A number of President Joe Biden’s executive actions in his first two weeks in office have the Chinese Communist Party “singing all the way to the bank,” says freshman Sen. Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn.
Hagerty, whose knowledge of China stems partly from his experience as the U.S. ambassador to Japan, told the “Breitbart News Saturday” radio program that Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, the revoking of leases to drill on federal land, the rejoining of the Paris climate accord and his nomination of a pro-Beijing U.S. ambassador to the United Nations are a “huge gift” to the Communist Party regime.
Regarding Keystone, he said that if Canada can’t move its oil through the pipeline, it will sell the oil to China. The Paris accord will put an immediate burden on the U.S. economy without obligating compliance from Beijing in the near-term, he noted.
“Theirs was the only economy that grew last year. Ours didn’t,” Hagerty said. “They’re going to put more burden on us while China is singing all the way to the bank, thanks to the Biden administration. So we have some real reasons to be concerned.”
Hagerty noted that Biden’s nominee for U.N. ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, gave a speech to a Confucius Institute event in 2019 in which she praised the Chinese Communist Party’s global Belt and Road Initiative.
Hagerty said China’s initiative, through which it is asserting control around the world, compromised the director general of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, by trapping his native Ethiopia in debt.
He noted that when Tedros was the health minister and the foreign minister, the Ethiopian government took billions of dollars in the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative.
Now, with Tedros running the WHO, Tedros “stepped right up and parroted their line and helped cover up the pandemic when they wanted him to do it.”
“This is textbook debt trap diplomacy,” the senator said. “They’re using their influence for nefarious means, and I cannot imagine a U.N. representative who does not understand that.”
Earlier this week, facing its first test with China, Biden administration insiders described a chaotic response to the military takeover in Burma marked by fear of angering Beijing.
WND reported in December a prominent Beijing university professor cited the Biden family’s Chinese business deals as he explained in a Nov. 28 lecture why a Biden administration will restore the communist regime’s influence on its “old friends” on Wall Street and inside the Beltway after the Trump administration.
Shortly after the lecture, the Chinese state organ Global Times published an op-ed saying it expected a Biden administration to cooperate in silencing criticism of the communist regime by American allies such as Australia.
Hagerty said Thomas-Greenfield’s speech, which resurfaced after her nomination, could jeopardize her confirmation in a 50-50 Senate.
“She was paid by the Chinese to give this speech — the naïveté that her position underscores is extremely disturbing, and I think it’s going to make it very difficult for her to get confirmed,” he said.
On Thursday, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said in a statement that he has “no confidence” that Thomas-Greenfield will stand up to China,
Hagerty pointed to another example of how China is exploiting developing countries through Belt and Road.
China put Sri Lanka into deeper debt with the building of a second deep water port that the Asian nation didn’t need. Sri Lanka foreclosed on the project before it was even finished, and now the port is run by Chinese workers and functions under Chinese law along one of the busiest, most strategic shipping lanes in the world.
“They know what they’re doing. They’re going into these small countries and, like I mentioned with Ethiopia, they’re pushing their influence,” he said. “They’re putting a tremendous amount of debt, which gives them leverage. For her not to understand or see that is deeply concerning.”
A mixed bag
Hagerty said, however, that Secretary of State Tony Blinken seems to understand the China threat.
“It’s a mixed bag. I think Secretary Blinken does have a much more clear-eyed view about what’s happening than most members of the Biden administration,” Hagerty said. “He and I talked about this at length.”
Hagerty noted that Blinken believes former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s designation that China is committing genocide against the Muslim Uyghurs minority is correct.
Blinken also “was also right to acknowledge the Trump administration largely got it right on China.”
Hagerty said the Biden administration’s invitation to the Taiwanese representative to come to the inauguration sent a strong message.
It was an even stronger message, the senator said, than sending the USS Theodore Roosevelt into the waters off of Taiwan to push back against Chinese military aggression.
“But if you look at it more broadly, I don’t think Biden gets it,” Hagerty said. “You look back to the campaign, he said, ‘Oh China is not our competition, come on man!'”
Hagerty on Wednesday introduced amendments to the Senate budget resolution targeting the Chinese Communist Party that he hopes will win bipartisan support.
One would “end the inappropriate classification of China by international organizations that gives China an advantage over America and enhance accountability at those organizations” and “ensure that the United States leads other nations in holding China accountable for engaging in genocide and crimes against humanity with respect to Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Province of China.”
Others include protections for American workers from open borders and amnesty immigration policies, efforts to preserve former President Trump’s wall and support for Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.
Hear the interview: