Is Rubio Grandstanding?

US senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, floated a bill that’s sure to stoke anger in Beijing. The measure would, among other things, sanction Chinese companies that engage in “illegitimate activities” in the South China Sea, such as dredging to expand the militarized islands China has built.

The timing is curious.

This also happens to be the week when Rex Tillerson, US president Donald Trump’s secretary of state, makes his first big trip to Asia on behalf of the government. Arguably his most important stop will be in Beijing, where he hopes to persuade Chinese leaders to take a tougher stance against North Korea. The rogue nation, which relies heavily on trade with China for cash, has been rattling the region with its testing of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. The US state department is reportedly considering deeper sanctions against Chinese companies that continue to do business with North Korea.

The bill specifically mentions (pdf, p. 21) a few dozen Chinese companies that should be watched for their involvement in such activities, and sanctioned if necessary. Among them are China’s biggest state-owned oil companies, including China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

he bill specifically mentions (pdf, p. 21) a few dozen Chinese companies that should be watched for their involvement in such activities, and sanctioned if necessary. Among them are China’s biggest state-owned oil companies, including China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

Rubio’s resistance to China’s growing assertiveness at sea and authoritarianism at home seems genuine. Last month he helped reintroduce the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act,” which would “renew the United States’ historical commitment to freedom and democracy in Hong Kong at a time when its autonomy is increasingly under assault.” Once again, his criticism (expressed through legislation) was essentially directed at Beijing.

Central Florida Consequences.

Foreign policy affects Florida directly in the pocket. Chinese invests in the central Florida markets have increased substantially over the past years. Creating sanctions on China at this time will directly hurt to tourism,  and investments $$ as they relate directly to Florida's’ incomes and budget.  According to Juwai.com, Florida is already the fourth most popular state in the country for home buyers from China. Only California, New York, and Michigan received more interest. Chinese buyers have the highest average transaction price of all foreign buyers, spending $590,826 - more than double the national average of $247,417 for all buyers.  If the Chinese pull out of the market it will cause a housing slump in and around the attractions. The financial implications have not been tallied as of yet.

Sources

South Seas China Bill Article

Rubio's Bill  To impose sanctions with respect to the People’s Republic of China in relation to activities in the South China Sea and the East China Sea, and for other purposes.

Rubio's website link to bill explanation

World Property Journal  Chinese buy real estate in FL

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.