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Tags: biden | blinken | xi | china

On China Biden, Blinken Score Pyrrhic Victory

news broadcast shows footage of antony blinken meeting with xi jinping on a giant screen
(Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images)

Larry Bell By Wednesday, 21 June 2023 10:57 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently scored a historic foreign policy victory with China. Beijing apparently agreed to accept their apologies for being overly critical of its military and trade advances against American and allied interests.

More than that, it seemed to have consented to back America in its battle with the world's greatest existential threat — climate change — by offering to sell us all the solar panels and rare earth materials for electric vehicles we can afford with money we borrow from them.

It's unclear if other potentially rancorous secondary issues were discussed, like escalation of spying on America from Cuba and aggressive provocations in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait.

Earlier this month, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the Shangri-La Dialogue that Washington would not "flinch in the face of bullying or coercion" in sailing through and flying over those regions to emphasize they are international waters.

On that very same day, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command reported that a Chinese warship intercepted and veered across the bow of a U.S. guided-missile destroyer in the Taiwan Strait in an "unsafe manner" at a distance of 150 yards.

That incident followed another late last month when a Chinese J-16 fighter "performed an unnecessarily aggressive maneuver" while intercepting a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance aircraft over the South China Sea, flying directly in front of the plane's nose.

Overall, the U.S. policy regarding defense of Taiwan — if there truly is one — became even more ambiguous.

Upon his return after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Blinken reiterated that the United States remained committed to a "one-China" policy in which the Biden administration officially recognizes Beijing, not Taipei.

Blinked added, "We are not moving, we are not encouraging their being independent."

When asked by a reporter at a joint May 2022 news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo if he would be willing to use U.S. force to defend Taiwan against Chinese aggression, Biden had answered "Yes ... that's the commitment we made."

Chinese officials reportedly rejected Blinken's request that Beijing and Washington reopen military-to-military communication channels to avoid clashes in the airspace and seas around China.

Meanwhile, as the Biden administration skimps on U.S. military budgets to pay for those solar panels and rare earths that subsidize China's territorial ambitions, the Pentagon has reported that Beijing has "nearly doubled" its warfare budget from 2012 to 2021.

Having, for example, already created the world's largest navy, as retired Adm. Harry Harris told Congress in February, Beijing "aims to set the rules" for Asia, and "indeed the world" with the goal of projecting power beyond its own regional waters to supplant the U.S. as a decisive actor.

To back up that conventional power, the U.S. Defense Department estimated that China had doubled its 2022 nuclear stockpile to 400 warheads since 2020.

Close to home, The Wall Street Journal reported on June 8 that China and Cuba had reached "an agreement in principle" for a joint new eavesdropping and training site just 100 miles off Florida's coast which can provide Beijing with a platform to permanently house troops on the island and conduct electronic surveillance of our mainland.

According to U.S. officials, this "Project 141" initiative of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) would expand an original single-station which was significantly upgraded in 2019 to a network at five sites.

Secretary of State Blinken told reporters on June 12 that the Trump administration hadn't done enough to prevent Chinese ambitions to increase overseas intelligence-gathering.

Nevertheless, having later said he raised concerns about these actions in Beijing, there is no reported breakthrough regarding his persuasiveness in ending them or gaining any PLA apologies.

On the other hand, perhaps recall that neither Blinken nor his boss appeared particularly concerned regarding that "silly balloon" Joe dismissed as of little consequence which entered U.S. airspace over Alaska on Jan. 28 carrying two freight cars' worth of spying equipment across the entire country before being shot down off the South Carolina coast.

Despite evidence to the contrary, China has denied the balloon was used for spying purposes, saying it was a weather device gone astray.

After all, wasn't it Joe Biden that ended his predecessor's China Initiative established to combat technical spying at universities and research institutions?

And coincidentally, wasn't this the same Antony Blinken who served as managing director of the University of Pennsylvania's Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement between May 2017 and June 2019, the same Chinese funded organization that successfully lobbied Attorney General Merrick Garland's DOJ to end that China Initiative?

On top of that, perhaps recall a May 2018 voice recording on Hunter Biden's "laptop from hell" where he reportedly bragged to a female friend about doing deals with Patrick Ho, the "f*****g spy chief of China who started the company that my [CEFC] partner [Ye Jianming], who is worth $323 billion, founded and is now missing."

The New York Post had reported in April 2022 that Ye not been seen since his arrest by Chinese authorities with many of the now-bankrupt company's assets seized by the government.

The company Hunter referred to — CEFC — reportedly struck a deal worth millions which earmarked ten percent for "the Big Guy" acknowledged to be his father.

Perhaps there's little wonder if Beijing doesn't feel any Biden pressure to play nice.

Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and the graduate space architecture program. His latest of 12 books is "Architectures Beyond Boxes and Boundaries: My Life By Design" (2022). Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.

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President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently scored a historic foreign policy victory with China. Beijing apparently agreed to accept their apologies for being overly critical of its military and trade advances against American and allied interests.
biden, blinken, xi, china
Wednesday, 21 June 2023 10:57 AM
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