Joe Biden Clinched Communist China's Vote in the Final Debate | Opinion

While Moscow was surely tickled over Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's baseless chalking up of verified revelations of politically devastating and national security-threatening Biden family corruption to Russian disinformation, it was Beijing that got the last laugh from the final presidential debate.

During the contest, the former vice president, in effect, made his closing argument to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)—not that it needed reassurance, given Biden's decades of invaluable support for communist China's rise.

Biden affirmed that if elected president, America would return to the untenable U.S. posture toward China of weakness, appeasement and managed decline—the position long-favored by the globalist political establishment that backs him—with the CCP's helping hand.

He did so, in touching upon three topics: the Chinese coronavirus, competition and corruption.

On the coronavirus, Biden made clear that he would neither blame the CCP for its culpability in spreading the disease nor punish it for its malign behavior. The CCP surely took this as a favorable signal. Where President Trump plainly said of the coronavirus, "it's China's fault," former Vice President Biden instead pointed his finger at President Trump, putting every fatality on the president. "Anyone [who] is responsible for...[220,000] deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America," Biden declared. This from a man who, several times during the debate, claimed he was a unifier of all Americans—63 million of whom voted for the man Biden essentially called a mass murderer.

One would think holding a broadly unpopular China to account for its malign behavior in connection with the disease would be something about which most Americans could agree. At least half the country did as of July 2020, according to Pew. Yet when asked by moderator Kristen Welker of NBC if, as President Trump indicated he would, a would-be President Biden would "make China pay" for its coronavirus cover-up, Biden refused. He replied: "What I'd make China do is play by the international rules. ...We need to be having the rest of our friends with us saying to China, 'These are the rules. You play by them, or you're going to pay the price for not p[l]aying by them economically.'"

Does anyone believe the CCP is quaking in its boots over Biden's vague promise of using multilateralism to make it stick to the types of rules it has persistently flouted, and increasingly seeks to re-write itself? Why is Biden apparently limiting the tools he might use to impact China's behavior to economics? Does not China's whole-of-government strategy in pursuit of its global ambitions require a whole-of-government U.S. response—as the Trump administration has executed? And lastly, does anyone believe that ignoring the CCP's culpability in the coronavirus pandemic makes it more likely to change its behavior?

Biden relatedly argues that the Obama-Biden administration policies of upholding steel tariffs, ignoring China's declaration of a South China Sea air defense identification zone in flying bombers through it, and "a range of other things" evinced some sort of resolve that presumably convinced China to comport itself as the administration wished. But there is little evidence for that. China paid no discernible price for its most malevolent acts during the Obama years: Wiping out America's intelligence assets on the Chinese mainland; hacking the Office of Personnel Management to pilfer the most sensitive of personal details on millions of government employees; and breaking its promises to the Obama-Biden administration not to militarize its man-made islands and not to engage in cyber-enabled theft. The Obama administration did not even "lead from behind" on China. China walked all over it. Judging by Biden's unwillingness to confront China over its role in the coronavirus pandemic, the CCP should bet on a repeat.

That Biden reserves the title "existential threat to humanity" for "climate change" and "global warming," rather than for the country most responsible for the coronavirus about which he fearmongers, further strengthens that bet. This brings us to the second area in which former Vice President Biden likely heartened the CCP: On the economic and overall competition in which the U.S. and China are engaged, Biden promised a raft of policies that would systematically undermine the American economy—to China's benefit—particularly on energy and the environment. Biden spoke of returning to the Paris Climate Accord, reiterated his support for a self-defeating, incoherent and budget-busting New Green Deal lite, and vowed to "transition from the oil industry"—destroying the primary driver of growth in an otherwise-moribund Obama-Biden economy. Combined, these policies would cripple the U.S. economy, blow out an already too-bloated federal budget, imperil our solvency and likely make us once again reliant on a Middle East where China is becoming an ever-bigger energy player.

Final 2020 presidential debate
Final 2020 presidential debate Jim Bourg-Pool/Getty Images

The Paris Climate Accord is especially paradigmatic of Biden's at-best naivete with respect to China, which its leaders must relish. As President Trump alluded to, the agreement, which Biden said he would "make China abide by," was incredibly one-sided. It required the U.S. to dramatically decrease its carbon emissions, while China merely sought to hit emissions targets it already was poised to meet. Biden suggested that he somehow would make China adhere to this agreement that it apparently had already skirted. China, of course, regularly cheats on everything from environmental rules to trade pacts to treaties. Earlier this year, Biden claimed his administration would "seek to cooperate with Beijing on issues where our interests converge, such as climate change." Why he believes China has any such desire other than gullibility is unclear, but China must be thrilled.

One can summarize the Biden versus China position in the realm of economics: Biden wants to get to "zero emissions by 2025," and China wants to get to "Made in China 2025"—to become a global leader in manufacturing, particularly in advanced and emerging technologies. On this latter point, former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) has telegraphed that a Biden administration would ease the Trump administration's efforts to stymie the CCP in its quest for technological dominance. What more could a China seeking economic dominance ask for than for America to torpedo its most strategically significant industries?

Finally, former Vice President Biden continued to deny, deflect and dismiss his family's "business" with CCP-tied individuals and entities during his time as vice president, and in the period prior to his 2020 presidential run. These dealings may have personally enriched Biden. At minimum, there appears to be evidence that he directly helped facilitate them. The indirect implications are obvious: Such opportunities would have never materialized for his family had Biden not been a senator, and then vice president. The fact of the matter is this: Even if every dollar Hunter Biden or any other Biden relative made was done "by the books" (and there is scant evidence of it), even if Joe Biden really knew nothing of such business, never took related business meetings, never was involved with any policy pertaining to such business, never took a dime from it or used his family to collect such dimes, that these dealings existed at all creates a huge ethical issue in terms of the appearance of corruption and opening of the former vice president to potential national security-threatening compromise.

That former Vice President Biden will not address any of these revelations represents a huge win for the CCP. He is telling the CCP he will not upset the applecart from which his family apparently profited, and from which our political-corporate-media establishment has been profiting for decades.

The irony in all this is that the more evidence that leaks out regarding the Biden family's exploits, and Joe Biden's role in them, the more we see "Steele dossier"-like salacious revelations and a candidate who resembles a de facto asset of an adversarial foreign power. President Trump and his family have been accused of far worse over far less.

China emerges as the winner. The obfuscation and focus on "Russian disinformation"—as with the original Russiagate conspiracy theory—turns attention away from the far greater threat to America hiding in plain sight.

If anyone doubted whether Joe Biden has won China's vote, the final debate proved it. The American people hold the veto in their hands.

Ben Weingarten is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, fellow at the Claremont Institute and senior contributor to The Federalist. He is the author of American Ingrate: Ilhan Omar and the Progressive-Islamist Takeover of the Democratic Party (Bombardier, 2020). Ben is the founder and CEO of ChangeUp Media LLC, a media consulting and production company. Subscribe to his newsletter at bit.ly/bhwnews, and follow him on Twitter @bhweingarten.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.