Michael Pillsbury, one of America’s leading experts on China, said Tuesday that it was then-Vice President Joe Biden who stopped U.S. Navy patrols from challenging China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, in one example of how he would be weak on China if elected president.
“He’s particularly unaware of military threats. One of the worst things I’ve seen him do … is when he was vice president, Obama wanted to have Navy patrols in the South China Sea. Biden stopped them for four years — would not challenge Chinese claims in the South China Sea,” Pillsbury said during a live streamed Trump campaign event.
“So you might think Obama is pretty bad towards China, not quite — he wants to fight China for environmental reasons, global pollution and so forth. Biden is different than Obama, he’s softer and even more vulnerable to Chinese stories and Chinese lies. I’m really worried about him,” he said.
During the Obama administration, the Navy ceased patrols through the strategically important body of water between 2012 and 2015 out of concern for upsetting China. During that time, China built artificial islands on land features in the South China Sea and placed weapons systems on them, despite promising the Obama administration that it would not.
As first reported by Breitbart News, in the early months of the Trump administration, it authorized a plan to push back on China’s excessive claims in the South China Sea.
Pillsbury has served in intelligence and defense roles in every administration since Nixon and authored the 2015 book The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower.
Pillsbury also said Biden is part of the “globalist elite” who has long-standing views that China is not a threat to the U.S., as illustrated when he famously dismissed China as a threat at a campaign event.
“China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man,” Biden said at an event in Iowa City, Iowa, in May 2019, a week after he announced his candidacy for president.
Pillsbury said Biden’s comment showed that he believes China is weak.
“When he says ‘C’mon man,’ they’re not going to eat our lunch — he just doesn’t believe it,” he said “That’s simply against the facts. Now there are some people still who think that China is going to collapse soon and he’s part of that group of globalists.”
He said that even Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was stronger on China, and when he dropped out, the Chinese were “ecstatic.”
“The Chinese really were ecstatic. Like, ‘Now our guy is running for president,'” Pillsbury said.
Former Trump Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland, who also spoke at the campaign event, echoed Pillsbury’s comments.
She said she was in Beijing in November 2019, meeting with senior leadership of the Chinese government, in every single meeting she had, “the assumption was Joe Biden was going to win.”
She said when they were told that Trump could very well be reelected, “they were horrified, because they thought their guy was Joe Biden, they greased the skids, all they need is another five years and they’re going to replace the United States and Joe Biden is going to help them do it.”
“The Chinese think they bought Joe Biden, and they think they own Joe Biden,” she said.
“He’s their favorite,” Pillsbury added.
Pillsbury said even some of Biden’s own campaign advisers on China who are China hawks — those who believe in a hardline against China — say they cannot get through to Biden.
“I know a lot of Joe Biden’s advisers — they publish articles. There’s at least four of them that are very anti-China. They’re hawks on China. They hint to me and others they can’t get through to Joe Biden. His personal views on China are so strong that they can’t get him to do the right thing,” he said.
“We’re stuck with what are Biden’s personal views on China, including the role of his family … There’s a strange phenomenon where Biden seems to be personally committed to helping China and the United Nations,” he said.
Pillsbury and McFarland also addressed Biden’s son Hunter Biden flying aboard Air Force Two with the vice president on a trip to Beijing in December 2013 and ten days later securing a deal with Chinese investors in a fund that he was involved in.
“President Trump has pointed out, correctly I think, that almost nobody can — in a Western company environment — can go into China and raise a million dollars. It’s just impossible. You can’t even repatriate your profits for American companies in China,” Pillsbury said.
“All this is part of the China trade talks and why the tariffs were put on. In the case of Joe Biden’s son Hunter, he kind of goes into China, I think for the first time, on Air Force Two with his father, stays about ten days, and miraculously, President Trump says, walks out with a billion dollars committed to kind of a mutual fund he set up,” he said.
“At the minimum, it looks very bad. And as President Trump says, it’s a miracle to stroll into China and come out with a billion dollars. Nobody else can do that, not even Goldman Sachs,” Pillsbury added.
Pillsbury said another problem with Biden is that he has a “deep commitment to the United Nations and the whole U.N. system” that would prevent him from ever taking a step like Trump when he suspended U.S. taxpayer funds for the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) for being slow to warn the world of the severity of the coronavirus pandemic.
Pillsbury said that when Biden “hears something like the World Health Organization says this, he has kind of a blind obedience.” He added:
This is the so-called liberal world order that he stood for for the last 50 years. So obviously what President Trump did to stand up to the W.H.O. and say, “This is false” then began to hold up money for their annual budget, then to mock them and say China pays $40 million dollars, we pay $400 million dollars — all this is something Joe Biden could not do.
It would be against the very principle he stands for, that the United Nations is above the United States in terms of sovereignty. He simply would not challenge the World Health Organization.
“He’s part of what is called the ‘globalist elite’ or the ‘Washington establishment.’ It’s the very group that Donald Trump ran against — the ‘so-called swamp,'” Pillsbury added.
“President Trump deserves credit for standing up to China while maintaining channels of communication with the Chinese,” he said.
Pillsbury said Trump has kept tariffs on China, despite the belief that he canceled tariffs in order to get a trade deal with China.
“He kept the tariffs — 25 percent for almost $400 billion dollars of Chinese exports to us. So he’s making money from the Chinese while our farmers are compensated. And frankly, recently, the Chinese have begun to open up to American beef, and pork and poultry, which they haven’t done before. Obama just couldn’t get it done. So Trump is fighting back,” he said.
“A Biden victory would really mean the end. Biden himself has said he does not support these tariffs; he’s kind of a free trader, a globalist and that’s the danger right there … of a Biden presidency,” he said.
McFarland said a vote for Biden would be a vote for a 21st Century run by China.
“Their intention is to replace the United States as the leading economic power, military power, diplomatic power, economic power, technology superstar power, and they have every intention of doing it,” she said,
“Joe Biden is asleep at the wheel, and in the next four years, the Chinese plan to achieve that objective. And so if you elect Joe Biden, what are you doing? You’re basically electing a 21st Century that’s going to be run by the Chinese,” she said.