Rubio and his ilk bring US' cognition of China to new height of irrationality
Published: Jul 27, 2023 08:53 PM
Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio

US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the Stopping Genetic Monitoring by China Act on Wednesday. The politician claimed that the bill aims to "stop China's use of genetic material for human rights abuses by cutting off the supply of American genetic technology." 

Yes, this isn't something happening in a Hollywood fantasy movie, but a real-life situation that may seem unimaginable. However, if one knows how continuous, consistent and extreme Rubio has been on his anti-China path, the introduction of such a dramatic act is not surprising. 

Zhang Tengjun, deputy director of the Department for American Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times that in recent years, anti-China hawks in the US Congress have relied on such tactics, playing the China card to demonstrate their presence and influence, catch eyeballs and seek profits for their political career. 

In a statement on his personal website, Rubio said, "We cannot allow Beijing to continue to use our technology to violate the human rights of its own people... This bill would cut off the supply of American genetic technology to China, and it would send a clear message that we will not tolerate China's abuse of human rights."

As a senator, Rubio is unlikely to truly understand the development of genetic technology. His purpose is more about politicizing genetic issues and bringing the US' China cognition to a new height of irrationality. Rubio and his ilk forcibly intertwine issues such as human rights, genocide, and genetics, and frame US public opinion about China with political correctness. This is both a rhetorical routine and a discourse trap. In 2021, Rubio introduced the Genomics Expenditures and National Security Enhancement Act together with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX). In the same year, he introduced a bipartisan Protecting Sensitive Personal Data Act with Raphael Warnock (D-Ga). Nonetheless, the two acts gained no progress after introduction.

Xu Liang, an associate professor at the School of International Relations of Beijing International Studies University, believes that the Stopping Genetic Monitoring by China Act is likely to face the same fate. It may be passed by the Republican-led China Task Force, but there is a slim chance that it gets passed by Congress or signed by the president.

Zhang said the problem with the act is not whether China's alleged abuse of human rights really exists, but rather the malicious intention of the person who introduced it. On the issue of human rights, Americans have no moral superiority to blame others. There is zero evidence to support the claim of genocide in China, but the crimes committed by the US against Native Americans are well-documented. To hype the "China threat" theory in the US, Rubio and his likes turn a blind eye to the human rights stains of the US, and pour the dirty water at China. This reflects the extreme and irrational approach of the US toward China. For them, playing the anti-China card is safe and eye-catching, while domestic issues are ignored. 

There is no major difference between the Democratic and Republican parties in the strategic direction of containing China, but there are great differences in specific fields and strategies. In general, Republicans jump higher on anti-China issues than Democrats. In recent years, the Republican Party's legislative show against China has become their toolbox to suppress and contain China. This approach has played a major role in deteriorating the domestic atmosphere concerning China in the US, and has greatly polluted the healthy environment needed for the normal development of China-US relations. This environment, in turn, makes politicians more frantic and wild when it comes to China-related issues, which is a manifestation of the chaos of US domestic politics and the lack of objectivity and rationality on China.

"This is the sad part of current American politics, and it will poison the environment of future US policy toward China for a long time," said Zhang.