Senator Ted Cruz on Wednesday called China “the most significant long-term geopolitical threat facing America,” as a high-stakes trade war converges with other flashpoints that are ratcheting up tensions between the world’s two largest economies.
In a wide-ranging conversation with Yahoo Finance‘s editor-in-chief Andy Serwer, the Texas Republican and 2016 GOP presidential contender described his tour through Asia with stops in Japan, Taiwan, India, and Hong Kong.
The Lone Star State’s junior senator went on to slam China’s human rights records as “abysmal,” pointing to the roughly million Muslim Uighurs who are held in internment camps and are subjected to torture and death. Amid a protest movement in Hong Kong that’s ensnared big U.S. multinational brands, Cruz also called out the broader business community for prioritizing profits over principles.
He singled out Apple (AAPL) after it reportedly removed the Taiwanese flag from its emoji keyboard in Hong Kong, and also pulled two apps from its store that protesters there used to organize. “I don’t think U.S. companies should be willing to aid and abet oppression and censorship by the Communist government,” Cruz added.
Some quotes from Cruz:
• You know, China is modernizing its military they’re doing so in large part with technology, intellectual property they’ve stolen from the United States cause they employ the theft of [intellectual property] as a policy agenda item. And that threat is very real.
• China’s human rights record is abysmal. They torture their citizens. They murder their citizens. Roughly a million Uighurs are held in concentration camps… What we’re seeing now though is a more dangerous incarnation, which is U.S. companies, they’re so desperate to make a buck in China — and I get it — it’s a lot of money access to the Chinese market — but but we shouldn’t have our fundamental values — free speech shouldn’t be for sale.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple CEO Tim Cook needs to be wary of the fact that words not backed up by action — or worse, words directly in conflict with action — are empty and meaningless. Cook’s recent excuse memo to employees for his kowtowing to China over the HKMaps app in Hong Kong was laughable and pitiable.
• The most important thing is: Do you have the courage to admit that you’re wrong? And do you change? The most important thing to me as a CEO is that we keep the courage. — Tim Cook
• It’s about finding your values, and committing to them. It’s about finding your North Star. It’s about making choices. Some are easy. Some are hard. — Tim Cook
• History rarely yields to one person, but think and never forget what happens when it does. That can be you. That should be you. That must be you. — Tim Cook
You either say things like this and back them up with action or you shut up and take the dirty money. You cannot do both and claim any authority.
Here is the October 18, 2019 letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook from U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and U.S. House members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mike Gallagher, and Tom Malinowski: