Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, delivered the following opening remarks at a hearing on the pressing threat of the Chinese Communist Party to U.S. national defense.
Chairman Rogers’ remarks as prepared for delivery:
Our first hearing this Congress is on the threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party and what our military needs to do to stay ahead of them.
China is the most challenging national security threat America has faced in 30 years.
If we fail to acknowledge that, and take immediate action to deter it, the next 30 years could be devastating for our nation.
Under President Xi, the Chinese Communist Party has nearly tripled its defense spending in the past decade.
The PLA has gone from an obsolete force barely capable of defending its borders, to a modern fighting force capable of winning regional conflicts.
The CCP now controls the largest army and navy in the world, with a goal of having them fully integrated and modernized by 2027.
The CCP is rapidly expanding its nuclear capability. They have doubled their number of warheads in just 2 years. We estimated it would take them a decade to do that.
We’ve also just informed by DoD that the CCP now has more ICBM launchers than the United States.
The CCP is starting to outpace us on new battlefields as well.
The CCP has leapfrogged us on hypersonic technology. They are fielding what we are still developing.
They are making advances in AI and quantum computing that we struggle to keep pace with.
Finally, their rapid advances in space were one of the primary motivations in establishing the Space Force.
The CCP is not building these new and advanced military capabilities for self-defense.
In recent years, the CCP has used its military to push out its borders, threaten our allies in the region, and gain footholds on new continents.
In violation of international law, the CCP has built new, and commandeered existing, islands in the South China Sea, where it has deployed stealth fighters, bombers, and missiles.
It continues to intimidate and coerce Taiwan, most recently by surrounding the island with naval forces and launching endless fighter sorties across the centerline.
In recent years, the CCP also established a space tracking facility in South America to monitor U.S. satellites, as well as an overseas naval base just miles from our own on the strategically vital Horn of Africa.
These are just a few of the destabilizing actions taken by the CCP.
They speak nothing of-
• The CCP’s Belt and Road debt-trap diplomacy;
• Its illegal harvesting of personal data and intellectual property;
• Its ongoing human rights abuses; or
• Its advanced espionage efforts.
The latter of which came into full focus for all Americans last week, when the Biden administration allowed a CCP spy balloon to traverse some of our nation’s most sensitive military sites.
Make no mistake, that balloon was intentionally launched as a calculated show of force.
We have to stop being naïve about the threat we face from China.
We no longer have the luxury of time.
We need to act now to get ahead of this threat.
We need to make the right investments, in the right capabilities to ensure our military can effectively deter, and if necessary, defeat this threat.
That will be the focus of this Committee this Congress.
I look forward to working with all of you on this effort.