Rubio: U.S. Should Use Military to Push Back Chinese Encroachment

Dec 23, 2015

Marco Rubio spent about an hour answering questions at the Elks Lodge in Bethlehem.
Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR

At a town hall meeting in Bethlehem, N.H. on Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio said the United States must be willing to use military force to stand up for allies such as the Philippines against China’s encroachment on fishing rights and attempts to expand its territorial waters. He compared China’s actions to the use of force by Russia in neighboring Ukraine last year.

“It is not unlike what Vladimir Putin has done in Crimea. He invaded a neighboring country, he took over an area of that country and today everyone has just accepted it.”

The issue, Rubio told the crowd of roughly 150 people, is whether international laws are going to be respected.

“So absolutely we need to challenge it and the way you challenge it is by ensuring there is a U.S. Navy still capable of still keeping not just the shipping lanes open but also the territorial integrity of our neighbors in the region.”

Rubio spent all of Tuesday north of the notches with an earlier visit in Berlin. He’ll make a campaign stop in Franklin this morning.