The Democratic nominee for the US Presidential polls has dug a nice political grave for himself, and we bet the 77-year old did not even realise. Joe Biden doesn’t even realise how Trump has made a huge electoral issue out of China and that an overwhelming percentage of Americans view Beijing unfavourably.
In a shocking stance, the former Vice-President has promised to end Trump’s tariff war on China, if the 77-year old gets elected this November. Biden’s absurd remarks came during an exchange with Lulu Garcia-Navarro.
Navarro said, “Some have said Trump’s stance is a good one to counter China’s influence,” and asked Biden, “Would you keep the tariffs?” And then Biden committed a major gaffe even by his own standards. Biden said, “No. Hey, look, who said Trump’s idea’s a good one?” He added, “Manufacturing has gone into a recession. Agriculture lost billions of dollars that taxpayers had to pay.”
Garcia-Navarro however fired another question at Biden and asked, “If you scrap those tariffs, what do you want in return, or are you just going to scrap them without any concessions?” An unconvincing Biden replied, “No, no, here’s the deal. The question is what is the appropriate behaviour that they have to engage in international relations, in international trade with us, and they have to play by the international rules. And what we have done is we have disarmed ourselves.”
The multilateral approach therefore means that if elected to power, Biden will not confront China and will give Xi Jinping the breathing space by removing Trump’s tariffs that are ransacking the Chinese economy.
Biden’s campaign managers are now having a hard time covering his goof-ups. One of Biden’s aides reportedly told a Washington Post reporter that no final decision has been made to remove tariffs. The aide has been quoted as saying, “His position is unchanged: he would re-evaluate the tariffs upon taking office. He was obviously responding to the notion that ‘Trump’s stance is a good one to counter China’s influence.’” Of course, a 77-year old Biden did not have the acumen to answer properly and his aide had to come to his rescue.
Such awkward moments separate a left-liberal Biden from a right-winger Trump. While conservative ideology finds its basis in native thought, leftist ideology is usually detached from ground realities.
As for Trump, he understands that China is Washington’s biggest strategic rival and not just a benign economic competitor. Therefore, Trump has taken stern actions in order to make China his biggest electoral issue. Trump is promising to ban Chinese apps, closing Chinese consulates, arresting Chinese spies posing as students, stepping up military presence in the South China Sea and imposing steep tariffs on Chinese goods.
On the other hand, Biden is stuck in the Obama era when the 77-year old Democrat was the Vice-President. The Obama administration itself relied upon utopian and impractical ideas of avoiding military confrontation with China by reducing freedom of navigation exercises in the South China Sea and ensuring that Beijing grew as a “responsible stakeholder” in the existing world order.
Obama administration used to rely on mild rhetoric when China harmed US interests, but times have changed now though Biden doesn’t understand that.
With no skin in the game, Biden wants to walk a fine line on Beijing and recognise the need for co-existence, at a time when Americans want a President who punishes China for its misadventures. This is nothing less than a brutal political suicide. If “Beijing Biden” thinks that Americans will support him in his rapprochement with China because the 77-year old wants to reinvigorate the Paris Climate Agreement with Xi Jinping’s assistance, then he has grossly misread the electoral sentiment.
We cannot however blame Biden alone for his ignorance. His campaign has been hijacked by radical leftist, Bernie Sanders. After being defeated by Joe Biden in the nomination, Sanders’ staff joined the former’s campaign and innocuously started injecting their own ‘liberal’ ideas. To be fair, Biden’s original campaign wasn’t drenched in any glory either but with Sanders’ staff, it has literally lost all substance.
The promise to end Trump’s tariff war in Beijing is hardly the first blunder that Biden has committed. The 77-year old is, in fact, a gaffe factory. At the top of the list being the accounts of several women about how he has made inappropriate physical contact with them. We, of course, cannot forget the moment when Ashton Carter was being sworn in as the Secretary of Defence and right there, Biden has put his hands on Carter’s wife Stephanie’s shoulders, rubbing them and whispering something into her ear.
Last year only, there was a major slip-up when Biden announced that he was running for White House. After cheers from the crowd, Biden said, “didn’t mean it”. His Presidential campaign too had cringeworthy moments including the one involving his overenthusiastic supports/advertisers when they greeted the former Vice-Preident with their own take on “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” by the Backstreet Boys (“Joe Biden / yeah yeah / Joe Biden / Biden’s back / all right”).
Biden’s pro-China policy is no different- it is unoriginal, detached from reality and uninspiring. It is a matter of time before he realises what a massive self-goal he has scored with the promise to remove Trump’s tariffs on China.