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June 20, 2023

Bootlicking in Beijing

Biden and his foreign policy team keep failing on the fortitude front.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) over the weekend, fulfilling the much-anticipated trip originally planned in February. The U.S. postponed the original visit due to a giant spy balloon flying over the continental U.S. The subsequent ire on China’s part has been unsuccessfully happy-talked by the Biden administration, and tensions between the U.S. and China have continued to deteriorate.

Those tensions have come in many forms: shooting down the spy balloon, fighting over a potential U.S. TikTok ban, Chinese military aggression in the South China Sea, and China beefing up a spy base in Cuba. The aggression has been mainly on China’s part, though we’d also point out that the U.S. is building spy bases on reefs in the South China Sea just like China is. The PRC’s aggression has a purpose: to test our commander-in-chief’s resolve. Each act has been a test that President Joe Biden has failed.

This weekend’s meetings seem to be no different. China scorned and berated Blinken while no actual progress was made on easing tensions. In fact, instead of presenting the PRC with representatives from an equally powerful country — and one that didn’t unleash a deadly pandemic on the world — Biden and Blinken bent the knee.

First, Biden — who has publicly talked about the Chinese spy balloon as being a spy balloon, and whose own officials have said it was a spy balloon with remote control capabilities from China — backtracked and instead repeated PRC talking points.

At his first campaign rally for the 2024 presidential run, Biden took a question about Blinken’s visit and said: “China has some legitimate difficulties … unrelated to the United States. And I think one of the things that that balloon caused was not so much that it got shot down, but I don’t think the leadership knew where it was and knew what was in it and knew what was going on. I think it was more embarrassing than it was intentional.”

China knows every move that its citizens make, but it had no idea where the spy balloon was or why it was moving in figure-eight circles over American military bases as our media tracked it across the entire continent? Yeah, right!

For his part, Blinken had to take a verbal lashing from China’s top diplomat. Wang Yi made it clear that all the tensions between the two countries were America’s doing and that it was the U.S. that had to make the choice “between dialogue and confrontation, and cooperation and conflict.” Presumably, this particular remark was an illusion to the U.S.‘s ambiguous stance on Taiwan.

Blinken replied with a statement: “We do not support Taiwan independence. We remain opposed to any unilateral changes to the status quo by either side.”

This is a continuation of this administration’s flip-flopping on policy regarding Taiwan. Team Biden usually airs on the side of pro-Taiwan independence and then ends up walking it back.

Perhaps, as some sources have suggested, this more supplicating stance toward Beijing stems from the reported panic on the part of the Pentagon at the prospect of a war with China. But perhaps there is a more corrupt reason. Many Republicans are irate at the weakness the Biden administration is displaying toward China. Representative Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), referring to the ever-more-damning evidence of influence peddling and corruption from President Biden and his family members, stated: “Biden has been anything but tough on China. It seems he’s compromised, which is what the evidence reviewed by the House Oversight Committee suggests.”

Whatever the reason, bootlicking and groveling at the feet of China isn’t going to produce progress on the foreign relations front that is desirable for the American people and our allies. This posture of cowardice and appeasement is going to further deplete U.S. interests both economically and politically and will probably not prevent outright war.

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