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Harold Hutchison / Sep. 17, 2020

Cotton Demands Reckoning From China

The Republican senator aims to hold Beijing accountable for its many lies.

While most of Washington was focused on the phony impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, one senator was sounding an alarm while being denounced and dismissed by the Beltway elites. Months later, though, it looks like Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton was right and a whole lot of experts were wrong about the Wuhan coronavirus.

As our comprehensive timeline shows, Cotton was out front urging decisive action — including travel bans — while being assailed by the Left. Some even painted the Chinese communist regime as the victim of racism. Weeks later, the same Washington Post that mocked Cotton pretty much reported what he was saying, albeit with no apologies for the earlier smears and no credit for his having gotten it right.

Now, Senator Cotton wants to make China pay for its lethal and catastrophic cover-up. The costs Cotton wants to recoup aren’t just from the virus, though; they also include the collateral damage such as tens of millions of Americans out of work and thousands upon thousands of businesses shuttered, many permanently. Science shows that “deaths of despair” can kill, too, although this science is inconvenient for leftists.

One of the first steps Cotton is pursuing is an end to China’s “most favored nation” status. It’s an open question whether that status should have been granted at all, much less made permanent, given what we knew back then. Given what we know now, however, revoking it should be an easy call on the forced-labor issue alone. At the very least, an end to MFN would hasten the “walk away” from China movement.

As a first step, this would reduce our dependence on China. But we have some additional suggestions, including a military buildup to not only reduce China’s standing in the world but also worsen its position. We should also address China’s infiltration of and influence over Hollywood and international agencies, if only to preempt the propaganda that China will no doubt churn out in response to these measures.

Unfortunately, the pushback won’t come from China alone. It’s no coincidence, for example, that the same establishment types who for years have told us that we shouldn’t push China too hard are now backing the Trump-hating Lincoln Project, which has targeted not just the president but also Senator Cotton. Of course, if these two men are taking fire, they must be over the target.

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