At a CNN town hall on Thursday night, moderator Anderson Cooper spent the evening throwing batting practice to Joe Biden. After most questions from the friendly crowd, Cooper would swoop in with some very easy question, clearly lined up for a slam-dunk answer. But when the subject of China arose, something strange happened. Biden did not give the answer that Cooper was clearly fishing for.
Watch what happens when Biden is asked if he considers China “an opponent.”
The context in the clip is fascinating. Biden clearly has no problem identifying Russia as a geopolitical foe, and fair enough, it is. But why the reticence to describe China as one also when Cooper gave him the chance?
After all, this is a communist government that lied about the Wuhan Virus causing misery all over the world, they support the murderous regime in North Korea, they are building a huge navy to challenge the US, they steal our state secrets and intellectual property, and oh yeah, by the way, they operate concentration camps for Muslims. These are opponents.
So what word does Joe Biden prefer? “Competitor.” China is not our competitor. The lady in your bridge club is your competitor, that guy at work who keeps getting promotions is your competitor. Canada, now there is a classic “competitor.” China is not; it is much more than that.
What is really exposed here is that Joe Biden still prefers the post-Cold War neoliberal position that if we just engage more economically with the communists they will naturally liberalize. It is a policy of abject failure, but one Biden is willing to double down on.
But why? Why can’t Biden see what almost everyone else does? That China is the largest threat to American authority in the world, and that its vision of a global future runs counter to that of the United States or any free nation. A cynic might believe it is because of his or his family’s economic ties to China, or because just as Russia has interfered in our election on behalf of Trump, we now know from intelligence that China is trying to help Biden.
Whatever the reason, Biden is making it perfectly clear that he is the last man Americans should want dealing with the emerging super power that is China. China would eat Joe Biden’s lunch. We need leadership in the White House that sees the Chinese threat for what it is, and that understands we can never go back to the old ways of Chinese appeasement in exchange for a few dollars off on flat screen TVs.
If Joe Biden can’t even say that China is an opponent of the United States, how can he possibly win in a geopolitical fight against them? He is surrendering at a town hall. That is not what America needs and it’s not what the world needs.