On Friday, in an article in Xinhua, an organ of the state media of the Chinese Communist Party, the Chinese government openly threatened to withhold life-saving drugs to Americans, by their own definition possibly throwing our nation into “the mighty sea of coronavirus.”
President Trump has already taken steps to remedy this national security threat, and his general campaign to return manufacturing jobs to America will help in this regard. Americans must remember, that while China is a valued economic customer and investor, it does not overcome the fact that the Chinese Communists are, and always have been, committed to regional hegemony and eventually taking the place of the United States as the world’s leading economic and military power.
While some of that aggression may be mitigated by the rise in China of generations that have been educated in the U.S., the threat remains a dire one and their words today only serve as an amplifier. But perhaps they spoke out of school, as this warning was a wake-up call to America.
To his credit, one man who has been sounding the alarm on this is GOP Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. He said on Thursday that this country is “dangerously reliant” on China for drugs and the production of goods needed to fight the coronavirus. Rubio said the Chinese have “a tremendous amount of leverage over us.” He is quite correct.
In fact, the last U.S. company to make even a simple drug like penicillin closed in 2004. The Chinese now manufacture 85% of our antibiotics, 70% of acetaminophen, and 40% of heparin. All of those are vital drugs to U.S. patients.
What if the U.S. faced China in a strategic standoff, say in Taiwan or in Vietnam? Both of those nations are U.S. allies. If the Chicoms cut off medical supplies, could we engage in military conflict if we weren’t sure our combat personnel could get the proper drugs and medicines to treat wounds and injuries? If we could not, what would that say about the credibility of an American strategic deterrent to Chinese aggression?
It is a question we would do well to ponder.