Joe Biden solidified his reputation as a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sycophant and working class sellout with remarks at the US-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue in 2011.
“Middle-Class Joe” had a rare opportunity to confront the greatest threat to American workers – the CCP’s exploitative trading practices and job poaching ad infinitum – and he failed. Miserably.
Instead, he praised the relationship as a boon to American employment numbers and extolled the merits of a “rising China.”
It wasn’t a gaffe. It wasn’t a blunder. It was quintessential Biden.
In his opening statement, setting a tone of appeasement for the entire dialogue, he claimed: “Our trade supported over 500,000 jobs here in the United States, and we made tangible progress during President Hu’s visit especially in the areas of innovation, intellectual property, and exports, all of which we’re following up on.”
In reality, America has lost nearly 4 million jobs from China’s predatory trading practices in under 20 years, leaving factories and manufacturers reeling from the beltway’s complicity in CCP-spearheaded outsourcing. And the toll of this isn’t purely economic: “deaths of despair” have risen among the American working class, inextricably linked to China siphoning their jobs and livelihoods.
Biden also lets the CCP off the hook for currency manipulation, modern-day economic warfare, whereby China artificially devalues its currency to cheapen exports. And that’s on top of China’s lax environmental regulations and nonexistent human rights protections which keep production costs far too low for American companies to compete with.
And contrary to Biden’s insistence, the CCP has also failed to make any meaningful strides towards axing intellectual property theft. A study published by the US International Trade Commission the same year Biden praised China’s progress on the issue “estimated that if IP protection in just China were improved to a level comparable to that in the United States, the U.S. economy would obtain an estimated $107 billion in additional annual sales and net U.S. employment could increase by 2.1-million jobs.”
And China’s exports – in addition to the novel coronavirus – have even harmed American lives: Chinese toys are made with toxic lead paint; Chinese fish are carcinogenic due to the country’s polluted water; Chinese candy has been contaminated formaldehyde; and Chinese drywall is made with radioactive material.
And despite this long list of grievances, Biden pushed back against China only once throughout the entire speech: on the CCP’s dismal human rights record, calling the regime “friends” while doing so.
It’s just the latest evidence to give credence to his moniker “Beijing Biden,” beyond his son’s suspect dealings, belief that “China’s rise isn’t our demise,” and pre-ordained alliteration, begging the question, if this is the tone he takes when negotiating with the CCP in public how can Americans be sure he’ll hold China accountable, especially post-coronavirus?
And comments like “a rising China is a positive development” don’t instill much hope. An increasingly powerful and predatory China certainly doesn’t benefit the American middle class or Chinese citizens subject to the CCP’s relentless and brutal authoritarianism, emboldened by further economic success.
Yet Biden worships the CCP, praising the regime for “lifting tens of millions of people out of poverty and buil[ding] an economy that now helps fuel the world’s prosperity.” In reality, the only people who’ve prospered alongside China’s global ascent to power have been those of the Biden ilk, establishment politicians and businesses whose affinity for the “made in China” label has crippled the American working class.
While Biden is notorious for flip-flopping on every issue in the book, the one issue he’s consistent on is coddling China.
In his own words: “As a young member of the Foreign Relations Committee, I wrote and I said and I believed then what I believe now, that a rising China is a positive, positive development, not only for China, but for America and the world writ large.”
And history will continue to repeat itself. That’s why for the sake of the American middle class, “Biden 2020” must remain a pipe dream and not a reality.