An unnamed source within the intelligence community has revealed that Biden could not unequivocally condemn China’s human rights abuses because Xi Jinping has ‘has something’ on him. The 46th President therefore cannot be trusted to stand up to Xi on the world stage.
‘The Russians deploy kompromat as leverage over foreign assets,’ says my source. ‘Chinese agencies use something called “black materials” to extort western authority figures into doing what they want.’
I’m not making this stuff up. Rather, I’m blending truths with half-truths; hearsay with nonsense. I’m concocting a grandiose conspiracy theory that an authoritarian state is now controlling the leader of the free world. If that sounds familiar it is because that is exactly what a lot of supposedly serious journalists spent the first two years of the Trump administration doing. ‘Russiagate,’ the idea that Vladimir Putin had installed a ‘puppet’ in the White House in the form of Donald J. Trump, was a monstrous delusion. Yet the media rehashed it over and over for a credulous liberal elite to swallow down whole.
There’s no point complaining about double standards. But it’s worth noting that it takes a considerably shorter hyperbolic leap to suggest that Biden is doing Xi’s bidding than it did to believe the same of Trump and Putin — and that whereas many journalists were hyperactively suspicious of anything linking Trump to Russia, they are curiously incurious when it comes to Biden and Beijing.
Consider all of the facts. Biden has a track record of buttering up the Chinese regime and minimizing the threat of China’s rise to America. Hunter Biden, the President’s son, pursued an extraordinarily lucrative deal with China’s biggest energy company. One email discovered on Hunter’s now infamous laptop suggested that 10 percent of an agreed sum would be ‘held by H for the big guy’. We can’t say for certain who H or the ‘big guy’ are, but it’s not unreasonable to guess that the former is Hunter Biden and the latter is the current occupant of the White House.
That story was magnificently brushed aside before the election. Social media banned people from sharing it. Much of the mainstream press set about rubbishing the sourcing of the evidence — it came from Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon, shock horror. Very few reporters sought to ask let alone answer two fundamental journalistic questions: was the email real? And if the big guy was Joe Biden, wasn’t that a big deal?
We all were told to move on. Biden had supposedly won the election, or so the Democrats claimed. His officials, as if alert to the widespread sense that the incoming President would be ‘soft on China’, quickly began to stress that his administration would be far more consistently tough on Beijing than Trump. Biden himself called Xi a ‘thug’ and the new secretary of state Antony Blinken concurred with his predecessor Mike Pompeo’s statement that China’s treatment of Uighurs amounted to ‘genocide’.
At the same time, however, the Biden administration instantly signed America back up to the World Health Organization, an organization that is clearly sympathetic to Chinese propaganda about COVID-19. And then Biden gave that bizarre remark about ‘cultural differences’ during a CNN town hall.
But let’s not do to Biden what the New York Times and CNN did to Donald Trump for so long. Let’s be fair and quote him in full:
‘If you know anything about Chinese history, 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 — well, to vastly overstate it — the central principle of Xi Jinping is that there must be a united, tightly controlled China…
‘I point out to him no American president can be sustained as a president if he doesn’t reflect the values of the United States. And so the idea that I am not going to speak out against what he’s doing in Hong Kong, what he’s doing with the Uighurs in western mountains of China, and Taiwan — trying to end the one China policy by making it forceful — [Xi] gets it…’
‘Culturally there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow.’
As if that wasn’t confusing enough, Biden added:
‘There will be repercussions for China and [Xi] knows that. What I’m doing is, making clear that we, in fact, are going to continue to reassert our role as spokespersons for human rights at the UN and other agencies that have an impact on their attitude…
‘China is trying very hard to become the world leader. And to get that moniker and be able to do that, they have to gain the confidence of other countries. And as long as they are engaged in activity that is contrary to basic human rights, it’s going to be hard for them to do that… But it’s much more complicated than that. I shouldn’t try to talk China policy in 10 minutes on television here.’
No Joe, you probably shouldn’t. It is indeed unfair to suggest that Biden entirely dismissed concerns about the Uighurs. But his actual words, in as much as they made any sense at all, are perhaps even more alarming.
Biden sounds like an American president who has no real intention of standing in China’s way; a Commander-in-Chief who has all but accepted that China is replacing America as the world’s pre-eminent superpower. Biden is less a Chinese asset, then, more a China patsy.
In his blather about Beijing getting ‘that moniker’ of ‘the world leader’, Biden is saying China simply must get better at gaining the confidence of other nations if they want to be accepted as top dog. It’s almost as if Biden sees his role as a kind of PR adviser, managing China’s ‘peaceful rise’.
At the risk of committing the cardinal commentariat sin of whataboutery, let’s try to imagine what the media would have said if Donald Trump had sounded half as ambivalent about, say, the Salisbury poisonings carried out by Russian agents on British soil. The press would have been apoplectic. For now, at least, they’re letting the big guy get away with it. We shall soon see whether Xi is going to let Biden get away with it out there in the real world. ✪