Apple, Cisco and other U.S. companies with deep ties to China are under increasing pressure to address Beijing’s “repression of human rights and democracy,” one of President Joe Biden‘s key allies in the Senate said Thursday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
The comments from Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., came two days after his chamber passed a bipartisan bill to boost U.S. competitiveness with China.
Coons compared the U.S.-China relationship to America “decoupling” from the former Soviet Union during the Cold War.
While U.S. business ties now are far more robust with China than they were with the USSR, Coons said that there is “some gradual distancing” taking place between the two economic superpowers.
Coons, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also made the case that Chinese conduct in its own country and around the world is growing increasingly hard to ignore.
The most important Great Wall of China this century, Coons said, is what he called the “Great Firewall of China” that the government uses to “block off the internet in China and require censorship and use it to coordinate surveillance and repression of their own people.”
Coons also noted that both the Biden and Trump administrations called China’s treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang province