Colorado Senate hopeful John Hickenlooper (D) recently praised China as a “great nation” deserving of American respect, according to a report, despite the nation being the origin of the virus plaguing America and the rest of the world.
Hickenlooper, a former Democrat governor of Colorado, made the remarks to supporters on a Zoom call on Monday, according to the Washington Free Beacon. He ignored China’s recent military saber-rattling and crackdowns in Hong Kong, according to the report.
“They do not want to rule the world,” he said on the call. “They don’t want to dominate. They want to be safe and be respected as one of the great nations of the world, which they are. And we should — I think that’s what we should recognize.”
This week, House Republicans released their China Task Force report that sought to hold China accountable for its malign behavior, including its failure to contain the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China.
Communist Chinese Party (CCP) officials initially sought to hide the severity of the outbreak by claiming there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission and trying to silence medical professionals, according to an investigation by House Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans.
The investigation also showed that the CCP instructed American companies in China to produce personal protective equipment for China only and instructed Chinese companies in other countries to begin buying up PPE supplies on the global market.
China has for decades stolen millions of dollars of American intellectual property. CCP General Secretary and Chinese President Xi Jinping has also said clearly that he hopes China will become the world’s leader by 2049, supplanting the U.S.
According to the Washington Free Beacon report, Hickenlooper has maintained close ties with China over the course of his career.
He has previously met with the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, which the State Department deems a CCP “foreign influence agency.”
Hickenlooper has also done interviews with multiple Chinese state media outlets in the past few years, lauding the virtues of cooperation with the CCP. He has criticized President Donald Trump’s tough stance towards China, saying that Washington should use a “thumbtack” instead of a “sledgehammer.”
The state’s GOP Party spokesman Joe Jackson has called on Hickenlooper to disavow his praise for the regime. Hickenlooper is running against incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), a top China hawk in the Senate.
“While Senator Gardner works to hold China accountable for stealing [intellectual property] and torturing Uighur Muslims, Hickenlooper has instead chosen to continue in his role as a useful tool in the belt of the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda machine,” he told the Washington Free Beacon.
“Hickenlooper’s refusal to disavow China’s human rights abuses or recognize their threat to American security proves that he isn’t fit to hold a Senate seat.”
Hickenlooper, who unsuccessfully ran for president in the Democrat primary, debated Gardner Friday night.
Colorado anchor Kyle Clark tweeted afterward, “Gardner ran this show.”
Gardner asking his own questions of Hickenlooper every time he speaks gives this the feel of a boxing match where one guy is getting backpedaled round and round the ring. Viewers will decide if the punches are landing but Gardner ran this show. #cosen
— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) October 3, 2020