Newly re-purposed as the leading Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden stumbled out of the gate, not kissing the wrong people on the head, but in assessing China. Naïve – dangerously naïve – is the only word for it.
Biden just assessed Communist China this way: “China’s going to eat our lunch? Come on man,” adding “you know, they’re not bad folks, folks … guess what, they’re not competition for us.” Biden stunningly diminished – in one breath – the full economic, military and moral threats posed by China, then skipped on to other topics.
With slightly more circumspection – and focus on China’s economic and military ambitions, as well as moral depravity – let’s review the bidding. Here are the facts:
Communist China has threatened neighbors and international shipping by building and militarizing “artificial islands” in the South China Sea, is modernizing military forces at breakneck speed, tested space weapons to kill communications and early warning satellites, disavows freedoms of nationalist China, and has begun building infrastructure for military expansion globally.
Communist China has pursued global hacking by militarizing the world’s largest supercomputers, and in June 2015 hacked the US Office of Personnel Management under President Obama and stole 21.5 million personnel records on the most highly cleared people in the US government.
Communist China is the source of virtually all the fentanyl that comes into the United States, and kills young Americans daily across the country, and in ever larger numbers. Roughly 600 Chinese producers turn out most of the drug.
On the economic side, Communist China is the world’s second largest economy. Nevertheless, it ritually violates norms of the World Trade Organization, compels transfer of intellectual property and technology from many transacting business in the country, has been a historic currency manipulator, and violates human rights with impunity, even as it seeks credit for building out so-called “Belt and Road” infrastructure projects around the world. Even in these countries, new infrastructure often comes at the price of economic control over national interests.
For moral depravity, just a few examples will serve. Communist China’s one-child policy, based on 2008 data, was killing 13 million children a year, either through infanticide or late-term sex-selection abortions, on top of ten million abortions with pills. The goal was, often, to end the life of a little girl. Boys are viewed as more valuable.
To this add Communist China’s imprisonment of more than one million non-violent Muslims in the northwest, in prison-like camps for “reeducation” to be atheistic Communists. Religious freedom has no place in China, as Christians are also systematically persecuted.
Nor are dissidents or property crimes much tolerated. Communist China executes more than 2,400 of its own citizens annually, no appeal and no balanced trials – according to Amnesty International. That is, by the way, more than all the rest of the world combined.
So, for a moment, reflect on Joe Biden’s words: “Not bad folks …” Right, just trust them with your life – and our country, right? Maybe not. But then Mr. Biden’s judgement has never been particularly good – and maybe that is the real point.
Joe Biden celebrated the 1979 take-over of Iran by the Ayatollahs, who displaced a longtime American ally, saying it would improve human rights. He opposed the Reagan defense build-up in the 1980s, which collapsed the Soviet Union. Specifically, he opposed the B-1 and B-2 stealth technology and bombers, MX missile, and Reagan’s defense programs across the globe.
Notably Robert Gates, former CIA Director under George HW Bush, Secretary of Defense under George W Bush and Obama, wrote that Joe Biden has been “wrong on every major foreign policy and national security issue for the past four decades.” That about sums it up.
At least he is consistent, right? Biden wanted to break-up Iraq, opposed the military raid on bin Laden, and supported the misconceived nuclear deal that put planeloads of cash in the hands of Iran for promoting terrorism – and got nothing in return. He mocked Mitt Romney’s warnings about Russia as a foe, only to criticize Trump’s attempts to create dialogue with this nuclear adversary.
More broadly, Biden has remained weak on judgement for decades. He has never held a private sector job, never had executive leadership, and never made a payroll. As Senator and Vice President, American taxpayers disgorged 8.3 million dollars to support his lifestyle – this man of the people. Most Americans would have happily traded places for a tenth of that largess.
On judgement, Biden was caught for plagiarism in law school, an omen. In 1985, used a speech by Hubert Humphrey without credit and again in 1986. In 1987, without giving credit to Robert Kennedy, he did it again. Later in 1987, he adopted a speech by British Labor Leader Neil Kinnock, even making Kinnock’s family history his own – after which he dropped out of that presidential race.
So, let’s cut to the chase. Communist China is not led by “good folks,” and Mr. Biden is not a man of particularly good judgement. He is friendly, occasionally humorous, but often dangerously naïve. And speaking candidly, there is nothing funny about that.