The recent joint sea patrols that China and Russia conducted near Japan send a "very foreboding message" to the rest of the world that the two countries are working together to push back against the growing relationship between the United States and its allies in the region, Rep. Rob Wittman said on Newsmax Tuesday.
"[They are] opposed to anything else that we see as acknowledging freedom and liberty across the world and are now working together to do everything they can to intimidate others," the Virginia Republican said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America."
He also called on the United States to strengthen the Navy's capabilities.
Wittman pointed out that the two nations' push comes after the agreement between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States on nuclear submarine production, and with the push for building relationships with India and other nontraditional allies.
The 10 Chinese and Russian warships circled Japan on Oct. 18, and went through two narrow straits, reports Stars and Stripes. Japan's Ministry of Defense said the ships stayed in international waters and didn't come into the country's territory.
U.S. Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, who is visiting Japan this week, told reporters Monday that it was a "wonderful thing" that ships could pass unimpeded through international waters, but he was concerned about the two countries' intentions.
“I believe that the relationship between China and Russia, perhaps recently, has evolved in ways where they’re trying to intimidate other nations with their actions that don’t abide by a rule-based international order,” Del Toro said, reports Stars and Stripes. “I think it’s necessary to thoroughly deter them from bullying other countries and being aggressors in any possible way.”
Wittman told Newsmax that the United States has to modernize and increase the size of the Navy, but President Joe Biden's budget only calls for building eight ships — and retiring 15.
"We see the Chinese on track to have over 400 ships in its navy by 2025," said Wittman. "We also have to develop these long-term strategic relationships that will have us operating jointly with countries like India. We do that currently with Japan and South Korea, but we need to do more of that."
Meanwhile, the governor's race in Virginia is continuing to heat up, but that doesn't mean the people of the state want to see Biden coming in on Tuesday, when he'll be campaigning for Terry McAuliffe, the former Democrat governor who is trying for another shot at leading the commonwealth, said Wittman.
"You look at the president's numbers in Virginia. He is way underwater. I don't think that his presence is going to do anything to help Terry McAuliffe," he said.
Biden's presence will instead help Glenn Youngkin, the Republican nominee for governor, because the failures of the president's administration will be highlighted, said Wittman.
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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