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Fitzpatrick: Chinese invasion of Taiwan inevitable


It is only a matter of time before China invades Taiwan, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick said during his annual "State of the Nation" address before the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce.

Speaking to an audience of more than 100 Wednesday at The Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm in Buckingham, Fitzpatrick touched on a wide range of foreign and domestic issues, starting with what he believes are the grave threats posed by China, Russia and their leaders, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin.

"Taiwan is right in the crosshairs of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party)," said Fitzpatrick, R-1. "It's only a matter of time before they invade Taiwan. It's a question of what it looks like when it happens."

He repeated his conviction, stated many times, that China is the No. 1 threat to the security of the United States and the world.

"Ping does not believe democracy can survive the 21st Century," the congressman noted. "Ping is more aggressive than any dictator in our lifetime. China doesn't play by any set of rules. It manipulates currency, engages in intellectual property theft. They are not a democracy and don't believe in freedom."

Fitzpatrick studies these issues in depth as a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which has oversight of all 19 of this country's intelligence agencies. Expanding on the subject of China and its intentions, he said he believes one of its strategies is to corporately infiltrate American mainstream media, social media, Hollywood and professional sports in an effort to "turn Americans on themselves."

"China has been very, very aggressive," Fitzpatrick said. "Their long-term goal is to overtake the U.S. as an economic and military superpower."

He reiterated the importance of continuing to support Ukraine in its fight against Russian invaders, and repeated his belief that Ukraine is not the endgame for Putin.

"He hated the breakup of the U.S.S.R. (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) and his eventual goal is to re-form it," Fitzpatrick said.

Americans and others need to think out of the box when forming strategies to thwart the intentions of men like Putin, Fitzpatrick said.

"In trying to get inside the head of a madman, you can't use Western ways of thinking," he said. "But what autocrats like this have working against them is that every human being has an innate yearning and desire to be free. Democracy is slow and ugly, but it's also the best form of government in the world."

On the domestic front, Fitzpatrick stressed the need to keep ahead of mental health and substance abuse issues and — as he does at many of his public appearances — hammered home the need for lawmakers on the far right and left to move toward the middle and compromise in the interest of finding solutions for their constituents.

The congressman said he tries to affect such change through his role on the House Problem Solvers Caucus, which he says is the House's only bipartisan caucus.

"It's only 64 members and if you want to join, you have to get a member of the other party to join with you," Fitzpatrick said. "One of the things we'd like to do is designate a mental health awareness week where, for a week, the only bills brought to the floor are ones regarding mental health. We've passed 17 such bills so far.

"In America, we focus on health below the neck and tend to stigmatize health from the neck up. Anywhere we are teaching physical education, we should also be teaching mental health education."

The need for bipartisanship was a theme stretched across many of his remarks.

"Two-party solutions are the best solutions, and the most sustainable," Fitzpatrick said.

After his speech, he took audience questions submitted on index cards. In response to one on renewable energy, he emphasized the need to move forward on that front.

"We see how Russia uses oil as a weapon of war," Fitzpatrick said. "We want to be self-sustaining on all fronts. We're not there yet, and we need fossils to be a bridge until we get to that point."

Despite all the challenges facing the U.S., there are many reasons for hope, most notably the character of the nation and its people, the congressman stressed.

"We've done more good for more people and more nations than any other country ever has or ever will," Fitzpatrick said. "But don't take the freedoms we enjoy for granted. They could go away like that."

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