China Gains From U.S. Loss

The White House’s pullout from Afghanistan has assisted China,  at the expense of the U.S. and its allies.

Washington’s ill-advised closing of Bagram Air Force Base led to the demoralization and collapse of the Afghanistan military and government. The U.S. withdrawal from that nation was inevitable, but abandoning Bagram prevented any power sharing with the pro-U.S. (now former) Afghanistan government from occurring, and eliminated any western access to Afghanistan’s strategically vital assets.

China will now have complete access to Afghanistan’s vitally needed Rare Earth Elements (REE.)  Canada’s Fraser Institute notes that “a classified Pentagon memo called Afghanistan the Saudi Arabia of lithium…The importance of REE’s to the global economy cannot be overstated. They are essential to the manufacture of a host of modern technologies, including cell phones, televisions, hybrid engines, computer components, lasers, batteries, fiber optics, and superconductors. Congressional findings have called rare earth elements critical to national security,and understandably so. REEs are key to the production of tank navigation systems, missile guidance systems, fighter jet engines, missile defense components, satellites, and military grade communications gear.”

It follows a career-long pattern of mistaken foreign policy moves by Joe Biden.

The most recent example has been his refusal to put the blame on the Covid pandemic where it squarely belongs, on the Beijing regime, despite the evidence. As the New York Post recently reported, “Even the leader of the World Health Organization’s pathetic ‘investigation’ in China, where WHO played along with Beijing’s coverup, now says it’s ‘probable’ COVID leaked from the Wuhan lab.”

In another recent move, Reuters reports that the Biden Administration has “granted licenses authorizing suppliers to sell chips to China’s blacklisted telecom company Huawei for its growing auto component business.”

U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL), Lead Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, released a statement on concerning reports that the Biden administration authorized the sale of microchips to Huawei. “Reports that the Biden administration has approved the sale of microchips, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, to an espionage appendage of the Chinese Communist Party are alarming yet unsurprising…I urge the administration to immediately reverse this decision before further harm is done to U.S. national security.”

This follows another action, also reported by Reuters, that Biden withdrew a series of Trump-era executive orders that sought to ban new downloads of China-owned apps WeChat and TikTok.

Critics of Biden’s stance on China include Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who has called the Biden administration “weak” on China. Similarly, reports Politico, former Vice President Pence accuses Biden of “rolling over” to China.

There is some debate on how soft the Biden Administration is on China, and indeed, there are some areas, such as an assortment of sanctions, where the White House has acted responsibly. However, as Joseph Bosco noted in a Hill article    “…there is one important area where Biden administration backsliding has undeniably occurred: enforcement of Trump’s crackdown on U.S. investment in Chinese technology companies that support the People’s Liberation Army. … Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin removed Chinese technology giant Xiaomi from a blacklist of such companies considered security risks pursuant to an executive order Trump signed last November.”

None of these moves are unexpected. Biden has a career-long history of kowtowing to Beijing.

One of the most dramatic, and devastating events in U.S.-China relations was the granting of “permanent normal trading status,” which occurred near the end of 2000. The move was signed by President Clinton, but Biden was the driving force in the legislative branch. You can draw a direct line from that move to the wholescale move of American manufacturing, and the related jobs, to China.

Frank Vernuccio serves as editor-in-chief of the New York Analysis of Policy and Government

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