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Biden Plays Games, Xi Is Playing for Real

Biden Plays Games, Xi Is Playing for Real
President Joe Biden speaking to Chinese President Xi Jinping at a virtual summit. (AFP via Getty Images)

Larry Bell By Friday, 31 March 2023 12:16 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

China’s President Xi Jinping’s pursuit of comprehensive global dominance over the U.S. can be compared to a competition between a naïve novice contemplating each single reactive move at a time against a seasoned player of “Go,” an ancient strategically abstract and enormously complex Chinese board game in which the aim is to surround more territory than the opponent.

And the winner-takes-all stakes couldn’t be higher.

Having recently established himself as China’s lifetime leader, Xi, who has sidelined potential rivals and filled top ranks of his ruling Communist Party with supporters since first taking power in 2012, can now concentrate full forces and attention upon exploiting Biden administration weaknesses to secure sweeping economic and military advantages.

Alliances with America’s Adversaries and Allies

As discussed in my previous article, during three-day March 21-23 meetings in Moscow, Presidents Xi and Putin issued a joint pledge to work together to drive "changes the likes of which we haven’t seen for 100 years."

The two leaders also expressed a “no-limits friendship” which projected Chinese solidarity with Russia in justifying its Ukraine invasion and a common desire to engage Beijing in brokering a diplomatic settlement to the conflict on terms favorable to Moscow.

Whereas it’s debatable whether President Vladimir Putin would have invaded Ukraine under a continued Trump presidency, there’s little doubt that President Biden’s Afghanistan debacle and dithering over early Russian troop and armament border buildups emboldened the catastrophic war action in which China gains global leverage.

China, clearly the senior partner in this relationship, benefits from a war-weakened Russia which becomes more dependent on vital economic revenues from their oil and gas purchases.

Xi has dramatically extended his sphere of influence across the Middle East where China is its biggest trading partner in exchanges of oil for rapidly expanding infrastructure investments.

Demonstrating remarkable leadership clout, Xi hosted a four-day negotiating session in Beijing which led arch rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran to re-establish diplomatic ties that were severed in 2016 — much to the detriment of the Trump-led Abraham Accords and security of our Israeli allies.

In contrast, relations between the Saudis and U.S. have simultaneously soured over America’s diminishing security guarantees, Riyadh’s decision to cut oil production in response to a desperate plea from the Biden administration to reduce gasoline prices ahead of 2022 midterm elections, and ongoing White House obsessions to resurrect a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) “nuclear deal” with Tehran.

The Yuan as Dominant Global Reserve Currency

During the first day of March meetings with Xi in Beijing, Putin said, “It is important that our national currencies are increasingly used in bilateral trade”.

Notably, two-thirds of trade between Russia and China is already conducted in rubles and yuan, and Saudi Arabia is reportedly discussing honoring yuan payments in oil trade as well.

Meanwhile, profligate Biden — Democrat spending, skyrocketing inflation, and an economic quicksand of debt, is devaluing the dollar and destabilizing the U.S. banking system.

Representing 120% of America’s gross domestic product, our national debt now stands at nearly $31.5 trillion, or close to $95,000 for every U.S. citizen. Of that debt amount, China holds about 3.2 percent, meaning that each of us currently owes China about $3,000.

Supply Chain Strangulation of Critical Materials and Products

Huge amounts of recent debt have resulted from liberal spending policies such as Congress’s $1.2 trillion “infrastructure bill” and ironically titled “Inflation Reduction Act” which threw money willy-nilly at every so-called “green energy” fetish rolling down the pike from Capitol Hill.

Then as the Biden administration’s war on fossil fuels and climate change terminated Trump’s achievement of U.S. energy independence, Xi’s China has continued to build a new coal-fired plant about every 10 days while maintaining an 80% monopoly on rare earth minerals required for millions of U.S. government subsidized electric vehicles (EVs) Democrats are hell-bent determined to pile on already precariously stressed power grids.

In March, President Xi traveled to the African Republic of Congo, the world’s largest producer of cobalt needed for those EV batteries and a major sub-Saharan oil supplier. Xi told members of its parliament — where China is its biggest trading partner — that he wants to raise ties “to a new and higher level.”

Not to worry, however. The Biden White House dispatched Vice President Kamala Harris to Africa in March as well to shore up relationships and “counter Beijing’s influence on the continent.”

As the old cliché follows…what could possibly go wrong?

Taiwan and South China Sea Conquests

All of the foregoing conspires to raise wonderment regarding if and when Beijing will exploit Biden domestic and foreign policy weaknesses to launch a military conquest of Taiwan and American allies in the South China Sea region.

Remember, for example, that Taiwan is the world’s largest producer of advanced computer chips needed for all those myriad devices we import from China sweat shop supply chains.

And while the Russia-Ukraine war rapidly depletes our munitions supplies, the aforementioned Beijing-Moscow alliance now combines their formidable nuclear weapons inventories to bolster China’s world- largest naval fleet and standing army as our inflation-ravaged military budgets decline.

Alarmingly, this is far more than a board game we are losing.

The stakes recklessly being wagered are America’s future.

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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Alarmingly, this is far more than a board game we are losing.
biden, china, xi jinping
Friday, 31 March 2023 12:16 PM
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