The new Cold War between the United States and China is a zero-sum game, which will only be resolved when one system decisively triumphs over the other.
York Times on Monday published a 3,100-word story headlined “Joe Biden’s China
Journey.” The three reporters whose bylines appear on the article engage in a
painfully obvious effort to explain away the former vice president’s long and
cozy relationship with communist China. Now, at long last, they suggest, Biden
is ready to get really tough on China. Tougher even than Trump.
luck to them selling that fractured fairy tale.
has appeased China and advanced its interests for as long as I’ve been paying
attention to China policy, which is to say since shortly after the Democratic
presidential nominee arrived in Washington, D.C., nearly a half-century ago and
I arrived in Hong Kong with the Seventh Fleet. American workers have paid a
heavy price for the combination of naïveté and greed that has driven Biden’s
views about China over the decades. The naïveté came first, of course. The
greed came later.
1990s, Biden pushed for and voted repeatedly to protect China’s
“most-favored-nation” trade status, which ensured that cheap Chinese-made goods
would flood America’s big-box stores. Even worse, he championed China’s entry
into the World Trade Organization under terms that heavily favored the
Communist giant. This blunder cost the United States 60,000 factories and 3.5
did all this despite admitting that China had a “reprehensible” record on human
rights and “unfair trade practices.” But with lifelong politicians, you have to
look beyond the rhetoric to see what they actually do. Biden’s actions with
regard to Beijing invariably have benefited China and, in more recent years,
exception to Biden’s “Made in China” agenda would seem to be his advocacy of
Radio Free Asia. Biden’s defenders invariably claim that he was instrumental in
establishing a federally funded news media network to promote democratic values
within China. One of his Senate Foreign Relations Committee aides at the time,
James P. Rubin, told the Times that Biden worked so hard to set up RFA because
he realized China was a “brutal system” after the 1989 crackdown against
protesters around Tiananmen Square.
of those who worked with Biden at the time, however, were impressed in the same
way with Biden’s supposed change of heart. I served as a commissioner on the
Presidential-Executive Commission on Broadcasting to the PRC in the early ’90s
alongside two commissioners handpicked by Biden. Both fought against the
establishment of RFA every step of the way and, in the end, both voted against
it. When those of us on the other side later met with Biden to try and shore up
his support for RFA, he tried to laugh off the defection of his two
commissioners, talking about his personal support for the project. If there
were godfathers of Radio Free Asia, which finally won approval in 1994, they
were Senators Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), not Joe Biden.
there was the September 2000 debate over whether or not to grant permanent
most-favored-nation status to China. Those of us opposed to the idea argued
that the annual U.S. review of China’s trade status gave Washington the
leverage it needed to help rein in China’s bad behavior at home and abroad.
Biden, however, voted to grant permanent most-favored-nation status to China.
He went on to support China’s accession to the World Trade Organization as
Quarter-Century of Capitulation
early on fell for the myth that China’s rise was not only inevitable but that
the United States should welcome it. In fact, he has spent most of the past
quarter-century attempting to sell Americans on the idea that “a rising China
is an incredibly positive development for not only China but for the U.S. and
the rest of the world.”
president, Biden’s efforts to enable China’s rise accelerated. In May 2013 he
helped engineer a “memorandum of understanding” with the PRC exempting Chinese
corporations from U.S. securities statutes and regulations. This meant that the
Chinese Communist Party could raise trillions from our debt and equity markets
on preferential terms, giving them an advantage over American firms. Among
other things, this MOU exempted Chinese companies listed in U.S. stock
exchanges from independent audits, allowing them to continue to cook their
books while raising billions from unsuspecting U.S. investors.
human rights front, the then-vice president was largely missing in action. When
he did speak out in public it was often to soft-pedal CCP abuses, as when he
said on a visit to China that he “understood” the need for the brutal one-child
record on Asian security issues is equally unimpressive. As Barack Obama’s vice
president, he was nominally in charge of the “Pivot to Asia,” which was
intended to reassure our allies in the region by countering China’s continuing
military buildup. Yet as China militarized the South China Sea and bullied
smaller neighbors such as the Philippines and Vietnam into accepting its
claims, Biden’s response was lackadaisical. By the time he left office, we had
added exactly one warship to the Seventh Fleet.
decide for yourself why he took his son, Hunter, to Beijing in December 2013 on
Air Force Two while he was vice president. It is at least curious that Biden
did not publicly bring up China’s aggressive “Air Defense Identification Zones”
and territorial claims in the South China Sea, or its massive violations of
human rights while he was there.
the reason for Biden’s silence may have come 10 days later, when Rosemont
Seneca Partners, Hunter Biden’s boutique investment firm, landed a $1 billion
dollar deal with the Chinese government, later increased to $1.5 billion.
Hunter also joined the board of directors of a Chinese company called BHR,
which started buying up American firms that possessed dual-use technology of
interest to the Chinese military and its modernization efforts.
Blind to the Threat
leaving office, even as the danger that China poses to the United States and
the world has become ever more apparent, the former vice president has
continued his apology tour on behalf of the PRC. Biden repeatedly has dismissed
China’s threat to American national security and jobs, claiming as recently as
2019 that they’re not bad and not competition. The truth is that the CCP poses
a mortal threat to America in more ways than one.
the myriad ways that China has harmed U.S. businesses and workers—intellectual
property theft, forced technology transfer, currency manipulation, dumping
below-cost, predatory pricing by state-owned or controlled enterprises, and the
widespread use of slave labor—fewer and fewer people outside of China regard
its rise as anything but a disaster for America and the world. More and more
people understand that China is carrying out what it calls “unrestricted
warfare” against the United States across all domains except the kinetic.
Democrats’ nominee for president has not yet grasped this fact. He does not yet
understand that Beijing steals our jobs, our technology, and sickens the world
not just to supercharge its own rise, but in order to bring about America’s
defeat. He still claims “China is not our enemy.”
would Biden suggest that he may end President Trump’s tariffs on China without
getting anything in return for the United States? Why else would Biden not hold
Communist China accountable for unleashing the coronavirus on the world but
instead—absurdly—is attempting to blame Trump for the outbreak? And why would
his brief “Build Back Better” economic plan not even mention the name of the
country that over the past two decades, in effect, has carpet-bombed the
American industrial heartland with its ruthless and predatory policies?
benign view of China is such that he still imagines that we can make common
cause with an expansionist Communist empire that wants to replace us as the
dominant power on the planet. He points to climate change, nonproliferation,
and health security as areas of potential cooperation.
three of these tired tropes are long past their sell-by dates. Biden may be
determined to shut down every last coal-fired power plant in the United States
in the name of curbing climate change, but China is just as determined to keep
building them, opening a new plant every two weeks or so. What is there to
with China on nuclear and missile nonproliferation agreements almost sounds
like a serious policy proposal, until you realize that Beijing is probably the
worst proliferator of both in the world today. Pakistan, North Korea, and Iran
are among the known beneficiaries of China’s assistance.
plan to work with China on “health security,” on the other hand, sounds like a
Babylon Bee parody, given that China deliberately unleashed a deadly
coronavirus on the world and continues to lie about it. Yet Biden is so
determined to blame Trump for all the “pain and suffering” caused by the
Chinese virus that he actually absolved China of any responsibility.
Hopelessly Compromised Candidate
approach the November election, Biden finally has begun cautiously denouncing
China as a “dictatorship.” This is like calling a Category 5 hurricane a
“summer breeze.” The high-tech tyranny that dominates the Chinese people—and
dreams of extending its writ to the entire world—is like no other adversary the
United States has ever encountered.
Chinese Communist Party, like all Communist parties, is a war party. It is
organized along military lines and is inherently expansionist. Its leaders have
long understood that there are irreconcilable differences between China and the
United States, between “socialism with Chinese characteristics” and free-market
democracy, and between the current U.S.-dominated international order and the
Sinocentric one that Beijing hopes will replace it.
means that there is no win-win scenario involving democratic America and
Communist China. There are only temporary truces. The new Cold War between the
United States and China is a zero-sum game, which will only be resolved when
one system decisively triumphs over the other.
Trump, post-pandemic, now understands this. Biden does not and indeed—for
reasons involving both Hunter’s business dealings and the left-wing of his
party—cannot. Instead, he obviously is trying to navigate through the current
tensions with China with the goal of restoring the old status quo—the one that
heavily favored China, not to mention the Biden family fortunes.
surprised when National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director
William Evanina issued a statement in August saying China was working to help
Biden win in November.
former vice president tried to laugh away the report. But the threat posed by
China is no laughing matter, especially if a candidate as compromised as Biden
actually wins the presidency.