(PresidentialWire.com)- In a column last week at 19FortyFive.com, China expert Gordon Chang made the case for why President Biden should have skipped last week’s phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Of course, the call happened as scheduled last Thursday.
The president and his Chinese buddy spoke for over two hours on Thursday. But since the White House only released a “readout” of the call, rather than a transcript, it’s anybody’s guess what each said to the other.
We do know thanks to China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that President Xi supposedly warned Biden over Washington’s relationship with Taiwan, allegedly saying “playing with fire will set yourself on fire.” Though apparently, Xi did not specifically mention Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s planned trip to Taiwan.
According to the White House, the president purportedly tried to reassure Xi that his administration had no plans to disrupt the current status quo between the US and China.
Press secretary Karine Jean Pierre claimed Biden reiterated that US policy toward Taiwan has not changed and the United States would strongly oppose anyone who would change the status quo “or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
In his column, Chang points out that American presidents routinely issue warnings to China, but rarely if ever follow through. Most recently, President Biden pressured China to oppose Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but then did nothing to sanction China after it aligned with Russia.
Chang notes that China is not blind to the lack of follow-through coming from Washington, which is why Beijing has become more brazenly militant.
Treating China like a foreign policy partner rather than a bad actor only emboldens the Communist regime. Chang argued that American leaders need to learn a skill the Chinese have mastered, namely knowing “when not to talk.”
But the current administration is incapable of letting go of its naïve belief that China can be persuaded by appealing to Beijing’s better nature.
As convincing as Chang’s arguments might be, this Biden administration will never heed them.