Tester Demands Biden Make Clear That America Won’t Tolerate Chinese Aggression Ahead of Meeting with President Xi

Senator calls on President Biden to press China’s Xi Jinping on fentanyl, unfair trade practices, surveillance;

Tester to Biden: “Make it crystal clear that the United States will not tolerate actions that harm Americans”

As part of his longstanding efforts to protect Montana and our national security against hostile acts by the Chinese Communist Party, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today sent a letter pressing President Biden to make clear to China’s President Xi Jinping during their meeting this week that the U.S. will not tolerate Chinese aggression that harms Americans.

“I remain deeply concerned about the Chinese government’s ongoing efforts to poison our communities with deadly fentanyl, harm American workers through trade cheating, spy on American military facilities, undermine our democracy, and threaten our food supply. As you prepare for your meeting with President Xi, I respectfully request that you raise these important topics and make it crystal clear that the United States will not tolerate actions that harm Americans,” wrote Tester to Biden.

Tester specifically raised his concerns regarding China’s role in the deadly fentanyl crisis, unfair trade practices that are hurting Montana producers, and unlawful surveillance efforts – including through TikTok and the spy balloon that flew over Montana earlier this year. 

“The United States must continue to push the Chinese government to do more to address their role in the fentanyl crisis, including forcing China to stop the manufacturing and export of illicit fentanyl-related precursor chemicals and to dismantle the smuggling and money laundering operations of Chinese criminal organizations… It is also important that we make sure China is playing by the rules when it comes to trade. When China fails to live up to its trade commitments or unfairly dumps products into the United States, our trade representatives must hold China accountable and defend our producers and manufactures. We have seen the negative impacts that China’s unfair trade practices have had on honey producers in Montana and on other industries across the country… Finally, the United States must be clear that our nation will not tolerate surveillance efforts like the Chinese spy balloon incident, online misinformation campaigns through TikTok, or any other conduct that is designed to undermine our democracy.  There is no doubt that China is seeking to replace the United States as the leading world power and will use any tactic to achieve this end goal.”

Tester concluded his letter by noting that, “I hear directly from Montanans everyday about the drug crisis plaguing our communities and the aggressive actions by China that threaten our way our life,” and pushed President Biden to raise his concerns directly with China’s leader.

Tester has led the charge to combat Chinese aggression and protect America’s place as the world’s leading economic power. As Chair of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, Tester has led oversight efforts around the Chinese spy balloon and is committed to securing a budget that will ensure the Department of Defense has the tools it needs to counter Chinese aggression and better prevent these evolving threats.

In April, Tester brought Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and top Air Force leadership to Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Montana Air National Guard’s 120th Airlift Wing to meet directly with servicemembers and receive updates on Malmstrom’s response to the Chinese spy balloon.

Tester has been sounding the alarm on Chinese aggression long before the spy balloon was first reported. Tester has introduced two bipartisan bills — the Protecting America’s Agricultural Land from Foreign Harm Actand the Promoting Agriculture Safeguards and Security (PASS) Act — to prohibit America’s foreign adversaries including China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia from purchasing or leasing U.S. farmland. In July, Tester secured his bipartisan PASS Act as an amendment to must-pass annual national defense bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Tester’s full letter to President Biden can be read HERE.