Letter in the Wall Street Journal, January 30 —
In “The Peace Corps Cuts and Runs” (op-ed, Jan. 24), Michael Meyer claims that I, and my colleague Marco Rubio, “don’t understand [the Peace Corps’] mission” in Communist China. I can assure you this isn’t the case. I would argue it’s the defenders of the Peace Corps’ presence in Communist China who don’t understand and can’t explain its mission there.
I’ve met with the Peace Corps director multiple times and asked her what the volunteers did in Communist China and why they were there. Her response? The Peace Corps has been in Communist China for the last 25 years because Communist China had asked for volunteers. She said volunteers did not teach American values or capitalism and did not coordinate their activities with the office of the U.S. Secretary of State. When I asked what the return on investment was for the U.S. taxpayers, the director (shockingly) had no answer.
Following the Peace Corps’ inadequate and frankly irresponsible responses, I asked the director to get out of Communist China. This wasn’t political pressure as the director claimed; it was to save us from wasting taxpayer dollars to prop up an adversary. Let’s remember: Communist China steals our jobs, technology and intellectual property, is militarizing the South China Sea, intentionally selling fentanyl to the U.S. and is one of the world’s worst human-rights violators.
The Peace Corps finally came to its senses this month and said it is leaving Communist China. Since then, the director has refused to meet with me. I would love to hear its plan for a speedy withdrawal from Communist China, but I’m not holding my breath.
Sen. Rick Scott (R., Fla.)