WASHINGTON—Today, Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and Congressman John Katko, R-N.Y., led a bipartisan delegation of Members of Congress to meet with Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger to discuss U.S. policy toward China. In addition to Murphy and Katko, the classified meeting included Reps. Anthony Brindisi, D-N.Y., Joe Cunningham, D-S.C., Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., Tom Graves, R-Ga., Kendra Horn, D-Okla., and Mike Rogers, R-Ala.
“We are grateful to Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger for holding a very constructive discussion with us on U.S. policy toward China and how it may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Murphy and Katko in a joint statement. “We regard the U.S.-China relationship as the most important bilateral relationship in the world, and we are troubled by the conduct of the Chinese Communist Party across a range of issue areas, from foreign and defense policy, to trade, to human rights, to its efforts to exploit the COVID pandemic to advance its interests at the expense of the US and our allies. We believe the United States will be in the strongest position to protect our national interests and to influence CCP behavior if we approach Beijing with a strong bipartisan front, rather than divided along partisan lines.”
The visit was organized by Murphy and Katko as part of a series of expert briefings they have spearheaded called “National Security in the Shadow of COVID-19.” The goal is to help Members of Congress better understand the potential impact of COVID-19 on the international security environment and on U.S. foreign policy interests.
“Our national security and the global response to COVID-19 needs to go beyond politics and I appreciate the White House, Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger, and Reps. Murphy and Katko for providing the opportunity for this constructive conversation,” said Brindisi. “Politics should stop at the water’s edge and with the Chinese Communist Party’s behavior throughout the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, we need a bipartisan and thoughtful response to ensure America and our allies can work together to emerge from this crisis safe, secure, and as global leaders.”
“This was a clear-eyed and informative discussion about the security challenges, especially in cyber, that we face as a nation and how together we can chart a path forward that puts U.S. safety and security first,” said Graves.
“I am grateful to the White House for hosting today’s meeting on U.S. policy towards China in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. I remain troubled by China’s willingness to flout international norms, violate the rights of their own people, and exploit this global health and economic crisis for their own benefit,” said Cunningham. “It is clear that Democrats and Republicans both agree that we must stand up to China’s authoritarian regime whenever their actions threaten global stability or our own national security.”
The meeting with Pottinger was the third event organized by Murphy and Katko to date. The first was a briefing from Dr. Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations. The second was a briefing from Michael Leiter, the former director of the National Counterterrorism Center.