WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott wrote a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper following reports that the Secretary is considering visiting Communist China. In the letter, Senator Scott requested that the Secretary outline his plan to hold Communist China accountable for its blatant human rights abuses and its role in the spread of the coronavirus.

Read the Senator’s letter HERE or below.

July 22, 2020

The Honorable Mark T. Esper
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000

Dear Secretary Esper,

Thank you for your commitment to defending our freedom and the national security of the United States and our allies, and for making sure our forces are prepared to deter enemies across the globe.

As you know, the threat we face from Communist China continues to grow. Communist China is stealing our technology and intellectual property, building up their military in an effort to pursue global dominance, cracking down on freedom and autonomy in Hong Kong and committing genocide against the Uyghurs. Communist China is responsible for the global pandemic that devastated the world economy and killed hundreds of thousands.

Reports have surfaced that you are considering a visit to Communist China to “enhance cooperation on areas of common interest, establish the systems necessary for crisis communications and reinforce our intentions to openly compete in the international system.” Ahead of any potential trip to Communist China, I ask that you please answer the following:

  • How can you enhance cooperation and communications or trust information coming from a regime that continually lies and spreads misinformation about what is happening in their country? How will you trust their word when they have repeatedly shown they are not to be trusted?
  • On a condition of any cooperation, do you plan to demand Communist China stop threatening Taiwan, cracking down on freedoms in Hong Kong and abusing the Uyghurs?
  • What is your plan to address Communist China’s illegal military actions in the South China Sea?
  • If Communist China fails to cooperate, what would be the consequences?

I appreciate your response as we work to hold Communist China accountable for their horrific human rights abuses and refusal to cooperate in the global community.


Rick Scott

United States Senator