When It Comes to China, Sleepy Joe Biden Is Still Snoozing

by Curtis Ellis  

History will record our China policy as a bigger disaster than the second Iraq war: The number of Americans killed by overdoses of Chinese fentanyl and other drugs in just one year – 70,000 – far outstrips all deaths from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined. 

Chinese communist subsidies and predatory trade practices have destroyed millions of jobs and thousands of communities across our country. 

China’s espionage, theft of trade secrets and forced technology transfer amount to the greatest illegitimate transfer of wealth in human history. China spends its newfound wealth on military and influence operations that undermine the U.S. 

The worst part is our elected officials let this happen – and Joe Biden was key among them. 

After President Trump called out the threat the Chinese communist regime poses to the U.S. and Western industrial democracies, the rest of the world finally woke up. 

Everyone but Sleepy Joe Biden, that is. 

The man who chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, served as vice president for eight years and now wants the top job believes China is no big deal

Proving he’s still asleep, Joe Biden told an Iowa campaign rally, “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man -- China isn’t in competition with us. They can't even figure out how to deal with the fact that they have this great division between the China Sea and the mountains in the east, I mean the west. They can’t figure out how they’re going to deal with the corruption that exists within the system. They’re not bad folks, folks. Guess what -- they’re not competition for us." 

Ironically, he delivered his remarks on the holiest day in the communist calendar, May 1. 

He should know better. But when you look at Biden’s history with China, it’s clear he has learned nothing and forgotten nothing. 

Joe Biden led the charge for closer economic ties with China, ties that Beijing has used to rope in American capital and strangle working Americans. 

The story of Biden’s continuing love affair with Beijing begins in 2000, at the end of the Clinton administration, when the Senate voted to grant China most-favored-nation trade status – in other words, to give Beijing’s communist dictatorship the same preferential treatment we accord our staunchest allies. 

The opposition in the Senate spanned the political spectrum, from conservative firebrand Jesse Helms to liberal icon Paul Wellstone. They saw the China deal as a threat to American values and American workers. 

After all, this was the regime that murdered peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square and independent labor union leaders, that exported goods made with slave labor, that persecuted people of faith for practicing their religion and that performed forced abortions on women in their final days of pregnancy. 

As a result of these well-known and undisputed atrocities, Congress conditioned our trade relations with China on an annual review of Beijing’s human rights record. 

But President Clinton, with the support of ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joe Biden, wanted Congress to dispense with an annual review. Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Beijing would give corporate America the certainty it needed to invest up to the hilt in China and replace well-paid American workers with Chinese workers earning 18 cents an hour. 

Senators recognized they were about to take the most important vote of their careers.  Helms called the measure “the most ill-advised piece of legislation to come to the Senate floor in my 28 years as a member of this body.” 

He was right.  Every warning Helms, Wellstone and others made 20 years ago has proven true and everything they said would go wrong has. Their defeated amendments to temper an open-ended engagement with China are a roster of chickens that have come home to roost: 

Then, as now, the Chinese Communist Party was conducting arbitrary arrests, torture and execution of thousands of Uighurs in northwest China. Beijing now imprisons millions -- rather than thousands -- of Uighurs in “re-education” concentration camps. 

Then, as now, the Chinese Communist Party was harassing, incarcerating, and torturing “people on the basis of their religion,” and closing and demolishing “mosques, temples, seminaries, Catholic churches, and Protestant “house churches.'' 

Then, as now, the Chinese Communist bosses imprisoned union leaders and organizers. 

Then, as now, “violence against women exists in the People's Republic of China, including coercive family planning practices such as forced abortion and forced sterilization, prostitution, discrimination against women, trafficking in women and children, abuse of children, and discrimination against the disabled and minorities.” 

“They are not bad folks,” Joe Biden says. 

Helms, Wellstone and others offered amendment after amendment to ensure China respects religious freedom, ends forced abortion, bans prison labor and stops persecuting union organizers. 

Joe Biden voted against them all. Now he says they are not bad folks. 

Paul Wellstone, the most progressive, pro-union senator in a hundred years, warned American manufacturing would be destroyed as multinational corporations moved U.S. factories to China. 

Joe Biden dismissed Wellstone with a sneer, saying, “Nor do I see a collapse of the American manufacturing economy, as China, a nation with the impact on the world economy about the size of the Netherlands, suddenly becomes our major economic competitor.” 

Like Rip Van Winkle, Joe has slept for decades as China rose to become “our major economic competitor,” even during the Obama administration as China built stationary aircraft carriers in the South China Sea, annexing international territory to block our Navy from defending our East Asian allies. 

These are the “not bad folks,” as Joe Biden says. 

What’s afflicting Joe is worse than narcolepsy. It is venality. 

Helms said the China deal would serve the business interests of the corporate sector but the Senate “must not confuse business interests with the national interest of the American people.”  

Joe ignored that warning. Since then, he used his connections as vice president to serve the business interests of his family. 

Investigative journalist Peter Schweizer documents how Joe’s son Hunter Biden traveled to China in 2013 aboard Air Force Two with the vice president’s official delegation. Ten days later, Hunter’s private equity firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received $1 billion from the state-owned Bank of China to invest in American companies. 

It only gets worse. 

Hunter Biden’s investment fund went into partnership with a Chinese military contractor that produces bombers, fighters and drones to purchase an American manufacturer of precision parts used in military hardware.  

Upton Sinclair said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” 

Joe Biden insists China is not our competitor because China is a partner in his family’s business. He has confused his business interests with the national interest of the American people. 

Like the global corporations that sent jobs, capital and technology to China, and the politicians who let them do it, Joe Biden got rich selling out his countrymen. 

Curtis Ellis is senior policy adviser with America First Policies. He was a senior policy adviser with the Donald Trump campaign.

Copyright © 2019 Curtis Ellis, All rights reserved.