Why Joe Biden is weak on China
Playing on a possibly apocryphal quote from the Roman statesman Cato the Elder, it can be said that Americans often care more about the pebble in their shoe than they do about foreign policy. But devastation from the coronavirus has given us pause to reassess this notion. Given the scrutiny of the role China played in the pandemic and a fraying of diplomatic ties, the Communist Party dictatorship could be a critical issue in our election this fall. For all of the flaws of Joe Biden as a candidate, his appeasement to Beijing could prove to be his ultimate downfall in this race.
China lied to the world from the start regarding the size and scope of the coronavirus. The coverup and delay in taking serious measures to contain the initial outbreak in the country lasted a shocking three weeks. This time likely increased the number of coronavirus cases by 95 percent and vastly expanded its geographic spread. Now that the coronavirus has become a major global health crisis, Beijing still continues to spread misinformation. Chinese authorities assert that 3,200 of their own people have died from the disease, while locals estimate that the true toll is 42,000.
Thousands of Americans are now dying each day in this pandemic. It has become obvious to anyone paying attention to the news that the blatant dishonesty of China is largely to blame for what has turned into one of the most tragic periods in our history. Come November, many voters will opt for a leader who will protect the interests of the United States in the face of an increasingly hostile and corrupt Communist Party regime.
While the coronavirus response efforts by President Trump have not been perfect, he was far ahead of the crowd when he banned travel from China three months ago. At a campaign rally, Biden called this national security measure “hysterical xenophobia” and “fear mongering.” Trump has held China responsible for brushing off the clear threat of the pandemic and declared, “The world is paying a very big price for what they did.”
Now more than 21,000 Americans have already lost their lives from the coronavirus. How many more would be dead today if travel restrictions were not implemented early on? How many additional men and women would be fighting for their lives in overcrowded hospitals if our country had a leader who simply elevates “wokeness” over firm action?
Leadership requires insight, and the White House acted decisively using the best information available. Trump has also gleaned perhaps the most important lesson of the pandemic, which is that the United States is too dependent on Chinese medical supplies. Years of outsourcing and lack of vision allowed Beijing to create a near monopoly on the raw materials our drug companies need to produce many essential medicines.
The administration is moving toward steps to launch domestic production in time for the next crisis. As a senior adviser with the Hastings Center has now explained, “If China shuts the door on exports of core components to make our medicine, within months our pharmacy shelves would become bare and our health care system would cease to function.”
Moreover, many aspects of the Trump campaign have been vindicated by recent events. The travel ban on China is just one portion. His rhetoric on the theft of our intellectual property is a crucial point, along with the fact that domestic production is a valuable asset. Increasing manufacturing at home is one of the most effective actions to deal with an external shock to the country, whether it be a disease, a conflict, or an oil supply disruption. Trump understands the drawbacks of unchecked globalism, which shows he is surprisingly strong at a time of great national need.
Indeed, Biden has downplayed the economic threat from China for years. Not understanding the hazard the repressive Commust Party regime has for the world is a dereliction of duty, especially for a seasoned candidate who held a top position in the White House for two terms. Biden is either hopelessly outclassed or playing politics in a generational crisis. Both are certainly unacceptable in the world that we live in today.
It is too early to predict the 2020 election results. Last month by itself felt like an eternity. What will happen in the next seven months remains to be seen. However, most Americans want an effective response to the deadly crisis our nation faces. They also want a leader who can call Xi Jinping and his cronies what they are, a dictatorship determined to overtake Western values. Biden is not the candidate to fulfill those wishes.
Kristin Tate is a libertarian writer and an analyst for Young Americans for Liberty. She is an author whose latest book is “How Do I Tax Thee? A Field Guide to the Great American Rip-Off.” Follow her on Twitter @KristinBTate.