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Biden Dismissed China Threat Last Year, but Trump's Been Warning Us Since 2012

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As we head further into the 2020 election season and delve deeper into the defining issue of the presidential race, it is abundantly clear that presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has always had a soft spot for China.

While the full scope of the health and economic damage brought to the U.S. by the coronavirus is not yet known, we know with full certainty that Biden has been dismissive of the Chinese communist regime’s potential to wreak havoc on American life for years.

Although few outside of China and the World Health Organization realized the full scope of how far the contagious disease could have spread, when looking back at how Biden and President Donald Trump have each discussed China’s global leadership aspirations, the Democrat stands out as a candidate with a history of dismissing Beijing as America’s most prominent geopolitical foe.

Biden not only has been dismissive of China’s standing as an adversary to the U.S. but also has praised the authoritarian country.

“Let me be clear — let me be clear:  I believed in 1979 and said so and I believe now that a rising China is a positive development, not only for the people of China but for the United States and the world as a whole,” Biden said in an August 2011 speech in Chengdu, China, while serving as former President Barack Obama’s vice president.

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“A rising China will fuel economic growth and prosperity, and it will bring to the fore a new partner with whom we can meet global challenges together,” he said.

Last year, while speaking in Iowa after launching his presidential campaign, Biden bucked the notion that China’s relationship to American interests is adversarial.

“China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man,” Biden said. “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. But guess what? They’re not competition for us,” he added.

Biden made similar comments in January, according to the Washington Examiner.

“We talk about China as our competitor? We should be helping and benefiting ourselves by doing that,” he said. “But the idea that China is going to eat our lunch? It was like I remember debates in the late ’90s — remember Japan was gonna own us? Give me a break.”

The comments have not aged well, seeing as a virus China lied about has now killed tens of thousands of Americans and has altered all of life in this country.

They are also alarming when you consider the fact that China is attempting to use its response to the COVID-19 pandemic to bolster its standing as a global power.

Dr. Keyu Jin, an associate professor at the London School of Economics, told CNBC earlier this month that Chinese government officials are seizing on the coronavirus crisis to further their interests.

“I think this is the opportunity of the century for China to build trust in the world, which it has found so difficult to come by as a rising nation, and to rebuild its international image,” she said.

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“China doesn’t [want to] waste an opportunity like this.”

In contrast to Biden, Trump has been consistent in his statements criticizing China’s military and economic ambitions for years — if not decades.

While Biden has routinely downplayed China’s potential to damage the country economically, Trump has criticized both China and his predecessors in the White House for facilitating an environment that has strengthened China at the expense of working Americans through poor leadership and bad trade deals.

As a part of their campaign to hurt the president politically during the COVID-19 pandemic, the establishment media have painted a picture in recent weeks that Trump is in some way pro-China or too friendly toward Chinese President Xi Jinping.

CNN — which itself has embraced Chinese propaganda — published a report weeks ago about the president’s “friendly tone” with China and accused his administration of sending mixed messages about Beijing.

Biden, too, has also suddenly found criticism for Chinese leadership with regard to his criticism of Trump.

“The uncomfortable truth is that Donald Trump left America exposed and vulnerable to this pandemic. He ignored the warnings of health experts and intelligence agencies and put his trust in China’s leaders instead,” the former vice president said last week, according to Reuters.

Do you think China should face consequences for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic?

While Trump has approached China as a statesman in recent weeks, likely trying to ease tensions and protect a trade deal signed in January that will see China double its purchasing of goods from American farmers, the president has also been clear that China should face punishment for unleashing a deadly pandemic on the U.S. and the rest of the world “if knowingly responsible.”

“It could have been stopped in China before it started, and it wasn’t. And the whole world is suffering because of it,” Trump said at Saturday’s White House coronavirus media briefing.

The president also warned of possible “consequences” against China for the spread of the virus.

But putting politics and the current crisis aside, Trump’s distrust of China is well-documented.

In 2012, he tweeted, “We have to get tough with China before they destroy us.”

That’s a pretty strong statement — especially in contrast to statements made by Biden and compared with ongoing events.

Other statements made by Trump well before he launched his White House bid outline that Trump has consistently viewed China as the country’s chief rival.

Trump said on ABC News’ “Good Morning America” in 2015, “But when you see China, these are fierce people in terms of negotiation. They want to take your throat out, they want to cut you apart. These are tough people. I’ve dealt with them all my life.”

In a segment in 2019 on “Frontline,” PBS shared Trump’s more than three-decade-old crusade warning Americans of the threat posed by Japan, and later China, with regard to imbalanced trade deals that bolstered the country’s adversaries.



While Biden and many other Democrats have downplayed the threat from China and criticized Trump for his desire to see the U.S. — and not its geopolitical rivals — prosper, Trump has consistently used his voice to warn of the dangers posed by China’s ambition.

As our country grapples with how to deal with the fallout of COVID-19 — which will likely be the defining issue of the upcoming election — Americans will likely be tasked with choosing between Biden, who has been instrumental in propping up China and overseeing American jobs shipped overseas, and a man who has spent decades warning them of the threat posed by China’s global aspirations.

As China strives to become the pre-eminent global power and American citizens continue to pay the price for our reliance on cheap Chinese goods, medical equipment and medicine, the contrast between Trump and Biden couldn’t be more clear.

The president is not only the leader the country needs as it navigates the current crisis, but also the leader needed to hold China accountable for its actions and to guide Americans down a path toward self-reliance.

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Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor and a producer in radio, television and digital media. He is a proud husband and father.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.




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