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Tipsheet

Here's Why Joe Biden Didn't Want to Discuss China At Yesterday's Ukraine Presser

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Spencer had a great overview of this fiasco this morning. We all knew about the Russian buildup near Ukraine for months. They’ve had some 100,000 troops near the border for quite some time as Putin gamed out the predictable response from the West. So, what does Joe Biden do? When he’s not asleep, whispering like a creeper into the microphone, or forgetting where he is, he decided to reach out to another one of our adversaries, China. We shared information about the buildup, wanted China to help avert a war, and Beijing told us to screw off. Oh, and they shared their intelligence we presented them to the Russians (via NYT):

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Over three months, senior Biden administration officials held half a dozen urgent meetings with top Chinese officials in which the Americans presented intelligence showing Russia’s troop buildup around Ukraine and beseeched the Chinese to tell Russia not to invade, according to U.S. officials.

Each time, the Chinese officials, including the foreign minister and the ambassador to the United States, rebuffed the Americans, saying they did not think an invasion was in the works. After one diplomatic exchange in December, U.S. officials got intelligence showing Beijing had shared the information with Moscow, telling the Russians that the United States was trying to sow discord — and that China would not try to impede Russian plans and actions, the officials said.

The previously unreported talks between American and Chinese officials show how the Biden administration tried to use intelligence findings and diplomacy to persuade a superpower it views as a growing adversary to stop the invasion of Ukraine, and how that nation, led by President Xi Jinping, persistently sided with Russia even as the evidence of Moscow’s plans for a military offensive grew over the winter.

This account is based on interviews with senior administration officials with knowledge of the conversations who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the diplomacy. The Chinese Embassy did not return requests for comment.

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When asked about China at yesterday’s presser following Russia’s invasion of the rest of Ukraine, Biden said, “I'm not prepared to comment on that at the moment." Yeah, because they just screwed you, man. It circles back to Fox News’ Peter Doocy’s question about whether Biden underestimated Putin. He did. And he underestimated the level of distrust Beijing has with us. It’s not as stable, but this is 1972 but in reverse. Nixon’s 1972 reopening with China was a genius geopolitical move. Knowing that Chinese and Russian relations were rough dating back to Mao’s meeting with Stalin, the Nixon administration set forth a plan to reestablish relations with China and box in the USSR on two continents NATO in Europe, and China in Asia. 

It turned one billion people against the Soviet Union. The enemy of my enemy is my friend paradigm. Well, has it been turned against us here? Remains to be seen. In the words of Obama, never underestimate Joe Biden’s ability to screw things up. For now, Moscow and Beijing’s discontent with us are enough to bring these two together. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin met earlier this month before the war broke out in Ukraine. 

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Joe Biden has been wrong in every major American foreign policy moment for the past 40 years. That track record continues. He’s been played by Russia and China in a frighteningly short period of time because these two nations know they can outmaneuver this old, weak man. 

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