Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher on Wednesday compared China to a Nazi regime in the midst of Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit to the U.S.
Rohrabacher (Calif.) — who is a fierce critic of China on human rights — said that the U.S. government should be discouraging American businesses from dealing with the Asian nation
"We should be telling our business community, 'You are dealing with the Nazis here. You are dealing with people who are murdering people for their religious convictions. And we do not look on it as consistent with American tradition that you are going over there and setting up a factory so you can take advantage of slave labor,'" he said on the conservative Dateline Washington radio program.
Rohrabacher's comments are arguably the fiercest rebuke of China from a member of Congress since Hu arrived in Washington on Tuesday.
But the California lawmaker was not the first to publicly invoke the Nazis this week. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) took to the House floor late Tuesday and compared GOP claims about the healthcare law to Nazi "lies."
During a joint press conference at the White House on Wednesday, President Obama pushed Hu on human rights, calling it a "source of tension" between the U.S. and China. Hu admitted that "a lot still needs to be done in China on human rights."
China also agreed to $45 billion in contracts with the U.S. to purchase materials such as airplanes amid pressure from the American government on China to buy more U.S. products. But Rohrabacher said that China needs to be "taken to task" on human rights.
"We can make sure that we call them to task and publicly call them to
task over and over again on the — on their human rights abuses," he said.
"We no longer will put up with them doing the bidding of these gangsters," he added. "We are treating them like we do democratic countries."