President Joe Biden's incoming secretary of state, Antony Blinken, agrees former President Donald Trump's administration got communist China right.
During his Jan. 19 Senate confirmation hearing, Blinken told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: "President Trump was right in taking a tougher approach to China. I disagree very much with the way that he went about it in a number of areas, but the basic principle was the right one. And I think that that's actually helpful to our foreign policy."
Blinken knows the Chinese Communist Party endangers America and the world.
But can the Biden administration continue "the tougher approach" with Hunter Biden's China investment scandal lurking in the diplomatic and criminal background?
The mainstream media and social media magnates who stifled preelection public examination of the Biden family's involvement in what looks like and smells like a multimillion-dollar political payoff racket may have gotten Joe Biden elected.
However, until the Biden-China scandal is fully vetted, we won't know if Beijing has inside information (blackmail leverage) that might soften Trump's tougher approach.
Knowing matters. Given China's documented record of pervasive spying, global intellectual property theft, a huge military expansion program, imperialist seizure of territory, bullying of neighbors, violations of treaty commitments, police-state terror and genocide of Muslim Uighurs, a softer approach at this moment in history ultimately puts American security at risk.
The CCP's use of bribery to influence and blackmail to coerce, both as tools for espionage, theft and diplomacy, is not a conspiracy theory or a sensationalist charge.
The CCP has pumped billions worldwide into research institutions, hi-tech corporations, universities and media organizations as well as corrupt governments. But CCP cash always has a catch. The CCP demands access to the research results and new technology, and if it can't get them openly, it steals the data and designs, often relying on bribed or blackmailed human insiders to filch the data or help Chinese cyber-warriors hack proprietary information networks.
From subsidized universities and media organizations the Chinese government expects a "softer approach" — such as muting criticism of CCP police-state brutality and stifling criticism of supreme leader Xi Jinping.
Here's a telling example. In October 2020, a Washington Free Beacon investigative article detailed The Economist magazine's years of "sympathetic" coverage of China's Huawei Technologies. The Free Beacon documented the magazine's profitable business relationship with the Chinese corporate giant and noted The Economist failed to acknowledge that economic relationship for nearly a decade.
Huawei's deep financial and operational connections to the CCP are no secret — but Huawei's ability to influence The Economist coverage was hidden.
The World Health Organization's soft approach to China from late December 2019 through spring 2020 delayed the global response to COVID-19/the Wuhan virus. In June 2020, an Associated Press investigation revealed that while the WHO publicly praised China, "behind the scenes, it was a much different story." China didn't provide the information the WHO needed to combat the pandemic. The Chinese government "sat on releasing the genetic map" of the virus. AP blamed "tight controls on information and competition within the Chinese public health system." "Tight controls" — AP softens its punch. China is a dictatorship that silences criticism of China's leaders and China's system. If muting criticism requires lying to the rest of the world about a deadly disease outbreak, no matter.
A number of commentators have speculated that China maintains a close relationship with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. China supported his appointment, even though Tedros isn't a medical doctor. In late January 2020, Tedros praised "China's commitment to transparency." From 2012 to 2016, Tedros served as Ethiopia's foreign minister. During that time frame, Ethiopia borrowed over $13 billion from China. In December 2020, Nobel Peace Prize nominee David Steinman accused Tedros of "aiding genocide in Ethiopia" while he served in the Ethiopian government. Tedros denies the accusation.
Circumstantial evidence and a sensational accusation don't make Tedros a criminal or a stooge, but at a critical moment, he treated Beijing oh-so-softly.
So it's fair to ask what China knows about Tedros, and, for that matter, what it knows about the Biden family's Chinese financial arrangements.
The CCP bets planet Earth will eventually kowtow to its deep-pocket bribes and military threats.
To find out more about Austin Bay and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: Kaufdex at Pixabay