Understanding Joe Biden’s Support for China

America’s Top Adversary Has a Friend

“I would like to point out that my support for permanent normal trade relations with China is based not just on an assessment of the economic benefits to the US, not just on the prospects for political reform in China, but also on the impact on our national security.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden

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The US government, intelligence services, the military, the people, and business sector see China as a threat, not Mr. Biden. When President Donald Trump closed the US borders to travel from China during the Coronavirus pandemic, Joe Biden called him xenophobic. Meanwhile, Mongolia, Israel, and other countries least hard-hit by the Coronavirus closed their border to Chinese travel early on. Now, of course, China has imposed strict travel restrictions against Americans and other foreigners from entering their country.

The Chinese government went so far as kicking Africans out of their apartments. They are also refusing them service in grocery stores, restaurants, and hotels. Many are living on the streets. Biden has not condemned these actions as xenophobic, which raises concerns about Biden’s support for China, which has always had human right violations.

Joe Biden is Wrong; China is a Threat

Joe Biden said “I remain convinced that a successful China can make our country more prosperous, not less.” He added, “I am convinced, from nearly a dozen hours spent with Vice President Xi Jinping, that China’s leadership agrees.” He went on to say that many people were claiming China wanted to be the downfall of America. Through his relationship with Jinping, he knows this is not true. Instead, it goes to demonstrate his support for China.

US intelligence services have called China the greatest threat to the national security of the United States, due to its human infiltration and cyber espionage. FBI Director Christopher Wray said that China threatens the US economy and national security with its IP theft and academic and industrial spying. U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has called China a “rising threat to the world order.” He went on to say that China was attempting to gain advantage “by any means and at any cost.”

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is increasingly operating beyond China’s borders, setting up a military base in Djibouti, and possibly a naval base and air strip in Cambodia. Since Beijing convinced President Duterte to break the long standing Visiting Forces Agreement with the US, there are an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 PLA troops stationed in the Philippines. China has militarized man-made islands in the South China Sea. The islands now contain runways and hangars for fighter aircraft, as well as anti-ship cruise missiles, anti-aircraft batteries, and missile defenses.

Using the islands as a launching pad, the PLA Navy have begun pressuring the Spratly and Paracel Islands and even the Natuna Sea (presently claimed by Indonesia). The PLA have also been engaging in training exercises in Europe and elsewhere. The People’s liberation Army have increased their aggressive stance, threatening freedom of Navigation in the South China Sea, impinging on the territorial waters of Vietnam and the airspace of Japan, as well as threatening the sovereignty of Taiwan. Consequently, China now tops the Pentagon’s list of potential adversaries.

The American People Oppose China

Not only the US government, intelligence services, and military see China as a threat, but the average American is not too fond of the Communist nation either. According to a Harris Poll, 77% percent of Americans blame China for mishandling and possibly covering up or releasing the Coronavirus. In fact, 54% want paid reparations. Similar views were uncovered by a Pew Research Center survey and an Economist/YouGov poll.

In spite of the numerous opinions and irrefutable evidence to the contrary, Biden has repeatedly stated China is not a threat and they are not even competing with the US. During a campaign speech, Biden said about China, “I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks, folks. But guess what? They’re not competition for us.”

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The reality is China is the biggest threat in terms of IP theft and academic and economic espionage. Many of those efforts are carried out by Chinese students, grad students, researchers, and professors. The FBI reported they currently have over 1,000 open investigations related to Chinese IP theft.

Since 2001, 3.7 million American jobs have been lost to China. And, it was Joe Biden, then a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who supported Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with China. Research has determined outsourcing manufacturing through PRC has decrease the competitiveness of the US and the EU and slowed innovation globally. China’s economy rose largely on unfair, mercantilist policies and intellectual property theft. This means China does not really innovate and that innovation in the US and elsewhere was slowed because of the hundreds of billions of dollars in IP stolen each year, making it harder to recover money spent on research and development.

Other reasons many Americans are displeased with China include reports that the Communist nation jailed 48 journalists in 2019 and expelled US journalists from The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Voice of America, Time, and other US and foreign media. China maintains concentration camps in Xinjiang, where an estimated 1 to 2 million Muslims, as well as Falun Gong members, Catholics, and outspoken critics of the government are tortured and even subjected to organ harvesting. Most recently, and closer to home, 73,639 Americans have died from the Coronavirus and nearly 33 million are unemployed.

China Cheating on Trade and Investment

When China was admitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO), it was believed they would eventually conform to western norms and rules. Biden was influential in granting China Most Favored Nation Status. Similar to the WTO logic, Biden justified his support for China by saying, “The more they [meaning China] have to lose, the more they are likely to begin to accommodate international norms.”

It was then-Vice President Joe Biden who negotiated letting Chinese companies list on NYSE in 2013. This granted the Chinese government access to US capital through stock and bond markets. Since then, Chinese companies have consistently skirted the SEC, NYSE, and NASDAQ audit and disclosure regulations. They have also been permitted to ignore Sarbanes-Oxley Act rules put in place to protect American investors. Since 2013, Chinese companies, including state owned enterprises (SOEs), have accessed $1.9 trillion in investment on US exchanges. Chinese companies have been given near unrestricted access to US markets, while US access to Chinese markets has been strictly regulated and that access requires US companies to agree to self-censorship, technology transfers, and local partnerships, often at below market value. Foreign companies are also afforded far less protection under Chinese law than are local companies in the PRC.

Is it possible the US government, intelligence services, the military, the people, and business sector are wrong for seeing China as a threat? Or is Joe Biden’s support for China mistaken trust? Moving forward, this raises the question, do we need an administration which works to counter China’s rise, or do we want one which returns to the status quo of previous administrations?

Antonio Graceffo
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