the largest economic development project in state history, will bolster U.S. national security and competitiveness on the world stage.

In Congress, passage of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and the targeted infrastructure package negotiated by Sen. Rob Portman, each send a message to China that America’s domestic upkeep carries global ramifications. As a next step, Congress should immediately heed the call of Ohio’s congressional delegation to fully fund the CHIPS For America Act, legislation that would further enable U.S. leadership in semiconductor chip manufacturing.

Meeting the evolving national security challenges posed by China require these kinds of investments in our economy, job growth, innovation and alliance building we have not seen since the height of our conflict with the Soviet Union. This cold war is not a choice. We have work to do to renew American strength, democracy and a brighter future for Ohio. America needs serious, engaged leaders willing to do it.