The White House last week imposed new Covid testing requirements for travellers to the US from China, specifically from Hong Kong and Macau. They will be required to produce a negative PCR or rapid test no more than two days before departure—a policy that will come less than three years after candidate Joe Biden suggested that then-President Donald Trump’s restrictions on travel from China were xenophobic. The reason given by US officials in a statement quoted by news agencies is:
‘There are mounting concerns in the international community on the ongoing Covid-19 surges in China and the lack of transparent data, including viral genomic sequence data.’
What is a double-standard, aside the lack of criticism from left-wing and neoconservative politicians and their friends in the mainstream media, is the Biden administration’s questionable, if not favourable, policies towards the Chinese Communist Party (CCP): the continuation of his predecessor’s trade wars and opening the US border for their clandestine operations.
Continuation of Trump’s Trade Wars
Prior to Donald Trump, US presidents classified America’s relationship with the CCP as a kind of partnership, despite complaints from human rights activists. Under the Trump administration, the US categorized the CCP as an economic competitor. Trump went so far to accuse Beijing of ‘the greatest theft in the history of the world’ and lambasted the US trade deficit with China, which in 2016 stood at around $346 billion. As a result, he imposed heavy tariffs on Chinese imports.
The Biden administration is subtly doing the same. It is reshaping America’s economic strategy with the world’s second-largest economic power, enacting a strategy to limit the CCP’s technological development that breaks with decades of federal policy. This represents by far the most aggressive American action yet to curtail Beijing’s economic and military rise.
Biden has not only kept the tariffs in place, but he has also imposed export controls and visa limits as well as restrictions on investment flows. The recently passed CHIPS for America Act—a statute enacted on 9 August 2022 that provides roughly 280 billion dollars in new funding to boost domestic research and manufacturing of semiconductors in the US—adds subsidies for domestic production of semiconductors into the mix.
When in 2018 Trump began to impose tariffs on Chinese products, he did so in order to pressure Beijing to cease its unfair trade policies, such as the use of domestic subsidies and the theft of patents, as well as its insistence that foreigners doing business in China transfer technology and trade secrets to a Chinese partner.
The trade war tariffs were meant to give US farmers, manufacturers, and other business owners an economic boost after being battered by Trump’s tax on American businesses.
Essentially, Trump’s policy was to cripple the CCP
by cutting off the American market with 25 per cent tariffs on many imports that would have reined in the US trade deficit, boost American exports, and slow China’s rise as a global superpower.
What happened was just the opposite. The tariffs coerced American businesses to accept lower profit margins. And, according to analysts at Brookings, wages were slashed and 245,000 US workers lost their jobs. In addition, wage hikes were deferred and prices for US consumers and companies rose. By 2020,
- the US trade deficit widened to its largest on record. In the fourth quarter, the US goods trade deficit hit its highest share of GDP since 2012 and the US current account deficit jumped to its highest level in more than 12 years in the third quarter;
- foreign direct investment to the US dropped 49 per cent—outpacing the overall global decrease of 42 per cent.
At the same time, Biden is making it easier for the CCP to acquire American plots of land for ‘business’ reasons. Not only does this keep Americans from proper productivity and jobs, it also threatens US security.
Opening Up of Borders to Chinese Surveillance
In December, the Biden administration made it possible for a Chinese company to acquire 370 acres of land—a proposed $700 million corn milling plant—within 12 miles of Grand Forks Air Force Base in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS), a Treasury Department-led interagency task force, decided that the purchase was not a ‘covered transaction‘ within the meaning of Section 721 of the Defense Production Act of 1950—the Act authorizes the federal government to review certain mergers, acquisitions, and takeovers for ‘national security’, which includes those issues relating to ‘homeland security’, including its application to critical infrastructure. Since the passage of the Act, which was modified in 2018, foreign purchase of agricultural land in America has increased dramatically. In fact, 35 million acres of US farmland are now owned by foreign investors.
As a result, China will be able to use the site to spy on military communications and even disrupt them.
The Biden administration tends to think that this will not happen, despite the fact that for years the CCP has collected data on both its citizens abroad and foreigners, using a combination of trained hackers and high-tech surveillance equipment. Chinese nationals have already been caught red-handed spying in the US for Beijing. In October, US prosecutors charged thirteen Chinese agents for conducting illegal operations in the United States. Yet only two of them were detained, while the other eleven remain free to continue their espionage.
This in itself is not the only problem. What is disturbing is, as explained by Brandon Weichert, author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower:
‘The Chinese will now have the ability to conduct passive, persistent surveillance of both signals controlling experimental drones that are routinely tested at that USAF facility as well as signals that are routinely beamed to and from sensitive US military satellites.‘
Indeed, China has the ability to track and manoeuvre its satellites with a remarkably high degree of precision, allowing its military to spot a US satellite moving close and then to redirect its own satellite away from the US bird in little more than 24 hours.
Yet there is another problem that goes beyond politics. It is the negative effect that is has on American farmers.
As contributing editor to The American Conservative Carmel Richardson stated:
‘The American small farm, once the backbone of this nation, is in fast decline. The average American farmer is older than 58 years of age, and despite sunny initiatives to excite the youths with the prospect of farming, a lack of interest in the way of life is not the real problem. Rather, the barriers to entry are prohibitively high—in particular, the price and availability of land. Already at a steep price thanks to Tyson Food and other agricultural conglomerates, land has been made even more unreachable thanks to the lucre of foreign investors.’
It appears that the Biden administration’s policy to require Chinese nationals who wish to enter the US to provide a negative swab test, which does not guarantee they are Covid-free, is nothing else than a cover-up for his aforementioned policies. Just like by allowing illegal migrants to enter the US from Mexico—which is now at an all time high—Biden is permitting the American infrastructure to decompose by granting the CCP to pitch their tents in America and by continuing an economic policy of his predecessor that was counterproductive, to say the least. And if he is permitting this to occur in the American homeland, how can he be counted upon to come to the aid of innocent people abroad who are suffering human rights violations by their own governments, like in China itself or in Iran?