What a joke, what a crime, what a miscarriage of diplomacy, what a failed summit between President Biden and China’s President Xi. What occurred in San Francisco last week – dubbed “successful” – was the worst face-to-face between an American president and a US adversary in 75 years, since Yalta.
If that was odd, when Xi finally took the call, Biden reading a cue card, Xi refused to offer anything, only agreeing to come to San Francisco to meet US business leaders – who he charged money to meet – then briefly after that sitting with Biden.
Biden’s team got on a knee to get those meetings reversed and had Xi meet Biden before meeting US business leaders, whom Xi charged $2000 a plate. Who says communists are not closet capitalists?
To accommodate the San Francisco venue, Biden had to have the self-absorbed, narcissistic Democrat governor of California – and flailing leftist mayor – put (literally) $100 million into “cleaning up” the trashed city – hiding illegal aliens, drug traffickers, homeless camps, garbage.
Some may remember the old “Potemkin Village” story – from Russia, creation of a “sham city” to make horrible conditions look good for elites. Have we become “they”?
Then get to the guts of this “Second Yalta.” While no treaty will follow, the Chinese leader-for-life and cardboard, card reading, barely understandable US president, was mortifying. Biden stumbled through a slurred reading, at his right a strangely scowling Secretary of State, at his left elbow an obviously bored Secretary of Treasury.
When all over, Xi pushing Biden as one would a subservient client state in ways verbal, symbolic, and physical – even looking disinterested, Biden was rolled out to speak. What did he do? Claimed victory, much as the immobile, fading, sad FDR did after Yalta.
Biden claimed a diplomatic breakthrough by reopening military and crisis lines with this “peer competitor,” and securing a promise by China to stop fentanyl trafficking.
Translation: Xi agreed to take future calls from Biden and Defense, previously ignored and made his tenth empty promise to get after fentanyl, a non-bomb killer of Americans.
Reality: Xi seems to think Biden is a stumbling dope, desperate beggar for respect, maybe also a bad actor, slack brain, little memory, with no will to be defiant, a malleable client.
Adding insult to injury, Biden tells us he excuses Xi’s spy balloons, massive affairs loitering over US military bases and ICBM fields for two weeks, before – he proudly says – he shot them down. He says President Xi can be forgiven, as he did not know about them. Um, right.
Finally, Biden did the unthinkable. He green-lighted his “friend” Mr. Xi for Taiwan, not even mentioning Taiwan by name at the press conference, on a day when the Chinese foreign ministry said they are “unstoppable” on Taiwan. Taiwan must be in shock.
This – this blundering, blind, coddling, one-act play, this skit, with cue cards and appeasement, watching our president stepped all over – passes for diplomacy? Hardly.
At risk of making readers as upset as the writer, this was a real embarrassment. If Yalta gave away Eastern Europe to the Soviets, this Yalta-light conference signaled what Xi hoped to see, a deferential president, no spine, strength of character, will or sense of his nation’s power, the sand gone, final hour.
What comes next? No one can say, but one thing we know is that this was a solid win for Communist China, another forced error, a needless loss for America. What a joke, what a crime, what a miscarriage of diplomacy, what a failed summit between Biden and Xi. Where it leads, we will now see.
Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.