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King Warns That Chinese Imperialism Is A National Security Threat For The U.S.

Independent U.S. Senator Angus King is warning that the economic imperialism of China in Africa and South America has become a national security issue for the United States. King told colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday that China is making loans and giving grants to influence the policies of some nations and to assure Chinese Navy access to ports.

He questioned General Stephen Townsend of the U.S. Africa Command about the issue: “They are getting these small countries in debt to them, and then they have their hooks into them. General, is that sort of, part of what you are seeing happening in Africa?" King asked.

"That is exactly what we are seeing."

And King said grants of equipment and infrastructure facilities are allowing China to get an economic foothold in those countries as vehicles come to need repairs and facilities need upgrading.

“Whatever happened to the Monroe Doctrine?" said King. "I mean we’re allowing an adversary, I will not say an enemy, only an adversary, to establish a significant positional analysis, in our hemisphere.”

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.