Did the Democrats really think that they would be able to hide from the world the fact that the ostensible president of the United States is suffering from marked cognitive decline and often barely even coherent? Biden’s handlers certainly have gone to great pains to hide their Oval Office puppet’s condition, severely limiting his access to the press, giving him scripted answers to scripted questions when he does face the gaggle of sycophants known as the White House press corps, and ensuring that anyone who might actually dare to ask a genuine and pointed question is kept as far away from the so-called president as possible.
Even all that, however, is not enough. The Global Times, a Chinese Communist Party organ, on Wednesday published an extensive analysis of Biden’s position on Taiwan that came down to a simple principle: Old Joe is liable to say anything, so his words shouldn’t be taken seriously.
The latest confusion over Biden’s statements arose after his three-and-a-half-hour Zoom call on Monday with Xi Jinping, the president of the People’s Republic of China. The White House’s terse six-paragraph “Readout” of this marathon discussion made it clear that Biden was backing off from his Oct. 21 statement that the U.S. would defend Taiwan militarily if it was attacked by the People’s Republic. The “Readout” recorded Biden’s walk back in the tone of a student having to write “I will not talk in class” on the blackboard a hundred times: “On Taiwan,” it said, “President Biden underscored that the United States remains committed to the ‘one China’ policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances, and that the United States strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
In other words, the Taiwanese are on their own. That was that, except that Biden almost immediately muddied the waters again. The day after the Zoom call with Xi, Biden said: “We have made very clear we support the Taiwan Act, and that’s it. It’s independent. It makes its own decisions.”
The People’s Republic doesn’t consider Taiwan to be independent but regards it as a renegade province within their own domains. So Biden’s declaration that it was “independent” was seen as a significant policy statement. As the CCP’s Global Times put it, “Biden’s ambiguous statement on the Taiwan question triggered self-deceiving interpretations in the island that Washington may be sending pro-secession signals.” The alleged president complicated the situation even further when he attempted to clarify his earlier remarks by saying: “I said that they have to decide — Taiwan, not us. We are not encouraging independence.”
According to Global Times, “Biden’s remarks were immediately hyped by Taiwan media, which suggested that Biden could be implying Taiwan’s ‘independent sovereign status,’ and intentionally skipped Biden’s expression of ‘not encouraging independence.’”
The Communist publication, trying to throw cold water on any idea that Biden was encouraging Taiwanese independence, explained away the contradiction by blaming the addled resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: Lü Xiang of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, explained: “There is no need to analyze Biden’s meaning word for word. It is known that Biden is not articulate. Since taking office, he has uttered all sorts of strange words and expressions. Another confusing and unclear statement is not surprising.”
You can say that again, Jack. But here’s the deal: how much does it cost the United States in prestige, and how damaging is it to American interests, to have a president whom foreign analysts dismiss as inarticulate and given to “all sorts of strange words and expressions,” instead of a competent Chief Executive who made his stances clear? The previous incumbent wasn’t known for articulation or eloquence, either, but there was no ambiguity about where he stood and no confusion about the fact that he was in favor of American interests first and was dedicated above all to the wellbeing of his own people.
With Biden, that, too, is ambiguous. While he pretends to be president, the world’s worst regimes are taking advantage of the weakness and confusion in the leadership of the globe’s lone superpower and have become more emboldened and aggressive than ever. But remember: it could be worse. He could fail to serve out his term, and Kamala Harris could become president of the United States. That could be enough to make even the most hardcore MAGA supporter look back fondly on the tenure of Old Joe.