The U.S. ''experiment with China'' allowing the country into the World Trade Organization has been ''a big failure,'' and U.S. ''elites'' are to blame for it, according to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
''The American elites thought, 'well, that'll make China more like us; they won't be a rogue country; they'll respect human rights and maybe become more democratic,''' DeSantis, a Republican, said at a State Board of Administration meeting this week, voting to ''disentangle'' investments in the state's retirement fund from the Chinese Communist Party.
''And the reality is not only has that not happened, it's made China very powerful. And the U.S. elites in the U.S. are the No. 1 reason China is as powerful as they are with all that they have done.''
The effect of validating China on the world stage without holding it accountable for human rights abuses, among other things, has merely emboldened China, DeSantis added.
''Not only has it not improved China's political culture, they're arguably worse than they were even 20, 30 years ago,'' he continued. ''Not only has the U.S. and the West not influenced them to be more like the Western tradition, they're influencing the West to be more like them.''
DeSantis said that ''the whole experiment with China has been a big failure for the United States'' and ''the U.S. as a whole should be disentangling from China, but certainly our investments should be disentangling,'' referring to his move in Florida.
After his public remarks, DeSantis expounded on them in a statement, pointing to the outsized Chinese influence even over U.S. businesses.
''If you look at how these major companies behave when faced with Chinese disapproval, they censor what the CCP tells them to censor and we see groveling apologies,'' DeSantis wrote in his statement.
''Go back a generation, and the idea of the American elites was, 'If we allow China into the WTO and give them most favored nation status, that will make China more like us.' This experiment has failed and it has endangered our nation’s national and economic security.
''I would like the SBA to survey the investments that are currently being done. When the legislature comes back they can make statutory changes to say that the Communist Party of China is not a vehicle that we want to be entangled with. I think that that would be something that would be very, very prudent.
''I also think that our country as a whole but certainly Florida would like to see more production and manufacturing re-shored and we would be a great place to do that,'' he wrote.
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