Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 10, 2020

How The China Hawks Try To Counter Biden's 'Dovish' Policies

During his 2016 campaign Donald Trump seemed to argue for better relations with Russia. After he was elected as president a slew of negative stories about Russia and its alleged relation with Trump came about. The onslaught continued throughout Trump's presidency. The desired effect was to prevent Trump from realizing his campaign promise. Under constant pressure to prove that he was not 'Putin's puppet' he ended up worsening the already bad relations with Russia.

During his 2020 campaign Joe Biden argued for less hostile relations with China than implemented under the Trump administration. He will likely follow the relatively dovish policy recommendations of the Brookings Institution. The tariffs Trump imposed will now come under review. Allies will be asked to form a common strategy. But the main China focus will not be on hostilities in Asia but on domestic policies:

Biden has said he will focus on ending China’s coercive economic tactics, including intellectual property theft and aggressive government subsidies for Chinese corporations. He also has called for an ambitious industrial policy in the United States that would invest in American infrastructure, energy, biotech and other sectors to compete with China from a position of strength at home.

“The most decisive factor in the economic competition with China is U.S. domestic policy,” Kurt Campbell, a top State Department official during the Obama administration, and Jake Sullivan, Biden’s incoming national security adviser, wrote in a 2019 article in Foreign Affairs magazine. They said that the notion of a new “Sputnik moment” may be overstating the point, but that the United States must compete with China by investing in American economic and technological leadership at home.

Biden's nomination of retired general Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense points to less friction with China. That is why the China hawks immediately attacked it.

Ashley Townshend @ashleytownshend - 21:37 UTC · Dec 8, 2020

With all due respect for the critical issues raised in this letter, Biden’s failure to mention China or the Indo-Pacific strategic landscape in his justification of SECDEF pick Austin will be viewed with great concern by allies and partners in the region.

Why I Chose Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense

His selection of Katherine Tai as U.S. trade representative also ensures that relations with China will be more level:

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is expected to select Katherine Tai, the chief trade lawyer for the House Ways and Means Committee, as the United States trade representative, a key post that will bear responsibility for enforcing America’s trade rules and negotiating new trading terms with China and other countries, according to people familiar with the plans.

Ms. Tai has garnered strong support from colleagues in Congress, who credit her with helping to wrangle an unruly collection of politicians and interest groups in negotiations to pass the revised North American Free Trade Agreement.
Supporters say Ms. Tai is also uniquely positioned to address economic challenges from China, regarded as America’s biggest source of competition in the trade sphere.

In addition to litigating trade disputes against China at the World Trade Organization over issues including subsidies and export restraints, Ms. Tai worked on China-related issues during her time in the House, including strategies to reshore American supply chains and legislation to bar imports made with forced labor from Uighurs and other minorities in China.

Ms. Tai has a background in China, having served as a teaching fellow there in the late 1990s and speaking fluent Mandarin Chinese.

But just like Trump was boxed in on Russia there seem to be efforts underway to limit the extend to which Biden can work with China.

In early November Peter Lee reported of a clumsy attempt to attack Biden for his previous China policies:

Joe Biden, the presumptive President elect of the United States, is an object of suspicion, disdain, and anxiety for China hawks. We’ll get into the whys and wherefores later in the show but first let’s take a look at the anti-Biden hit piece that appeared in Asia recently.

It was officially called “Project Time” authored by “Typhoon Investigations”. It is an exhaustive rundown of the China related dealings of America’s favorite son, Hunter Biden, with some undocumented allegations that Joe Biden is thereby in a “compromising partnership” with the PRC.

Let’s call it the Balding report, after Christopher Balding, the China-hawking academic who participated in the preparation of the document and presided over its disastrous launch into the journosphere.

Unfortunately for Balding, the mainstream US press was distinctly uninterested in retailing anti-Biden tittle tattle at this particular juncture, since it has prioritized removing Donald Trump from office and protecting Joe Biden from unfounded slanders and embarrassing disclosures.

The "Project Time" report was created with the help of the Hong Kong 'protester' scene which was thankful for Trump's support for it. But the initiative to write such a report seems to have come from elsewhere. Peter Lee's learned guess is that the Pentagon was behind it:

The third possibility is more ornate and more tantalizing: that someone in the China hawk establishment in Washington put out a tasking to its friendlies in Taiwan or Hong Kong to make things difficult for Joe Biden. And this tasking ended up—disastrously—in Christopher Balding’s hands.

America’s China hawks, especially at the Pentagon, would be especially happy to kneecap the Joe Biden campaign.

Biden has a moderate track record on China, which fuels the fear of China hawks that he will be, depending on your flavor, either moderate and conciliatory or craven and appeasing in his dealings with the Chinese.

But there’s more than that—and a lot of backstory--relating to the fraught relations between Biden and the China hawks.

I do not believe American observers fully appreciate the contempt with which Barack Obama and Joe Biden are held by China hawks in the military.

Now, as the media is no longer fixated on kicking out Trump, the China hawks are renewing their efforts. A number of recently published issues point to that.

Joe Biden's son Hunter has long profited from his fathers China relations. But the FBI, which had been investigating Hunter Biden since 2018 and has had his laptop for nearly a year, is only now pressing a criminal investigation against him:

Now that the election is over, the investigation is entering a new phase. Federal prosecutors in Delaware, working with the IRS Criminal Investigation agency and the FBI, are taking overt steps such as issuing subpoenas and seeking interviews, the person with knowledge said.
Investigators have been examining multiple financial issues, including whether Hunter Biden and his associates violated tax and money laundering laws in business dealings in foreign countries, principally China, according to two people briefed on the probe.

Some of those transactions involved people who the FBI believe sparked counterintelligence concerns, a common issue when dealing with Chinese business, according to another source.

In a probably concerted move the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance released its final Majority Staff Report on Hunter Biden's lucrative adventures in the Ukraine and China on the same day:

The transactions discussed below are designed to illustrate the depth and extent of some questionable financial transactions. Moreover, the financial transactions illustrate serious counterintelligence and extortion concerns relating to Hunter Biden and his family.

Glenn Greenwald relates the Hunter Biden story to a speech by a Chinese scholar who pointed out that U.S. China relation were often handled through Wall Street because of its influence over the Democratic Party:

The allegations at the heart of this [Hunter Biden] investigation compel an examination of a fascinating and at-times disturbing speech at a major financial event held last week in Shanghai. In that speech, a Chinese scholar of political science and international finance, Di Donghseng, insisted that Beijing will have far more influence in Washington under a Biden administration than it did with the Trump administration.

The reason, Di said, is that China’s ability to get its way in Washington has long depended upon its numerous powerful Wall Street allies. But those allies, he said, had difficulty controlling Trump, but will exert virtually unfettered power over Biden. That China cultivated extensive financial ties to Hunter Biden, Di explained, will be crucial for bolstering Beijing’s influence even further.

Di, who in addition to his teaching positions is also Vice Dean of Beijing’s Renmin University’s School of International Relations, delivered his remarks alongside three other Chinese banking and development experts. Di’s speech at the event, entitled “Will China's Opening up of its Financial Sector Attract Wall Street?,” was translated and posted by Jennifer Zeng, a Chinese Communist Party critic who left China years ago, citing religious persecution, and now lives in the U.S. A source fluent in Mandarin confirmed the accuracy of the translation.

This comes on top of an Axios story which reveals a Chinese honeypot operation against Democratic politicians in California:

A suspected Chinese intelligence operative developed extensive ties with local and national politicians, including a U.S. congressman, in what U.S. officials believe was a political intelligence operation run by China’s main civilian spy agency between 2011 and 2015, Axios found in a yearlong investigation.
While this suspected operative’s activities appear to have ended during the Obama administration, concerns about Beijing's influence operations have spanned President Trump’s time in office and will continue to be a core focus for U.S. counterintelligence during the Biden administration.

Why, one might ask, is this old story coming out now? Who told Axios to reveal it?

There is clearly some anxiety in the rows of the China hawks that Biden might end the lucrative anti-China campaign which Trump so eagerly supported. Thousand of people are invested in keeping the anti-China moves alive. The Pentagon will fear that tens of billions of dollars it had planned to waste on encircling China will no longer be available.

We can therefore expect more stories designed to put Biden's China relations and policies into a bad light.

But will such stories box Biden in on China like the Russiagate stories did with Trump?

I doubt it. Trump was an outsider, inexperienced in fighting the deep state in Washington DC. He never found an effective way to counter the Russiagate stories.

Biden in contrast has been in politics for nearly 50 years. He presumably knows every trick there is to circumvent his political enemies and to push the policies into the direction he prefers. The media will also largely stay on his side.

So even while  more stories about "Beijing Joe" Biden are likely to come, U.S. relations with China will also be revived.

Posted by b on December 10, 2020 at 18:36 UTC | Permalink

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I forgot to add. The end.
Its not my fault. I have a condition.
I have a program2 bamboozlement
its a thing
Only Ziofascist's and Cicrce bootlickers don't believe me.
I know the truth. Trust me.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Dec 12 2020 2:56 utc | 101

@ Tannenhouser | Dec 11 2020 22:41 utc | 96.. i thought about this feminism in the ascendancy again tannenhouser.. in relation to the saturn- jupiter conjunction in aquarius.. i see aquarius as an ideological type sign.. making progress thru alternative views, or potentially more progressive views and ideologies... it is fine to think that since men have been ruling for what seems like forever, it would be good to give the women a chance to rule! i think this is the idea behind it.. as i said previously, to be driven by what i call a politically correct angle seems short sighted... but it is possible that much of the planet will adopt this new politically correct thinking.. i don't know.. perhaps this is a real possibility with an increase of aquarian energy coming into our planet... it is possible that this is how it could come about - thru this aquarian ideology of throwing out the old and making way for the new - ie - men ruled before, so women have to rule now... maybe if some aliens from another planet show up, the same type thinking will be to let them be given the reigns of power for a few years too, lol... cheers.. ps bonus - chinas oct 1st 1949 chart has moon in aquarius rising!

Posted by: james | Dec 12 2020 6:28 utc | 102

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 11 2020 17:11 utc | 78

I am sorry to learn how your dad's painful end was connected to Volker's infamy. As well, how your retirement portfolio was decimated by the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

I woke up to the West's monetary malfeasance from the same GFC shock. After a decade of daily reading, researching, fact-checking, I have done my own bit of waking up from deep slumber. As you said, people must want to learn these things. But when they are on the cusp of waking up, the information must be available for them. And so, like you, I have my reasons for alerting others just as earlier bloggers helped me by pointing to financial murder most foul.

The Enemy is well-hidden, and our resources are meagre, but it shall be sufficient to shine a little light onto their lying ways to point those seeking truth to do their own digging to help themselves wake up to the horrendously distorted world that we presently live in.

Caitlin Johnstone wrote yesterday on just this topic: why she writes what she writes.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Dec 12 2020 9:21 utc | 103

@James103. Thanks for the response. yes I agree why not give it a try. I do however have reservations with "they couldn't do any worse" that usually accompanies the above. This works out both ways so its a draw:)

am wondering if the reading changes if feminism isn't used? I suppose both are interchangeable for these purposes? I dunno, can they? Kinda why I asked you.

I hope these women aren't being Sandersed. It will be generations before "socialism for the poor" is discussed, while corps and insiders get it as bailouts, contracts and speaking engagements.

Something bad goes down there could be period where women are taken even less seriously as a result. I wish them all the best should this come to pass. I can only hope they don't act like men.

As to aliens. The ones we got calling shots here now, cant even relate to people like you and I. I wonder what portion of the 1% has ever even shopped for groceries. They might as well be. They are to me. Space aliens well at least with them we can say they haven't screwed us over, right:)

I don't get the bonus reading, but good call. At least we aren't way OT.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Dec 13 2020 2:39 utc | 104

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