Biden’s China gambit

Everyone else zigs on China. Biden zags. Will it work?

The Washington Post
Date: June 12, 2019
By: Daniel W. Drezner

Recently, Joe Biden has been doing and saying some slightly odd things. There were some flip-flops on the

Former vice president Joe Biden speaks during a fundraising event in Atlanta on Thursday. (John Bazemore/AP)
Hyde Amendment that seemed to cause consternation. He has repeatedly suggested that he will be able to work with a post-Trump GOP, suggesting that his victory would lead to a fever breaking within the Grand Old Party. None of this has really dented his front-runner status for 2020, although it is difficult to argue that it has strengthened it either. Mostly, one can chalk these things up to Biden’s being Biden.

There is one substantive area, however, where Biden genuinely seems to stand out from the pack, and that is his position on China. In Iowa last month, Biden said, “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man!… They’re not competition for us.” More recently, as Politico’s Nahal Toosi reported, Biden told a New Hampshire audience: “Our workers are literally three times as productive as workers … in Asia. So what are we worried about?”

As Toosi noted last week, President Trump’s campaign has been eager to castigate Biden over his comments playing down the China threat. But “several current and former Biden aides said his recent rhetoric calling fears of China’s rise overblown was no gaffe. They say Biden relishes going to battle with Trump over China, certain that his message of confidence in American might will prevail over Trump’s alarmist rhetoric and tariff-driven trade war with Beijing.”     [FULL  STORY]