Our past leaders, going all the way up to the office of the President, have failed to check China’s brutish rise.
With the mounting number of lies from the People’s Republic of China about them being ground zero for the current pandemic, those failures and how to correct them is the biggest question facing our country when we rebound from this outbreak.
What makes this situation complicated is grappling with how our leaders weren’t merely silent during China’s emergence, they actually rubber-stamped it.
It all started with normalizing relations with China in 1979. The “foreign policy blob” backed by think tanks and corporations alike would have you believe that President Richard Nixon’s framework toward normalizing relations with China was a success but nothing could be farther from the truth. In the aftermath of the Vietnam War and during a time when China was putting counter-revolutionists and protesters into mental asylums as a means to indoctrinate them into communism, Nixon was lobbying for Beijing. But Nixon, who once wrote “we simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside the family of nations,” is not the one paying the price for his errors. We are.
Despite warnings, in 2000, outgoing President Bill Clinton and Congress continued prioritizing cheap labor over the American supply chain and the threat of an increasingly authoritative China by extending “permanent normal trade relations” to China. That decision, opposed by workers and promoted by corporations, essentially backed China’s bid to join the World Trade Organization.
America hasn’t been the same since.
The impact of this decision has been especially felt during this Coronavirus crisis, a crisis that would not exist without China. 80 percent of U.S. antibiotics are made in China. China also accounted for 95 percent of our ibuprofen imports. Factoring in medical supplies, which are almost exclusively manufactured in China, the supply chain disruption embraced by our past leaders is proving to be mighty costly now.
China has been caught attempting to cover up numerous facts relating to this outbreak which has claimed the lives of thousands and crashed the global economy, but that hasn’t stopped the Chinese government from using the industrial power our leaders allowed them to seize as a stick to beat us over the head with.
From concealing details of the first outbreak in Wuhan and refusing offers of assistance from Secretary Pompeo to withholding lab information and blaming the virus on the U.S. Army – China has shown exactly why they’re a concern. China’s lies and deceit have resulted in people losing their loved ones and, instead of determining how to hold the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) accountable, some of our elected officials are busy talking about how racism is causing Americans to not eat Chinese food.
This is nonsense and it’s time to wake up.
Last week, the Chinese state media outlet Global Times concluded that Beijing could ban the export of face masks and medical supplies to America over growing tensions with the U.S.
Cutting off critical medical supplies during a pandemic is not something an ally would do.
Two-hundred and thirty-seven members of the House voted for legislation that skated through the Senate and normalized trade with China, allowing our rival to become the global powerhouse it is today.
We can’t go back in time and vote differently, but we can correct our approach to relations with Beijing from here on out and it starts with holding them accountable for this global crisis.
Luckily, we have a President who’s had a hardline approach on China from the outset. When Donald Trump ran for president, media pundits said his tough stance on China showed that he was “stuck in the 90s,” but what it really showed was that he was ahead of the curve. When then-presidential candidate Donald Trump said at a 2015 campaign event in Bluffton, South Carolina, that “you can win against China if you’re smart, but our people don’t have a clue,” he was talking not only about Nixon, Clinton, and others who ushered China’s rise, but he was talking about his future opponent in Joe Biden.
Biden is a career politician who was the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during the country’s decision to embolden geopolitical China’s rise. Biden was also one of the first prominent members of the American left to criticize President Trump’s decision to restrict travel to China as “xenophobic” amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Unfortunately, Biden’s questionable rhetoric and dealings surrounding China don’t stop there. In 2019, Joe Biden’s son Hunter was forced to resign from a billion-dollar investment fund with ties to Chinese state-owned entities. In a 2011 speech on economic dialogue, then Vice-President Biden said that “a rising China is a … positive development not only for China, but for America.”
Really, Joe? Hard to believe that now, considering that thousands of our generic drugs rely upon chemicals that are sourced in China. The U.S. even stopped producing penicillin domestically in 2004 to rely on Chinese production. U.S. healthcare infrastructure being under the control of the Chinese Communist Party should sound off alarms for every U.S. politician, but too many of our leaders are owned by China.
Despite this, Biden said last month that viewing China as a competitor was “bizarre.”
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has also been one of China’s biggest advocates and she’s been rewarded handsomely for her efforts. She’s currently under fire for an insider trading scandal related to the coronavirus, but she should have been under fire for helping China’s rise while lining her own pockets years ago. Feinstein’s votes to increase commercial ties with China, allowed her husband, investor Richard Blum, to significantly expand the families’ China-related profits.
It isn’t just Democratic political figures with financial ties to China, either. While President Bill Clinton led the effort to grant China most favored nation status in the late 90s, former House speaker John Boehner helped corral Republicans to support the decision. He joined lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs to make a generous salary at a firm representing Chinese interests after he retired from Congress in 2015.
There clearly exists a sinister bond between U.S. political elites and China. This bond must be investigated and purged. The framework of dramatically expanding economic and political ties with China while turning a blind eye to the Chinese Communist Party’s ruthless behavior has set the stage for this crisis and allowed China the global supply chain hegemony they threaten us with today.
We need an awakening amongst all Americans that recognize the problem with our current framework toward China. It starts with petitions but it should end with hearings, investigations, and revisiting our current policy toward China, just as President Trump has pushed for all along.
Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) understand how the Chinese coronavirus outbreak has highlighted the problem with depending on China’s supply chain. Hawley has introduced the Medical Supply Chain Security Act and Cotton the Protecting our Pharmaceutical Supply Chain from China Act. Each bill takes necessary action to end our reliance on China’s medical supply chain but what are we going to do in the short-term?
There have been over 16,000 deaths from this virus worldwide. Hundreds of thousands of people have been infected across the globe and the devastating economic consequences are still being totaled.
In times like this, we are told to trust the global community and its process, but how can we? After all, it’s World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus who’s leading the WHO’s charge to provide cover for the CCP as it continues to skirt responsibility for this pandemic. The new details emerging about China’s pivotal role in getting Tedros elected to his WHO position should come as shock to no one. China’s attempts to use corruption to further its legitimacy has been a focus of Trump’s administration from the outset.
But beyond our President, and a few enlightened Senators, our elected officials and elites at-large have signaled that they’re a long way from standing up to China.
This needs to change. If America doesn’t get leadership on this soon, we’re doomed.
Brigitte Gabriel is the Founder and chairman of ACT For America.org, the nation’s premier national security grassroots organization. She is a New York Times bestselling author. Her latest book is RISE In Defense of Judeo Christian Values and Freedom.