Rep. Dunn: It is not just the U.S., but NATO “also realizes that India is dramatically important to the whole world… in countering China”
Terming the Chinese Communist Party as the single-biggest strategic and economic threat to the United States, two influential members of U.S. Congress described New Delhi as Washington’s best ally in countering Beijing.
Representatives Mike Waltz and Neal Dunn, both Florida Republicans were speaking at a congressional reception hosted by the Asian American Hotel Owners’ Association (AAHOA), as part of its national spring advocacy conference, in Washington, DC, March 7, 2023
Waltz, the Republican co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans in the 118thCongress, said he chose to serve in that position because of his firm belief that the
“US-India relationship is the most important relationship for the United States in the 21st century,” and “diplomatically, informationally, militarily, economically, the US-India relationship is the relationship for the 21st century.”
The congressman, who serves as the chairman of the House Armed Services panel’s Readiness Committee, pointed out that the Chinese navy is now larger than the US Navy, its space forces bigger than “the rest of the world combined, including the United States,” and “they now have more nuclear missiles, ICBM tubes, than we do.”
“I don’t know that we have ever faced an adversary like the Chinese Communist Party, like we face today, that could rival us economically,” said Waltz, a former Green Beret who is also a colonel in the U.S. Army National Guard.
“I don’t mean to make you all want to drink, but we have to wake up… we really have to wake the country [up],” the congressman said, adding that the United States is going to “struggle” face China alone.
“However, us plus India, plus Japan, plus South Korea, plus Australia, the Quad countries, all of us together, can deal with the threat,” he said.
[Quad, or the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, involves the United States, India, Australia and Japan.]
Waltz said America’s enemy is not “the amazing, wonderful [Chinese] culture and Chinese people,” but “the Communist Party that seeks to replace democracy, that seeks to replace capitalism with their version of [totalitarianism].”
Dunn, a member of the newly formed House “Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party,” agreed with his Florida congressional delegation colleague that it is “really important that we realize” that America’s competition is “with the Chinese Communist Party, not of the Chinese people.”
He said that his panel recognizes that China “is a big, big problem,” and India — the “largest democracy in the world, the youngest democracy in the world, in terms of demography” — is the one country “that has the most promising attributes as an ally in this competition against China.”
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Dunn, a member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, said that “it is not just America that realizes this… and I want you to know that the 32 partner countries of NATO also realizes that India is dramatically important to the whole world… in countering China. We spend half of our time talking about China, not Russia, and that’s important to know.”
Dunn was first elected to Congress from Florida’s second congressional district in 2016. In the GOP primary, he narrowly defeated Indian American attorney Mary Thomas.
Waltz has been representing Florida’s sixth congressional district since 2019, when his predecessor Ron DeSantis, vacated the seat after becoming the governor of Florida.
The two congressmen were among a number of lawmakers who attended the AAHOA reception on Tuesday. Other included Senators Rick Scott (R-FL), Mike Braun (R-IN) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) and Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) and Chuck Edwards (R-NC).