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Tipsheet

Biden Just Gave China Another Reason to Think He's a Weak Leader

U.S. Air Force via AP, File

As China ramps up its shows-of-force along the Taiwan Straits and simulates a blockade of Taiwan, President Joe Biden is again rolling over in a show of weakness while America's foes demonstrate their capabilities. 

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Amid escalating tensions that saw Chinese state media threaten to shoot down House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's plane ahead of her visit to the island nation during a trip through Asia, the Biden administration announced that it was delaying this weekend's planned test of the Minuteman III missile. 

The decision came from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin who claimed the Pentagon was seeking to avoid further inflaming relations with China. 

According to The Wall Street Journal, Biden postposed a "routine test launch" of the Air Force's Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile. The "long-planned test" was planned to launch from California's Vandenberg Space (previously Air) Force Base north of Los Angeles in Santa Barbara County.

The test launches — referred to as "Glory Trips" are part of the U.S. military's readiness and preparedness to ensure reliability of the Minuteman missile system in which unarmed rockets are launched thousands of miles into the Pacific Ocean. 

According to a release from Vandenberg ahead of a previous test launch, the "purpose of the ICBM test launch program is to validate and verify the safety, security, effectiveness, and readiness of the weapon system."

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The test launches often land near Guam — which is still more than 1,500 miles away from the Taiwan Straits where China is currently trying to show its military might. 

So, while China is attempting to show Taiwan — and the United States and rest of the world — that it has the ability to enforce its will with this week's live-fire exercises, the United States is shying away from doing a planned test launch of an unarmed missile in California. 

It's not the first time Biden has canceled a Minuteman test — he did the same thing earlier this year in March when he canceled a test due to Russia's saber rattling, called a "useless concession to Vladimir Putin" by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL). 

Rogers, the ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee, blasted Biden's decision to delay this week's test: "Now, we learn that President Biden has postponed a second ICBM test to placate Xi’s tantrums. 

This news comes after China conducted live-fire exercises following the Speaker of the House’s visit to Taiwan," Rogers continued. "These weak-kneed pearl-clutching attempts at appeasement hurts our readiness and will only invite further aggression by our adversaries."

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In a move similar to the White House's failure to support Speaker Pelosi's trip to Taiwan — finding itself apparently on the same side as the Chinese Community Party is wanting Pelosi to skip a stop in Taipei — the Biden administration is again showing deference to China by canceling our planned military exercises in some sort of attempt to avoid angering China — a country that's already showed its willingness to threaten the life of the #3 U.S. government official. 

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