Just for kicks, President Joe Biden should try to see if he could make Republican heads explode by acting soft on China. It wouldn't take much effort.
Biden could say that he "loves" Chinese President Xi Jinping. He could declare that Xi is a "great gentlemen" and that the two men "will always be friends" even if there's a trade war between their countries.
Biden could say "I think it's great" that Xi has made himself president for life in China. He could congratulate Xi for becoming "the most powerful (Chinese) president in a hundred years." For good measure, Biden could muse that "maybe we'll have to give that a shot someday."
Biden could describe how Xi treated him "tremendously well" on a visit to China. He could add that it was "unfortunate" that the coronavirus started in China but got "out of control." He could defend Xi's good intentions with regard to its spread by observing that the Chinese leader "respects" the U.S.
Biden could defend Xi's oppression of the people of Hong Kong by noting, "That's between Hong Kong and that's between China, because Hong Kong is a part of China. They'll have to deal with that themselves. They don't need advice."
Or Biden could Tweet, "I know President Xi of China very well. He is a great leader who very much has the respect of his people. He is also a good man in a 'tough business.' I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it."
In other words, Biden could say all the things that Donald Trump has said out loud about Trump's good friend Xi Jinping.
Trump's Republican enablers maintained loyal silence all those times he lavished praise on Xi. They of course have forgotten that, just like they continue to forget what Trump about Xi more than a month after learning the lethality of COVID-19 and less than two weeks before declaring a national health emergency. Here's some of Trump's praise of Xi's handling of the virus as reported at Politico:
Feb. 27, Coronavirus Task Force press conference:
"I spoke with President Xi. We had a great talk. He's working very hard, I have to say. He's working very, very hard. And if you can count on the reports coming out of China, that spread has gone down quite a bit. The infection seems to have gone down over the last two days. As opposed to getting larger, it's actually gotten smaller."
Feb. 29, Coronavirus Task Force press conference:
"China seems to be making tremendous progress. Their numbers are way down. … I think our relationship with China is very good. We just did a big trade deal. We're starting on another trade deal with China — a very big one. And we've been working very closely. They've been talking to our people, we've been talking to their people, having to do with the virus."
Yes, that's all forgotten, except the part about the virus originating in China. As for Xi Jinping, now that Biden is president, everything is different for Republicans. They're finding their voices again.
Senator Ted Cruz, R-Cancun, provides a good case in point. Recently, Cruz described Xi's regime as "this human rights-abusing, free speech-repressing, trade-and-currency manipulating set of totalitarians who make up the Chinese Communist Party."
Yet Cruz couldn't bring himself to utter a word of dissent all those times Trump extolled Xi's virtues. Not even after Trump congratulated Xi Jinping for becoming a totalitarian for life.
Cruz did weigh in on Hong Kong in a June 29, 2019 op-ed piece at FoxNews.com. He called upon Trump to complain about "China's assault on the sovereignty and autonomy of Hong Kong." Trump was holding a side meeting with Xi Jinping the next day at a G20 summit in Japan.
Trump ignored Cruz's advice as Hong Kong didn't come up. Cruz responded by saying nothing. Cruz also said nothing less than four months later in response to this news from CNN:
"During a private phone call in June, President Donald Trump promised Chinese President Xi Jinping that the US would remain quiet on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong while trade talks continued, two sources familiar with the call tell CNN.
"The remarkable pledge to the Chinese leader is a dramatic departure from decades of US support for human rights in China and shows just how eager Trump is to strike a deal with Beijing as the trade war weighs on the US economy."
As if none of that happened, Cruz recently was part of losing efforts to oppose several Biden Cabinet picks by alleging they wouldn't be tough enough on China. If Trump was tough, the people of Hong Kong would hate to see weak.
Joining Cruz has been fellow insurrectionist Senator Josh Hawley. An advanced search of Hawley's Twitter feed finds literally dozens of tweets raging against China over the past two years on several issues. But insert the word "Trump" and there are no results. Hawley has been busy in recent weeks calling out Biden in advance for being weak on China.
But perhaps the cheapest shot of all came from 2024 GOP Nikki Haley, who was serving as Trump's UN Ambassador when Trump praised Xi Jinping for becoming president for life. Haley had nothing to say then. Now, suddenly, Haley's so concerned about China that she's willing to edit presidential remarks deceitfully to make a point about how tough she is.
Haley literally shared only one half of a Biden sentence to distort his position on China. Here's the half she tweeted:
"China has an overall goal, and I don't criticize them for the goal, but they have an overall goal to become the leading country in the world, the wealthiest country in the world, and the most powerful country in the world…"
Incredibly, Haley stopped the tape there, noting, "Biden doesn't think it's necessary to criticize China." And what did she omit? Just the rest of Biden's sentence, which concluded:
"That's not gonna happen on my watch."
If anyone needs proof of what a liar Haley can be, there you have it. Plus Haley also omitted the rest of Biden's comments. Here's what she forgot to include, via Business Insider:
"This is a battle between the utility of democracies in the 21st century and autocracies," Biden said. "We have to prove that democracy works."
"Biden said Chinese leader Xi Jinping, much like Russian President Vladimir Putin, doesn't have a democratic "bone in his body." Xi and Putin see autocracy as the "wave of the future," Biden said, and that "democracy can't function" in an increasingly complex world.
"The president on Thursday said he's communicated to Xi that the US is "not looking for confrontation" with China, but knows "there'll be steep, steep competition."
"Biden also said he told Xi that "as long as you and your country continue to so blatantly violate human rights, we are going to continue in an unrelenting way to call it to the attention of the world, and make it clear, make it clear, what's happening. And he understood that."
Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Haley left out the meat of what Biden had to say. After all, that was the kind of language her old boss would never have uttered about his "good friend" Xi Jinping.