President Obama’s Ambassador to China and the “good friend” of Joe Biden is apparently so “concerned” about the United States “preventing China’s rise” he is now actively appearing on Chinese Communist Party media outlets to blast President Trump and parrot Chinese government talking points.
Max Baucus has turned his taxpayer-funded career politician status into a business consultancy for Chinese Communist Party-linked corporates like AliBaba, and now appears on Chinese state media outlets like CGTN, blasted by the Freedom House think tank as “A Long-standing Weapon in Beijing’s Arsenal of Repression”.
Baucus, 78, is a former Congressman, Senator, and political appointee to the high profile China Ambassadorship in 2014. He stayed in post until 2017, when President Trump was inaugurated.
BEIJING BIDEN’S BEIJING BUDDY.
He’s donated to Biden’s Senate and presidential campaigns, endorsed his 2020 bid with “no question in mind,” and even invited Biden to his wedding to his third wife, who also happened to be his state office director.
Biden, reportedly a “good friend” of Baucus’s, took Air Force Two to the wedding.
In the same speech where Biden extolled the merits of a “rising China,” he commended then-Ambassador Baucus as “a great friend and doing a great job.”
As “chief advocate” of Baucus’s ascension to ambassador, Joe Biden laid the groundwork for a nearly four-decades-long friend and who bizarrely admitted he was “no real expert on China.”
These connections proved lucrative.
Baucus now sits on the board of two Chinese Communist Party-linked companies: Alibaba and Ingram Micro.
Alibaba is China’s largest online commerce company with links to the CCP, and Ingram Micro was formerly an American technology company until, under Baucus’s watch, Tianjin Tianhai Investment (a subsidiary of the HNA Group the CCP is reportedly “nearing a takeover” of acquired it.
The Baucus Institute at the University of Montana also partnered with China-based company Wanxiang to introduce a study-abroad program in China.
Wanxiang has a long track record of corruption, adding connected individuals to its rolodex, as Peter Schweizer points out in Secret Empires:
“It has also collected powerful political friends on both sides of the aisle, by putting them and their family members on the payroll. Along the way, it has skated past federal regulations and avoided sanctions for doing business in North Korea that have plagued other companies. It offers a powerful illustration of how politically connected firms make members of the American political class wealthy while getting special treatment in the United States.”
The company is also an enabler of outsourcing American jobs with its “China-America Source Program” and has been known to gobble up American companies – nearly two dozen – since its founding in 1994. Despite this, Biden invited company executives to come to the U.S. and tour American cities, eyeing potential industries and companies for expansion.
Baucus also spoke at the Chamber of Commerce’s China Business Conference that “provides business executives with unparalleled networking opportunities on China” and is an honorary advisor to the U.S.-China Policy Foundation which “has assisted a number of major American business enterprises to develop their business opportunities in China since the 1990s.”
Chinese companies tend not to want to appoint people who have worked in the interests of the United States, raising the questions as to whether or not Baucus used his position as U.S. Ambassador not only to sell America out, but perhaps also to cut himself in.
His private-sector dealings are a mirror image of his pro-China track record from his 40-year tenure in Congress, facilitating China’s entrance to the World Trade Organization, appointment of Most Favored Nation status, and advocating for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). These trade deals catalyzed Chinese expansion into U.S. businesses and cost America millions of jobs.
And Baucus holds no remorse: In 2018, he claimed “admitting China into the WTO was right”.
‘BIDEN WON’T CRITICIZE CHINA… HE’S SMARTER THAN THAT’
Excerpts from Baucus’s commentary in Western media outlets appear as Chinese state media op-eds peddling anti-American narratives including “U.S. politicians turn a natural disaster into a human-caused catastrophe.”
But the most egregious example came just one week ago, wherein Baucus appeared on CGTN’s ‘The Heat’ podcast with Anand Naidoo, a former CNN and Al Jazeera host.
Naidoo pushes the Chinese government line: “If we look at the timeline of what happened we see that China was being as open as it could at the time”. Baucus nods along: “That would be my guess, too. That’s my reading of the information. The data.”
Except that’s not what happened. At all.
China willfully hid the virus, suppressed local doctors who tried to raise the alarm, and pressured the World Health Organization to ignore protests from Taiwan about human-to-human transmission as far back as December 31st. The Chinese Communist Party also allowed infected citizens to travel outside the country for almost the entire first month of the year.
“[Trump] is largely scapegoating China,” Baucus risibly claims during the CGTN podcast before advocating for Joe Biden to become U.S. President after the election in November.
Asked what would happen in terms of U.S.-China relations if Biden becomes president, Baucus insists: “I think you will see Joe Biden will not publicly criticize China nearly as much. He’s smarter than that… he knows if you want to work with China you have to say things that won’t upset China.”
A ‘WEAPON IN THE ARSENAL OF REPRESSION’.
Freedom House’s Sarah Cook wrote of CGTN in September 2019:
CGTN’s Facebook page now boasts over 85 million followers spread around the globe… interspersed with the relatively benign content are a series of posts and ads that liken Hong Kong protesters to terrorists or repeat proven fabrications like a report claiming that protesters carrying toy weapons were armed with a US-made grenade launcher.
Baucus fretted in an interview for CGTN last year: “I’m concerned there are many in the U.S. who think we should maybe prevent China’s rise.”
He even accepts China’s rise, emphasizing the U.S. needs to be welcoming of this inevitable conclusion: “As a rising Asian power, [China], not too many years from now will have an economy that exceeds the size of the United States […] The United States has to recognize that and figure out, okay, that’s a reality, that’s going to happen. China’s going to be big.”
Baucus rejects US economic independence from China: “It is wrong to talk about decoupling because that has very negative connotations.”
On Chinese state media, Baucus recently doubled down on remarks he made during a CNN interview accusing the Trump Administration’s China rhetoric and policy of resembling Nazi Germany and McCarthyism:
“We are entering kind of an era which is similar to Joe McCarthy back when he was red-baiting [the] State Department in attacking communism [and] a little bit like Hitler in the 30s in that a lot of people knew what was going on was wrong, they knew it was wrong, but they didn’t stand up and say anything about it, they felt intimidated.”
One wonders if Trump is McCarthy in the analogy, does that make Max Baucus Alger Hiss?