As the media’s honeymoon period with President Biden continues to fade away slowly, the executive order overlord has set his sights on one of America’s most critical foreign policy challenges – China. The mainstream media lusts for a new story to praise the president, and Biden’s China policy seems to have been chosen as the lucky winner. With reports of a lengthy call between President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, all eyes are on the Biden administration’s path forward in Sino-American relations in the near future.
Despite the media making Biden out to be a lion, ready to strike back at China, both congressional Democrats and the Biden administration have ceded victory to Chinese authoritarianism elsewhere. President Biden repealed a Trump-era executive order forcing educational institutions to disclose their relationships with Confucius institutes. These institutes have been used as a weapon against American democracy by pushing Chinese historical revisionism and political thought on students of all ages. Controversial topics in mainland China like the Tibetan Independence Movement, Taiwanese sovereignty, and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) human rights abuses are avoided and censored.
The Threat of Confucius Institutes
Over the last decade, Confucius Institutes have been notorious for their role as an extension of Chinese soft power worldwide. These “educational” institutions have been involved in espionage, surveillance, student-pushed censorship, and propaganda movements directly instructed by the CCP. They represent just a small factor in China’s soft power push that has become more dangerous than it initially appeared. These experiences with Chinese propaganda are not unique to the United States, with countries like Australia and Canada continuing to face off against Chinese students pushing CCP propaganda on their campuses and attempting to censor dissent.
Any rational person can understand the potential threat posed by the Confucius Institutions disguising themselves solely as educational entities focused on Chinese language and culture. Former President Trump issued an executive order that designated these institutions as foreign missions of the Chinese government, placing them under more scrutiny. This order, combined with an additional executive order forcing schools to disclose their relationships with these bodies, became the first government action taken against the Chinese government’s alleged international mouthpiece. Just this week, President Biden rescinded Trump’s order, giving respite to an arm of CCP propaganda throughout the world.
International Community in China’s Pocket
Rather than following Trump’s lead on China, President Biden has opted to take a less aggressive and probably more ineffective approach toward tackling the totalitarian behemoth. Since his campaign, Biden has vowed to take on China in his own way, with the international community’s support instead of the Trump administration’s unliteral approach. Biden is under the impression that the People’s Republic of China will have more reason to kowtow to the international community now that Biden’s self-declared return to normalcy reunites Western democracy. In reality, the president’s rhetoric is a misguided, head in the clouds approach to America’s greatest threat.
Most of the international community is already indebted to China. The allies Biden supposedly intends to call on no longer have the sovereignty to stand up against the Chinese government. Years of debtbook diplomacy in the developing world and massive infrastructure projects throughout Eurasia certainly provide no incentive for these allies to stand up to Chinese oppression now or in the future. President Biden’s desire to appear hard on China despite his friendly relationship with the totalitarian state in the past reeks of insincerity.
Relying on a failing international community to take a united stance against China will prove to be an utter failure while the world remains indebted and reliant on the economic giant. Authoritarian states in international organizations like the UN, IMF, and WTO will continue to back China, despite Biden, as long as that country continues to remain a model of one-party, authoritarian governance antithetical to the system of liberal democracy in the United States.
~ Read more from Jose Backer