When China talks about a “new window of hope” in its relationship with the U.S., one listens with a bit of apprehension. When that “new window of hope” involves the incoming Biden administration, that goes well beyond garden-variety trepidation.
“China-U.S. relations have come to a new crossroads, and a new window of hope is opening,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in an interview published on Jan. 2.
Wang sounded positively ebullient in several interviews with the Chinese media organizations last weekend, a marked difference from the po-faced, controlled anger directed toward President Donald Trump’s administration with near uniformity.
Wang said the Biden administration would “return to a sensible approach, resume dialogue with China, restore normalcy to the bilateral relations and restart cooperation.”
The Trump administration, meanwhile, had America “see[ing] China as the so-called biggest threat” and led to “serious misconceptions,” according to Wang.
“What has happened proves that the U.S. attempt to suppress China and start a new Cold War has not just seriously harmed the interests of the two peoples, but also caused severe disruptions to the world. Such a policy will find no support and is doomed to fail,” he said.
And then there was this chef’s kiss of a line: “We know that some in the United States are uneasy about China’s rapid development. However, the best way to keep one’s lead is through constant self-improvement, not by blocking others’ development,” Wang said.
“We believe that as long as the United States can draw lessons from the past and work with China in the same direction, the two countries are capable of resolving differences through dialogue and expanding converging interests by cooperation.”
We wouldn’t be so uneasy about “China’s rapid development” if part of that development wasn’t built on the back of intellectual property theft. In fact, one way to constantly self-improve would be to stop others from stealing your IP — which is what the Trump administration does.
That said, it’s worth noting there’s a pretty good reason why they might be enthusiastic over a Biden administration — and not just because they no longer have to deal with President Trump.
In 2011 and 2013, then-Vice President Biden visited China and met with then-Vice President Xi Jinping. You could tell them apart because Xi’s hair looked more real and Biden was elected to his position. You could also tell them apart by the dad jokes out of Biden’s mouth, something that Reuters managed to squeeze an article out of.
“Good to see you again,” Xi said at a meeting in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. “I know you are very busy with national affairs at home.”
“You are national affairs,” Biden told America’s biggest creditor.
He then found a “familiar face during introductions to the Chinese delegation.”
“Remember what I told you last time: if I had hair like yours I’d be president,” he said.
Three hours later, Xi may or may not have offered to have the man strapped down to a table for a procedure in which his scalp was transplanted onto Biden’s. I can neither confirm nor deny. Actually, I can deny, because like most of the details of Xinhua’s reporting, that was made up.
All kidding aside — and that wasn’t really kidding — given the relationship between the two countries under the Obama administration, it’s unsurprising China wants Biden in power, even though he’s repositioned himself as a China hawk.
“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.”
So positive, in fact, he thought it was a great place for his son Hunter to conduct business.
The Trump administration took Beijing on as the existential threat that it is. Good luck seeing that with the Biden administration.
Instead, I hope you like dad jokes about the old one-child policy.
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