Companies Should Decouple From Communist China Before Possible Taiwan Invasion: Sen. Rick Scott

Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) on March 17 sent an open letter to business leaders praising them for ceasing their operations in Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine, and urging them to replicate this strategy in the context of China before the latter power’s planned invasion of Taiwan. With the massive sanctions placed on Russia, businesses now have gained a perspective on how decoupling and the shifting of operations work in practice, Scott said, and can apply the lessons learned in counteracting the threat posed by Beijing’s territorial ambitions. “I applaud the many businesses, large and small, that have made the right choice and stopped all operations in Russia,” the letter stated. “Now, we must take the lessons learned in redirecting supply chains and revenues in recent weeks and focus on ensuring these same steps can be taken more easily and with less disruption to American families in response to Communist China’s planned invasion of Taiwan.” The open letter comes on the heels of other bold statements Scott has made in recent weeks on China issues, such as his suggestion last month that no one should ever buy another product made in communist China in response to Beijing’s widespread human rights violations. He also said that China and America are in “a new Cold War” instigated by the communist regime. In his open letter, Scott referenced a statement earlier this month by Taiwan’s defense minister, Chiu Kuo-cheng, about a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan, in which Chui said, “If there’s a war, to be frank, everyone will be miserable, even the victors.” Americans cannot ignore the Taiwanese minister’s concerns, the senator said. “An invasion would be brutal. It is not unreasonable to expect that Communist China’s forces would follow the same playbook as Putin and commit horrific war crimes, murder civilians and use merciless power to take control of Taiwan,” the letter stated. Given this, it is insufficient for businesses simply to “move some operations around.” The open letter called for nothing less than a total decoupling from China. Such a move would be all the more urgent if, as some fear, Beijing comes to Russia’s aid in Ukraine. Even without the danger to Taiwan, Scott said there is already ample reason not to interact with the communist regime in Beijing. The letter identified the regime’s repression of the ethnic Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and the forced labor and sterilization visited on Uyghurs as grounds for businesses to dissociate themselves and their products and services. Beijing’s campaign in Xinjiang has been labeled by the U.S. government and other bodies as a genocide. “No respectable organization in the United States should be doing business with a murderous regime. Every dollar spent in Communist China supports its economy and Xi’s genocidal government,” the letter stated. “It is time to place human rights and democracy above profits. It is time to bring American business back home, create more American jobs and end our dependence on Communist China.” China Reporter Follow Michael Washburn is a New York-based reporter who covers China-related topics. He has a background in legal and financial journalism, and also writes about arts and culture. Additionally, he is the host of the weekly podcast Reading the Globe. His books include “The Uprooted and Other Stories,” “When We're Grownups,” and “Stranger, Stranger.”

Companies Should Decouple From Communist China Before Possible Taiwan Invasion: Sen. Rick Scott

Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) on March 17 sent an open letter to business leaders praising them for ceasing their operations in Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine, and urging them to replicate this strategy in the context of China before the latter power’s planned invasion of Taiwan.

With the massive sanctions placed on Russia, businesses now have gained a perspective on how decoupling and the shifting of operations work in practice, Scott said, and can apply the lessons learned in counteracting the threat posed by Beijing’s territorial ambitions.

“I applaud the many businesses, large and small, that have made the right choice and stopped all operations in Russia,” the letter stated.

“Now, we must take the lessons learned in redirecting supply chains and revenues in recent weeks and focus on ensuring these same steps can be taken more easily and with less disruption to American families in response to Communist China’s planned invasion of Taiwan.”

The open letter comes on the heels of other bold statements Scott has made in recent weeks on China issues, such as his suggestion last month that no one should ever buy another product made in communist China in response to Beijing’s widespread human rights violations. He also said that China and America are in “a new Cold War” instigated by the communist regime.

In his open letter, Scott referenced a statement earlier this month by Taiwan’s defense minister, Chiu Kuo-cheng, about a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan, in which Chui said, “If there’s a war, to be frank, everyone will be miserable, even the victors.”

Americans cannot ignore the Taiwanese minister’s concerns, the senator said.

“An invasion would be brutal. It is not unreasonable to expect that Communist China’s forces would follow the same playbook as Putin and commit horrific war crimes, murder civilians and use merciless power to take control of Taiwan,” the letter stated.

Given this, it is insufficient for businesses simply to “move some operations around.” The open letter called for nothing less than a total decoupling from China. Such a move would be all the more urgent if, as some fear, Beijing comes to Russia’s aid in Ukraine.

Even without the danger to Taiwan, Scott said there is already ample reason not to interact with the communist regime in Beijing. The letter identified the regime’s repression of the ethnic Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and the forced labor and sterilization visited on Uyghurs as grounds for businesses to dissociate themselves and their products and services. Beijing’s campaign in Xinjiang has been labeled by the U.S. government and other bodies as a genocide.

“No respectable organization in the United States should be doing business with a murderous regime. Every dollar spent in Communist China supports its economy and Xi’s genocidal government,” the letter stated.

“It is time to place human rights and democracy above profits. It is time to bring American business back home, create more American jobs and end our dependence on Communist China.”


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Michael Washburn is a New York-based reporter who covers China-related topics. He has a background in legal and financial journalism, and also writes about arts and culture. Additionally, he is the host of the weekly podcast Reading the Globe. His books include “The Uprooted and Other Stories,” “When We're Grownups,” and “Stranger, Stranger.”