President Biden’s long delayed speech to a joint session of Congress is being trashed by conservatives for his calls for massive increases in government spending and taxes, and for claiming credit for President Trump’s accomplishments to develop the coronavirus vaccine and revive the economy.
The speech was replete with nonsensical claims such as referring to the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol as "the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War."
This recklessly false statement ignores many other far more serious attacks on our democracy, including Pearl Harbor, Hitler’s declaration of war on our country, Soviet Cold War subversion of our institutions and its nuclear weapons buildup that still threatens to destroy us, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the violent protests left-wing rioters who did billions of dollars of damage to American cities over the past year.
Normal Americans laughed at Biden’s nonsensical claim that world leaders often tell him "we see that America is back – but for how long?" This of course this is a lie: No foreign leader actually uttered this Democratic talking point.
Instead, the world sees a United States led by a confused and indecisive president whose unserious foreign policy priorities are climate change and undoing his predecessor’s accomplishments.
While there were many other problems with Biden’s speech, the most troubling was his minimization of the threat from China and repeatedly referring to China as a "competitor."
France is a U.S. competitor, but competitors can be military allies. China is a U.S. adversary. Some call it an enemy or a hostile state. Official Chinese Communist Party doctrine sees the United States as a strategic enemy that will inevitably be destroyed.
Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe was right when he said in a December 2020 Wall Street Journal op-ed "China poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom world-wide since World War II."
China has exploited the global pandemic for which it is responsible, coopting countries worldwide with its pandemic diplomacy and relief “aid” to advance its imperialist One Belt One Road initiative. China continues to steal American technology to replace U.S. firms in the global marketplace and become the world’s top military power.
It strictly censors foreign press and web content in China but aggressively exploits the free press and the web in other countries to promote its propaganda abroad. China punishes people and nations who dare criticize it, such as its new economic warfare against Australia.
Its brutal crackdown in Hong Kong China’s treaty obligation to allow "one country, two systems" in the former British colony until 2047. Beijing also has stepped up its threats to Taiwan and its claims to the South China Sea.
China is expanding and improving its military, missile arsenal and nuclear weapons for a possible conflict with the United States, unveiling new weapons systems aimed at laying waste to American cities and positioning itself as a peer military rival to America. Adm. Charles Richard, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, warned about this last September when he said, "I get apprehensive that we are not fully conscious as a nation of the threats that we face. China now has the capability … to directly threaten our homeland from a ballistic missile submarine."
These are actions of a hard-core U.S. adversary, not a mere competitor.
Biden offered mild and vague responses to some of these threats. He also made a stunningly naïve statement playing down the Chinese Communist Party’s goal of global domination when he said Chinese President Xi is "deadly earnest about becoming the most significant, consequential nation in the world."
It also was shocking that Biden said nothing about the Chinese government’s criminal negligence which allowed the novel coronavirus to become a worldwide pandemic and Beijing’s continuing refusal to allow a full and thorough investigation of the origin of the virus in China. Beijing has not been held accountable for this appalling conduct nor for threatening to withhold crucial medical supplies at the height of the pandemic and its efforts to blame the virus on the United States.
An American competitor would never act this way.
Biden said he told President Xi that "America won’t back away from our commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms" and added, "No responsible American president can remain silent when basic human rights are violated." But Biden did not mention Xi Jinping’s ongoing genocide against Muslim Uighurs even though his administration accepted the Trump administration’s designation of these atrocities as genocide.
Let’s be clear about this: President Biden chose last night to be silent about the Chinese Communist Party’s genocide against the Uighurs to avoid offending Beijing.
By ignoring and playing the growing threat from China, President Biden is repeating a mistake made by most of his predecessors (but not President Trump). That mistake is to believe that by treating China as a normal state in trade and diplomacy, the U.S. will encourage it to become a responsible and democratic member of the world community instead of a totalitarian pariah.
Not even certain members of Biden’s own team believe that.
Words matter. By calling China a competitor, Biden and his national security leadership is granting China the status of legitimate U.S. competitors like the United Kingdom, France, Japan, and Mexico who abide by international law and are not engaged in aggressive military, economic and intelligence efforts to advance a goal of global domination.
Moreover, Biden’s vague references to China’s rogue behavior and his failure to mention Taiwan, Hong Kong, and its responsibility for – and exploitation of – the coronavirus will telegraph to China’s leadership that America will not hold the regime accountable for such reckless violations of international law. Biden will embolden Beijing to continue and intensify this dangerous, aggressive conduct.
The implications of Biden’s weakness toward China have enormous consequences for America’s security and freedom. It is crucial that Congress and all Americans speak out and demand that the Biden administration adopt a responsible China policy that recognizes it as a hostile and untrustworthy U.S. adversary and not a competitor who we can treat as a normal peace-loving state.
Fred Fleitz is President of the Center for Security Policy. He previously served as National Security Council Chief of staff, CIA analyst and as a member of the House Intelligence Committee staff. Read more reports from Fred Fleitz — Click Here Now.
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