Experts: U.S. Is ‘Kowtowing’ to China as Military Tensions Mount
On the heels of the 34th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre and a series of threatening maneuvers committed by the Chinese military, the Biden administration is taking heat for appearing to “kowtow” to Chinese officials in recent days.
On Sunday, the June 4 anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989 in which thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators were killed in Beijing by the communist regime’s military forces, Fox News reported that two senior administration officials were scheduled to arrive in Beijing to discuss “key issues in the bilateral relationship,” according to State Department press release.
In China today, it is as if the Tiananmen Square Massacre never happened. “The events of June 4 have been wiped from the history books in China and any discussion of the crackdown is strictly censored and controlled,” CNN reported in 2019. “Tiananmen is a prime target of the Great Firewall, China’s sprawling online censorship apparatus.”
Still, White House spokesman John Kirby defended the timing of the trip on Tuesday. “We would not call it a ‘misstep,’” he said during a press briefing. “This was a long-planned trip, and this is the way the schedules worked out. … It wasn’t timed to do anything with the anniversary.”
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was not impressed. “This is no ordinary foreign policy stumble,” he told Fox News. “It’s a concession demanded by the Chinese and granted by a White House and State Department willing to bend. It’s a major coup for Xi, and America’s position in the world just got weaker — where it matters most.”
Bob Fu, founder of ChinaAid and one of the student leaders during the Tiananmen Square protests, was equally critical of the timing of the trip.
“Unless the two senior Biden administration officials intended to pay tribute at Tiananmen Square to thousands who were murdered during the June 4 massacre 34 years ago, the visit sends a very wrong signal to the Xi Jinping genocide regime at the wrong date to the wrong people to meet,” he told The Washington Stand.
On June 3, a few hours after the State Department announced the trip, it issued a notably brief, 76-word statement acknowledging the massacre’s anniversary.
The timing of the trip comes at a tense moment between the two countries. Over the weekend, the U.S. Navy reported that a Chinese destroyer came within 150 yards of a Navy vessel, cutting it off in an “unsafe” maneuver. The threatening action came days after “a Chinese fighter jet engaged in an ‘unnecessarily aggressive maneuver’ alongside an American plane” in international airspace over the South China Sea. In addition, reports surfaced on Friday that Chinese spies disguised as tourists have repeatedly tried to breach U.S. military bases in Alaska.
Meanwhile, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Sunday criticized Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s recent unsuccessful attempts to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Li Shangfu, during a security conference in Singapore.
“Biden administration officials should stop chasing after their Chinese communist counterparts like lovestruck teenagers. It’s embarrassing, and it’s pathetic,” Cotton said. “In fact, it projects weakness to China. It encourages them to do things like buzz our aircrafts or come within a few hundred yards of our ships. It encourages them to send spy balloons floating all across America.”
Fu, a senior fellow at FRC’s Center for Religious Liberty, encouraged the administration to fully engage with Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) litany of human rights violations.
“The Biden administration should choose to listen to the millions of cries of the victims of the bloody Tiananmen massacre and unjustly enslaved ethnic minority groups, human rights lawyers, human rights defenders, political dissidents, Christians, Tibetans, and Falun Gong practitioners instead of kowtowing to the CCP criminals.”
Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.