Yesterday, John wrote about “the fiasco in Anchorage,” in which a Chinese diplomat excoriated the U.S. for 20 minutes, using the American left’s favorite talking points. Secretary of State Blinken had opened the door for the attack by criticizing China in a two minute statement.
Blinken knew that China would respond in kind, but figured it would limit itself to two minutes, as the parties had agreed. Apparently, Blinken hasn’t figured out what every intelligent person who deals with or follows Red China knows — the Chinese don’t play by the rules.
What lesson does the Washington Post draw from the Anchorage fiasco? It concludes that the Biden administration “show[ed] an appetite for dust-up diplomacy” (or “high-profile fights,” as the internet version of its report puts it).
Right. And Jake LaMotta showed an appetite for Sugar Ray Robinson’s fists.
The Post ties Blinken’s critique of China together with Joe Biden’s denunciation of Vladimir Putin as a “killer.” Personally, I’m glad the Biden administration is calling out China and Russia (but what about Iran?), although Blinken’s gambit back fired badly.
It’s notable, however, that when President Trump employed tough rhetoric against China and Iran, the foreign policy establishment and media outlets like the Post were appalled. Trump received no praise for his “appetite for dust-up diplomacy.” Instead, he was denounced as an amateur and a cowboy.
Expect no such denunciation of Biden, not even when his dust-up diplomacy results in major embarrassment, as occurred in Anchorage.
The Post acknowledges the irony of Biden using Trump-like combative rhetoric against our adversaries. It states:
After four years of President Donald Trump’s erratic style of diplomacy, many expected Biden to return to a traditional approach. But the new administration has not shied away from impugning heads of governments and ruling parties, and ripping up the playbook on standard diplomatic choreography.
Yet, in the sentence that immediately precedes this passage, the Post claims that the Biden administration’s “standoff” with China “help[s] clarify a new outlook in a post-Trump era.” Huh?
There is, I’m pretty sure, a difference between Biden’s “dust-up diplomacy” and that of Trump. Trump and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meant what they said. With Biden, it’s probably nothing more than words.
Trump was willing to take action against China that entailed risks to the U.S. economy, even with an election on the horizon. I’m pretty sure Biden will never do that. He’s all talk and has been for 50 years.
The most we can hope for is that his team won’t be out-talked as badly in the future as it was in Anchorage.