In a sign of how far and fast relations between China and the United States are falling, the nations can’t even agree on what their leaders said to each other in a conversation. It’s a tale of two versions of one telephone call.
The White House insists President Biden scolded Chinese President Xi Jinping about forced labor and genocide involving the Uyghur Muslims. China says that’s fake news and that Biden never raised either topic during the Thursday call between the two men.
On the other hand, China’s official readout of the call says its leader warned against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plan to visit Taiwan during a trip to the region, saying “those who play with fire will perish by it” and officials later suggested a visit would be seen as an invasion of China itself.
In response to questions, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to confirm or deny that Xi said anything of the sort about Pelosi, adding “I’m not going to speak to that statement.”
So, what’s the truth? Did Biden deliver on his promise to stand up for human rights? Did China effectively threaten World War III if Pelosi goes ahead with the Taiwan visit?
The questions are straightforward and the answers should be, too. Instead, we are left guessing about who said what.
It doesn’t have to be that way. An obvious solution is for the White House to release portions of the call transcript that relate to those issues.
The fact that it hasn’t suggests Biden is not playing straight with the American people. If he’s got nothing to hide, he can prove it by releasing the transcript.
Although both issues represent important elements of our foreign policy, the Taiwan matter is absolutely critical. China’s clear desire to gobble up the island democracy and its frequent invasion simulations mark a new, menacing belligerence that is alarming our Asian allies, especially Japan and South Korea.
While US policy about Taiwan’s status has been labeled “strategic ambiguity,” Biden has caused confusion about what America would do in response to a Chinese invasion. On three earlier occasions, he said America would defend Taiwan “militarily” if China invaded. And three times White House aides walked back his statements, saying that was not US policy, which is limited to selling Taiwan equipment to defend itself.
Yet now it seems that a mere visit by Pelosi is grounds for Chinese threats of military action. If in fact Xi said anything suggesting as much on the call, then China has unilaterally changed the rules of the arrangement and promised war if America does not comply.
That’s a monumental event, which is why it is imperative that the American public know not only what Xi said, but exactly how Biden responded.
One possibility is that the president promised Pelosi wouldn’t make the visit. On one hand, that would not be totally surprising given that Biden said days ago that a stop in Taiwan “was not a good idea.” There also are reports the administration privately urged her to skip Taiwan on the trip, which began Friday.
That was a weak position then, with GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell saying that letting China dictate the terms would be “a victory of sorts” for the Communist nation. Now the ante has been raised and for Biden to back down in the face of public threats would be an even more significant sign of American weakness.
Moreover, a cancellation of the visit would amount to a slap of Taiwan and its people. It would also tell China it can restrict where top American officials are free to travel.
In short, what actually took place on the phone call is potentially a very big deal in terms of US-China relations and regional security. The White House refusal to come clean suggests the truth is not Biden’s friend.
Moreover, the incident cannot be separated from suspicions that Biden is severely compromised when it comes to dealing with China. It is an undisputed fact that his son Hunter Biden, his brother Jim Biden and other long-time family associates received more than $11 million from a Chinese conglomerate with ties to the Communist Party.
Joe Biden was vice president when that arrangement began in 2015, and there is solid evidence he was the “big guy” in line for a secret 10% cut of expected billions in a joint venture.
Increasingly, Joe Biden’s alleged role looks to be linked to the snail’s pace of the so-called FBI investigation of Hunter, which is now in its fourth year without a single indictment being filed. GOP congressional leaders, long suspicious the bureau was dragging its feet to protect the president, now claim more than 10 whistleblowers have come forward to complain that agents, working with congressional Democrats, are dismissing allegations against the Bidens as “disinformation” without even investigating them.
Those reports and the slowness of the probe led former Attorney General Bill Barr to reverse himself and say last week that a special prosecutor should take over the case.
Speaking to the Federalist, Barr said that “Intervening events, especially recent reports about FBI whistleblowers and the possible reach of the investigation, warrant adding the protections of special counsel status to assure that key decisions are made independently without political favor.”
The comments amount to another hot potato in the lap of Attorney General Merrick Garland. Already pressured by Democrats to indict former president Donald Trump over his actions before and during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Garland now finds himself facing growing allegations that the president who appointed him is part of a corrupt scheme. Even worse, the alleged scheme involves America’s most dangerous geopolitical adversary.
As I have noted, Xi Jinping and the Communist Party leadership know everything about the Biden family’s corrupt deals with China, with only the US kept in the dark. Now, with tensions rising and war threatened, it’s essential for Americans to know the truth, the whole truth about their president.
It’d be ‘Zel’ of a move
Reader Brian Holtan knows what Mayor Adams needs to do, but isn’t optimistic. He writes:
“Adams needs to adopt Winston Churchill’s wartime mindset, refusing to quit and not backing down, pushing himself beyond his limits and refusing to take no for an answer.
“He needs to call out Gov. Hochul and state legislators on their weak stance against the #1 concern of most voters — the crime wave. This includes backing Lee Zeldin (imagine the uproar!).
“A Republican governor would help Adams advance his tough on crime agenda, but don’t expect him to support Zeldin anytime soon. He doesn’t have the will power to go against the Democratic machine. He will most likely continue the same ineffectual course of complaining, but not doing what’s necessary to turn the city around.”
Journalists doing mushrooms for performance-enhancing brain boost
Finally, a believable explanation for media mistakes!