Senator David Perdue Questions Deputy Defense Secretary Nominee On Threats From China

Norquist: “China has engaged in predatory lending and set up debt traps.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee, asked David Norquist, President Trump’s nominee to be Deputy Secretary of the Department of Defense (DoD), about how the United States should combat threats from China.

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sasc hearing

Senator Perdue: “Right now, if you adjust for purchasing power parity, China’s military is spending about the same as we are, which they have been doing throughout the last decade. At the same time, under President Obama, the United States disinvested in our military. Mr. Secretary, what do we do in this environment? What do you plan to do with Secretary Esper and our military leadership to stand up to this growing threat from China? We’re making the transition from combatting terrorism for the last 20 years to dealing with near-peer threats that are accelerating while we are trying to get our military going again.”

Mr. Norquist: “The challenge we face is China has engaged in predatory lending to their neighbors and set up debt traps. Now, they are occupying territory that the international community has recognized does not belong to them and militarizing it, despite their promises not to, then dramatically ramping up their investments and spending in their defense. That creates a broad range of challenges. On one level, you have to put forth the force to deter them and keep them on the peaceful side. Then you’ve got to work in the gray zone, by, with, and through your allies to make sure the people in the region are reassured and not feeling intimidated or drawn into those challenges.”


When Senator Perdue was elected, he was the only Fortune 500 CEO in Congress. He is serving his first term in the United States Senate, where he represents Georgia on the Armed Services, Banking, Budget, and Agriculture Committees.