Hawley says China sees coronavirus pandemic 'as a strategic opportunity ... they want to be the central power'

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The coronavirus pandemic should serve as a wake-up call to the U.S. government to reexamine the country's over-reliance on China, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said Wednesday.

"It's time to fundamentally rethink our relationship with China and the world," Hawley told "Tucker Carlson Tonight." "It's time to start putting American workers at the front and not kowtowing any longer to the Chinese government."

"We are going to have an opportunity now and we need not miss it, to invest in this country and go all in on this."

— Sen. Josh Hawley, 'Tucker Carlson Tonight'

"We are going to have an opportunity now ... to invest in this country and go all in on this country and I hope that will be our focus," Hawley added. "This pandemic should make clear to us that it's an urgent, urgent need going forward."

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Hawley has repeatedly called for the U.S. to secure its medical supply chain and ramp up domestic production of life-saving medicines. The coronavirus pandemic, which originated in Wuhan, China, finally brought the issue to the forefront, he explained.

"The same people, the Washington elites and Wall Street types and the media establishment, have all pushed closer ties with China for decades," Hawley said.

"They are the same people who have been telling us, 'This will be great for America and the world if we integrate our economy with China ... it will be great if we have a global economy where we send jobs overseas.' Turns out, they've been wrong about all of that. It's been terrible for America and now, we are living with the results," he continued.

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Hawley claimed that as the U.S. struggles to get a grip on the virus, China is hoping to take advantage of a weakened American society.

"They clearly see it as a strategic opportunity, the same way they see everything. They have a plan, they want to be the central power, the dominant world power"

"But," Hawley continued, "here's the thing. This is also an opportunity for us to open our eyes ... the American people have known ... that partnering with China is dangerous. They know that sending our supply chains overseas was wrong and now we have the opportunity to correct those mistakes."

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"It's time that we go all in on America rather than all in on China," he concluded, "and we will have the chance to do that now."