Editors note: The article previously stated that Sen. Kennedy made the remarks Wednesday. It has since been updated to reflect that he made them in May of 2020.
Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy previously said during a May 2020 interview with Fox News that the world should “push back” against the Chinese Communist Party because they can’t be trusted.
“You can’t trust the Chinese Communist Party. Ever. I wouldn’t turn my back on them if they were two days dead,” Kennedy told host Ed Henry. (RELATED: REPORT: Olympic Athletes Have Been Told To Stay Silent On Human Rights Violations While Competing In China)
Kennedy attributed the country’s rise to the “weeniness of world leaders” and said the United Kingdom never should have given up Hong Kong to China in 1997. Kennedy also added the United States may need to revoke the special trade status with Hong Kong since China is taking over the region.
“For 20 years, the experts and many world leaders have said to be patient with China,” Kennedy said. “Free enterprise will change them. Well, they changed free enterprise.”
“Weakness invites the wolves,” Kennedy said. “That’s all the Chinese Communist Party understands. We’ve got to push back and encourage the rest of the world and encourage them to do so including but not limited to sanctions.”
China has detained about 2 million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in reeducation camps, according to Axios. In January 2021, the U.S. State Department under then-President Donald Trump declared that China’s policies against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region constitute genocide.