Opinion

How lame was Joe Biden in his latest call with Xi Jinping?

President Biden informed his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, of the US position on several issues during a call Tuesday, the White House said; Xi’s response was essentially, “F-U.”

No, Xi didn’t use those exact terms.

But close enough.

Biden emphasized the importance of “peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” “the rule of law and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea” and America’s “commitment” to denuclearizing North Korea, the White House reported.

And he raised “concerns” over climate change, China’s “support for Russia’s defense industrial base” and its “unfair trade policies,” etc., etc.

Yet Xi, per Beijing’s readout afterward, “stressed” that Taiwan was a “red line that must not be crossed.”

He threatened that, “in the face” of (supposed US) efforts to encourage Taiwan independence, “China is not going to sit on its hands.”

Xi accused Washington of adopting “a string of measures to suppress China’s trade and technology development” and slapping “Chinese entities” with sanctions — which is “creating risks.”

If Washington insists “on containing China’s high-tech development and depriving China of its legitimate right to development,” Xi lectured Biden, “China is not going to sit back and watch.”

Indeed, the two nations could “slide into conflict.”

The Chinese account paints Biden as defensive, saying he reiterated the US objective “not to change China’s system” and that Washington doesn’t support “Taiwan independence” but rather “follows the one-China policy.”

Which side’s “readout” is more accurate?

Consider their respective records of action.

China provokes Taiwan incessantly, sends fentanyl ingredients to Mexico, utterly abandons its treaty promises to let freedom ring in Hong Kong, deploys spy balloons over America, aids Russia in its war on Ukraine, claims the South China Sea is its territory, pumps ever more carbon into the air despite John Kerry’s pleas . . . 

The list is positively endless.

Biden, meanwhile has taken not one meaningful public step that’s led to China to stand down: The White House didn’t even let Americans know about the spy balloon until regular citizens spotted it.

Maybe Beijing has damning dirt on the Biden family’s multimillion-dollar “business” dealings in China, or perhaps the president plays rabbit simply because he always fears overseas “escalation.”

Whether it’s words or actions, the bottom line remains: Xi bullies, and Biden just blathers.

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