Paul  Kengor

Vice President Joe Biden made the news again this week. Three weeks ago, Biden was in the news because of reports he had denounced Tea Party members as “terrorists,” a claim Biden was in the news because he did not denounce the communist Chinese for their vicious one-child policy, a claim his spokespeople have attempted to deny.

This week Joe Biden has performed an interesting inversion of reality: Tea Party members haven’t killed anyone; China’s one-child policy has generated the deaths of countless millions. Beyond those direct deaths, China grapples with the demographic-cultural nightmare of some 43-million “missing women,” as Chinese families opt to abort baby girls in preference of baby boys.

And sadly, Joe Biden is not the only American source excusing China’s one-child policy. But before considering that other source, consider first what Biden said:

On August 21, Vice President Biden spoke at Sichuan University in Chengdu. He began with his usual smile, cheerfully thanking his “gracious” hosts. He noted that he brought along his daughter-in-law and granddaughter—two women who, if Chinese, would not be permitted to birth more than one child without severe fines or even forced sterilization. But Biden wasn’t going there.

No, the vice president had come to celebrate China; its “proud history,” its “high-tech future,” its “land of abundance,” its “hospitality.” He was flatly “amazed” by China. Reading from prepared remarks, Biden raved about China’s economic growth. Then he turned to questions from the student audience.

The first questioner wanted to know about the U.S. economy—especially our colossal deficit/debt—and there, in that context, Biden managed a remark about China’s one-child policy:

“I was talking to some of your leaders. You share a similar concern here in China. You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand—I’m not second-guessing—of one child per family. The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable. So hopefully we can act in a way on a problem that’s much less severe than yours.”