“China has an overall goal, and I don’t criticize them for the goal, but they have an overall goal to become the leading country in the world, the wealthiest country in the world, and the most powerful country in the world. That’s not going to happen on my watch because the United States are going to continue to grow and expand.”
That was Joe Biden in his March 25 press conference. The squad of compliant reporters failed to ask about gains China had already made on Biden’s watch, which began in 2012. That year, as The Atlantic reported, “Biden Gets China,” a move orchestrated by Thomas Donilon, once described by James Mann in Foreign Policy as “Obama’s Gray Man” and seldom mentioned in the press.
Donilon advised Biden in his 1988 run for the presidency and presided over a meltdown at the Federal National Mortgage Association. That prompted Robert Scheer of the Nation to brand Donilon a “top hustler” and wonder why President Obama would tap him for National Security Advisor.
On Biden’s watch as vice president, China ramped up internal repressions and became more aggressive, modernizing their military and creating island bases that put key American allies and interests at risk. In 2019, on the anniversary, of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, Joe Biden called for “recommitting to the universal struggle for human dignity” but offered no direct criticism of China’s Communist regime. During the 2020 campaign, Bidcen described the regime as “not bad folks, folks.” With the PRC, that was Biden’s essential message from the start.
Sen. Joe Biden voted against strong sanctions on Communist China as a response to the Tiananmen massacre. In 1998, the United States again proposed sanctions on the PRC, including visa restrictions, and Biden was part of a group of ten senators opposed to the measures. In 2001, Sen. Biden, then head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, supported China’s entry to the World Trade Organization. As he explained, “the United States welcomes the emergence of a prosperous, integrated China on the global stage, because we expect this is going to be a China that plays by the rules.” That theme emerged in Biden’s White House press conference.
“We are going to hold China accountable to follow the rules, whether it relates to the South China Sea or the North China Sea, or their agreement made on Taiwan, or a whole range of other things.” Nobody pressed Biden on the details, or his past record of not holding China accountable.
In his conversation with Xi Jinping, Biden said, “I made it clear that no American President — at least one did — but no American President ever back down from speaking out of what’s happening to the Uighurs, what’s happening in Hong Kong, what’s happening in-country.”
That ignored the composite character president David Garrow described in Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama.
In a 2015 Foreign Policy piece headlined “Why Won’t Obama Speak Out About China’s Crackdown on Activists?” Rana Siu Inboden explained, “the Chinese government has increased its repression of Chinese human rights defenders.” A full 261 of the defenders “have been disappeared, detained, questioned, or harassed,” including Pu Zhiqiang, sentenced to ten years in prison and known for “speaking out on behalf of the beleaguered Uighur Muslim minority group and defending victims of torture.” Inboden lamented the administration’s “muted response.”
So Biden was mistaken that no president had ever backed down from speaking out. And in a February 17 interview with Anderson Cooper, Biden took up the theme:
“And so the idea I’m not going to speak out against what he’s [Xi Jinping] doing in Hong Kong, what he’s doing with the Uyghurs in western mountains of China and Taiwan, trying to end the One China policy by making it forceful — I said — and by the — he said he — he gets it. Culturally, there are different norms that each country and they — their leaders — are expected to follow.” So Biden is okay with China’s “norms.”
“If you know anything about Chinese history,” Biden told Cooper, “it has always been — the time when China has been victimized by the outer world is when they haven’t been unified at home. So the central — to vastly overstate it — the central principle of Xi Jinping is that there must be a united, tightly controlled China. And he uses his rationale for the things he does based on that.”
No departure from the “not bad folks” description, and earlier in February Biden urged more infrastructure spending, otherwise China was “going to eat our lunch.” In similar style on March 25 Biden said, “I see stiff competition with China.” The handlers keep busy masking up Biden’s previous statements while ignoring his lucrative entanglements with the regime through son Hunter.
Like police captain McCluskey (Sterling Hayden) in The Godfather, the “Big Guy” is into the regime for big money. As Michael Corleone said, that’s a terrific story, but for Democrats and their media allies, it’s only a Russian disinformation campaign. On Joe Biden’s watch, Communist China’s influence will continue to grow and expand.