April 12, 2021

Can the Biden Administration Stop China?

The acrid atmosphere last week at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska, with its vivid murals of the 18th-century British seafarer James Cook’s discoveries throughout the Pacific, sounds very much like the acrid atmosphere almost exactly 60 years ago in the Beaux-Arts American and Soviet embassies in Vienna: grim, at least for the United States.

Vienna was where the 42-year-old President John Kennedy met the 67-year-old Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, who, as Kennedy, told The New York Times’ James Reston immediately afterward, “beat the hell” out of him.

We don’t know whether Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan felt the same way about their treatment by their Chinese counterparts, Foreign Secretary Wang Yi and foreign affairs chief Yang Jiechi. But they had reason to.

Blinken, limiting himself to an agreed-on two minutes, started off by extolling “the rules-based international order” touted by the administrations of Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, and lamented recent Chinese actions in Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Yang took 15 minutes to demand that the U.S. “fully abandon the hegemonic practice of willfully interfering in China’s internal affairs” and said China believed in “the United Nations-centered international system,” not “the rules-based international order … advocated by a small number of countries.”

Moreover, Yang said: “the challenges facing the United States in human rights are deep-seated. They did not just emerge over the past four years, such as Black Lives Matter.” China’s communists turned the Biden Democrats’ cheap-shot attacks on former President Trump’s and Republicans’ “systemic racism” and “white supremacy” against America itself.

“Many people within the United States,” Yang went on, apparently aware that Joe Biden hasn’t enjoyed the usual new president’s honeymoon in the polls, “actually have little confidence in the democracy of the United States.”

There was no question about Yang’s contempt. “The United States does not have the qualification to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength,” he said.

That is dangerous stuff. In Vienna, Kennedy was appalled by Khrushchev’s threats to block the United States from West Berlin and his insouciance about nuclear war. In Anchorage, Blinken and Sullivan showed awareness of China’s ruthlessness in Xinjiang, its breaking treaty obligations and its stamping out political opposition in Hong Kong. But both are done deals.

Looking ahead, their foremost concern is whether China is bent on absorbing Taiwan, “an inalienable part of China’s territory,” Yang insisted. The U.S. has agreed to recognize that view ever since Henry Kissinger laid the groundwork for Richard Nixon’s landmark 1972 visit to China.

But under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, we’ve provided military aid and cheered on Taiwan’s transition to political democracy and its enormous economic growth symbolized by its near monopoly in high-tech semiconductor manufacturing.

Now Taiwan’s separate existence seems threatened by China’s increasing military strength and open rejection of rules-based order. British historian Niall Ferguson sees a Chinese military attack on Taiwan as possible, quite possibly successful and, if so, hugely consequential. “Losing — or not even fighting for — Taiwan would be seen all over Asia as the end of American predominance in the region we now call the ‘Indo-Pacific,'” he says.

The Biden administration, like the Trump administration, seems to be trying to prevent this. Before the Anchorage meeting, Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with counterparts in Japan and South Korea, and afterward, Austin went on to India. The prospects for “Four Partner” — U.S., Japan, India, Australia — cooperation to cabin in China seem good. Britain, perhaps chastened by the crumpling of its Hong Kong agreement with China, pledges in its Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy to be “the European partner with the broadest and most integrated presence in the Indo-Pacific.”

One question now is whether the Biden administration will follow up on the Pacific Deterrence Initiative passed by Congress and signed by Trump last December. As Elbridge Colby and Walter Slocombe, Pentagon appointees in the Trump and Clinton administrations, respectively, write, “The United States needs to establish an effective forward defense that can, alongside the efforts of its allies and partners, blunt any Chinese attack on an ally or Taiwan” — a $20 billion-plus enterprise.

That’s not a small change, especially in a country with two distrusting political parties, both with strong pulls toward isolationism. But the alternatives are grimmer. All-out war over Taiwan would have horrifying human and economic costs. Looking on while China conquers 24 million people would be, as Ferguson writes, “the American Suez,” an abdication of hard and soft power in the 2,500-mile radius Valeriepieris circle centered on the South China Sea, where half the world’s people live.

American public opinion over the last five years has turned bipartisanly critical of China. But can a hyperpartisan administration firm up the bipartisan support needed for a credible policy of deterrence against Chinese aggression against Taiwan?

Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and longtime co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.

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28 Responses

  1. democrat party does not have what it takes to deal with china
    the job is too big for democrats
    everything democrats do turns wrong
    no experience, no values, no truth , full of lies
    are you going to publish my comments ? or judge them because you do not like them?
    do not have USA first but last
    power hungry only bullies

    1. i MUST SAY BLINKEN ACTED LIKE A TOTAL WIMP. i would have walked out on the chinks and left them talking to themselves. And on top of everything he apologized …AGAIN another obama disgusting move..

  2. Biden won’t “stand-up” against his benefactors in China, maybe we Americans need to learn Chinese mandarin!!!!

    1. I think your right Robert. Blinken is NO Pampae (sp) they are afraid of China and will hold their coats. ChinaJoe is a weak person and the world knows it. GOD help us.

  3. UNLESS WE THE PEOPLE OVERTHROW THIS LIBERAL APPOINTED GROUP OF COWARDS, THOSE LITTLE SLANT EYED HEATHENS WILL DO AS THEY PLEASE !!!! NUKE CHINA…..TODAY !!!!!!

    1. Oh Yeah…Two W-88 Warheads, one for Beijing & the other for Shanghai. MacArthur would be proud…Put a end to all the bull_hit…

    2. Not to mention the weak knee rhinos that are kissing there rear end. Isn’t this the reason that Trump was elected.

  4. The CCP reads this administration very well. They know that Biden is pretty much on life support. They also know that the Biden crime family is at the mercy of the CCP. Unless something happens very fast in Washington there will be WW3 coming very soon

  5. The leaders of other countries are going to walk all over this administration because they’re incapable of dealing with them,we are in big trouble

      1. No we need President Trump back, where he belongs, in the WH. Pompeo can handle China. And they weren’t bought, like biden/ harris dictatorship

  6. Democrats are useless, they can’t even find the outhouse, how can they lead this country. All that they know how to do is destroy, they nothing of building or making things stronger. The Democrats have been in power only two months, and they have ruined the country. Remember that old saying give the Democrats a country and they will give you back a slum.

  7. Why does Nancy need the National Guard:
    Pelosi needs the NG to protect her while she and the other Democrats are are busy undermining the constitution, and violating their oath of office. In other words they are committing treason, and using the NG for protection while they are doing it, by keeping the people out. Who is visiting the capital with the troops all over the place. Maybe a few Chinese?

  8. Solution to the problem:
    of the press vilifying the police, by accusing the police of hunting down and killing minorities. The press has no evidence of such a trend. They are using this only to increase their ratings and sell papers. This is done by vilifying and endangering law enforcement officers, putting them more at risk for doing their job. The solution is simply to make the media and the press, also print the justification for their reporting, in other words if they can’t report the facts they should not report anything. If they report something that later is found not to be true, they must print a redaction on the front page, that covers at least half of the page, a long with an apology to any that might have been aversely effected by the report. You would soon see better more responsible reporting when the press sees redactions on the front page instead of hiding them in back where they are never seen. I think that all states need to put a law on the books, that would require all papers to put redaction on the front page, a long with an apology to any that may have been aversely effected by the report. Also media outlets could put redactions on their home pages for all to see. Now don’t you think that would be a good thing. To see people like Suckerberg, Darcy, have to take responsibility for reporting on their sites.

    1. Obama is the one Pulling Biden s’ Strings And Obama s’ Idea For America From the very First days Was To Steal enough of Our Tax Dollars To Make him Rich And to start Tearing America Apart He had Two Full terms To get Started and has Worked In the dark agenda to keep his Work going He wants America To fail Completely For his Fathers Dreams I don’t Know How but we Have Too stop him And Democrats from reaching That Point and it has To get done Now

  9. Biden at the border:
    This is the mess that a duly unelected president has made for the country. A man who has no idea of what he is doing, and who ever is pulling his strings does not either. They don’t want to call this a crisis that it is challenging, well it is a CHALLENGING CRISIS, a mess of epic proportions that needs a man of epic proportion to solve it. It needs a Trump to trump it. The people now on the thrown have shown that they are not capable of handling the situation, and therefore need to step aside.

  10. NO & wont since too many bribes etc owed by US to China.
    Back to Obama era again..
    Unless someone goes rogue in State or Defense.

  11. Biden and Harris need to be impeached and any Democrat that can not stand for America and our Constitution need to go to. Call, write and email your Representatives Senators daily until we get results. Write to the supreme Court about the treason committed in the election. Urge them to rethink their decision to not look into the election fraud before our country goes down in flames.
    US Supreme Court, 1 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20543
    You cannot call or email — you must write a letter!!!
    Members of the House
    202-224-3841
    Members of the Senate
    202-224-3121
    TOLL FREE:
    866-272-6622

  12. This is the best time for China to do what they want with Taiwan. They
    made all those little islands in the South China Sea, to stop anyone from coming
    from the North. They only have to keep control of the South where Taiwan is.

  13. I have a lot of love for Kennedy but I also remember that when Kennedy came out of that

    meeting with a white face because Khrushchev scared the sh_t out of him. But Khrushchev

    knew Kennedy was not going to back down “period”!

  14. Research using unbiased source(never done by libs)
    2019 Unarm bl kld by plc 19
    2020 13
    BLM scam
    No systm rac. 40 mil bks, 3 mil plc
    Less than 20!

  15. Biden demented
    Harris immoral
    Pelosi crazed
    Blinken fool
    Austin: nutjob ruining military: stand down for indoctrination CRT. #1 mission military: promote LGBT, not protect US

    1. I just read the military said they have doctors ready to help trans transition. O m g Auston is a nut job but but biden and the left is pushing this .

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