As China Continues to Undermine American Interests, Poll Shows Dwindling Confidence in Biden
As tensions between the United States and China simmer along the Taiwan Strait, various reports have surfaced showing the communist country’s continued efforts to weaken America through surrogate births, the supplying of chemicals used to manufacture fentanyl, and fake social media accounts used to harass critics of China’s policies. At the same time, a recent poll shows that almost two-thirds of Americans do not have confidence in President Biden’s ability to effectively counter Chinese hostility.
On Monday, The Federalist’s Emma Waters reported that Chinese nationals are increasingly taking advantage of lax U.S. laws governing surrogate births in order to hire American women to bear their children via in vitro fertilization, without ever having to leave China. In states like California, the “rent-a-womb” industry has become big business for multiple fertility facilities, some of which specifically cater to Chinese nationals.
As Waters observes, America’s “birth citizenship” policy is likely a large factor in the allure for Chinese nationals to have their biological children born in the U.S. via a surrogate mother and raised in China: “When the child turns 21, the parents will have direct access to citizenship through a green card application.” Waters goes on to note that this situation poses a national security risk because “Washington has no idea who these children or their parents are.”
With surrogacy emerging as a legitimate national security threat, American deaths from fentanyl overdoses (manufactured largely from Chinese-sourced ingredients) poses a much more immediate threat. With fentanyl overdose deaths increasingly significantly in 2021, pressure has been mounting on the Biden administration to crack down on the supply chain that provides Mexican drug cartels with the chemicals to manufacture fentanyl. On April 14, the Treasury Department announced sanctions against two Chinese companies and four nationals for “supplying precursor chemicals to drug cartels in Mexico for the production of illicit fentanyl intended for U.S. markets.”
It remains to be seen how much of an effect the government action will have on curbing the flow of fentanyl into the U.S. A CNN report from March detailed how despite sanctions, Chinese chemical companies are still able to find numerous workarounds to ship precursor ingredients for fentanyl to Mexican cartels. “The only limit on how much fentanyl [the cartels] can make is the amount of precursor chemicals they can get,” a Drug Enforcement Administration official told CNN.
As China’s extensive involvement in illicit drugs continues, its efforts to use digital means to undermine American interests are finding new frontiers. On Monday, a Wall Street Journal article reported that almost three-dozen agents from within China’s Ministry of Public Security created thousands of fake social media accounts purporting to be American citizens in order to “amplify messages on behalf of Beijing while making them appear to come from a range of American voices.” The efforts included pushing narratives that COVID-19 originated in the U.S., disinformation about the South China Sea and George Floyd, and amplifying Russia’s messaging on the war in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, there are some indications that the U.S. and its allies are attempting to decrease economic ties with China. G-7 (U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the U.K., and Japan) officials recently reported that “new initiatives for bolstering supply chains” had been agreed to over concerns that China could cut off key exports in the future, similar to how Russia choked off natural gas exports to Europe in the wake of the West’s economic sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. In addition, the Biden administration has attempted in the past year to “lure key clean-energy and semiconductor technology companies into the U.S.” and “has restricted the export of advanced semiconductors and related equipment into China.”
Still, polls show that most Americans do not trust Biden to successfully combat Chinese aggression. According to a Pew Research Center survey released on April 7, about two-thirds of Americans “say they are either ‘not too confident’ or ‘not at all confident’ in Biden to deal effectively with China.” Overall, the poll also found that “37% approve of Biden’s job performance, while 60% disapprove.”
What may be contributing to Americans’ lack of confidence are continued reports of the Biden family’s connections to the Chinese regime. On April 12, The Washington Times reported on the “deep financial ties between the president’s son and brother and the now-defunct CEFC China Energy, which had ties to the Chinese Communist Party.” The company wired $1 million to a joint venture partially owned by Hunter Biden, the president’s son. In addition, a second Chinese company associated with CEFC China Energy wired $5 million to Hunter Biden’s joint venture. This money contributed to a $4.8 million wire transfer to two companies owned by Hunter Biden and one owned by James Biden, the president’s brother.
The transactions, which were made between August 2017 and October 2018, also show Hunter Biden receiving a $500,000 retainer fee plus $100,000 per month from the joint venture, as well as $65,000 per month paid to James Biden.
During his efforts to obtain the bank records showing these transactions, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, wrote, “The American people deserve to know the president’s connections to his son’s business deals, which have occurred at the expense of American interests and may represent a national security threat.”
Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.